The Rent Is Too Damn High!

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Slog PM: Here Comes the Space Force, Weinstein and Accusers Reach a Settlement, Unstreamable Will Be on NPR

Insurance companies will likely pick up the bill for Weinsteins settlement.
Insurance companies will likely pick up the bill for Weinstein's settlement. ALEXANDER KOERNER/GETTY

The United Kingdom is gearing up for a major, history-making election tomorrow: It's a shitshow. As Nathalie mentioned in Slog AM, Boris Johnson has been accused of hiding in a fridge to avoid the press. But silliness aside, tomorrow's election will decide the fate of Brexit when voters choose which party will lead their country. Will they bring back Boris? Is it time for Jeremy Corbyn? This will be the U.K.'s third general election in less than five years.

Weinstein and his accusers make a tentative $25 million settlement deal: The deal "would not require the Hollywood producer to admit wrongdoing or pay anything to his accusers himself, according to lawyers involved in the negotiations," writes the New York Times. The settlement would be paid by INSURANCE COMPANIES representing Weinstein's former studio, the Weinstein Company. Weinstein's sexual assault trial, like Trump's Senate trial, is expected to begin in early January. 2020 is already emotionally exhausting.

Another guy who can go slap asses in HELL:

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63 Places to See (And Drink With) Santa Claus in Seattle in 2019

Your non-human family members can join in the holiday fun at Peddlers Holiday Dog Party with Santa on December 15.
Your non-human family members can join in the holiday fun at Peddler's Holiday Dog Party with Santa on December 15.

Santa used to stick to shopping malls and parades, but lately he's been exploring new pastures, drinking a wider variety of beverages, and hanging out with wish-havers of all ages (even pets). To help keep track of his whereabouts, we've compiled all of his appearances this month in Seattle. Grownups can knock back some booze with him at Linda's annual Drunk Santa Party and copy his outfit at SantaCon, while kids can take photos with him at Macy's and the Volunteer Park Conservatory. See them all below, and find even more seasonal events on our winter holidays calendar.

DECEMBER 11

Linda's Annual Drunk Santa Party!
Join Drunk Santa, his naughty elf, and the Nutcracker for an evening of booze specials, photo booths, and more Yuletide gaiety. 
Linda's Tavern, Capitol Hill

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It's So Dreary Outside, Which Is a Reminder That "Life Is Sh*t"

"Life Is Shit"

And then you die.
And then you die. Jasmyne Keimig
"Life Is Shit" definitely sounds British—my impulse is never to describe something as "shit" but "shitty." That extra "-ty" is just as American as "asshole." In any case, after seeing this, "Life's A Bitch" by Nas was stuck in my head all day after.

***

"No Drugs or Money Kept in Box
Blood and Urine Specimens Only"
This was outside, mind you.
This was outside, mind you.
What? Like this sticker is really going to stop me? I'm a fuckin' blood and urine specimen fiend.

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NewsCity

Bruce Harrell Discusses His Proudest Moments, Amazon’s Electioneering, and a New Council Without a Single Black Person

Bruce Harrell is ending his 12-year career on the Seattle City Council.
Bruce Harrell is ending his 12-year career on the Seattle City Council. Lester Black

A new Seattle City Council is taking shape at City Hall this month. When the holidays are over and the New Year has begun, oaths of office will be sworn and the new members will join returning members to take Seattle into the new decade. But for the first time in 12 years, Council Member Bruce Harrell won't be part of the effort.

After three terms in office, the current council president decided not to run for reelection this year. Harrell, 61, a former corporate attorney and University of Washington football star, will be replaced by community organizer Tammy Morales.

A lot has changed since Harrell first took office. When he won his first election, Amazon employed fewer than 5,000 people in Seattle (they now employ over 50,000 inside the city), the national economy was deep in recession, and George W. Bush was still president.

More than 140,000 people have moved to Seattle since Harrell took office, and when he leaves City Hall next month, a piece of Seattle as we know it will leave with him: the Seattle City Council will lack a black person for the first time in 52 years. Harrell's story is part of a disappearing thread of Seattle's multicultural past. He was born in Seattle in 1958 to a Japanese mother and a black father. His mother had been detained in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho during World War II. His father’s family had left the deep south for better opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.

The Stranger recently sat down with Harrell to learn what he’s going to do in his post-council life, what he's proud of, what he regrets from his tenure on the council, what he thinks about Amazon’s attempt to buy this year’s election, and what he thinks about the new City Council lacking an African-American person for the first time in more than five decades.

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Northwest HIV/AIDS Organization Calls on Facebook to Remove Misleading Ads

HIV-prevention drug PrEP
HIV-prevention drug PrEP YAKUBOVALIM / GETTY IMAGES

National and local HIV/AIDS organizations say a series of advertisements on Facebook present misleading—and potentially dangerous—information about HIV prevention. But despite their concerns, Facebook has continued to run the ads.

A story published Monday by the Washington Post details how Facebook ads purchased by personal injury law firms contain incorrect messages about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily medication people can take to greatly reduce their risk of contracting HIV. The ads, which appear to target members of the LGBTQ+ community, are meant to recruit current PrEP users into class-action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that make PrEP medications. The ads specifically name Truvada, a PrEP manufacturer.

According to an open letter to Facebook signed by 52 different HIV/AIDS organizations from across the country, these ads suggest that using PrEP is dangerous for HIV-negative people, “despite numerous studies underscoring the safety of [PrEP] in HIV-negative users.”

One of the letter’s signatories is Cascade AIDS Project (CAP), a nonprofit that provides HIV/AIDS prevention and support services in Washington and Oregon. Peter Parisot, CAP’s chief of staff, said that people have reached out to CAP and its LGBTQ+ health clinic, Prism, with questions about PrEP’s safety after seeing the ads on their Facebook feeds.

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Flavors of the Month: Seattle Food & Drink Specials to Try in December 2019

Pike Places French bakery Le Panier will offer their Bûche de Noël cakes topped with macarons in chocolate ganache and lemon buttercream this year.
Pike Place's French bakery Le Panier will offer their Bûche de Noël cakes topped with macarons in chocolate ganache and lemon buttercream this year. Le Panier

It's December, and a flood of holiday-inspired treats have arrived: yule logs, cranberry, eggnog, chocolate orange, and peppermint everything (including cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, doughnuts, and macarons). Read on for all the seasonal food and drink specials you need to know about this month. For more inspiration, check out our list of places to try unique hot chocolate, our list of places to try eggnog and other boozy winter drinks, our list of beer events and releases for the 2019 drinking season, our food and drink calendar, and our winter holidays calendar.

Bakery Nouveau
The dependable bakery has no shortage of holiday sweets, including house-made peppermint bark and toffee, stollen, Ecuador Bûche (a holiday cake with cinnamon chiffon layered with banana mousse, chocolate mousse, chocolate biscuit, and banana compote), and lots of holiday chocolates.

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Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: The Artful Vocal Exhibitionism of "Push Thru" by Seattle Experimentalist Crystal Beth

An utterly distinctive debut LP by local avant-garde musician Beth Fleenor.
An utterly distinctive debut LP by local avant-garde musician Beth Fleenor. Ale De La Torre

Crystal Beth, "Push Thru" (7d Media)

Crystal Beth is improvisational clarinetist/singer Beth Fleenor, a veteran of Seattle's avant-garde music scene who’s played with Terry Riley, David Byrne, and many other major artists. On her new debut album, Push Thru, she flexes glossolalia-laced vocals in alpha-female modes, like a Pacific Northwest Yoko Ono or Urszula Dudziak, and transfers her skills into art songs that sometimes rock, sometimes trance out, and sometimes float enigmatically. It's a remarkable fusion of Fleenor's experimental and song-based instincts, and it really flaunts her panoply of idiosyncratic skills. Push Thru also contains the sweetest Eric Dolphy tribute I've heard in a while.

The album's title track, "Push Thru," instantly grips you with a funky beatboxing intro; then Fleenor launches into an "aye-yi-yi" chant, loops it, and soon after sings in tongues and wails over everything. The track becomes a schizo babel of voices competing for supremacy in your brainbox, while the rhythm calmly mesmerizes with a subtle chich-chich friction. A beautifully serene clarinet coda eases you out of the contrapuntal chaos. If you heard this unawares on the radio or in public, it would freeze you in place and turn your face into a facsimile of that "wow" emoji.

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Impeach Barr

Impeach Barr
The Attorney General should not act as the President's personal lawyer. CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES




The House Judiciary Committee has decided to draw up two articles of impeachment; one for “abuse of power,” and the other for “obstructing Congress.” Dan Savage, Katie Herzog, and Rich Smith—who steps in as host for Eli Sanders on the first two segments—discuss the benefits and disadvantages of what the Washington Post calls a “narrow” and “nebulous” pair of articles.

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License to Cheat Denied!

SAVAGE-Letter-of-the-Day-STAMP-2019.jpg
I'm a 33-year-old man, married eight years and mostly happy. My problem seems common: My wife has lost interest in sex. We have sex once every two months, maybe once a month if I'm lucky. When we do, it seems to be good for both of us. We used to have great chemistry and were both GGG in better days.

I've been faithful, but I'm nearing some kind of tipping point. On a recent trip, I visited a strip club for the first time. Even though I knew the attention I was getting was fake, it still did the trick. Feeling desired, even in a superficial way, is something I've been missing. Once my wife mentioned that she would be okay with me going to a strip club, so I feel like I haven't violated our relationship. But I feel like I'm getting pretty close.

I don't know what to do. I could try more communication, or try to get us into counseling, but I wonder if that's fair. The situation doesn't seem to be a problem for her and every time we talk about it I feel like I'm hurting her feelings. I could also give up and find ways to meet my needs elsewhere. But the thought of hurting her or losing her as a result is unbearable. I've also wondered if a change of meds could help—loss of sexual appetite can be a side effect of the birth-control my wife takes.

Ready To Pop

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Someone Had to Die for You to See This Documentary. Seriously.

The real star of the documentary is Pierre Bergé, the man behind the Yves Saint Laurent curtain.
The real star of the documentary is Pierre Bergé, the man behind the Yves Saint Laurent curtain. PLAYTIME

We weren't supposed to see this documentary about Yves Saint Laurent.

Director Olivier Meyrou's doc on the famed French fashion designer was filmed in the early 2000s, over the course of two and a half years, while Saint Laurent worked on his final collection. His longtime business partner (and former romantic partner) Pierre Bergé invited Meyrou to produce the doc, but when it premiered at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival, Bergé was apparently shocked by what he saw.

Celebration depicts a rapidly aging Saint Laurent—a man so frail, he can hardly hold a cigarette to his lips. He is frequently rushed in and out of rooms, his image strictly controlled. Bergé knew Meyrou would capture this Saint Laurent—Bergé was there during the duration of the filming, and Saint Laurent was clearly becoming frailer as he aged. What Bergé didn't know was that the documentary would end up being less about Saint Laurent and more about him.

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Paul Volcker, a Man You've Likely Never Heard Of, but Who Made the World We Live In, Is Dead

The man responsible for the Volcker Shock has died.
The man responsible for the Volcker Shock has died. Mario Tama/Getty Images

History has two components. One, the men/women who are its face; and two, the men/women who make it. An example of a historical face is, of course, Martin Luther King Jr., but the man who made the civil rights movement is arguably,
Bayard Rustin. In 1963, he organized the massive March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, an event that made King an American icon and launched the movement into the mainstream of history. It was Rustin's genius that made the complicated march a logistical success rather than a nightmare. Paul Volcker is another maker of history, this time in economics.

The face of the tax revolt by the rich after decades of pro-labor New Deal economics was Ronald Reagan, but the man who made it happen was Paul Volcker, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve between 1979 and 1987. He was a Democrat and placed in the chair by a Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. Without Volcker, the New Deal world—which boomers mistake for American capitalism (also known as the Golden Age of Capitalism—1947 to 1971), when it was in fact American socialism (high wages, wage escalators, job security, government investment in suburban mortgages and infrastructure)—would not have collapsed so spectacularly. The way you think about money, consumer loans, mortgages, government deficits, bail-outs and the like only reveals how your mind and experience of the world was made by Volcker. This how we become Volckerians.

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The Best Festivals in Seattle: Winter 2019/2020

Need a break from Seattle in January? Head to Leavenworth for the Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival.
Need a break from Seattle in January? Head to Leavenworth for the Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival.

Below, we've rounded up the biggest and best festivals you need to know about this season, from Emerald City Comic Con to the Seattle Wine and Food Experience to Lunar New Year. You can also find a complete list of festivals in Seattle this winter on our EverOut Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Seasonal

Through Mon Dec 23

Christmas Ship Festival Our waterways are filled with lights throughout the holiday season, but no vessel can compete with Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship, which docks in 65 waterfront communities to serenade people onshore and onboard with its resident choir. Those who choose to board the ship will enjoy photos with Santa, a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and kids' activities. For a less family-oriented option, you can trail behind in a 21+ boat with rotating themes each week. It's also free to watch from the shore. (Various locations, free—$50)

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Cannabis Beats Over the Counter Sleep Aids

GettyImages-1167413580.jpg
Charles Wollertz / iStock / Getty Images Plus

There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, because after just a few nights of enduring it, many will gladly give up state secrets. About 70 million people in the United States struggle with sleep disorders, the most common being insomnia. (“Can’t insomnia simply be cured by reading your work?” you ask, and wow, okay. And actually, yes.)

Sleep disorders are a serious problem on many fronts. Forbes writes:

“A host of studies and reports has linked insufficient sleep to depression, ADHD, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Back in 2014, the CDC labeled sleep deprivation a public health epidemic—with over 70 million adults suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleeplessness is also connected to other severe consequences: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries annually in the United States.”

A new study published in the December edition of Complementary Therapies in Medicine shows that when consumers are given the option of obtaining cannabis through a recreational use program, they will increasingly use cannabis in place of over the counter (OTC) sleep aid medications.

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NewsRent

What Washington Can Learn from Rent Control Victories in Oregon and California

Oregons state capitol is kinda cute!
Oregon's state capitol is kinda cute! GETTY IMAGES / Harvey Meston

This is part three of a five-part series on rent control in Washington state. In part one, I lay out the need for rent control. In part two, I lay out the case against it. Today, we look at how and why California and Oregon passed rent control laws despite that case.

Most economists oppose rent control, and some oppose it so much they compare it to a bomb going off in a city.

And yet, in a few years, Oregon went from zero rent controls to establishing the nation’s first statewide rent stabilization law and ending no-cause evictions. Meanwhile, California started with a patchwork of rent stabilization ordinances and then implemented a statewide rent cap while also putting an end to no-cause evictions. New York also passed new rent regulations allowing cities to rein in high rents.

How could politicians and progressive organizers set off such huge rent control “bombs” in their states, despite the woeful cautioneering of economists?

Because they weren’t actually passing rent control.

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It's Day 11 of 25 Days of Giveaways—Enter Now!

25daysofgiveaways_700x450.jpg

Each day this month until Christmas, we're giving away new and exciting prizes from local Seattle businesses as part of 25 Days of Giveaways. Everything from event tickets to restaurant and retail gift cards to unique experiences is up for grabs.

Today's prize is:

  • Seattle Aquarium: Pair of tickets to your choice of a 21+ event at Seattle Aquarium

    Head over to our contest page to enter. You can also check out our full list of prizes to see what's coming up, or visit our winter holidays calendar for festive events happening in Seattle.

    Happy holidays!