There's an update in the Whidbey Island plane crash investigation: The National Transportation Safety Board believes they've identified a potential cause of the crash: the actuator holding the aircraft's horizontal tail (aka the stabilizer) came apart. According to the Seattle Times, the stabilizer "controls the pitch of the airplane" and if it lost control it "could send a plane into a nosedive," consistent with witness testimony from September 4. There should have been a lock ring in place to secure the actuator. The NTSB and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are looking further into the matter. 

KUOW journalists picketed outside the station's HQ in the U District during their lunch break: Their union says KUOW management and the University of Washington are not paying them living wages for their work after negotiations stalled back in July. Solidarity! Surviving in the city as a journalist is fucking hard these days. 

Don’t worry, student loan debt is still getting canceled: There was a bit of panic on Friday after a court halted Biden’s debt-relief program. But don’t worry! This is a temporary measure, designed to allow some legal issues to proceed in a lawsuit. Plaintiffs have until Tuesday to reply, and then everything should get back on track fairly soon.

Justice Clarence Thomas is Justice Clarence Thomasing again: The (arguably) worst dude on the highest bench in the land (briefly) temporarily shielded noted cretin and South Carolinian Sen. Lindsey Graham from having to answer questions in the Georgia election inquiry, reports the New York Times. More on what that means from the NYT:

Justice Thomas’s brief order was an “administrative stay,” meant to give the court some breathing room to weigh the senator’s emergency application asking the Supreme Court to bar the grand jury from questioning him based on the Constitution’s speech or debate clause and on the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Speaking of federal government officials: US Attorney General Merrick Garland hosted a press conference today announcing charges against 13 people who allegedly tried to "unlawfully exert influence in the United States" on behalf of China in three separate cases, reports NBC News. In one case, two Chinese intelligence officers attempted "to disrupt the prosecution of a Chinese telecommunications firm," reports The Guardian. Merrick didn't name the firm, but it's likely Huawei, a Chinese company that was charged in 2019 of bank fraud. 

In Slog AM, Matt asked if you had voted yet: And if you have, there's a new way to track it! While you could previously look up your tracking status manually, King County has now implemented a new system that will email or text alerts to voters so they stay updated on when their ballot has been received and counted. You've got until Monday, October 31 to register for the November 8 general election. So get on it!

Good job, New Yorkers: Ted Cruz, the slimy senator from Texas, attended a Yankees game to throw the opening pitch for some reason—and it did not go well for him. Spectators mercilessly heckled the sniveling jerk. Doesn't materially do anything to someone as soulless Cruz, but damn if it isn't a little cathartic.

He also got heckled on The ViewWhoopi apparently kicked the protesters out. New York says fuck off!

New parking fees hit today: The Seattle Department of Transportation has raised parking rates in certain neighborhoods—north and south Capitol Hill, Denny Triangle, Belltown, and more—to theoretically have more open spots in those areas. "This supports businesses and helps drivers more easily find parking without circling the block multiple times," the department said in a statement to KOMO. Maybe try bussing! 

This is not good: Seattle Children's Hospital says they are seeing "unprecedented volumes" of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in King County children, reports KING 5. SCH has been seeing "about 20 to 30 positive cases per day" and King County Health told the news outlet that those numbers are only expected to go up as pandemic restrictions are rolled back and people come inside for winter. 

And in Virginia: Around 1,000 students at Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, VA were out sick on Friday due to a mystery outbreak of a sickness with "flu-like or gastrointestinal symptoms." The district have deep-cleaned the school as local health officials try to get to the bottom of it. 

Sad news: Beloved comedian and gay icon Leslie Jordan was killed today in a car accident in Hollywood. He was 67. According to TMZ, the actor suffered a "medical emergency" while driving and crashed his car into a building. You might have recognized Jordan from his Emmy Award-winning role on Will & Grace or maybe from his delightfully unhinged Instagram videos that kept many emotionally afloat during the early days of quarantine. Devastating!

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The Seahawks seem to be doing well

Wanna get slapped? Now, you can in a professional sports context. UFC president Dana White is overseeing the Power Slap League, where people take turns face-slapping one another until...??? Last week, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to oversee the league as the UFC developed some rules and safety measures for the "sport." This seems like an unnecessarily brutal sign of the times. 

Reading as soon as I get off work: New York Magazine's brilliant Angelica Jade Bastién breaks down the myth of Brangelina amid their acrimonious and very public divorce. Love a deep dive into popular culture. 

For your listening pleasure: Jaboukie's "BBC."