Vote Jeff Sprung for State Auditor

Jeff Sprung
We felt a little emotionally manipulated when Jeff Sprung sat down and told us that his parents barely survived the Holocaust and that's why he was running for state auditor. (Maybe our empathy was all tapped out that day, or maybe we're just terrible people. You decide!) Anyway, despite the initial awkwardness, his passion for the most mind-numbingly boring but still absurdly important office swayed us.

As a Seattle-based attorney, Sprung has busted shady banks, health insurance companies, and accounting firms for fraud and has made himself known for advocating on behalf of whistle-blowers and consumers alike. He's even snapped up endorsements from Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Planned Parenthood Northwest's legal arm. As state auditor, Sprung says he wants to work with the Department of Health to ensure the public, particularly those on Medicaid or Medicare, are actually getting the best prices on life-saving drugs.

We've spent the last year watching the state's current auditor, Troy Kelley, being paraded through court for...

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Your Weekly Roundup: Dan Savage and Jill Stein Duke It Out, Capitol Hill Block Party Kicks Off

Your roundup of this week’s most widely-read, shared, and discussed stories.

The Green Party's Jill Stein is polling at 5 percent nationally.

• Dan Savage presented his case against Jill Stein in our most widely-read story this week. On his podcast, Savage argues that a vote for the Green Party candidate is a vote for Trump, and that a Trump presidency doesn’t hurt Stein, but rather the marginalized communities of this country.

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This Week on the Blabbermouth Podcast: Diary of a Mad Convention

Episode 59 goes to Cleveland, where Stranger writers Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover saw this awful t-shirt and so, so much more.
Episode 59 goes to Cleveland, where Stranger writers Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover saw this awful t-shirt and so, so much more. Heidi Groover

What’s it like to spend an entire week marinating in a sour brew of Republican sweat, misogynist anti-Hillary swag, condescension dripped from the mouths of protesters and counter-protesters alike, and whiskey, lots of whiskey?

Stranger writers Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover were in Cleveland this week for the chaotic coronation of Donald Trump and they tell us exactly what it was like, day by day, with their diary of a mad convention.

After that, the critics of The Stranger are back, as always, to tell you what to do this weekend. Plus...

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Hillary Clinton Announces Running Mate


Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate Friday, selecting a battleground state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Donald J. Trump in November. Mrs. Clinton’s choice, which she announced via text message to supporters, came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Mr. Trump.

Some people are happy. Some people aren't. They're having it out on the Twitter.

What Nonsense Has Mike Pence Been Getting Into This Time?

Hey guys, its me, Mike Pence! I know, weird, right?
"Hey guys, it's me, Mike Pence! I know, weird, right?" lev radin /

As the American experiment in democracy drew to an unsatisfying close in Cleveland, it's tempting to focus on the nuts and weirdos who busied themselves onstage at the Republican National Convention. But what about the more sensible, refined members of the GOP? You know, the ones who think Mulan proves that military rape is inevitable, who are afraid of buffalo, and whose daughter may be a vampire?

Conveniently, all of those descriptors apply to Vice Presidential candidate and concerned CPR dummy Mike Pence. Trump may not have permitted him to speak too much yet, but fortunately we have a long back-catalog of Pence-authored blog posts to sift through, and more weird/wonderful nuggets are popping up every day.

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Watch The Live Stream of Capitol Hill Block Party Here


Not attending Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend, but still want to know what's happening? You can now watch what's happening at the festival from the comfort of your home, courtesy of a live stream from Capitol Hill Block Party. Find the link below.

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New Study: "No Compelling Evidence" That Increased Minimum Wage Has Led to Seattle Businesses Shutting Down

All those predictions that small businesses would collapse? Bullshit. Dan Holm /

Another UW study has turned up no evidence to back up that oft-repeated claim that businesses small and large can't survive higher minimum wages.

The study (PDF), provided this week to the City Council, examines Seattle's economy in the first eight months after it began phasing in higher wages in 2014, from $9.47 up to $11 per hour, on a track toward $15.

Here's the money quote:

We do not find compelling evidence that the minimum wage has caused significant increases in business failure rates. Moreover, if there has been any increase in business closings caused by the Minimum Wage Ordinance, it has been more than offset by an increase in business openings.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Not Another DTMFA?!? Yes! Another DTMFA!

Thirty-two-year old, married straight male. I have a problem that I don't know how to deal with. I'm an alcoholic, and my wife is too. We met 5 years ago at the beach. I had never drank more than three or four drinks in a day, and never before 5 o'clock, but I was crazy about her and had a blast day-drinking. We hit it off and are now married.

When we started dating we lived in separate cities about two hrs away, so we would spend every weekend together. Drinking. A lot. After we moved in together I've had a spate of jobs, but nothing that would be called a career. Now I'm a certifiable alcoholic, I wake up to a beer three days of the week. She has a great job, but she still comes home and drinks until bed. I don't know how she does it. This kind of substance abuse is hurting our relationship, I don't have her tolerance, and I cannot be productive in any way, shape, or form the day after drinking.

What do I do? She's not going to stop drinking, but I can't live a normal life drinking like this. I don't have the willpower to not drink when she does it too. I've talked to her about it, I've even been in rehab for a week, but the minute I slipped she happily had a beer right beside me. She's a superhero when it comes to alcohol, but I'm not. It's ruining my life. Any advice?

Don't Really Understand Nasty Knelling Sound

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Why We Need Barbara Earl Thomas Now

The story of the storm, by Barbara Earl Thomas.
The story of the storm, by Barbara Earl Thomas. Images JG

"Is it me or is there a Black arts explosion in the midst of this death cycle?"

C. Davida Ingram sent me that question recently.

If you are exhausted and numb from the news, but still care deeply and don't want to drop out of this cultural moment of tangling with race in America, you should spend time looking at what these artists have made.

Days before Ingram's message, I'd seen Inye Wokoma's incantatory photographs, verses, and video installation at the Frye, on the heels of the landmark exhibition of paintings and films by Noah Davis and Kahlil Joseph (curated by Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes). (Ingram's own soaring new photographs and sculptures (involving a giant pink antique British war parachute and a raccoon penis bone) are at Bridge Productions in Georgetown.)

Days before that, I spent the morning at a Senga Nengudi exhibition at the Henry and the afternoon at a 65-work survey of Barbara Earl Thomas's paintings, prints, and cut-paper installations at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

On the ferry to Bainbridge, I asked Earl Thomas what she thought of Nengudi's work, some of which is made of pantyhose. Earl Thomas speculated that since Nengudi, like her, was born in 1940s America, they probably both had to contend with the iniquitous pre-pantyhose history of stockings, with their punishing straps and belts and madness. Nengudi became a performance artist devoted to the experiences of bodily (and psychological) freedom and tension. Earl Thomas became a painter of swirling stories about water and fire, about catastrophe coexisting with beauty. And now, she has become an artist who spends hours and weeks telling those stories of the greatest tragedies and wonders in pieces of delicate cut paper that could fly away in the slightest breeze.

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Star Trek Offers Us a Reminder: We Can Do Better


"Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes," says Captain Christopher Pike. He's in a roadside bar in rural Iowa, the kind of old-school dive that still serves Budweiser Classic and shots of Jack, despite the fact that far more interesting drinks have been invented by 2255.

"He saved 800 lives—including your mother's and yours," Pike continues. It's quiet in the bar—past closing time—and Pike is talking to a dipshit farm boy who just yanked a wadded-up napkin out of his bloody nose. The rest of the blood on James T. Kirk's face is starting to dry—a reminder that while the kid is pretty good at starting bar fights, he sucks at finishing them.

Pike looks at Kirk. "I dare you," he says, "to do better."…

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Last-Minute Plans: 75 Free, Cheap, & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend

Shop for handmade goods this weekend at the Renegade Craft Fair, the Seattle Makers Market, or the BadWill Market.
Shop for handmade goods this weekend at the Renegade Craft Fair, the Seattle Makers Market, or the BadWill Market. Renegade Craft Fair

Panicking because you haven't planned what you're doing this weekend yet? We've got you covered, with cheap (under $10!) and easy entertainment options all weekend long, from a Pokémon Go comedy night to the Seattle Opera Summer Fest, and from outdoor movie nights to free Capitol Hill Block Party-adjacent events like Unicorn's free sideshow and BadWill Market at the Rhino Room. See all of your options below, and, if you have a slightly larger budget, check out our complete Things To Do calendar (where you'll find the best movies to see this weekend, a guide to Capitol Hill Block Party, and more).

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1. Alki Art Fair
There will be juried art, three stages of music, kids' activities, and lots of food at this large community fair on scenic Alki Beach.
(West Seattle, free, Saturday-Sunday)

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That Seattle University Humanities Dean Who Students Wanted Out? She's Resigning.

Direct action gets the goods. Ansel Herz

Two months after the university placed her on leave for "issues associated with her leadership and management," in response to a three-week-long protest campaign by students demanding her resignation, former dean Jodi Kelly is stepping down for good. The Seattle Times reports:

Jodi Kelly, a Seattle University humanities dean, has retired from the university but will remain an emeritus faculty member, the school announced Thursday.

Kelly was placed on administrative leave after students held a three-week sit-in to force her from the head position at Matteo Ricci College, an elite school at the Catholic campus.

Students demanded changes to the school’s curriculum, which emphasized Western history and philosophy. They also said the college’s climate was hostile for students of color.

Bye bye.

UPDATE: The president of Seattle University, Stephen Sundborg, had nothing but praise for Kelly in his announcement of her resignation. The MRC Student Coalition, which organized the protests against Kelly, responds at great length:

The MRC Student Coalition recognizes Jodi Kelly’s departure from Seattle University as a success of years of organizing and a 24-day sit-in which prompted multiple investigations and countless testimonies. Fr. Sundborg’s failure to speak to the whole truth of the matter erases and disrespects all the trauma and pain suffered for years by students, alumni, faculty, and staff and the ongoing work currently being undertaken to address issues of culture, climate, and curriculum.

I, Anonymous: Thanks for Coming


I just wanted to thank the librarian from Beacon Hill for coming to the Jungle months ago and talking to me and my neighbors like we are people and not diseases. You gave me hope when I needed it the most and thought the whole city hated us…

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Hate Crowds but Love Music? Now You Can Live Stream the Capitol Hill Block Party

Dont miss SassyBlack on the Vera Stage at 5 pm on Sunday.
Don't miss Sassyblack on the Vera Stage at 5 pm on Sunday.

For the first time ever, Capitol Hill Block Party will be live streaming (starting later this afternoon), so you can experience it from the comfort of your overpriced apartment. Facilitated by Punch Drunk and IMI Productions, the stream will be embedded here and via The Stranger. Check out the streaming schedule after the jump and read about the 15 CHBP acts you shouldn't miss here.

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Trump Opens the Door to Putin Reforming Soviet Union

Vladimir Putin, seen here with Donald Trump grinning in the background.
Vladimir Putin, seen here with Donald Trump grinning in the background. Tidarat Tiemjai /

Searching for dumb things that Donald Trump has done is a bit like catching bugs by sticking your head out of a car traveling down a highway — it only takes a few minutes to accumulate far more debris than anyone could ever want.

But let's take a few minutes to talk about what he just said about NATO, because it is one of the many scenarios that could plausibly lead to the actual end of civilization. NATO, if you are unaware, is the organization that formed after World War II to prevent any further world conquest attempts by overly-ambitious nations (Soviet Union, we're looking at you).

And for about seventy years, it's worked fairly well. It's crazy-expensive, but on occasion it's been helpful to have a military partnership with other countries. But now Donald Trump has said that he would disregard a provision that says an attack on one member is construed as an attack on all members.

In seven decades, this provision has been invoked only once, and it was to assist the United States.

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