Politics & Government

The Nose: Presenting the tap-dancing Snifflets! Plus, the return of the pothole that ate Tacoma

Greetings, Pierceland! You probably spent the past two weeks on pointless pursuits like shopping. The Sniff delved into more important matters — namely, personal genealogy.

Assistance on this vital topic came from Sniff reader Nancy Cook, who sent a video clip labeled “Some of your relatives.”

See for yourself: it’s a line of tap-dancing noses, the centerpiece of the best opera ever written, i.e., “The Nose,” by Dmitri Shostakovich, staged in November, across The Pond in London, at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

As everyone knows, or should know, the opera is an adaptation of the best short story ever written, i.e., “The Nose,” by Nikolai Gogol, a tale drawn from private discussions with The Sniff’s 19th-century forebears.

Oh, you caught the Russian connection, did you? Wasn’t it obvious? How do you think The Sniff scoops up so much political intel? Nancy Cook, clearly a keen observer, understands. Thanks for the coded message, Nancy!

How to fill a hole: The grab bag of news from The Sniff’s recent two-week hiatus included a miniature disaster movie featuring The pothole that ate Tacoma. What a story! Located on Ruston Way, the gaping maw devoured several cars, an unwary traveler and a balrog before intrepid proletarians from the city’s public works division plugged it.

Presumably, workers used conventional materials like concrete and gravel to fill the offending pit. What a shame! Think of the eco-friendly alternatives:

1. Collected transcripts of former Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma’s lectures on the city’s political history.

2. Seahawk fan anxiety.

3. Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s ego (oh wait — the pothole’s not THAT big).

4. Fruitcake

5. Gov. Big Jay Inslee’s just-released tax plan to fund basic education (you know where state Republicans want to put it).

Repurposing words: Thanks to new County Councilwoman (and still state Sen.) Pam Roach, we have a new definition of “bullying.” In Roach’s unpublished dictionary, it means, “asking a question.”

As everyone knows, Pistol Pam won a seat on the County Council in last month’s election after a close race. During the summer, she toyed with hanging on to her state Senate seat even if she won locally.

She later backed away from that idea, and said she would resign her Senate seat eventually — which made sense, because county voters also supported a measure to prevent the two-seats-at-once ploy, and Pam said she agreed with the voters.

As of Thursday, she hadn’t resigned, though vague portents (translation: maybe, maybe not) wafted from her Olympia office. But two weeks ago, Your Fishwrap’s political reporter Walkin’ Walker Orenstein had the gall to ask a simple question: When?

In response, Pistol Pam took to Twitter, accusing The Fishwrap of “bullying” her.

Maybe this isn’t the time to bring up Roach’s history — oh heck, maybe it is. How many Republican state senators have been banned from their own caucus for mistreating staff?

Speaking of bullying: The Sniff rarely pays attention to political goings-on in far-flung King County, but it seems that distant country’s Democrats still haven’t worked out their post-election feels. They just elected a new party chair, Bailey Stober, but the process dissolved into a snipe-fest of threats, and allegations of intimidation and bullying.

It’s hard to make out exactly what’s going on, but it shapes up as a debate between pro-Hillary Clinton types and Bernie Sanders backers, and an incident at last summer’s Democratic National Convention involving state Rep. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, and Majid Al-Bahadli, one of the candidates for the county chair.

Al-Bahadli withdrew his candidacy after Frame publicly accused him of assaulting her at the convention, making good on an earlier threat to expose him. In response, Al-Bahadli said Frame was the aggressor, and well, everything gets way more complicated after that, and sides are being taken.

Reading the between the lines, it seems the “assault” involved the waving of a cellphone in someone’s face, and the pushing away of said phone. The argument has spilled onto Frame’s Facebook page, and the King County Democrats page.

Gripping reading it’s not, unless you like endless debates about the meanings of words without ever reaching the issues at hand. On the other hand, if you’re a conservative fond of garbage fires, get out the popcorn — it’s a classic Seattle-style gabfest about who deserves the crown of virtue. Verdict: nobody.

Got news for The Nose? Write to TheNose@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @thenosetribune

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