The impeachment inquiry trudges on: Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's testimony was stunning, for multiple reasons. Trump went on a Twitter tirade. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, called today a "show trial"—ironic, considering Trump's Twitter show might have constituted another impeachable offense.
Apparently a Republican has to retire to become a moral, thinking human again: Jeff Flake, a former Republican senator who is not running for reelection, tweeted this (too little, too late):
I am grateful today, and every day, for dedicated career foreign service officers who put politics aside and represent our country so well overseas.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 15, 2019
Committing crimes isn't enough for Trump: He's also going to use his power to pardon other criminals. Trump cleared three service members in war crimes cases today, a move that "signaled that as commander in chief, Mr. Trump intends to use his power as the ultimate arbiter of military justice in ways unlike any other president in modern times," writes the New York Times.
Someone else Trump might pardon: Roger Stone.
A new SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off, focused on Squidward, is coming to Netflix: Earlier this week, Netflix announced they will partner with Nickelodeon to create new content. One significant part of that deal? A Squidward spin-off. It's reportedly a "music-based project." Fingers crossed it's this type of music.
Meanwhile, the new SpongeBob SquarePants movie will include... KEANU REEVES! Well, Keanu Reeves's head, at least.
More clashes between City Hall and Seattle's film unions: Earlier this week, the Seattle Film and Music Coalition published an op-ed on Slog, titled "The Film and Music Industries in Seattle Are Losing." In it, they argued that "the incredible economic tech bubble Seattle is experiencing is pushing out film and music jobs and companies." That op-ed didn't sit well with the city, which then disinvited the group to a major meeting, reports Margo Vansynghel for Crosscut.
These clashes relate to the City's new "Creative Industry Cluster Program," which will include the Office of Film + Music under its wide umbrella: Rather than hire a new Office of Film + Music director, Seattle is searching for an "inclusive industry program director" that will oversee "graphic design, gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality" in addition to other industries. It certainly seems like the City is, once again, catering to money-making tech industries. Read Vansynghel's great reporting here.
The Santa Clarita gunman is dead: So are the two classmates he murdered.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration argues that the Makah Tribe should be allowed to hunt whales: A waiver proposed by the administration "would allow the tribe to harvest up to 20 whales over a decade for subsistence and cultural use," reports the Seattle Times. A biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute argued that “it would be reckless and anti-ethical to the precautionary principle" of the Marine Mammal Preservation Act to allow the killings. The tribe is requesting their 1855 treaty with the U.S. government, which allows them to hunt whales, be respected. For the past twenty years, their whale hunts have been held up in court battles with animal rights activists and opponents.
Sorry, Jeff, you're back to #2: Bill Gates topped Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world today. Gates had long been the world's most-moneyed man, but Bezos surpassed him a little over two years ago. But don't feel bad for Bezos, I'm sure he'll reclaim his #1 spot once his grocery and healthcare and moon-traveling businesses take off.
Let's end the week with some disaster porn: While your world may feel like an existential wreck, take a moment and consider this literal wreck. The wreck happened this afternoon at the San Antonio International Airport. No one was injured but the crash garnered a very long live stream from KOMO.