RE: “The Mercury’s Holiday Wish List” [Feature, Nov 22], in which Mercury editors demanded readers buy them presents. Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey requested the “Bootie Ring” from SheBop. “This deliciously cunning device is a combo platter cock ring and butt plug which promises to put a little extra ‘BAM!’ in one’s erection, and a little extra ‘BAM!’ in one’s bottom,” he wrote. “Add those ‘BAM!s’ together and that’s a very big ‘BAM!’ indeed.”

To my knowledge, the first and only time I’ve ever seen Merc Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey “in real life” was at a Bad Reputation presentation of Rudolph—On Stage! in December 2014. Humphrey played the role of “Sam the Snowman,” and ever since, whenever I’ve seen his name in the paper or online, the image instantly conjured in my head is of Sam the Snowman. After reading his holiday wish list, now that image is of Sam the Snowman wearing a Bootie Ring. Thanks?

Jay Castaldi


RE: “Affordable Housing Could Be Decimated Under the Republican Tax Plan” [News, Nov 29], News Editor Dirk VanderHart’s story about how the GOP’s tax plan eliminates private equity bonds, “a tool that’s vital for funding affordable housing projects around the country.” VanderHart added that Rep. Greg Walden was the “only Oregon representative to vote in support of the tax plan that would kill private activity bonds,” even as his district “grapples with a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents.” Those attempting to contact Walden about the issue were “met with conspicuous silence.”

You quote Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager saying, “Unintended consequences could be profound.” However, Creager is wrong about one thing: The consequences are completely intended.

The Republican Party knows that its legislative choices will kill thousands, and they’re fine with that. They may be murderers, but they’re not stupid. The more people their choices kill, the more money for GOP donors. Death panels, indeed!

Bill Michtom

Mr. Walden is up for re-election and currently faces seven declared candidates in the Democratic primary. I would have at least liked to hear what the two front-runners—Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Jim Crary—have to say about this. More thorough reporting in this election cycle would be appreciated.


We’re giving the Mercury’s letter of the week—and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater!—to Jay Castaldi. Jay, go enjoy a movie at the Laurelhurst—where, for a few hours, you can stop thinking about Sam the Snowman’s Bootie Ring.