Back to the bombing: Just after the truce expired early this morning, Israel bombarded north Gaza, shelled central Gaza, and circulated drones over southern Gaza. Israeli officials claimed Hamas started it "by firing into Israel territory" shortly before the truce deadline ended, Al Jazeera reports. There's not much left for the occupation forces to bomb, as "some 60 percent of homes in Gaza have been destroyed by Israeli bombardment." 

"Jericho Wall:" That's the code name Israeli military officials gave to Hamas' plan to invade Israel by land, air, and sea, just as they did in the devastating attack on Oct 7. Israel obtained those battle plans more than a year ago, shared them "widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders," observed Hamas training in the field to enact them, but officials ultimately "dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out," the New York Times reports. What is it with right-wing administrations getting intel on terrorist attacks but then not doing anything about them? 

"Operation Iron Swords:" That's the code name Israel gives to its current war on Gaza, according to an explosive investigation from +972 Magazine and Local Call. In interviews with Israeli intelligence officials, the magazine found that Israel kills so many civilians due to its "expanded authorization for bombing non-military targets, the loosening of constraints regarding expected civilian casualties, and the use of an artificial intelligence system to generate more potential targets than ever before." 

According to "several" sources, Israel's military knows "roughly" how many civilians they'll kill in a given strike, and they forge ahead with them to "create a shock" that they think will cause Palestinians to pressure Hamas to run up the flag: "In one case discussed by the sources, the Israeli military command knowingly approved the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an attempt to assassinate a single top Hamas military commander." Killing hundreds of people to assassinate one person isn't the kind of strategy that leads oppressed people to choose new political leaders, it's the kind of strategy that promotes a revenge cycle that Israel officials will use to justify the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. 

But he says he'll change: Israeli leaders told Secretary of State Anthony Blinken they "agreed with the approach" of creating "a clear plan" that "puts a premium on protecting civilians... in southern Gaza" before the fighting resumed, according to the Washington Post. To that end, this morning Israel published a map of the strip to help facilitate evacuations, "but the map does not specify where people should evacuate to," and it's "unclear" if Gazans can actually use it due to the fact that many are now sheltering from constant bombardment in the area's few remaining hospitals and schools with no food, water, or electricity. I know the state department aims to project a sense that the US cares about Palestinians and not just Biden's poll numbers in Michigan, but do you think that somewhere deep down Blinken feels a twinge of humiliation when Israel almost immediately breaks even the vaguest of commitments? 

Congress expels an icon: The US House of Representatives voted 331-114 to boot New York Congressman George Santos from office following "an explosive report two weeks ago that found 'significant evidence' of Santos’ criminal wrongdoing," Politico reports. The expulsion earned him the distinction of becoming the first member of Congress kicked out without being convicted of a crime or joining the Confederacy, which is saying something in a house famous for its criminals and fabulists.

The good news: 

We're not saying it's climate reparations, but it's climate reparations: World leaders at the UN climate conference agreed to launch a "loss and damage fund" to compensate poor countries for the destruction related to all the carbon that wealthy countries pumped into the air over the last several decades, according to the BBC. The US contributed a pitiful $17 million (pending Congressional approval lol) of the measly $400 million the rich countries found in their pockets this year, but UN Climate Envoy John Kerry wanted everyone to know that the money would just be a nice little gift and not related at all to "liability or compensation." 

Eels: Fox News' Sean Hannity hosted a debate between Republican presidential hopeful / Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and presidential hopeful in waiting / California Governor Gavin Newsom that no one asked for. Hannity and DeSantis predictably dunked on Newsom all night, and Newsom dunked back while defending Joe Biden's honor. Why did this happen? Politico comes through with nothing but the truth: "Both participants are starved for national attention, and their respective suns have been blocked out by the aging leaders of their parties, 81-year-old Biden and Trump, 77." 

Headline of the week: The award goes to Dave Segal, whose review of André 3000's contribution to the world of New Age/ambient jazz reads, "Have You Received Your Flute Shot From André 3000?"

Suspicious letter at Temple De Hirsch Sinai: The Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Police Department responded to Temple De Hirsch Sinai on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon after a report of a suspicious letter. A hazmat crew “was able to quickly determine the item did not contain any hazardous substances," Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported. 

Who among us: A person incarcerated at the Skagit County Community Justice Center "barricaded himself inside a ceiling area for hours on Wednesday" and later agreed to come down only if officers brought him biscuits and gravy from a local Mount Vernon restaurant, KIRO reports. The jail obliged. 

How much did a bunch of landlords and Trump freaks spend to buy our new city council? Hannah reports that, on average, conservatives spent $22.44 per vote while their progressive opponents spent $13.75. Those averages include both campaign spending and independent expenditures. But even all that conservative money won only narrow victories in most council districts. 

What did Seattle listen to this year? Just like the rest of the world, Seattle has a bunch of Swifties and fans of The Weeknd and Drake, according to the Seattle Times. But Seattle's top five also included a couple of artists who weren't in the global top five: Morgan Wallen (not good, and I love pop country) and SZA (good). 

Little humpback still hanging out off West Seattle: A young humpback whale was spotted in Elliott Bay Thursday for the third day in a row. You know West Seattle Blog is on it. 

Police say man beaten downtown has died: A man allegedly beat and stomped another man downtown along Third Avenue in June. Police tell KOMO the victim recently died from his injuries. 

Cha-Ching: Private equity company Blackstone Inc. plans to pay $2.3 billion for Seattle-based pet-sitting/walking company Rover, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal

AG Bob Ferguson joins fight against Idaho anti-trans law: Washington and other states filed a brief supporting students' attempt to stop a law that prevents trans students from using the bathroom in Idaho. Ferguson and others say the law violates federal civil rights laws. "In Washington, where the rights of transgender students are protected, public schools report no instances of transgender students harassing others in bathrooms or locker rooms. In contrast, the evidence is overwhelming that prohibiting students from using facilities that correspond to their gender identity causes them very real, physical, emotional and mental harm,” Ferguson said in a statement, according to the Seattle Times.  

Amazon opens shiny new office: In hopes of getting employees back in their cubes, Amazon's new Bellevue office offers "couches and lounge chairs, minifridges, dog beds and large outdoor decks with TVs streaming music videos." Sounds like a fucking nightmare. 

A compensatory yacht: Jeff Bezos’s megayacht, Koru, is the largest sailing yacht in the world. The boat is so big that it is too big to park where other private yachts park in Port Everglades, Florida. Instead, the boat is parked with oil tankers and container ships "because of its size and also because of what berths were available in the seaport," the New York Times reports.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor joins Scalia in hell: The Reagan-appointee and conservative justice broke the glass ceiling on the court! She also joined the conservatives in the decision that installed George W. Bush in the White House in 2000. 

Shane MacGowan is dead: The Pogues frontman died Thursday morning at 65 "with his wife and sister by his side," the BBC reports. The singer had recently been diagnosed with encephalitis.

I wouldn't normally end on their Christmas song, but the month gives me no choice: