Seattle vibes: Good morning! Happy Thursday! The weather sucks! I’m sorry, I know some of you love the rain and I should not yuck your yum, but I can’t sit here and write about the rain and act like I’m fine because I’m not fine. And don’t “if you don’t like it, leave” me. I have a job, a cat, a boyfriend, and a rag-tag group of friends here. I have to stay. RAIN OR SHINE, BITCH. But today, its rain. Definitely rain. 

Incredibly fucked up: From now on, the nights last longer than the days and we won’t see another sunset past 7 pm until March 2024. This is already a complaint-heavy Slog AM, so I’ll try to look at the bright side positives. When it gets dark earlier, we can watch more TV without feeling guilty. We can pretend that we’re out late having a wild night, but really it's only 8 pm. We can do things by candlelight more often if you like that Lana Del Rey kind of shit. Great stuff, that dark!

ICYMI: Yesterday, Ashley reported that a man, once declared incompetent to stand trial, lost almost half of his body weight during a 20-month stay at the King County Jail. His story is yet another example of how jail does not improve the lives of the mentally ill, the poor, or any vulnerable populations. Free them all. 

Hannah enters the terrible twos: Yesterday marked two years of me, Hannah Krieg, writing at The Stranger. I would like to thank my haters in the comments, the sad elder millennials on Instagram who always find something to be unhappy about when they read screenshots from Slog AM, and my sweet, sweet reply guys on Twitter for defending me every step of the way. Love you all. [Eds note: Happy anniversary, Hannah! May your haters continue to be your waiters at the table of success.]

They're obsessed: The GOP presidential nominee hopefuls faced off for a second time in a debate last night at the Ronald Reagan library. Again, former President Donald Trump didn’t show up, leaving his competitors to shadowbox with him. All the candidates who bothered to show up trail significantly behind Trump in the polls, so they are pretty desperate to turn Republicans against him. It was sort of like a circle jerk, but hateful. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis went off on Trump for racking up debt, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie dogged on Trump for not showing up, and he also called him a duck? 

Nikki comes for blood: Nikki Haley took out her frustration on someone who ACTUALLY attended the debate: Andrew Yang -esque, Trump-lover, Vivek Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy had a breakthrough moment from the last debate. Even my Republican mom texted me to say she liked him. The entrepreneur (of course he is an “entrepreneur”) tried to keep the momentum this time, managing to talk loud and fast enough to cut through his opponents, who were constantly talking over each other. But content-wise, Haley wasn’t impressed. She said, iconically, “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.” 

Winner, winner: No one goes home from the debate with a literal crown and sash, though that would be freaking sweet. But that's probably because no one agrees on the victor, and the award is winning the primary. Duh. Conservative commentator Liz Peek evaluated the candidate performances with a growth mindset. She said that DeSantis won the debate because he improved so much from his boring-ass performance last time. Peek named Haley the biggest loser for the opposite—she didn't meet the high bar she set for herself in the previous debate. Progressive political commenter Brian Tyler Cohen disagreed, arguing Haley totally bodied DeSantis when she called him out for supporting bans on fracking and offshore wind farms. Republicans love fracking. But the Wall Street Journal concluded that the real winner was Trump. Despite some silly one-liners, no one really mounted a strong case for why MAGA heads or even more normie Republicans should turn on the clear frontrunner.

New look: King County unveiled the new color palette for their battery-powered bus. It's called "Energy Yellow" and no one gives a fuck. 

Shutdown showdown: The federal government is two days away from a shutdown. Shutdowns fuck with food assistance programs, national parks, and preschools that get federal funds. Here's what you should know

More fed stuff: Republicans hold the first hearing in their Biden impeachment inquiry today. Republicans think Biden profited from his son's foreign business deals, though they have not released any evidence to prove their point. You can see live updates here, but be warned: It might last six hours, and none of the "witnesses" witnessed anything. 

Devastating: A wedding in Iraq went up in flames Tuesday night as the bride and groom shared a dance in a banquet hall in Qaraqosh. The fire started when fireworks went off inside and caught on to a large ceiling decoration and highly flammable paneling that officials say is outlawed in the country. As of last night, the death toll stands at 94 with an additional 100 people injured. 

The Green Jacket Party: As Vivian mentioned yesterday, a local, undiscovered visionary went viral earlier this week for mocking a Fox News reporter who was attempting to paint Seattle as a crime-ridden hellscape. The Needling wrote that the woman, who wore a now-iconic green jacket, is leading polls for the next mayoral election. As one fake Needling source said: "I don’t even know her name or if she’s filed yet, but I will literally go door to door right now to find her and make her do it because I don’t think this city can take another year of Bruce Harrell asking for that expensive, glorified NextDoor ‘gun-shot-spotter.’ Or the pizza parties for every day a cop doesn’t kill someone."

I know it's a joke, but I do believe if you say something enough, you can will it into existence.

I just think of this song sometimes: