Andrew Yang qualifies for the next Democratic debate: He is the seventh—and probably final—candidate to qualify for the December debate. He joins Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.
When this campaign cycle began, who would have bet that Andrew Yang would be the only nonwhite candidate on a Democratic debate stage — a stage without NJ Senator Cory Booker and former Obama HUD secretary Julian Castro. https://t.co/AZRRQCyQTt
— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) December 10, 2019
Pierce County is rushing to Tim Eyman's defense: The battle over Tim Eyman's I-976 drags on. The Pierce County Council voted 4-3 to join the state of Washington in defending the transit-killing initiative that limits the cost of car tabs. "The people of Washington state have spoken, and the people in Pierce County voted over 60% to make sure we had fairness, which is what we want to make sure we will do with the measure we pass today," said Pierce County Council Member Pam Roach before voting on the county's measure. It's a "government-on-government fight," as KOMO describes it. Hot.
Ahead of the Council vote - supporters of I-976 gathering outside Council chambers. I guess it’s clear how councilmember Pam Roach will vote when it comes to the proposal of Pierce County joining the legal fight in upholding the I-976 vote. #komonews pic.twitter.com/CokCaWqmj2
— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) December 10, 2019
A viral video, published by Twitter user @spekulation that shows a recent confrontation between Seattle Police Department officers and protestors, causes SPD to open a "preliminary internal investigation": reports the Seattle Times. "The 26-second clip, shared on Twitter, shows an officer tripping over his bike as a line of officers pushes back protesters clad in dark and hooded clothing at Westlake Park," writes Steve Miletich. "The officer then appears to grab and struggle with one protester, setting off a melee involving several officers and protesters. At least one other protester can be seen being pulled to the ground by officers." The tweet and video:
Holy fuck. You guys need to check out this video of the protest in Seattle yesterday. This SPD officer *trips over his own bike*, and then uses it as an excuse to violently attack and arrest a protester 10 feet away from him (who was moving backwards, obeying orders). Appalling. pic.twitter.com/sHU389ieGH
— Spek (@spekulation) December 9, 2019
We've finally reached an agreement! The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has been settled and confirmed by the House. It's being described as a rare "win-win-win." A former U.S. ambassador to Canada told Yahoo: "You have a win for not only the administration, but also Congress. You have a win for American workers, farmers, and the environment. You have a win for Canada and Mexico. And so altogether, I think that this should be a day to celebrate our trading relationship." Some victory tweets:
With the transformative changes we won, Democrats have achieved a #USMCA agreement that is infinitely better for American workers than what was originally proposed by the Trump Administration. pic.twitter.com/LywXwZjWTy
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 10, 2019
I congratulate President @realDonaldTrump and @HouseGOP leadership in reaching a deal on the #USMCA. The new trade deal is a huge win for Pennsylvania farmers and manufacturers. Unfortunately, the agreement is long past due because of @SpeakerPelosi's constant obstruction. https://t.co/JurC6PHOl8
— Congressman Fred Keller (@RepFredKeller) December 10, 2019
McConnell says the Senate trial won't happen until January: Same with approving USMCA.
NEW: McConnell says “it’s not possible” to turn to a Senate trial or approve USMCA in the Senate before Congress breaks for the holidays
— Lindsay Wise (@lindsaywise) December 10, 2019
The Senate has blocked off all of January for an impeachment trial, though the schedule is very much fluid. Would have to project USMCA to go to a vote in February.
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) December 10, 2019
Merriam-Webster says the Word of the Year is: They.
Mayor Durkan is the "City Leader of the Year": according to Smart Cities Dive. In this housing crisis? Uh, okay...
Less than two years after opening, Ballard's New Seasons Market will close: as a result of a "West Coast grocery deal" that will "create a chain of 49 high-end stores under five brands," reports the Seattle Times. The deal is a win for the Seoul-based E-mart, and also means the controversial Central District New Seasons is toast. More from the Times's Benjamin Romano:
New Seasons, which has some 4,000 employees and has been the target of labor organizers, said it will help employees — 250 including the Ballard and Mercer Island locations — find jobs at Metropolitan Market stores around Seattle or at New Seasons stores in the Portland area, where its brand will remain on stores. It also pledged “job search assistance, transition pay and extended healthcare benefits” for three months for employees who do not move to another company location. The Ballard store is slated to close by the end of the year.
Some polling news: Bernie Sanders "is doing particularly well with two important demographics: young voters and Latino voters." But who is leading in the polls in the 16 states and territories that vote on Super Tuesday (March 3)? Currently, that's Biden, Biden, Biden, Biden, Biden, Biden, and a lot more Biden.
More polling: lol
Fare enforcement update: King County Council Member Joe McDermott and other members of the Sound Transit board wrote another letter to Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, only this time he’s not so huffy. However, I can detect very strong levels of PNW passive aggressiveness. When McDermott last wrote to Rogoff about the issue, he expressed his “deep frustration” with the agency’s progress on studying fare enforcement reform and demanded a “public presentation” of their review ASAP. Sound Transit said they’d get back to him by the end of the year. During an October briefing, Sound Transit told the board they were pushing back the review until February. RICH SMITH
In this new letter, McDermott et al reinforce their support for the review: But they also make several requests for new info in the February presentation. Their questions focus on what the agency is doing to prevent racial profiling and to promote de-escalation tactics. They’re asking “why the available data is showing a disparate impact on Black riders” and how ST plans to address that. They also want to know the demographics of people who end up in collections for failure to pay tickets, and for what amounts. They also suggest the agency review recent policies brought to the board, including “giving riders a fresh start by clearing out existing infractions,” preventing future infractions from ending up in court or collections, stopping enforcement until “a new program is rolled out,” lowering fines, and conducting an “aggressive information and enrollment” campaign for ORCA LIFT and other subsidy programs. RS
TIME's Person of the Year will be announced tomorrow: We all know it's Baby Yoda.
Rich Smith contributed blurbs to this post.