Family Values

Republican King County Council member Rob McKenna's stoic economic logic, a weapon he uses often to promote his conservative agenda, turned around and bit him in the ass at a county council meeting on Monday, December 15.

After Democrats proposed a domestic-partner benefits ordinance mandating that county contractors provide domestic partners the same health care benefits they offer married couples, McKenna tried to torpedo the measure, saying the "significant" costs of higher health care premiums would burden companies. At that, King County Council Democrat Dwight Pelz pounced, spoofing McKenna's economics by pointing out that if the county actually followed McKenna's line of thinking, it would wind up giving contractors a financial incentive to undermine the traditional American family. Breeders, you see, are more expensive to insure than gays.

"If employers are choosing their next employee based on insurance costs," Pelz said, "then [they'd] have to set up a very complex matrix: First you hire the single gay person; then you hire the single straight person; then the gay person in a couple--because they probably don't have as many children statistically; then the married person of non-childbearing age; and finally, the married person of childbearing age would be your least desirable hire if you're trying to keep down insurance costs."

The Dems' ordinance to provide health care benefits to domestic partners passed 8-5. JOSH FEIT

Tablet Tabled

Tablet, the DIY paper that pushes orthodox lefty politics and covers hip local music--you've probably seen its catchy cover gracing orange newspaper boxes around Capitol Hill--will publish its last issue on December 30. However, in an e-mail to readers, music editor Dan Halligan says Tablet will be reincarnated as a free monthly magazine in March, with editorial content that's similar to the current Tablet--but with more Portland coverage, no calendar, and a glossy cover. "Don't worry," Halligan wrote. "We are never going to leave behind the ideas that we started the paper with." Publication director Eric Hildebrandt cited creative and business reasons for the switch. "We're going into a market that has no other competitors," he says, "[with a monthly] serving Seattle and Portland." NANCY DREW

Science Fiction

Experience Music Project spokeswoman Paige Prill pooh-poohed rumors coming from staff at Paul Allen's rock museum that Allen's new science-fiction venue will displace EMP's Sky Church. Talk was that the SF museum, scheduled to open in June, was going to gobble up space at the Sky Church, one of EMP's live-music performance spaces. Prill says that's not the case "at this time," explaining that the 15,000-square-foot SF museum is slated to take over some current exhibit space, but not EMP's music venues.

The science-fiction museum at EMP is planned as a separate museum from EMP. JOSH FEIT