This winter storm isn't fucking around: I woke up to an alert from the National Weather Service saying our region is under a Winter Storm Advisory until 11 am this morning, though that's since been adjusted to end at 8 am. The accompanying high winds knocked out power for thousands in the city last night, and we could see even more snow tonight. If any of your unhoused neighbors are struggling to stay warm in this awful weather, here's a list of cold weather shelters you can pass along.

Imagine driving in this: It's a really bad idea, but if you have to use your four-wheeled death machines today, then WSDOT would appreciate it if you slowed the fuck down:


Dream of dancing in the warm: In case you missed it yesterday, Jas wrote a preview of the upcoming lineup for spring's Freakout Fest. Sure, spring seems far away in the midst of this snowstorm, but making plans for the end of the Big Dark is one of the best ways to counter creeping seasonal affective disorder.

Snow day! Congrats to the kids at these schools on the unexpected day off. If you're a parent whose kid depends on getting lunch at school, the district is also providing sack lunches.

Housing prices also feeling chilly: Axios reports that the Seattle area's housing prices are among the country's fastest-cooling following an 11% drop in median sales prices since April. Congrats to the Fed for the predictable effects of their ratcheting up interest rates! It's not as if stagnation in housing prices has ever had a negative ripple effect across the entire middle class in recent memory or anything!

Take this survey: Every year, the Seattle Police Department teams up with researchers at Seattle University to survey the public on how they feel about public safety. They then use the results to claim the community is clamoring for more cops and other outdated solutions to public safety that you'll likely find in your neighborhood Nextdoor group. If you'd prefer the City base its public safety decisions on more representative data, then today is the last day for you to take the survey and make your voice heard.

That seems like a red flag: The Seattle Times has a doozy of an investigative report out on Timothy Rankine, one of the cops involved in killing Manuel Ellis. They uncovered a memo detailing how Rankine exhibited "mental condition black" during a training exercise designed to test whether cadets can tell when to use nonlethal force. The police academy trainer who supervised the cop during this exercise found it so troubling he wrote the Tacoma PD a memo documenting his concerns about Rankine's fitness to be a cop, but they hired him anyway. 

The only time we applaud prosecutors: Great job not fumbling the bag on this one, Department of Justice suits.

Are you kidding me??? San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approved a draft policy yesterday that paves the way for—and I swear I'm not making this up—police robots armed with explosives to use lethal force. Leave it to the Silicon Valley bros to embrace Robocop instead of finding a way to use their massive hoards of wealth to alleviate poverty.

Pelosi gets replaced: Democrats in the House of Representatives are set to elect NY Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as the Minority Leader today following Nancy Pelosi's decision to step down from her leadership position earlier this month. Jeffries will be the first Black person to head an American political party in Congress. Seems like that's a milestone we should have passed a long time ago, but here we are. Politically, he's a centrist like Pelosi, and he launched a PAC with conservative Democrats to protect establishment Dems against progressives. 

Speaking of Congress: Federal lawmakers are teaming up with the self-described "most labor-friendly president in history" to quash a looming strike among railway workers. After four of the nation's twelve railroad unions rejected a deal Biden negotiated to avert a strike, Congress has now prepared legislation that essentially forces the workers to accept the deal. Some progressives are trying to get some additional sick days into the bill to address the workers' reasons for striking, but the need for Republicans to go along with the deal in the Senate could kill those additions.

Who could have guessed? It turns out, paying utilities to use more renewable energy actually gets them to transition away from fossil fuels! After decades of subsidizing oil and gas, Biden's Inflation Reduction Act is now offering significant subsidies for transitioning to renewable energy sources, and the move has turned one of the country's leading opponents to climate policy into an ally. If only we'd thought of bribing the polluters to do the right thing before they pumped enough carbon into the atmosphere to melt the planet.

Consequences for those Twitter layoffs: ArsTechnica reports that Elon Musk's latest round of layoffs at Twitter crippled the tech company's ability to respond to an apparent Chinese "influence operation" designed to suppress the latest surge of protests. The operation used the incredibly sophisticated tactic of inserting the name of the cities where protests were happening into porn tweets, which hampered people's ability to find footage from the demonstrations when searching those locations. Prior to the Musk era, Twitter's anti-propaganda team would have manually removed the accounts, but they apparently no longer have enough staff to do so.

Congrats to the US Men's soccer team! We advanced to the "knockout group" after defeating Iran in a 1-0 victory yesterday. Even as a total soccer noob, I'm feeling like Chuck this morning:

We're not talking about how prominent Bo Burnham's Inside is on my Spotify Wrapped, OK? Here's one track I apparently couldn't get out of my head this year: