Slog PM today is brought to you by the Best American Journalism of 2018: Feast your eyes on this.
1. Since Twitter loves Year in Reviews, we’d like to reward you all with a list of the Best American Journalism of 2018.
Read your heart out, baby!
— The Stranger 🗞 (@TheStranger) December 7, 2018
Seattle is on track for its driest year since 2013: There was only one inch of rain this summer. On average, Puget Sound sees around 5 inches of rain. As of right now, at 29.78" of rainfall we’re 40 percent lower than we were last year. Normal rainfall is 33.30”. It’s expected to rain tonight and maybe this weekend! We are thirsty, god.
Man who killed his wife in an Uber sentenced to 19 years: He told police he’d ‘had a bad night,’ according to the Seattle Times. The two were leaving a wedding in July 2017. They ordered an Uber. On the ride, they had gotten into an argument. The man shot his wife in the head, asked the Uber driver—who was in fear for his life—to pull over. He was arrested shortly after.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal helped five people at the border apply for asylum: Jayapal intervened when border patrol turned people away at the border. She leveraged her position as a member of Congress to demand answers of the border patrol agents. Two of the people she helped were unaccompanied minors. Rich Smith has more here.
Big news for the ski bum in your life: Stevens Pass is getting millions of dollars in renovations and two new chairlifts thanks to new owner/sugar daddy Vail Incorporated.
Interesting read for your weekend: MAGA Mouse—As our politics invade the amusement park, is Disney World even a vacation destination any longer?
Fandor lets go of most of its staff: The arthouse film streaming website, used by film buffs and cinephiles, laid off the majority of its staff today. The decision came as a surprise. Fandor is under new ownership now. This is the just most recent death in the film-streaming world. It comes on the heels of Film Struck shutting down last week.
The man who killed Heather Heyer was found guilty of murder: The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville ended in tragedy last year when a man drove his car into a crowd of people. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed. The man, 21, was found guilty today of first degree murder for her death. His sentencing hearing is on Monday. He faces a 20 years to life sentence for the murder charge. Additionally, he was “convicted of three counts of malicious wounding, three counts of aggravated malicious wounding, and two counts of felonious assault,” according to the New York Times. Plus, he’s facing some (read: 29) federal hate crime charges.
A bad week for coal: Use of coal in the United States has reached its biggest low since 1979. Xcel Energy, the Minneapolis-based utility provider, announced its intention to go completely carbon-free by 2050. Additionally, PacifiCorp, another utility company, announced that coal is not economic and that shutting down and replacing coal plants with renewable alternatives would be more cost-effective. They could hypothetically do that by 2022. There’s more here.
Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities are wizards: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake rattled Alaska last week, did a fuckton (technical term) of damage, and yet, this week, roads are seemingly back to normal. This has to be some kind of deal with the devil, right? The repairs are apparently only temporary fixes. The real work will be done in the summer.
Okay, so what the fuck went down with all these scandals? Great question. Well. There’s a lot. But, mostly, from what we know from federal prosecutors is that Michael Cohen should face “substantial prison time… His offenses strike at several pillars of our society and system of government: the payment of taxes; transparent and fair elections; and truthfulness before government and in business." Cohen also said the earliest contact Russia had with the Trump Organization was in 2015. Here's the whole memo if you want to sift through it.
Here’s part of a thread that explains some of the ramifications of this:
2...it is jaw dropping. If Trump knew ANYTHING about this (which Cohen had said he does) he must not only be impeached, he must go to prison.
Cohen borrowed $130,000 from his HELOC, washed it through a bogus corporation, paid Stormy Daniels. Ok, knew that. THEN, he goes back....
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 7, 2018
There’s also this:
This tiny footnote is a BOMB DROP:
Basically, it says Cohen has testified that Trump directed him or approved of his reaching out to Putin all the way back in 2015.
My understanding is that a conspiracy does NOT need to be acted upon to exist.
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) December 7, 2018
Oh, and this:
Notice how Mueller nails Cohen for repeatedly lying to THE PUBLIC as relevant to seriousness of offense (and using public statements to signal other witnesses).
Should send shivers up the spine of Pres. Trump, Roger Stone, Erik Prince, Don Jr, and others.#CohenSentencingMemo pic.twitter.com/vJyM8vvMiK
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) December 7, 2018
California wants to treat its homeless people like people: A new bill by Sen. Scott Wiener would mandate that every homeless person who wants a bed in a shelter will get one and not be turned away. Currently, California doesn’t have that shelter capacity. The bill will seek to change that. The details on how exactly are still fuzzy. But, hey, the sentiment is nice.
Mom pens letter to Bezos about how her daughter, Alexa, keeps getting bullied: I'm not sure if the mom wanted Jeff to change the name of his device or if she just wanted an apology, but this mom is upset that her 6-year-old Alexa (not a robot) is getting teased at school for having the same name as the Amazon Echo. Someone else at Amazon, not Jeff, replied to her second letter to say sorry.
Headline of the week: Greek government plans crowdfunding for new warships