This headline almost made my head explode: From the Associated Press: "Big campaign question for Democrats: Focus on Jan. 6 or not?" I will answer this question succinctly for every Democratic consultant navel-gazing this morning: YES! People less committed to living in a functioning democracy will complain that these sorts of abstract issues rarely connect with low-information voters and push Democrats to focus instead on "kitchen table" issues. Those people desperately need to talk to someone under 40. If they did, any one of use could tell them that voters don't trust Democrats on "kitchen table" issues any longer because the GOP's obstructionist whitelash to Obama so thoroughly broke Congress that progress of any kind seems bleak. Deal with that, and then maybe people will open their ears to the latest solution to inflation.

Repetition pierces even the dullest of minds: I know, Charles scolded y'all about getting those masks back out in yesterday's PM, but I'm hoping the old adage my dad would intone drily whenever I failed to complete some chore correctly holds true. Washington's hospital leaders really need us all to give a fuck about avoiding long COVID by wearing our damn masks to curb this latest surge.

We're back on our election results bullshit, baby! Once again, America's fractured election system comes to the rescue for a Wednesday Slog AM post hungry for #content. Let's start in California, where the Associated Press says Republican candidates' ties to Trump's attempted coup could pose risks to several GOP hopefuls in swing district Congressional races. Will the Democrats running against them have the stones to go on the offense on that issue? Only time will tell!

Washington, borrow some of this energy from California: Across their state legislative races, Democrats duked it out for the right to determine the direction of the party in the deep blue state. They'll keep fighting until November, as California also has a top-two primary system, but they've already produced more engaging election stories than anything I saw in intraparty contests here this year. One 69-year-old challenger sent a mailer blasting his millennial opponent for living with his mom, while another race features Jane Fonda throwing down fat stacks on a longshot candidate just to call out Democratic leadership's friendliness with Big Oil. Seems like a lot more fun than the milquetoast primaries we tend to get in a political culture that takes "PNW Nice" far too seriously.

Did Trump rip off OnlyFans? Too much election news in a row jacks up the blood pressure, so let's take a little break with this hilarious example of email fundraising finally jumping the shark:

In Iowa, electability rules the day: Retired Navy Admiral and Old White Guy Mike Franken took the Democratic nomination for Iowa's critical Senate race against Even Older White Guy Chuck Grassley. You may remember Chuck Grassley from his days as chair of the Judiciary Committee during the Trump years, when he oversaw the packing of the Supreme Court. Iowa Democrats had a chance to nominate Abby Finkenauer, a former Congresswoman who raised a healthy war chest, but concerns about whether a woman could prevail in the general election and some odd procedural drama surrounding her qualification for the ballot seems to have spoiled her shot.

Not all the CA election results sparked joy: Proving once again that moneyed interests rule our politics, the recall effort against San Francisco's progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin, succeeded last night. FOX News and Breitbart wasted no time in crowing about the loss for criminal justice advocates, and Boudin's loss fits a convenient narrative of Democratic reformers suffering punishing losses. Of course, the fact that Boudin got less than a full term to unwind systemic causes of crime decades in the making remained absent from those gleeful obituaries of America's criminal justice reform movement.

The kids are not alright: Schools will start allowing excused absences for mental health reasons starting next school year, reports the Seattle Times. Governor Inslee declared the state of students' mental health a crisis a year ago, after most children experienced a full year of remote learning and social isolation due to the pandemic. The new policy does not require students to provide a doctor's note to qualify for an excused absence.

Finally, someone holding the cops accountable: Simone Biles and several fellow athletes who suffered sexual assault from infamous former Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar filed suit against the FBI for its failure to act against their abuser sooner. Their lawsuit seeks more than a billion dollars in damages, alleging that Nassar would have been stopped if the FBI had opened an investigation or notified Nassar's employer after several Olympians made allegations of assault to the law enforcement agency. Michigan State, where Nassar worked, already agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who Nassar assaulted.

Will anyone hold this former cop accountable? Axios reporter Lewis Kamb keeps dropping bombshell scoops on the search for someone to investigate city leaders' deleted texts during the 2020 protests. His latest addition to the growing mountain of evidence that somebody in City Hall likely committed a felony reveals that former SPD Chief Carmen Best testified under oath during a deposition that she periodically deleted her text messages in bulk. As Kamb points out, Washington law obligated Best to preserve those messages regardless of whether she considered them "transitory" or not. Maybe this will finally trigger the State Legislature to update the law making willful destruction of public records like this a felony!

Remember when Twitter made you smile? Back in the early days, when it served as a nationwide D-list comedy club for everyone to workshop their shitty jokes, Twitter captured my heart. It also likely trained my brain to fiend for near-constant microdoses of dopamine, but that's beside the point. Yesterday, that version of Twitter rose from the grave with an offering of free Chipotle:

Another first in the climate crisis: This time, it's Antartica that made headlines for cracking the Guinness World Record Book of Things That Make Me Sad, as scientists found microplastics in freshly fallen Antarctic snow. The tiny grains of human artifice can poison wildlife and pose a threat to the continent's fragile ecosystems. One researcher offered the following reaction on the discovery, which honestly could slot into any story on climate change: “We’re still learning a lot about the impacts, but from what we know so far, it’s not very good.” 

Indulge me in this authorial privilege: I grew up in Orlando, and I can tell you from personal experience, this Florida man who mistook an alligator for a dog precisely captures the energy of the entire state. He suffered the extremely predictable consequences of approaching a prehistoric murder lizard in the dark, but he seems to have survived after rushing to a local hospital. This man has no excuse for his idiotic behavior in a state that sends its elementary school children to a place called "Gatorland" on field trips.

I want some of whatever Taco Bell's marketing team is smoking: The fast-food/late night laxative provider rolled out its latest assault on humanity, Taco Bell Defy. They're calling it "Defy" presumably because the latest model for a drive-thru features four lanes and a kitchen located on the top of a two story building, which allows Taco Bell Defy crew to rain tacos mercilessly upon their customers. 

As a treat, a let's end with flashback to the gastro-intestinally themed comedy that defined my sense of humor: