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All Roads Lead to the Dog House

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Few agree when precisely "old Seattle" died, but wherever you place the period, The Dog House was in many ways emblematic of the old days. It stood for 60 years as a working-class gathering space, offering cheap food and beer in its smoke-filled booths, and camaraderie in nightly singalongs around the organ. Knute Berger recalls how The Dog House "challenged the myth of Seattle nice." Jean Godden and J.A. Jance reminisced during the Dog House's final months in 1993, and Dog House regular Floyd Waterson remembers its last day in 1994. But the soul of the place was really in its people: longtime owner Laurie Gulbransen was remembered in an obituary in 2000; organist Dick Dickerson died in 2006. The corner of 7th & Bell hosted a 24-hour restaurant for nearly a century, with the Dog House's tenure bookended by the Bohemian Continental before it and the Hurricane Cafe after. The Hurricane closed at the end of 2014 and that old building was razed. The site is now known as Amazon Block 21.
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jad
7 hours ago
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Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for January 20, 2019

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Nancy by Olivia Jaimes for January 20, 2019

Source - Comics RSS - Patreon

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jad
8 hours ago
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If the Future of the Democratic Party Means Winning Elections, Count Me Out

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I’m troubled.

With furrowed brow, I’ve watched my beloved party of milquetoast sad sacks transform, slowly but surely, into a party on the verge of having ideas. Candidates who run on ideas get votes, and votes are a necessary precursor to winning. This is simply not the party I know and love.

Being a Democrat used to mean something — sorry, used to mean nothing. Once upon a time you could shuffle onto a debate stage with all the charisma of an updated iTunes user agreement and ramble off a policy platform that would put a colicky infant to sleep. No systemic injustice was too daunting for us to not pay lip service to, no international crisis too alarming for us to not shake our heads in bewilderment. We were Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but every other senator in that movie besides Mr. Smith.

And now? Young upstarts, led by a certain fetching socialist from the Bronx, are destroying everything we’ve worked so mediocrely to build. If you want their vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on Joe Lieberman’s face forever. Actually, don’t picture that; focus group testing has demonstrated that that image really resonates with voters across demographics, something we most certainly do not want.

Now don’t get me wrong: we all want the best for our country, we just have different ideas on how to get there. I believe that everyone in America should have the possibility of accessing the opportunity to afford a reasonable monthly payment to a privatized medical debt collector in order to get insulin for their child. I believe we need to confront the growing threat of climate change, even if it means fully transitioning from incandescent to LED light bulbs. I know that the coloring on those things makes everything feel like an airport bathroom, but the time for action is now.

The American voter does not want bold solutions or radical change; they want a practical, balanced candidate who will concede an election with elegance and grace. Better to stay meek and humble, lest the splendor of our victories renders us haughty and boastful. After all, it was none other than Jesus Christ who once proclaimed that the meek shall inherit the earth, and what could possibly be meeker than a marginal interest rate adjustment on existing student loan debt?

In face of a Republican party hellbent on squeezing every last ounce of racial resentment from the fetid bowels of white America, we cannot be afraid to stand up and declare, “how dare you, sirs!” When the profiteering executives sitting high in their penthouse suites scheme of more and more devious ways to funnel gobs of stolen cash into our electoral system, we mustn’t shy away from asking that they save a little of that cheddar for us too.

Politics is the art of the possible — I heard this on an NPR show once — and I am increasingly alarmed by what some consider to be within the realm of possibility these days. Do we really want to live in a country where the children of the rich pay taxes on their multimillion-dollar inheritances? I, for one, loved watching The Simple Life, and I will continue to support protecting hilariously out-of-touch heiresses from having to part with a portion of their riches.

We used to be a party that wasn’t afraid to barely scratch the surface of a problem, and I fear that those days may be behind us. Youth today are too coddled with their unpaid internships and lowered life expectancies to understand the importance of having a mealy-mouthed voice at the table. If today’s Democrats insist upon winning, you can count me out.

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jad
20 hours ago
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acdha
1 day ago
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Washington, DC
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Pet Owner’s Webcam Captures Adorable Lovefest of Her Cat and Dog While She’s Away

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A post shared by Ginger cat & vizsla mutts (@ginger_cat_and_vizslas) on

Have you ever wondered what your pets get up to when you’re not at home? Perhaps you suspect your fluffy pals of moving your slippers. Or maybe you just want peace of mind knowing your pets are happy and content when you’re gone. If so, you’re not alone—one pet owner known as elphaba1 on Reddit recently decided to install a secret camera so she could film her pets’ shenanigans while she’s at work.

Surprisingly though, elphaba1’s dog (named Joule) and cat (named Kelvin) weren’t captured getting up to mischief. Instead, the 1-minute footage posted on Reddit shows the adorable pair cuddling on the sofa. Elphaba1 writes, “Every day I point the camera at the couch when I leave for work, so I can capture their snuggles.”

The video has recently gone viral, with many animal-loving Internet users dying to find out more about this super cute duo. Elphaba1 recently took to Reddit to share more about her pets. “The dog’s name is Joule, and we got her as a rescue about 4 years ago (she is 5 years old now),” she reveals. “We think she is part Vizsla. She had pretty severe anxiety when we first got her, but has come a long way.” While elphaba1’s pup seems shy, the cat in the video is clearly the cuddle-instigator. He’s seen rubbing up against Joule, trying to find the perfect sleeping spot. Elphaba1 reveals, “The cat’s name is Kelvin. He’s about 4 years old. We got him as an older kitten about 8 months after getting Joule. The camera angle makes him look big; he only weighs about 11 pounds.”

Elphaba1 keeps the livestream open on her work computer, so she can watch Joule and Kelvin when she misses them. She reveals, “During the workweek they snuggle up and sleep together the entire time we are not home. They very rarely do this when we are home.”

If this one-minute video isn’t enough cuteness, you can follow daily updates of this snuggly pair on Instagram.

This pet owner has installed a livestream camera to capture what her pets get up to when she’s not at home.

Every day I point the camera at the couch when I leave for work, so I can capture their snuggles. from r/aww

h/t: [digg]

All images via elphaba1 / Ginger cat & vizsla mutts.

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Two Determined Cats Keep Trying to Sneak Into This Japanese Art Museum

The post Pet Owner’s Webcam Captures Adorable Lovefest of Her Cat and Dog While She’s Away appeared first on My Modern Met.

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jad
2 days ago
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You have to educate them about the basics of the taste first

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Saowanit says a proper Sriracha sauce needs to be what Thais call klom klom — the hotness, the sour, the sweet and the garlic all blending together seamlessly, none overpowering the other. The American version, she says, just brings heat.
Saowanit Trikityanukul grew up making Sriracha. She's not impressed with your devotion to the Rooster sauce.
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3 days ago
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How Maryland Elects Its Leaders Remains Stuck in the Past

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In his Jan. 14 column, Frank DeFilippo spends quite a bit of time discussing my father’s legacy in building up the Democratic Party in Maryland — a legacy that I am very proud of. Unfortunately, Mr. DeFilippo — who did not call me to discuss his op-ed — then veers off into a screed against allowing fair representation for voters and a bill I have introduced, managing to insult me, the entire Baltimore City Council, the state of California and a Montgomery County municipality.

I’d like to offer Mr. DeFilippo and the readers of Maryland Matters the opportunity to learn more about how to allow Maryland voters a greater chance to make their collective voices heard at the ballot box.

I was raised by my parents — both of them — to believe that every person’s vote counts, and that we were Democrats, in part, because we wanted to ensure that every person had an equal chance to decide who was going to represent them.

Unfortunately, the reality in America is that not every person has the opportunity to have their vote count, and we certainly do not have an equal say. Our democracy, one of the oldest in the world, is in need of a fundamental update. We update almost everything else in our lives — our computers, our clothes and even our Constitution.

But how we elect people remains stuck in the past: a primary system controlled by the parties and a general election that is often irrelevant. This system results in elected leaders who are often not representative of their electorate and are beholden instead to a minority of voters. Our “representative” democracy is sometimes anything but representative.

There are many things we must do to restore our democracy to ensure that it truly reflects the collective voice of the people of this country — enact campaign finance reform and public financing, end gerrymandering and voter roll purges, and reinstate protections guaranteed under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

But without changes to the structure of the election itself, these changes will fall short of true reformation, and voters will continue to lose influence in the elections that are supposed to embody the exercising of a fundamental, inalienable right as a citizen.

After the 2016 election, I began educating myself and talking to people about the health of our democracy. I began thinking about how not only our gerrymandered districts but also our primary system itself changes how elected officials govern. Too often in areas where one party is dominant, candidates can and do win elections despite being opposed by a majority of voters; and, too often campaigns devolve into ugly contests that turn off voters from the process and depress turnout.

There is a solution to this dilemma, though: enact ranked choice voting or a single top-two primary election. My legislation — HB 26 — allows the Baltimore city government the option of doing just that.

In a top-two primary (called an open primary in the bill and a jungle primary in other states), all voters participate in one primary election and the top two vote-getters advance to a general election. With ranked choice voting, voters all use one ballot and rank as many candidates as desired in order of preference.

Unlike Mr. DeFilippo’s claim, there is no strategy to ranking only one person — if your first choice loses and you have not ranked other candidates, you have given up your vote in subsequent voting rounds. Candidates do best when they attract a strong core of first-choice support while also reaching out for second and even third choices.

If no candidate has more than half the vote in first-choices, candidates finishing last are eliminated round by round in an instant runoff until two candidates are left. Those two candidates either advance to a general election or votes are tallied to see who achieves at least 50.1 percent of the vote first. When used as an “instant runoff” to elect a single candidate like a mayor or a governor, ranked choice voting helps elect individuals who better reflect the collective vision of the jurisdiction.

In his column, Mr. DeFilippo is appalled at the audacity that an elected official would propose a policy to address a problem. He warns that giving Baltimore the option for a top-two primary and ranked choice voting would “neuter” political parties and erase competition from elections. He blames voters for “refusing” to comply with a two-party duopoly and frames a more inclusive alternative as dangerous.

But government isn’t about serving the interests of insiders. As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, I represent all residents of the 46th District, not just the Democratic voters or the “powerbrokers.” It’s the interests of all Marylanders that inspired my bill.

I want all voters to feel empowered and represented by their government. And that starts at the ballot box — opening the process to more viewpoints, voices and choices.

This voters-first sentiment has led cities and states across the nation, including right here in Maryland, to sign on to these simple and effective reforms. Consider Maine, which contrary to what Mr. DeFilippo writes, just celebrated a successful first use of ranked choice voting to choose its federal representatives. Voter turnout was up, the number of voter-skipping contests down and support for the new reform high.

The historic success in Maine came on the heels of another record-making moment involving ranked choice voting when San Francisco elected London Breed as its first African-American woman mayor in June.

After receiving about 37 percent of first choices, Breed went on to clinch her victory in the competitive race with majority support thanks to backup choices. A study by the New America Foundation and FairVote found that in San Francisco, voters strongly prefer this type of voting, and it has increased turnout by 2.7 times citywide, and in the city’s six most racially and socio-economically diverse neighborhoods turnout quadrupled.

Compare that to Baltimore city’s 2016 primaries, where the 13-way Democratic mayoral contest ended in a 37 percent-supported nominee, versus the runner-up’s 35 percent, and the rest of the votes divided among other candidates whose voters didn’t have a say between the top two. Never mind the 34,000 registered unaffiliated and third-party voters who didn’t get to have a say at all – or the voters who chose not to participate because they didn’t feel their vote would matter. While I don’t yet know what all Baltimore voters think, I do know the city council has asked specifically for open primaries and discussed other ways to improve lackluster turnout and make our city elections more inclusive.

Ranked choice voting has achieved just that in many of the places where it’s used, empowering voters to know their choices truly count in determining who represents them, while helping increase representation for women and people of color. Ranked choice voting eliminates a panoply of issues that currently exist in our electoral process and accentuates what works in our democracy. It deters negative campaigning designed to suppress the vote, it can mitigate the impact of money in elections, it minimizes strategic voting, it provides more choices for voters, and most importantly, it promotes reflective representation.

It could do the same in Baltimore (and around Maryland), “allowing voters to express their preferences in a more meaningful way,” as the Baltimore Sun editorial board wrote.

We are the world’s oldest representative democracy and our electoral systems at all levels are in need of a reboot. As an elected official, I work to provide my constituents every opportunity to participate in our government. The time is now to update our elections so that they are designed to truly reflect the collective will of all voters. The future of our democracy depends on it.

— BROOKE LIERMAN
The writer is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 46.

The post How Maryland Elects Its Leaders Remains Stuck in the Past appeared first on Maryland Matters.

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