Happy Leap Day: Look! An extra day of February! Nice. Here's some fun deals to take advantage of. 

More of the same: Remember the weather yesterday? Today’s weather will be pretty much the same. Rain, rain, rain, all dang day, and temperatures in the low to mid 40s. The trend will continue until Friday evening, according to Weather.com

Good thing Trump chose three of the justices: Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments and issue a ruling on the former president’s claim that he should receive presidential immunity for crimes he committed as he conducted “official acts” in office. The court won’t hear the case until the end of April, and it’ll take months to reach a ruling. Only then, win or lose, can the DC trial over his attempts to overturn the election continue. So, he may have successfully delayed his case until after the November election.  

More Trump: A judge kicked Trump off the Illinois ballot. The state, which will hold its primary next month, joins Colorado and Maine in barring the attempted insurrectionist. 

Initiative mischief: On Wednesday morning, the Washington’s Senate’s Joint Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee heard Let’s Go Washington’s conservative ballot initiative I-2081, a so-called “Parents Bill of Rights” that is 90 percent recitation of existing state and federal law and 10 percent changes that some advocates worry could threaten protections for queer and trans children, invite censorship into schools, or bury districts in administrative paperwork. But there’s a pretty big caveat. When you want to amend a statute, you actually have to show what the changes are, and I-2081 doesn’t do that, according to legislative analysis from staff in Olympia. The bill merely wanders into state code without saying how it affects anything else, perhaps because it copies from a 2014 Louisiana bill. If the Legislature does end up passing I-2081, lawmakers could easily amend it to correct ambiguous language next session, or in the fall if there’s a big problem.

Votes are earned, not owed: Got plans tonight? Now you do! Help organize the protest vote to write in “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary.

New transportation plan just dropped: Mayor Bruce Harrell unveiled his new transportation plan yesterday, laying out in 750 pages the City’s vision for transportation for the next two decades. Big stuff! The Urbanist broke it down here, but I’ll keep an eye on the plan as it moves to the City Council, so keep checking the blog every day. 

Speaking of transportation: Urbanists are still mad that the Mayor and the King County Executive prefer a light rail route that would bypass the transit hub in the Chinatown-International District. Honestly, I spoke perhaps too timidly about the issue at the time (read here), but now I’m pretty firmly in support of the 4th Ave Shallow Station paired with a huge investment in the neighborhoods disturbed by traffic—commercial rent control, direct cash assistance, new affordable housing, anything. Keep fighting, urbanists. I love you.

Now die: Senator Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that in November he will step down from his long-held position as Senate Republican Leader after almost two decades in the role. He will serve out his term, which ends in 2027. But who knows which whacko will replace him tbh given how far right the Republicans have shifted. According to the BBC, top contenders for the opening include McConnell's right-hand man, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, Trump loyalist Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, and Senator Rick Scott of Florida, a vocal critic of McConnell. 

Rest in peace, Aaron Bushnell:

Genocide update: According to health officials, Israel has killed at least 30,000 Palestinians since Oct 7. Today, IDF troops shot into a crowd of refugees as they grabbed food from an aid convoy in Northern Gaza. Sources report different death tolls. Health officials in Gaza said Israel killed 104 people as they tried to get aid, but Israel downplayed its cruelty, insisting they only killed 10 people.

Oh my: President Vladimir Putin threatened "Western" countries with nuclear war if they listen to the French president's suggestion for European NATO members to send troops into Ukraine. Putin said, "(Western nations) must realize that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization. Don't they get that?!" Punctation credit to Reuters.

Texas: The Smokehouse Creek Fire has torn through 850,000 acres in the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma. In combination with Smokehouse Creek Fire, the second largest fire in the country's history, several smaller, co-occurring fires bring the total damage to 1 million acres. 

Not to be patriotic, but: I saw a clip of this little girl singing the national anthem on Tik Tok and it made my week. I’m not trying to make fun of a child or anything. Honestly, with her confidence and strength, she’ll probably take some voice lessons and get soooo good when she’s older. The redemption arc will hit so hard.