by Chase Burns
Here’s your daily evening roundup of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin’!)
Why would you admit to being this dumb? Salon headline: “Susan Collins shockingly reveals her ‘first thought was that the Iranians’ hit the Capitol.” Susan, where have you been since 2016?
At the end of last week, the Washington State Department of Health approved the City of Seattle as a vaccine distributor: This means that Seattle can receive weekly vaccine shipments. “Following this approval, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will quickly launch two mobile vaccination teams to vaccinate nearly 1,000 residents and staff at Adult Family Homes (AFH) within the next two weeks,” announced a press release from the Mayor’s office. During a press conference this afternoon, the Mayor’s team said they would prioritize AFHs in the south end, but they expect to cover all AFHs not serviced by a federal partnership in the coming weeks. (That’s about 100 facilities.)
This is good news, although I have a small gripe with the use of the word “quickly”: 1,000 people in two weeks is not quick in this pandemic. As Durkan said during her press conference today, King County needs to vaccinate around at least 1.3 million people ultimately.
The City will initially distribute the Moderna vaccine and request allocations weekly: SFD-administered vaccinations will begin this Thursday, January 14. The City plans on expanding its efforts and will “likely focus on partnerships with community-based organizations and providers who serve older adults who may be unable to receive a vaccine through traditional health care systems,” the Mayor’s office said. Seattle is prepared to launch “mass vaccination hubs—similar to the existing mass testing sites,” and will have more information on those in the “coming days.” The County is also beefing up for vaccine distribution—although they need some help.
Pence isn’t down to invoke the 25th amendment: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the outgoing Vice President wrote that he didn’t think the move would be “in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.” Whatever dude. The House will move to Impeach That Motherfucker Again tomorrow.
BREAKING: Vice President Pence has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying he will not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump. https://t.co/6LS6eO3svX pic.twitter.com/NWEkpadUIJ
— NPR (@NPR) January 13, 2021
And it won’t just be Dems: At least six Republicans have vocally supported the idea of impeaching Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Rep. John Katko (R-NY) are the ones to watch in the House while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) are the ones to watch in the Senate. Could this happen? Fingies crossed.
To that end, the turtle is reportedly “pleased” with the prospect of Trump getting impeached: According to the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told associates that “he believes President Trump committed impeachable offense and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him.” McConnell thinks that impeachment will “make it easier to purge [Trump] from the party.” Don’t you love how Republicans are getting a backbone when Trump has one week left in his term? (And after he cost them Georgia?)
I don’t know sports: Someone in the comments will have to explain this news.
Brian Schottenheimer is a fantastic person and coach and we thank him for the last three years. Citing philosophical differences, we have parted ways.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 13, 2021
Federal prosecutors have charged over 70 people in relation to the Capitol Insurrection: The FBI announced today that they expect that number to jump up to the hundreds. Possible charges include seditious conspiracy. Feds have released many of the people charged on bail, including the Florida man who walked off with Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.
At least three lawmakers contracted COVID-19 during the Capitol Insurrection: In addition to Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Brad Schneider announced today that he tested positive. The three Democrats were among the lawmakers who sheltered in a large room together while the Capitol was under attack. As Pramila wrote, this was “a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack.”
Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress.
— Rep. Brad Schneider (@RepSchneider) January 12, 2021
Mike Solan keeps Mike Solan’ing: The president of Seattle Police Officers Guild refuses to step down from his position despite a “growing chorus” calling for his resignation. Solan partially and baselessly blamed the storming of the Capitol building on the “far left” and Black Lives Matter activists. From David Gutman at the Seattle Times:
In an internal letter to members of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), Solan expresses regret for commenting on national politics, but says his comments have been “spun intentionally for political reasons to hurt SPOG and limit our influence.”
“I interpret the calls to tender my resignation as political rhetoric. I will never bend to cancel culture as I lead this union with conviction,” Solan wrote. He added, however, that “if at any point you feel this union needs a course correction, I will always be open and receptive to your feedback.”
Michigan is expected to charge former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder over a Flint, MI water probe: AP couldn’t confirm what the charges will specifically be, but Snyder and many of his ex-officials, per AP, “switched the city’s water to the Flint River in 2014 as a cost-saving step while a pipeline was being built to Lake Huron. The water, however, was not treated to reduce corrosion—a disastrous decision affirmed by state regulators that caused lead to leach from old pipes and spoil the distribution system used by nearly 100,000 residents.”
Trump gave one of his last speeches as President today: He held the conference along the border wall in Alamo, Texas, and reiterated his dangerous and false nonsense, and also claimed he “reformed” the border. Here’s the video, if you’re into punishment:
Some locals aren’t happy with the visit:
At the Aztek Barber Shop in Alamo, Alejandro Silva, 27, said he held nothing against Mr. Trump and did not have an opinion about the border wall.
“But he shouldn’t be visiting now,” said Mr. Silva, a mechanic. “He should leave office and leave everyone alone.”
The atmospheric river headed into Washington is impressive by many standards. As the crow flies, the plume of moisture stretches roughly 2,700 miles! #wawx pic.twitter.com/AlK1jZNYVU
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 12, 2021
You know things are bad when the office stores start merging: Staples is proposing to buy rival Office Depot’s parent company for $2.1 billion—but not for the first time. This is the third time Staples has tried to purchase Office Depot after competition regulators stopped previous acquisition proposals from going through. We’ll see if this time’s the charm.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new guidelines regarding international travelers: All air passengers entering the US will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight, reports NPR. Travelers must get a test within three days of departure; airlines will deny boarding to anyone that fails to comply. The new rule goes into effect on January 26.
I wanna get vaxxed at Disneyland: The “happiest place on earth” is about to become the region’s first “super” distribution site, with the capacity to vaccinate thousands of people daily, reports the BBC. California is currently 42nd out of 50 states in vaccination rates and reported 40,000 new cases yesterday. Eeesh. But if you think you can get the anti-COVID juice and then ride Splash Mountain, you’d better think again.
Meanwhile, in Idaho:
Idaho Legislature off and running.
Interesting crowd at today Senate Transporation Committee. I wonder which road project the Joker is interested in?#idleg #idpol pic.twitter.com/4UEW5RHdja
— Wayne Hammon (@WayneHammon) January 12, 2021