Bush’s two loves


A wonderful campaign poster for one of my least favorite Democrats, Joe Lieberman, who is in a serious primary challenge in Connecticut.


Newsom’s pal Daley


Gavin Newsom happily hosted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on a working tour of the city today, but as Willie Brown (who is no stranger to cronyism and corruption charges) pointed out on the Will and WIllie Show this morning, Daley might not be the person who an ambitious young Democrat really wants to be linked to right now. Several of his close associates were indicted last year on corruption charges, and a relative was indicted in January.

So far, although the Cook Country Republican party has tried, none of this has stuck to Daley. But you might want to watch those photo ops, Gavin.

The hemp chronicles


Assemblyman Mark Leno’s industrial hemp bill is headed for the state Senate, and the OC Weekly’s staff blog has a wonderful interview with the “joint” author, Republican Chuck DeVore. Devore, a lieutenant colonel in the national guard and hardly a pot-smoking San Francisco liberal, just thinks the bill makes good policy sense. Why shouldn’t California farmers be able to grow a product that it’s perfectly legal to import from Canada?

George Skelton of the LA Times has an interesting hit: The guv, he points out, seems to like the nutritional supplements industry, and hemp oil makes for great supplements. Is there any way he can still veto this bill?



By Scribe
Tis the season to burn bright, what with all the fire arts festivals and other events leading up to Burning Man’s 20th anniversary. And burners have definitely been stepping things up recently. A couple months ago, San Francisco and Black Rock LLC (the group that stages the event) teamed up to throw an amazing fire arts festival at Candlestick Park, going bigger than the Crucible in Oakland usually does for its annual Fire Arts Festival with a stage of great acts, cutting edge pyrotechnics, and, of course, amazing fire spewing contraptions. Well, Michael Sturtz and his Crucible crew accepted that challenge and blew up this weekend’s festival to crazy proportions. This place was just GOING OFF! San Francisco’s Flaming Lotus Girls showed why they’re still queen of the hill with the debut of their new project: Serpent Mother (OK, perhaps I’m a little biased). And the festival’s stage rocked with the Mutaytor, a fantastic entrance and performance by the Extra Action Marching Band, super fresh fire dancing by the San Francisco Fire Conclave, and Dr. Megavolt and friends rockin’ the Tesla coils. I was already excited about this year’s Burning Man — now, it’s all I can do to not want to flee to the desert immediately. The man burns in 48 days. How are your preparations going?

Bazillion $$ idea of the day


To have a bicycle-like contraption under your desk that you have to pedal to keep your monitor/screen lit. It could have different gears for challenge and variety. It could be called a Screen Master or a Moniped or something. This handy device would keep your blood flowing and allow you to burn some googling calories. It could even store up energy in a battery for later use. Plus: all the folks who obsessively cruise online dating sites and Myspace would get better bodies. Maybe we wouldn’t want this at work tho…. somebody call Ron Popeil!

Carry on!


Praised be to the gods of fashion and addictive reality television … season three of Project Runway is here.

First challenge: create a look using only materials found in the designers’ apartments (think IKEA … lots of IKEA). Alas, San Francisco’s own Stacy Estrella was OUT. Blame her creation, an ill-fitting shower-curtain gown, or blame her personality, which didn’t seem quite hysterical enough to generate train-wreck television (for that, turn to C.C. DeVille-voiced Vincent Libretti, whose high-drama potential explains why he’s still on the show after making a hat out of a fruit basket).

The early favorite, design-wise, is Barbie doll dress diva Robert Best — but so much of this show is about the characters, not the occasionally alarming garments they turn out. Can’t wait to see who’ll be the Santino of Season 3 — my money’s on snooty Malan Breton. I’m also fond of Kayne Gallaspie, he of the Mommie Dearest -quoting, who makes pageant gowns for Midwestern beauty queens, and Jewel-esque Alison Kelly, the show’s token hipster.

Needless to say, next Wednesday can’t come soon enough. Now, where the hell is my chiffon?

Healthy Compromises


Sup. Tom Ammiano and Mayor Gavin Newsom took another step today towards making health care accessible to all uninsured San Franciscans.
The San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance, which Ammiano and Newsom announced their joint support for July 11, offers access to comprehensive medical services, while requiring that medium and large business meet minimum spending requirement on employees’ health care.
While the agreement is optimsitic, it wasn’t reached without compromise on the employer spending mandate.
From July ’07, when the ordinance would become law, until Jan. 2008, employers will have to provide healthcare for employees who work 12 hours or more. That requirement tightens to 10 and then 8 hours, in Jan. ’08 and Jan.’09, respectively.
Meanwhile, medium sized businesses, (20-50 employees) have until March 31 2007, to start making mandatory payments, (which amounts to about a $1 an hour per worker.
Other tweaks: employers won’t have to make health insurance payments, if their employee has coverage elsewhere (through a parent, a spouse, or presumably another job), but the employee decides who pays.
Of all three compromises, the 12-10-8 compromise spells the greatest danger for the local labor pol (what if stores cut workers’ hours to 11 each per week?)
A special Budget and Finance Committee meeting is set for Monday July 17 at 1pm, and the full Board will discuss it July 18, with a final vote expected on July 25.
With Sups. Sean Elsbernd and Michela Alioto-Pier continue to stand on the sidelines? Will Mayor Gavin Newson step inside the county supes’ chambersn? and How many signatures does the business community need to get a referendum on this matter launched by August 9? Stay tuned.

NOISE: Hairy fairies


The vast reservoirs of affection we have for Devendra Banhart never quite run dry – and that goes triple for visual artist Chris Cobb.

Cobb, the guy in charge of the color-coding book trick at Adobe Books a year and a half ago, is exhibiting art revolving around Banhart, a former SF Art Institute student, at New Langton Arts in San Francisco. The show opens tomorrow, July 11, and will be up through July 15.

A Chris Cobb image of Devendra Banhart and his band in action.

The artist e-mails: “I asked Devendra to send me some relics from his tour for my show and he did. I will also be showing a bunch of photos of him with the Hairy Fairy Band…. I know Devendra from when I did the Adobe Books installation where I rearranged all of the books by the color of their spine.”

Chris Cobb redesigns Adobe Books. Courtesy of www.chriscobbstudios.com.

Yeh! Fetishizing rock stars! That wonderful Banhart can stomp on our spines any time. Whoops, did I just write that? Oh well, we can guess that Karl Lagerfeld probably seconds that emotion — word has it he has accumulated quite a portfolio of Banhart pics and that’s why he asked him to play the recent Chanel runway show. Ooh la la.

Other artists to look out for at that New Langton show, titled “Five Habitats: Squatting at Langton” and curated by former CCA curator, now White Columns director Matthew Higgs: writer Dodie Bellamy will exhibit a selection of the late writer Kathy Acker’s clothes. Bellamy will discuss “Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff” on July 12 at 7 p.m. – promising to meditate “upon relics, ghosts, compulsive shopping, archives, make-up, our drive to mythologize the dead, Acker’s own self-mythologizing, the struggle among followers to define Acker, bitch fights, and the numina of DNA.”

Additionally Tussle’s Alexis Georgopoulos will present ARP in the smallest space at New Langton. The gallery offers: “Georgopoulos has chosen the intimate idea of getting together with a friend or acquaintance to share a cup of tea, to take a moment, to slow down, and perhaps, reflect. Georgopoulos places a table, a tea set for two, and two speakers in the space. In this intimate, almost cocoon-like setting, the music Georgopoulos has composed as ARP will play as a backdrop. The music itself is minimal in its use of drone, repetition, inertia, tranquility/tension and is informed by a wide variety of composers, among them Charlemagne Palestine, Ralf Hutter & Florian Schneider-Esleben, Terry Riley, and Franco Battiatio.”

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“Fabulous Fiona”


By Tina Rodia
At Fiona Ma party, Irish Cultural Center

At 9:09 p.m., with 17 percent of the precincts reporting, Fiona Ma already had 59 percent of the votes. Supporters at the party, which is about 300 people large, include the Arab Antidiscrimination Association, the organizers for the North Beach Festival, and members of the Outer Sunset community, where Ma is the district supervisor.

The organizers of the North Beach Festival refer to the State Assembly District 12 candidate as “Fabulous Fiona.” With drinks in hand, they are celebrating an early victory.

Approached by members of the media as she entered the room, Ma made statements regurgitating the standard “home ownership and business revenue are what’s good for San Francisco” talking points from her campaign Web site, her political mentor, former state senator John Burton, at her side.