More public restrooms for Seattle: A city auditor report in 2018 found that there were only six restrooms open in the city at all hours. In the new budget passed out of the city council's budget committee this week, almost $1.3 million has been allocated for mobile restrooms. These will be way swankier than port-a-potties; they'll have hand-washing stations and needle disposals, and they'll be on wheels.
Solo commutes plummet: From 2010 to 2018, the percentage of employed people who drove alone to work in Seattle dropped 9 percent. That's by far the biggest difference in solo commutes in the top 100 most populous cities in the United States. All other types of transportation have increased. Especially transit. There was a 5 percent jump in transit ridership in the same time frame.
It's impeachment day
1 million four: It's off to a roaring start. David Holmes, a diplomat in the US embassy in Kiev, is testifying today. As is Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump’s former top adviser on Russia. Wow, could you imagine being Trump's top adviser on Russia? Crazy. Follow along with our Slog impeachment coverage!
Has Seattle Children's Hospital always been so moldy? It's looking like... yes? The moldy operating rooms at Seattle Children's Hospital have killed six children and sickened 14 with Aspergillus infection since 2001. Employees at the hospital have been reporting the mold since then.
King County Council all on board to "bus the homeless somewhere else plan": The KCC has approved $100,000 in funding to Council Member Reagan Dunn's "Homeward Bound" program that will give homeless people bus tickets to reunite them with their families. The program would specifically "hand out bus tickets to the homeless for any destination that’s not in King County or an adjacent county." Sympathetic.
Sun? In this economy?
Capitol Hill is ground zero for Amazon Go expansion: Amazon has confirmed that it's testing out how to expand its "Go" technology (cashier-less stores) at a new location in the middle of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Look out, Whole Foods, the tech takeover of the grocery industry is nigh.
This interview with a rugger (term for "rugby player") is the best: Who is he? I must know.
The fifth debate was last night: There were 10 Democratic candidates on stage. It was a polite affair with candidates mostly reiterating their policy positions and not clashing directly with each other. The New York Times called it "mostly bloodless," but Representative Tulsi Gabbard didn't get that memo. She laid into Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Kamala Harris. Then she got wrecked by both of them:
Tulsi Gabbard criticized Pete Buttigieg as inexperienced before he quickly returned the attack over her meeting with Bashar al Assad. “Let’s also talk about judgment,” he said. “I would not have sat down with a murderous dictator like that.” #DemDebate https://t.co/l8SRQ7wyuR pic.twitter.com/llGXEEoaYV
— POLITICO (@politico) November 21, 2019
There wasn't a clear front-runner: The top of the pack was dense, with everyone from Cory Booker to Amy Klobuchar performing well. What was clear was that Joe Biden's performance was so-so. Notably, when asked about how he would address domestic violence, he said, "We have to just change the culture, period, and just keep punching at it and punching it and punching at it.” Trailing at the back of the pack was Tulsi Gabbard and whoever Tom Steyer is.
There was a moment of the Biggest Yikes, though: And it was when Joe Biden forgot about Kamala Harris in front of Kamala Harris. Christopher Frizzelle has more here.
An update from Trump's still-forming impeachment defense: I hope he uses this argument in court!
I have been watching people making phone calls my entire life. My hearing is, and has been, great. Never have I been watching a person making a call, which was not on speakerphone, and been able to hear or understand a conversation. I’ve even tried, but to no avail. Try it live!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Prince Andrew takes a step back: The British royal is taking a break from public duties after his train wreck of an interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of sex trafficking. The days after the prince tried to clear the air in a broadcast interview were a PR disaster. In it, he was unsympathetic toward Epstein's victims and his unconvincing excuses for his own accusations of sexual misconduct were, well, unconvincing. The Queen has granted Andrew's wish to step down from public duties for "the foreseeable future."
NASA finds sugar in meteorites: There were sugars in some of the meteorites that crashed to Earth billions of years ago, scientists say. That's an encouraging development for the theory that meteorites contained some of the ingredients for life.
Virginia bank robber found using Google data: He says that's illegal. The trail had run cold in the case of the $195,000 stolen from a Virginia bank. Then a police officer got a warrant for all the Google data from cell phones in the area of the bank during the robbery. They eventually traced it to a 24-year-old man who has since been charged for the robbery. But the man's lawyers say this is a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, which guard against unreasonable searches.
Amnesty International agrees: In a new report, Amnesty International called Facebook and Google's surveillance-based business model "inherently incompatible with the right to privacy."