"Make-or-break" holiday for downtown retail: The Seattle Times reports that retailers in Seattle's downtown core have measured optimism for the first real post-Thanksgiving orgy of capitalism since 2019. When the Bainbridge Island folks are braving the alleged horrors of downtown's streets to go Christmas shopping for knick-knacks at Pike Place Market, then you know things are getting back to normal. 

Well, that sucks: The latest round of tech layoffs has been hitting workers living here on H1-B visas particularly hard, reports KUOW. The workers can have as few as 60 days to find a new employer to sponsor them through the immigration process, and even then a new visa isn't guaranteed. While it might be tempting to roll your eyes at the misfortune of the tech siblings who have more money to handle layoffs, dealing with our horrific immigration system on top of losing a job is a hell I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

Seattle's stereotypes borne out in census data: Gene Balk's Thanksgiving column for the Seattle Times confirms that, yes, Seattle is in fact a terribly impractical place to raise a child. We're one of 12 cities in the country where families, defined as having more than one person related by blood or marriage living in the same home, make up less than half of households. And despite our surging population over the last decade, the city's under-18 population has flatlined at roughly 100,000 due to millennials waiting longer and longer to have kids.

Check out how your money's getting spent: If you missed it on Wednesday, check out Hannah's recap of Seattle Budget Szn. She details all the ways the city's major stakeholders won and lost. You won't believe the wins Urbanist Twitter managed to pull out amid a $140 million budget shortfall.

Voter fraud is rare and doesn't influence election outcomes, but that doesn't stop Lewis County's elected prosecutor from making sure his community takes this dumb distraction very seriously. KING 5 did a survey of how counties across the state handle the isolated cases of mostly people voting for their recently deceased spouses, and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has the right take on how to respond to those cases. Unlike the jokers in Lewis County, Satterberg's office doesn't waste a court's time with one-off violations. Instead, they just send people letters letting them know the fraudulent vote wasn't counted and that repeat violations will be charged.

Heads up for any weekend mountain travel: Winter is coming, dear reader. Time to bust out those chains if you're heading across the Cascades for any reason this weekend.

Or you could just hang out: If you'd rather not brave the mountain passes this weekend, you'll be in good company. The New York Times reports that the uptick in people working from home since the pandemic may have fixed the hell of holiday travel as more people opt for longer trips home for the holidays. Not all pandemic-era changes in society are bad!

This is some bullshit: After losing control of the Pennsylvania State Legislature in the midterm elections, Republicans in the state House have voted to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner during their lame-duck session. The Washington Post Editorial Board breaks down why this is such a disaster of democratic governance, and their argument is really worth a read as we head into our own odd-year elections, which will undoubtedly feature tons of pearl-clutching on public safety.

For. Fuck's. Sake. Get your damn booster shots already, people!! The Washington Post reports that due to the waning efficacy of the vaccines over time, which we all were told was likely to happen, people who have received at least one shot now make up a majority of COVID deaths. There's some noise in that data because the same people most likely to die from COVID (people over 65) are also the most likely to have gotten the first round of jabs. However! Getting boosted still dramatically reduces the likelihood of severe disease and death, so go get that shot if you haven't already!!

🙄 Shocking 🙄: I'm sure this is the piece of scientifically sound research that will get Republican politicians to stop blocking gun violence prevention laws that a vast majority of Americans support.

China sees huge COVID spike: China is continuing its "zero COVID" policy approach to the latest surge of cases, despite the World Health Organization urging a shift in tactics at this point the pandemic. As the possibility of a lockdown looms, residents in Beijing are panic-buying basic necessities and grocery delivery services have reached capacity. Beyond the local public health impact, a significant outbreak could threaten the global supply chain ahead of the holiday shopping season yet again. 

The bit is getting old, Elon: At first, watching a billionaire expose his fascist mind-rot to the world while losing billions of dollars was fun. Now, it's starting to feel like the moment in every episode of every dating contest show I've ever watched, where the empty void within the person you're laughing at becomes apparent and you start to feel a little gross for enjoying their misery. Except the contests on FBoy Island aren't enabling millions of rape and death threats against women online, so this is worse.

"Super-spreaders of hate" back on Twitter: The Center for Countering Digital Hate told the Guardian that Musk's latest crowd-sourced policy change at Twitter to grant "general amnesty" to accounts that had been banned from the platform will "enable the spread of hate, abuse and disinformation.” Love what we're doing with the global town square under its new management.

Some chill music to accompany your long weekend: