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November 14, 2012 06:12 PM

Robert Kuttner, who was recently in Eugene (see our Oct. 4 issue), is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospectmagazine and author of “A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control Our Economic Future.”

 

   In a recent piece in the Huffington Post titled “Let’s Not Make a Deal,” Kuttner writes: “We need more public spending both because the private economy is weak and because Hurricane Sandy just revealed the need for hundreds of billions of more outlay to protect our coastal communities from ocean waters that will continue rising. We will need hundreds of billions beyond that invested in renewable energy to keep global climate change from worsening. ...

 

   "The president's own proposed budget cuts of $4 trillion over 10 years average out to $400 billion a year. In other words, the Obama Cliff is almost as large as the fiscal cliff that everyone dreads. Whatever the precise mix of tax increases and spending cuts, $4 trillion is too big a cliff. …

 

   “In that aborted [budget] deal [of 2011], Obama was prepared to cut Social Security and increase the Medicare eligibility age. White House leaks have suggested that both items will be on the table this time. That's bad policy, and worse politics. The clearest principled differences that distinguish Democrats from Republicans is that Democrats are staunch defenders of Social Security and Medicare, while Republicans are eager to cut, privatize, and voucherize.

 

   “So the good news is that the Democrats won the election and President Obama's spine has been stiffened on the subject of taxes. The bad news is that the skids are greased for a budget deal that cuts more than necessary, risks putting the economy back into recession, and blurs differences between the parties on critical issues like Social Security and Medicare.

 

   “If Obama will just realize it, he holds most of the cards. He prevailed in the election. Most voters agree that the rich should pay higher taxes. Most don't want cuts in Medicare and Social Security. …

 

   “But by all appearances, the eager-beaver bipartisan Obama that we saw in early 2009, (until he got his clock cleaned) is back. Despite his recent victory, if he is too eager to make a deal, he —and we — will get rolled.”

 

See the full story at www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/fiscal-cliff_b_2115237.html

November 14, 2012 03:20 PM

Attention arts and culture nonprofits!

The Oregon Cultural Trust has created a field guide, "Oregon Culture: A Field Guide," that aggregates the activities of the more than 1,300 arts, heritage and humanities  nonprofits in the state. Until Nov. 15, you can go nominate cultural activities for the guide.

Current "Featured Activities" include "Visit the Northwest's most Vibrant Latino Theatre" (nonprofit Miracle Theatre in Portland) and "Attending the largest outdoor quilt show in the world" (nonprofit Sisters' Outdoor Quilt Show).

Current nominees for Eugene include the Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House, the Oregon Country Fair and the University of Oregon Libraries' collection of Ken Kesey manuscripts, papers and letters. This isn't just for pride of making the guide, the Oregon Cultural Trust has dished out over $11 million in grants to arts and culture nonprofits since 2003.

November 14, 2012 12:34 PM

Leading Oregon activists for marijuana legalization met in Lincoln City last weekend following the defeat of Measure 80. They discussed the future of marijuana politics in the state of Oregon and the impact that election victories legalizing marijuana for adults in Washington and Colorado would have on their next move. 

 

Here is an edited version of their press release, sent to EWby Jim Greig of Eugene:

 

Attendees included John Sajo, executive director of Voter Power; Jim Greig, board member of Voter Power; Portland attorney Leland Berger; and lobbyist Anthony Taylor. Also in attendance were Todd Dalotto, chair of the Oregon Health Authority’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana (ACMM) and president of CAN! Research; Lori Duckworth, executive director of Southern Oregon NORML at the S.O. Cannabis Community Center. 

 

“The legalization of marijuana is inevitable,” said Sajo. “Oregon’s Ballot Measure 80 to implement a regulated approach to marijuana use by adults nearly passed,” said Sajo, “Measure 80’s strong showing of 47 percent of the vote with virtually no money spent on the campaign, indicates Oregon voter’s support to end prohibition.”

 

Activists also welcomed the call by The Oregonianeditorial board for the Legislature to refer a marijuana legalization proposal to the voters.

 

“We agree with The Oregonianthat the Legislature is better equipped to flesh out the details of legalization than activists,” said Anthony Taylor, Director of Oregonians for Safe Access. “And after decades of opposing our efforts, it is a welcome change.”

 

The group discussed its several proposals being drafted by legislative counsel for pre-session filing and other proposals being considered for introduction during the general session including the addition of PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions.

 

“I am very impressed by the resolve of Oregon activists in the wake of our movement’s success on election day,” said Michael Krawitz, plaintiff in ASA’s (American’s for Safe Access) lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration’s refusal to re-schedule marijuana. “It is my sincere hope that these meetings will lead to much needed reform of Oregon’s marijuana law to protect the state’s disabled military veterans who have, in statistically high numbers, suffered from under-treated PTSD, resulting in a corresponding increase in homelessness, joblessness and despair in large part due to marijuana’s illegality, “ Krawitz added.

November 14, 2012 06:24 PM

Update:

Diablos responded very quickly to the comments on its Facebook page and to EW's request for comment:

    Shame on us.... yes, agreed. It was in VERY poor taste. here's our general response on the issue ... While fetish events frequently offend someone, this is a case where the offence was not intentional and poorly considered. The posters and facebook event logo have been pulled and changed. We sincerely apologize for the offence.

   By nature fetishes frequently involve objectification, within the fetish community it is mandatory that it be consensual objectification. In this case we made a big mistake and didn't consider consent of the community we were depicting. We try to be a completely inclusive bar. We host drag shows, fundraisers, bingo, fetish events, and we have a very diverse clientele. We failed this time. We are very sorry!

Diablos is having a Fetish Ball Thanksgiving weekend, and its poster uses a woman in an "Indian headdress" to advertise the event.

For many Native peoples and others, Thanksgiving marks the genocide of Native tribes and colonization of Native lands and wearing or depicting someone in an "Indian headdress" feeds into racist stereotypes. 

According to Will Doolittle who has begun calling attention to the poster on Facebook, "Diablos Bar, in Eugene Oregon, perpetuates racist stereotypes in advertising their 'Spanksgiving Fetish Night.' Their phone number is 541-343-2346. Their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/diablosdtl I told the person answering the phone that they'd probably be receiving more calls about this insulting poster. She said she is sorry if people are offended but they can't do anything about it."

The response to the poster had only just begun as this blog went up, so Diablos has not yet had chance to respond to the Facebook comments. 

Word is that tomorrow, after culture night at the UO Many Nations longhouse (17th and Columbia), people will go as a group to approach Diablos about the issue.

November 13, 2012 08:00 PM

Washington made pot legal thanks to the passing of I-502 in the recent election, and now the cops have to deal with it, and Washingtonians have to deal with the cops. Luckily Seattle PD has made a handy FAQ called  Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattlle to help.

The advice includes: 

Can I smoke pot outside my home? Like at a park, magic show, or the Bite of Seattle?

Much like having an open container of alcohol in public, doing so could result in a civil infraction—like a ticket—but not arrest. You can certainly use marijuana in the privacy of your own home. Additionally, if smoking a cigarette isn’t allowed where you are (say, inside an apartment building or flammable chemical factory), smoking marijuana isn’t allowed there either.

Will police officers be able to smoke marijuana?

As of right now, no. This is still a very complicated issue

What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?

Under state law, officers have to develop probable cause to search a closed or locked container. Each case stands on its own, but the smell of pot alone will not be reason to search a vehicle. If officers have information that you’re trafficking, producing or delivering marijuana in violation of state law, they can get a warrant to search your vehicle.

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

For the full page including a video clip from Lord of the Rings of Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins smoking "the finest weed" go to the Seattle Police Department web page

November 8, 2012 04:43 PM

I'm not saying it's good. I'm just saying someone made a rap about GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

November 5, 2012 05:40 PM

November 2, 2012 06:22 PM

This just in from the Congressman Peter DeFazio  election campaign:

REPUBLICAN SUPER PAC SPENDS $170,000 TO ATTACK DEFAZIO IN FINAL WEEK

Voters will not know who is funding the final attacks until after the election

(EUGENE, OR)- Republican Super PAC Inc. (RSPI) has spent nearly $170,000 in the final week in an attempt to attack Peter DeFazio and buy Art Robinson a seat in congress. In FEC reports dated 10/31 and 11/1, RSPI purchased an additional $93,000 of television time and spent nearly $75,000 on two mail pieces attacking DeFazio. 

“My so-called ‘fiscally conservative’ opponent Art Robinson has blown nearly $1 million on his book, thousands of message signs full of empty promises he cannot and has no intention of keeping, and radio and television ads that try to hide his ultra right-wing extreme ideals. But Art could drain his bank account because Republican Super PAC Inc (RSPI) bailed out his campaign on TV, radio, and in the mail. RSPI and its Wall Street funder don’t care that Art Robinson has no plan to get people back to work, or that his budget plan would drive us deeper into debt. They just want to buy votes for the guy who will bend to their will. People might not always agree with me, but they know where I stand and that I have the backbone to stand up to these special interests,” said DeFazio. 

RSPI’s current television ad and a recent mailer sent to thousands of households falsely claims that DeFazio voted against a balanced budget amendment in 2011. DeFazio led the Democratic support for the only balanced budget amendment voted on in the House of Representatives in the current Congress. Politico highlighted DeFazio’s support of the BBA in November 2011 writing, “Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio is urging his colleagues to buck Democratic leadership and vote in favor of the balanced budget amendment that’s headed for a vote in the House at the end of this week.” (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68413.html#ixzz2B6j4NSvB)

RSPI claims that DeFazio voted against a balanced budget amendment in 2011 and cited HR 2560, legislation that was not a balanced budget amendment. In a non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, CRS found that “the bill itself was not a balanced budget amendment” (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41907.pdf page 23). 

RSPI will not file a FEC report disclosing its recent donors until after the election, keeping voters in the dark about who is funding the attacks against DeFazio in the closing days of the election. 

DeFazio’s campaign has also recently received calls from voters contacted in a push poll paid for by Republican Super PAC Inc., claiming DeFazio intends to raise taxes and increase spending.  The push poll phone number (541-823-5019) doesn’t connect to a business or individual.

The DeFazio campaign's billboards aren't the only way that non-Robinsonians are looking to explain Robinson. For some weekend viewing fun, we're reposting a video one of our readers created:

November 2, 2012 10:40 AM

Don't miss the Wayne Drury Project at the Axe and Fiddle 8 pm Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Axe & Fiddle in Cottage Grove.  The Wayne Drury Project will also be performing Nov. 10 at WOW Hall. For more information about the Alt-Country folk revival story of the Wayne Drury Project (WDP), pick up the Nov. 8 issue of EW.

November 1, 2012 10:40 AM

Congratulations to Lord Leebrick Theater  who will receive $200,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust whose trustees voted unanimously in support of the local theater's project to build a new facility on West Broadway. The new theatre is slated to be ready for performances in early 2013. Let's raise our glass to even more shows that Eugene audiences love, like Avenue Q, which landed Leebrick in a tie for first place in this year's Best of Eugene Best Theater Performance. This nudges the city a little closer to BOE voter's wish for the Best Thing That Could Happen to Eugene: Downtown revitalization.

 

 

October 31, 2012 05:58 PM

So Art Robinson sued Congressman Peter DeFazio for a cool million over billboards with Robinson's name and quotes on them, that were put up by DeFazio's campaign with link to the website whoisartrobinson.com

Tea Party climate-change denier Robinson is trying to take DeFazio on again for Oregon's 4th district congressional seat.

According to the conservative website Human Events, the suit is dead in the water. 

According to the story: 

David Mark, editor-in-chief at Politix and author of “Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning,” said, “Robinson has virtually no shot of winning because it’s not clear at all that the advertisements are illegal.”

October 31, 2012 02:09 PM

Over the course of 9 Fiery Furnace records and eleven solo albums, we’ve come to expect odd things from Matt Friedberger. The Furnace’s 2005 release “Rehearsing My Choir” features spoken-word from Friedberger’s Greek-orthodox Grandmother. The keyboardist and composer’s stuff is weird, sometimes unlistenable, but always intriguing and often downright brilliant.

So when the press release for his upcoming album Matricidal sons of bitchesis this out-there and awesome, we thought it would be best to just get out of the way and let you read it:

Matricidal sons of bitchesis not the soundtrack to not a film. But what if it wasn't?”

“Hmm. I don't mean to bore you, but to leave out the dashes for once, a Poverty Row picture was a not even a B picture. For instance, the production budget didn't really have the money to pay for a decent script, or acting, or photography.

“So: my newfangled old-fashioned Poverty Rue (in France) production didn't have the money to pay for a script, or acting, or photography. Being challenged all the way round, a Poverty Row movie certainly couldn't often pay for original music. A film would have to fill itself out, in general, with stock, 'royalty free' cues from a "Synchronization Service".

“Well then. Keeping to tradition, here on Poverty Rue my non-filmed film would have to have as, or on, its nonexistent ("nonexistent", because the (nonexistent) soundtrack is not the soundtrack, but the picture (or the not a picture) itself) soundtrack as much ready-made sort- of things-you've heard-before as possible. Or at least, as is feasible.”

“You'll see what I mean. Well, you won't see what I mean. Matricidal sons of bitchesis a horror movie, by the way. A scary thought. And the music isn't even scary.”

Matricidal sons of bitchesis out Oct. 30 on Thrill Jockey Records. Friedberger opens for the Sea and Cake 8 pm Monday, Nov. 5, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door.

October 31, 2012 11:39 AM

A four-year-old in the swing state of Colorado is tired of  "Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney."

We are too sweetie and it will all be over just as soon as we're done trying to keep Mr. Romney from taking away your Big Bird.