New York's Charles Rangel is one of the longest-serving members of Congress and the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. He was against invading Iraq but is in favor of reinstating the draft. Contributing Editor Warren Kalbacker--who met Rangel in his Harlem office for this month's 20Q--says Rangel is riled. "One of the reasons I'm seriously thinking about getting out of politics," Rangel told him, "is because my driving force is to make things better. It's no fun being in Congress now because of the damper this administration's economic policies have put on us for decades ahead. Our military and homeland defense costs are increasing, our borrowing is increasing and there's reduction in assistance to local and state governments. And we're talking about tax cuts? It's hard for me to get excited about the future."
Cadillac Goes ToplessIf the Caddy emblem weren't so prominent in our photo, you might think the new XLR roadster above is next year's C6 Corvette. Forget everything you knew about the Allante. Cadillac finally got it right. We tested the XLR on mountain roads outside Palm Springs. Its electronic suspension and race-bred disc brakes let us slalom through turns like Bode Miller. Lighter and more powerful than a Mercedes-Benz SL500, the $76,200 XLR is priced well under its Teutonic competitor's base price. Want road muscle? Under the hood is a 320-horsepower Northstar V8. In cruise mode, the five-speed transaxle shifts automatically. But for real fun, select Driver Shift Control--tap the shifter knob and instantly get the gear you want. A feature called Performance Algorithm Shifting matches engine speed for downshifts and powers up when you nail it to change gears faster than you could manually. All this plus ABS, Magnetic Ride Control (it changes suspension settings in milliseconds) and a StabiliTrak antiskid system. The folding power top leaves room for two golf bags. Inside is aluminum and eucalyptus-wood trim, a six-disc stereo and big-screen navigation. We'll take ours in silver.
Looking for a clear case of political clout run amok? Look no further than Clear Channel Communications, owner of more than 1200 radio stations, including 60 percent of all U.S. rock stations, and the major player in 247 of the 250 largest markets in the country. After September 11, Clear Channel circulated a list to its stations of 150 songs that corporate executives deemed too offensive or insensitive for the ears of traumatized Americans. Programmers shelved hits such as Soundgarden's Blow Up the Outside World, the Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Peter and Gordon's I Go to Pieces, Third Eye Blind's Jumper, Sugar Ray's Fly and Elton John's Bennie and the Jets.
In his novel The Gilded Age, Mark Twain describes a deadly steamship accident in which an investigator concluded, "Nobody to blame." As one modern commentator noted, the statement reflected a 19th century legal doctrine (the assumption of risk) that refused to reward people who acted carelessly.
Dear Graduates: Remember at commencement when you were told repeatedly about the world of opportunities waiting for you--that the investment you and your parents made in your education would be returned a thousandfold?
In May The Playboy Forum discussed a California Supreme Court decision that dealt with postpenetration rape ("Rape or Regret?"). During a party Laura T., a 17-year-old girl, ended up in a room alone with 17-year-old John Z. Laura testified that John Z. began kissing her, got on top of her and penetrated her, during which she said nothing. After he rolled over so she was sitting on top of him, Laura testified that she "kept pulling up, trying to sit up to get it out and he grabbed my hips and pushed me back down." She told him repeatedly that she wanted to go home. The justices voted six to one that John Z. had raped Laura.
In the rusting, industrial city of Altoona, Pennsylvania, the corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue has held a special significance for generations of working-class kids. The hallowed ground is on a hilltop behind the Altoona Area Senior High School, just beyond the sightlines of teachers and other adults, a dilapidated intersection strewn with cigarette butts and shaded by a ratty old maple. Everybody knows it as Smokers' Corner, where a clique of boys and girls--not student-council types or overachievers, mind you--meet each morning to engage in a ritual. Faces still creased with sleep, they flirt and gossip, bum cigarettes, get the news and tell the tales of adolescence as they bring one another along in life.
Carnie Wilson is stepping out in a new skin, and the 35-year-old singer's enthusiasm about her transformation is infectious. "I went from a size 28 to a size six," she says. "I'm sure I'm the first woman to be featured in BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) and Playboy within five years. I was always the fat chick from Wilson Phillips or the 'funny fat girl.' Playboy is my final redemption." Back in 1999, the daughter of Beach Boys auteur Brian Wilson topped out at 298 pounds before deciding to undergo gastric bypass surgery to battle her life-threatening obesity. Carnie used to associate her addiction to food with the absence of her father. "Blaming people is a cowardly way to live your life, because you're not taking responsibility for your actions," she says. "My dad and I became friends and did a lot of healing before I had surgery. He's funny, he wears his heart on his sleeve and he's the strongest person I know." Her operation was broadcast live on the Internet for Spotlighthealth.com, an organization she continues to support by giving inspirational lectures. She's been shedding pounds--and dress sizes--ever since. Carnie wrote a book called I'm Still Hungry about her life since the operation, and she lets out a throaty cackle if you ask her about some of the content. "I wanted to call it Fuck! I'm Still Hungry, but it was toned down for obvious reasons," she says. "I loved the Playboy experience so much that I condensed my four-day journal about it into two chapters: 'To Pose or Not to Pose' and 'Does Anyone Else Feel a Draft in Here?' I originally wrote that I felt so horny--like one big vagina. The title of the book just says it--I'm hungry for it all." Carnie recently got together onstage with sister Wendy and Chynna Phillips for a Wilson Phillips benefit concert. The group's breezy California pop sound garnered platinum and multiplatinum albums featuring hits like Hold On and Release Me. Now the girls are back in the studio for the first time in more than a decade. "We've been writing and recording for three years," Carnie says. "The new songs are soulful, more like TLC. It's not about hit singles or selling millions of records anymore, even though that is nice. I'm all about wanting everything times five, but I've learned that I have to cross my legs and calm down." When Wilson Phillips was put on ice in the early Nineties, Carnie branched out with acting roles on The Sixties, Silk Stalkings and other TV shows, and hosted her own short-lived talk show as well. She met her husband, musician Rob Bonfiglio, three months before her weight-loss surgery. "When Rob and I met, it's not like he knew I wasn't fat," she says. "He loved my sense of humor, my face and my perfume. He also knew I wasn't afraid to be wild in bed, so I think that turned him on big time! When I was tempted to not take a walk or eat an extra piece of candy, Rob was a big motivator for me since he never went out with a fat girl. I just became more and more sexual. Being a risk taker is how you move on in your life and motivate people."
I've been living in Jubilation for almost two years now. There's been a lot of change in that time, both for the better and the worse, as you might expect in any real and authentic town composed of real and authentic people with their ironclad personalities and various personal agendas, but overall I'd say I'm happy I chose the Contash Corp.'s vision of community living. I've got friends here, neighbors, people who care about me the way I care about them. We've had our crises, no question about it--mother nature has been pretty erratic these past two years--and there isn't a man, woman or child in Jubilation who isn't worried about maintaining property values in the face of all the naysaying and criticism that's come our way. Still, it's the people this whole thing is about, and the people I know are as determined and forward-looking a bunch as any you'd ever hope to find. We've built something here, something I think we can all be proud of.
I look for a guy with tattoos and a sense of humor. When I'm drinking I become more forward. If the man fucks my mind and my panties are wet and my pussy is throbbing, then basically he will be fucking me by the end of the night.--Female, single, 29
When Colleen Marie popped into our office, she struck us as the kind of girl who can kick back and feel comfortable in any environment. The 26-year-old has zero attitude, a homegrown allure and a self-deprecating sense of humor that instantly puts you at ease. Colleen was raised in Dallas and lived in Baton Rouge for eight years while studying veterinary medicine. "I'm not a Southern belle who's like, 'Could you fetch me my coat?' though I do prefer my tea with ice in it," she says. "I have one older sister and our dad raised us like sons, so we did all the outdoor chores and went fishing with him." In fact, Colleen's tomboy ways persisted even after she blossomed. "I blended into the walls and got teased a lot at school, which made me realize in the eighth grade that I had to start brushing my hair. I never felt pretty until people told me. I was in college, and, of course, it went straight to my head! A year later I got it under control, and that's when I started to model." Even with a busy schedule of modeling jobs, Miss August achieved her dream of becoming an animal doctor a year ago. "I am so fortunate to be able to do two things I love this much," she says. At the age of 24, Colleen drove across the country to share a home with her sister in Las Vegas. "My sister and I don't have any attachments and had never lived west of Texas, so we wanted to experiment," she says. "I work for one of the better-known exotic vets in town. We see rats, snakes, ferrets, lizards--anything and everything. There was a traveling freak show that had an act featuring a tarantula, and it ripped off one of its legs. I handed it to my boss and said, 'It's all up to you. I don't do spiders.' We glued its wound shut and gave it an antibiotic injection. Then we were invited to watch it perform."
This Month'S Most Frequent Submission: A few days after the war started, a group of Saddam Hussein's body doubles met with Iraq's minister of defense. He said, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, Saddam is still alive, so you all have jobs. The bad news is, he lost an arm."
The Greatest Damn Sports Moments of the New Millenium
It was the best of times, it was the damnedest of times. It was Shaq and Kobe, Tiger and Lance, Chucky, Barry, A-Rod and the Unit. It was Venus and Serena dominating, George Bush choking, the Mets toking and a guy trying to walk from Los Angeles to Sydney.
You can improve your look without a new closet of clothes. Good grooming works. So does getting the most bang for your buck. Just remember that a few top-quality upgrades will serve you better than a slew of middling replacements. We've rounded up the best items to help bump your existing wardrobe up to first class.
A woman sits on the edge of the sofa in the living room of her ranch-style house in Romeoville, Illinois, fingering her First American Casualty Insurance policy and crying softly. She watches her husband lead two men down a narrow hallway to their teenage daughter's bedroom. He points through an open door and says, without emotion, "It was a shotgun." Then he goes back to his wife as one of the men begins taking photographs of the room.
The glut of TV reality shows can make it difficult to distinguish one from another. But the recently concluded Survivor: The Amazon is burned into our brains, and not because the tribal councils wore better masks. The real draw? A pair of gorgeous young contestants--Jenna Morasca and Heidi Strobel--who made isolation and deprivation seem sexy. Forming an early bond, they competed and connived their way through episode after episode and kept male viewers tuned in by bathing together and even stripping naked in exchange for peanut butter and chocolate. But it was still an upset when Jenna, a 22-year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded the million-dollar winning prize by a jury of seven runners-up. Jenna herself was surprised, so much so that she questioned some of the other contestants about why they had voted for her: "They said they respected the way I played the game," she says. "Even the ones who didn't particularly like me thought I'd played the best, and they rewarded me for that."
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 32, 41--42, 82--83, 106--111, 112--113 and 155, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Half the fun of playing host is getting to show off all the cool drink paraphernalia you've collected. A cocktail shaker shaped like a lighthouse? Why not? It's a handmade reproduction of one that was being shaken back in the Twenties. Talk about getting lit! The exterior is polished chrome over solid brass, and the interior is silver-plated. Celebrate that by having another round or two. Your bar's glassware should be crystal unless your friends like to cap the evening Russian-style by flinging their glasses into the fireplace. Stir, shake, sip and keep plenty of the good stuff on hand. (Virginia Gentleman 90, below, is definitely "the good stuff.") Cheap liquor and elegant accessories definitely don't mix. We'll drink to that.
The Rainbow Farm Massacre--In September 2001, Two gay Marijuana advocates were shot to death after a standoff with police, victims of a violent government Witch-Hunt. The True Story Of An American Dream Turned Nightmare. By Dean Kuipers
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), August 2003, volume 50, number 8. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial: email@example.com.