The perfect message to send after the perfect call: Just in case anyone needed any more evidence for removing the President from office, the fact that he tried to bribe Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and then twisted the screws 90 minutes later should suffice. "An official from the White House budget office directed the Defense Department to 'hold off' on sending military aid to Ukraine less than two hours after President Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky," according to emails obtained by the Washington Post. Less than two hours.
Lol, Republicans are so mad: Mitch is on Fox & Friends talking shit, according to Politico. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won't send the Senate the articles of impeachment until the anemic, goose-stepping Senate Republicans promise to hold a fair trial, i.e. until the President allows his goons to testify. "Look, we’re at an impasse. We can’t do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everybody enjoy the holidays," McConnell said.
Amtrak service between SEA and PDX is back on track: A landslide south of Tacoma messed up the rails, reports the Seattle Times.
Boeing's board goes for the kill: Directors booted Dennis Muilenburg for the way he's been handling the fallout of two 737 MAX plane crashes that killed 346 people, reports the New York Times. Congressional heat was getting to the company. "As he has sought to return the aircraft to service, his efforts have angered lawmakers, airlines, regulators and victims’ families," writes the Times.
"Natural gas" companies are trying to trick suburban women: According to the Seattle Times, WA and OR natural gas companies, including Puget Sound Energy, plan to spend $1 million on a PR campaign to convince "Democratic-leaning suburban homeowners, particularity women," that environmental groups who want to decarbonize buildings are ackchyually hurting the environment by pushing owners to electrify buildings instead of heating them with natural gas. "Natural gas," which is itself a PR term for methane gas, used to be seen as a "bridge fuel" to help the U.S. transition to a green economy. But then we found out that it gives off tons of greenhouse gases during extraction, which is the opposite of good!
North Korea ICBM test "imminent": According to the New York Times. If successful, the test will show that a nuclear-tipped dictator can launch a missile capable of hitting America. Say, did the committee ever get around to giving Trump the Nobel?
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman completes his probable cover-up: He blamed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on five people and sentenced them to die, reports The Washington Post. "The CIA concluded last year that the crown prince had ordered Khashoggi’s assassination, contradicting Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Mohammed had no knowledge of the plot."
Pierce County cop shoots domestic violence suspect: "Tacoma police did not say what exactly caused the deputy to fire his or her firearm, but said the suspect suffered non-life-threatening injuries," according to the Seattle Times. The man was from Graham, Washington.
College kids are still vaping: "'You try to sell it at a party now, and at least one guy will come up to you and pontificate that you’re killing people,' said the dealer, who declined to be identified to avoid legal trouble," reports the New York Times. Get on the gum, kids!
This was brilliant:
The completely manufactured crisis at the southern border has led to this sentence: "A Cuban doctor waiting for asylum in the United States has become the only full-time physician at a makeshift encampment for 2,500 migrants in Mexico," according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile, the U.S. wants to deport Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala: According to Democracy Now. As if Trump's blanket rejections of asylum claims weren't barbaric enough, the administration wants to use its "safe third country" agreement to ship Mexican immigrants to another country that's even more destabilized by rampant violence.
You may have received your car tab renewal notification late: If you're just now getting a notice from the state to renew your December car tabs, the state is sorry not sorry: "State agencies emphasize that renewal letters are 'courtesy notices,' and vehicle owners are responsible for learning their renewal dates and purchasing new tabs," reports the Seattle Times. U mad? Blame Tim Eyman.
This feels like it could be important to people who care about this sort of thing:
Marshawn Lynch and the #Seahawks are open to a reunion, and Lynch has told people he plans to travel to Seattle today to discuss it, sources tell me, @MikeGarafolo and @TomPelissero. #BeastMode could be back in Seattle.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2019
The Ballard Bridge got "stuck" and SDOT "didn't have an immediate explanation:" Drivers were halted for more than four hours on Sunday, according to the Seattle Times. "The old bridge, built in 1917 to coincide with the Lake Washington Ship Canal, is often identified as needing replacement."
Everyone's talking about Trump not understanding wind: But his random observation that the world is "tiny compared to the universe" is completely baffling.
But not as baffling as this Shen Yun placement in the SF Chronicle: This weird, anti-gay, anti-evolutionary, pro-Chinese imperialism, dance extravaganza produced by a persecuted religious group is back on the west coast.
And nowhere near as baffling as Cats: I saw Cats alone with a cup of coffee Sunday evening. First, I'll just say that nothing can compare you for the scene where the camera catches feline Ian McKellen in the wings of a dilapidated theater lapping up water like a rescued bat. The moment is quick, shocking, brutal, and no scene in the history of cinema better serves as a metaphor for the relationship between a washed-up actor and the theater.
On the sexuality of the cats: The thighs. The thighs and the backs were sexualized in ways I couldn't possibly have accounted for going into the film. But every time I felt a flash of attraction for a thick, balletic, thigh or a lithe upper torso, one of the feline features—a freaky, phallic tail or their upholstered skin—would thwart my arousal. The film constantly short-circuits the impulse to sexually objectify the bodies onscreen, which creates an uncomfortable tension, sort of like a musical scale that never resolves. Pair that psychological glitch with the constantly fluctuating scale of the cats, and you have an extremely disorienting visual experience that's hard to recommend but impossible to not whole-heartedly champion. American cinema needs more humanoid cats chomping the heads off humanoid cockroaches. I don't know why, but we do.
Need to watch movies with your fam this week to fill the time? Check out this trove of indigenous films released by the National Film Board of Canada. Sign-up is free.