Girls Addresses the Grey Areas of Sexual Assault in “American Bitch”

Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

This week’s episode of Girls is the show at its most evocative. “American Bitch” is bottle episode directed by Richard Shepard, the same director who did both “One Man’s Trash” and “The Panic in Central Park” (otherwise known as “Hannah Fucks the Hot Doctor” and “Marnie Fucks Her Hot Fucked Up Ex”) takes place in the very fancy apartment of a famous writer, Chuck Palmer, who has recently faced allegations of sexual assault. Hannah, writing for a “niche feminist website,” has covered those allegations and her article is what has brought them together. Most of the episode is a Socratic dialogue between Hannah and Palmer, played by a fantastic Matthew Rhys, uglied up here with slicked-back curly hair and a giant beard to give him just the right amount of sleaze.

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A Draft of the Obamacare Repeal Bill Was Leaked, and It's Pretty Ugly


The plot continues to thicken like some sort of swampy quicksand narrative that keeps pulling you deeper and deeper until it drowns you with foul and grainy sludge.

Today, Politico revealed a leaked copy of the draft for the GOP's proposal to dismantle and replace Obamacare.

In sum, the repeal bill would:

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Why Moonlight Needs to Win Big at the Oscars on Sunday

A winning smile in the must-win movie Moonlight
A winning smile in the must-win movie Moonlight

Moonlight—an indie film by a black director, Barry Jenkins, that examines the world and life of black and gay man, Chiron—is nominated for eight Oscars. This film is, in my opinion, the most important American feature film of 2016 for a number of reasons: performances, cinematography, music, and a story that complicates rather simplifies black life. We have never seen anything like it before on the big screen, and it arrived at just the right time. Here are what two filmmakers and a film scholar have to say about the movie and why it deserves to win big at this Oscars this Sunday.

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Matt Hickey Violated State Law by Running a Fake Porn Recruiter Scam, Court Rules

Matt Hickey, pictured above, violated multiple state consumer protection laws when he ran a decade-long fake porn scam.
Matt Hickey, pictured above, violated multiple state consumer protection laws when he ran a decade-long fake porn scam. Jason Redmond

If you never respond to a lawsuit that's been filed against you, the people suing you can win by default.

When the Washington State Attorney General sued former Capitol Hill tech journalist and fake porn recruiter Matt Hickey in December, Hickey failed to respond. On Thursday, a King County Superior Court judge sided with the state, ruling that Hickey violated state consumer protection laws by pretending to be a female porn recruiter on the internet and luring young women into having sex with him.

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American Muslim Empowerment Network Director Aneelah Afzali Will Accompany Rep. Jayapal to Trump's State of the Union Address

Aneelah Afzali, far right.
Aneelah Afzali, far right. Jack Storms

In just four days, President Donald Trump will give his first State of the Union address in Washington, DC. During his first month in office, Trump has expedited the Dakota Access Pipeline, revoked anti-discrimination guidance protecting transgender students, and, most infamously, implemented a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries—which was eventually blocked.

It is only fitting, then, that Washington State Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who serves on the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, be joined by Aneelah Afzali—a Muslim American lawyer and the director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network—at the address.

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When Lusting for a Young Woman Doesn't Work, Write an Opera

Philip Newton

Katya Kabanova is a lush, compelling three-act opera with an alluring backstory. The story is only creepy and misogynistic if you take it out of its early-20th-century context.

Composer Leos Janacek was a late bloomer who arrived at fame in his 60s, around the same time he fell in love with Kamila Stosslova, an unattainable woman, 38 years younger than Janacek. He wrote her 700 love letters over a span of 11 years and composed a handful of great operas inspired by his passion for her.

Janacek's devotion had a patient, soulful quality, especially since his great love remained unconsummated. Allegedly, they shared only one kiss.

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15 Places To Watch The 2017 Academy Awards In Seattle

The Rhein Haus Oscars viewing party will have a red carpet, free popcorn, MCs, special cocktails, prizes, and more.
The Rhein Haus Oscars viewing party will have a red carpet, free popcorn, MCs, special cocktails, prizes, and more. Rhein Haus

The Oscars are this Sunday, February 26, at 5:30 pm PST. Whether you've watched all the nominees in preparation, you're interested in whether the not-so-white movies (Moonlight, Fences, Lion, and Hidden Figures) will win, or you just want to gawk at the parade of fancy designer dresses, there are many places in Seattle where you can watch the Academy Award ceremonies. See your options for watch parties with trivia, prizes, specialty cocktails, free popcorn, local comedians, and other perks below, or on our Academy Awards calendar. If you still need to watch some of the nominees, check out our list of where to watch them.

recommended Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

The Leary Traveler
This neighborhood bar will have bubbly, trivia, and prizes if your predictions come true.

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A Show Made Me Forget About Death for 90 Minutes Last Night. Meet Sound Cipher, the Best Band in Seattle. Possibly.

Timm Mason (bass) and Tim Alexander (drums); saxophonist Skerik is out of sight, in more ways than one.
Timm Mason (bass) and Tim Alexander (drums); saxophonist Skerik is out of sight, in more ways than one. Dave Segal

Damn!” said a guy behind me in an awestruck tone at Sunset Tavern last night after local supergroup Sound Cipher finished their 90-minute set. “Oh my god… so fucking sick!” said another guy behind me, equally gobsmacked. I concur. As a music lover of a certain age, I find it very rare to have my mind blown by a local group—hell, by an international group—in the 2010s. But 10 minutes into Sound Cipher’s first-ever performance, I was convinced they were this city's most exciting new sonic development . (Personal aside: Yesterday afternoon, I underwent a colonoscopy, which can make you acutely aware of your mortality, among other things. But Sound Cipher vanquished all such morbid thoughts and made me happier than ever to be alive. [Then I thought about President Bannon and the joy dissipated.] Anyway, TMI, YMMV.)

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White House Bars NYT, CNN, BBC & Other "Fake News" Orgs From Press Briefing

NY Daily News:

The White House ramped up its war with the press Friday afternoon, barring multiple outlets including the Daily News from getting to ask questions as it let in a select few for a briefing from Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Among the many outlets barred from Spicer's office: CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, RealClearPolitics, BBC, and The News. Others—the conservative Breitbart and One America News Network—were given the nod and allowed in, as well as Fox News, ABC, NBC and the standard rotating "pool" of reporters who are allowed in to every public event. The move came just hours after President Trump promised to "do something" about the "fake news" during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference — and after Spicer angrily scolded reporters Friday morning for recent coverage of the FBI's reported investigation of ties between Russia and Trump's team.

This could be designed to distract us from this impeachable offense. Time and AP boycotted presser in protest—which makes you wonder what the fuck is wrong with ABC and NBC. (Hey, news orgs? If you were invited into that presser and/or you went to the presser, you're doing your jobs all wrong.) Oh, and Trump's press secretary promised back in December that they wouldn't bar critical/mainstream media outlets. Take it away, Jake Tapper...

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The Week in Weed: Trump Declares War on Pot, Weed Goes Nuclear, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg talk 'Greenery'

Spicer: Were Coming for Weed
Spicer: We're Coming for Weed Aaron P. Bernstein

It was shaping up to be a pretty fun week in weed—a new drive-thru pot shop being proposed in Colorado, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg dropping pot references on national television ... you know, feel-good stuff. Then along comes the announcement that the Trump administration now has legal weed in their cross hairs, harshing all of the mellows. This latest news trumps (sorry) everything else for now as the cannabis industry braces for the impact of what’s ahead, so we’ll just start there.

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Last-Minute Plans: 99 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Seattle This Weekend: Feb 24-26, 2017

Pike Brewing Company is just one of the dozens of breweries that will have special tours for Washington Beer Open House.
Pike Brewing Company is just one of the dozens of breweries that will have special tours for Washington Beer Open House. At Pike specifically, you'll also have opportunities to taste a special Octopus Ink Black IPA and enter to win a beer dinner with Seattle Sounders player Brad Evans. Pike Brewing Company

Procrastinators, we have good news: Even if you didn't plan your weekend far in advance, there are still lots of cheap and easy entertainment options around Seattle. Below, find all of the events that won't cost you more than $10, ranging from art events (like the Asian Art Museum's free closing weekend open house and Art Encounter at Olympic Sculpture Park) to readings recommended by our critics (including Viet Thanh Nguyen and Ernestine Hayes, Raven E. Heavy Runner, and Elissa Washuta), and from a free beach party (with sand!) at Seattle's Australian bar to a night of live music in honor of the best Beatle's birthday. For even more events, check out our complete Things To Do calendar, where you'll find lists including the best movies playing this weekend, where to watch the Oscars, and ways to celebrate Mardi Gras.

recommended Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app—available now on the App Store and Google Play. recommended

1. Alki Jones
With song titles like "Whole Lotta Lonely," Alki Jones make groove-oriented Matchbox 20-ish pop rock based in Green Lake.
(West Seattle, $7)

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Being A Couple & Sleeping in Separate Beds Is Cool, Too


My girlfriend and I have been together almost three years and we've always had trouble sleeping together. Not intercourse, but restful sleep. We share a queen size bed on nights we spend together and neither one of us is blameless. We're both sleep talkers. She has occasional night terrors. Despite sleeping naked with only one blanket, I wake up drenched in my own sweat 50% of the time when I'm alone and 99% of the time we sleep together. We don't live together now but we're at the point in our relationship and our lives that we're ready to move in together.

We openly acknowledge this challenge and we've discussed our future cohabitation and sleeping arrangements. We both like the benefits of separate beds (more restful, uninterrupted sleep) but we both enjoy the intimacy of sleeping together. Our sex life is great and sex before and/or after sleep is something that is important to both of us.

Is there any way we can train our bodies to be happy sharing a bed or should we get used to spending our nights like a couple in a 1950's sitcom?

Sleep Loss Enough2 End Partners Enjoying Rest

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The Simple, Beautiful Fable of The Red Turtle


The Red Turtle is the latest movie from Studio Ghibli, and if there’s one thing film critics are more tired of than that Inception trumpet blare, it’s explaining what Studio Ghibli is every time they release a movie. So look it up if you need to.

Okay! Now that you have visions of Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away in your head, I can tell you The Red Turtle is nothing like them. It’s a simple, wordless fable, drawn in a style that mixes character design straight from Tintin creator Hergé and landscapes reminiscent of the 19th-century woodcut artist Hokusai.

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Guest Editorial: Murray, Cantwell Owe Us Stronger Resistance to Trump Agenda

A Seattle Indivisible #ResistTrumpTuesday rally.
A Seattle Indivisible #ResistTrumpTuesday rally. Stan Raucher

Ed Note: This guest editorial is from Beatrice Leverett, a longtime Seattle resident, fourth-year medical student at the UW School of Medicine, and member of local resistance group Seattle Indivisible.

The efforts of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to resist the Trump agenda have so far been mediocre at best. is tracking House and Senate votes on issues where the Trump administration has expressed a clear stance and calculating a “Trump score” for each senator and representative, equal to the percentage of their votes matching the administration's positions. At the end of Trump's third week in office, Murray’s Trump score was 30.8 percent and Cantwell’s was 38.5 percent. In other words, the senators representing the state which was recently hailed by The Washington Post as "the epicenter of resistance to Trump's agenda" have, on average, voted to support that agenda over a third of the time.

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Exploring the Addictive Appeal of Sticky-Rice Desserts and Snacks

Xôi bọc bánh tráng is a Vietnamese sweet sticky rice cake flavored with coconut.
Xôi bọc bánh tráng is a Vietnamese sweet sticky rice cake flavored with coconut. SUZI PRATT

Sometimes I dream about sitting in a big tub of rice pudding. It just seems like a nice thing to do. I imagine the milk or coconut milk would have a calming, moisturizing effect on the skin, and I like the idea of spa and sustenance all in one place. Whenever I get hungry, I could just lean down and take a little nibble around my elbow.

Everyone has a secret food dream. Mine is born of extreme rice love. From puddings to cakes, I never seem to tire of anything rice-based—particularly anything made with sticky rice, aka glutinous rice, which, despite its gluteney sounding name, is gluten-free. Plasma be damned, sticky rice is really the fourth state of matter; there's something endlessly fascinating about its gummy, sticky texture that comes from the amylopectin starch particles in the rice breaking down. It's just damn fun to eat.

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