Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Seattle City Councilwoman who won in a stunning upset last year, is paying us a visit this month to talk about the issue that led her to victory: a $15 minimum wage. The rally, which doesn't have an announced location, is in partnership with the campaign of Nick Caleb, a Concordia instructor who's challenging Commissioner Dan Saltzman in the May primary and has sparked conversations of a $15 wage in Portland.

The debate around minimum wage is going full bore in Seattle, and it's incredibly complex. If you're interested in the nuance, I urge you to check out our sister paper, The Stranger, which has been opening up its pages to partisans of all stripes on the issue. Some pieces linked to here.

The latest head to roll in the fallout over the bungled (but still sort of successful), healthcare.gov: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Senator Al Franken is trying his damnedest to wield a big, Rooseveltian stick at the Comcast-Time Warner merger that's probably going to make your cable/internet service more depressing. But he's lost these fights before.

President Obama correctly calls out Republicans for trying to inhibit people's ability to vote in key states. Republicans, straight-faced, claim voter fraud is a problem. UGH.

Iran, in ever-delicate discussions around its nuclear ambitions, has a shiny new ambassador to the United Nations. We're not gonna let him into the country.

In Ukraine, more of the same. Pro-Russian militias are still seizing government buildings in the eastern part of the country. Tens of thousands of Russian troops are amassing on the border. And this feels like it might get worse before it gets better.

Another thing that's almost certainly going to get worse, but will at least inject a little excitement into this life: The nation's chimpanzees are restive and plotting escapes. Probably almost time to go to war against our closest Hominidaean relatives, everybody. Our military might and superior scientific acumen versus their tree-swinging speed and ability to tear a man limb-from-limb. I'm sitting in a coffee shop watching no less than three infants/toddlers repeatedly throw no less than five cardboard books onto the ground. So, yeah, I could be cool with an ape war.

It's been five weeks since that Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared. And, just as we're closing in on the damn thing, its black box might have run out of batteries.

I paid my Arts Tax yesterday. I won't lie, it didn't feel good. It's nonetheless coming due, so get on it.

Sweet, sunny Portland springtime:


Beautiful Saturdays are a time to bring out the classics:

UPDATE, 9:32 am: I'm an idiot, of course. Outkast reunited last night. Here's the whole set: