Snow whiplash: This morning was clean and clear in Seattle. Seattle Public Schools looked silly for canceling school and then... SNOW! LOTS OF IT! (At least over here at Stranger World Headquarters.) Find live updates here. Also, check this out:
We compiled our helicopter photos of US 2, which were taken today. While this storm has been frustrating at times, the #views are beautiful of the #snow. The Pacific Northwest is probably one the prettiest places to live, but we might be a little biased...#nature pic.twitter.com/fMCckeSsiV— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) January 15, 2020
Start hoarding your precious plastic bags: Yesterday, in Rich's legislative preview on Slog, he wrote about how "Sen. Mona Das’s proposal to ban retailers from providing plastic bags for free got chopped at the very end of session last year, but since it got so far along last time it’ll probably make it over the finish line this year." That prediction has proven to be true, so far! It passed the Senate and moved on to the House this afternoon. A recent poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute found that "69% of nine hundred Washington voters surveyed last October on NPI's behalf said that they agreed that single-use plastic bags ought to be banned. Just 26% disagreed. 6% said they were not sure."
A car ran into Salt & Straw on Capitol Hill: Well, the brick pillar next to Salt & Straw.
Lev Parnas claims Trump lied and that Trump "knew exactly what was going on," referring to the incident where Rudy Giuliani allegedly requested a personal meeting with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to talk about (with Trump's "knowledge and consent") "Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and," per Parnas, "also Rudy had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff." Democrats have been releasing more Parnas evidence throughout the day. That evidence shows "that Parnas and his associates may have been carrying out surveillance of [Marie Yovanovitch,] the US ambassador to Ukraine," summarizes The Guardian. Rachel Maddow will broadcast an exclusive interview with the former (and indicted) Guilliani associate this evening. A snippet:
There are plenty of Oscar categories that aren't suspenseful this year: Renée Zellweger for Best Actress. Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress. Brad Pit for Best Supporting Actor. But what about Best Picture? That category, Kyle Buchanan at the New York Times writes, is realistically fiercely split between five films: Parasite, 1917, Joker, The Irishman, and Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. Which one do you think will win? Vote below and let me know your thoughts in the comments if you've seen any of them. I'll add in the other four nominated films for kicks.
The articles of impeachment have been signed by Nancy Pelosi: Why did she use so many pens? That's a good question...
She handed out pens to impeachment managers and key committee chairs and used the collective pens to sign the document. They're collectibles.
This is customary: From The Guardian: "Souvenir pens were used during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial as well. Back then, Senators who signed an oath book kept their pens even though they were printed with a misspelling: 'Untied States Senator'."
Speaker Pelosi signs the articles of impeachment. pic.twitter.com/7cBBNStTcN— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 15, 2020
No surprise...Speaker Pelosi just held a celebratory signing ceremony handing out souvenir impeachment pens.— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 15, 2020
The truth comes out.
This isn't "somber" or "serious" for @HouseDemocrats. This has been partisan since day one. pic.twitter.com/E07UFIXNgr
Stop the presses: Bon Jovi is coming.
Microsoft is putting away more money toward affordable housing: Well. Sort of. "On Wednesday, the tech giant put a potential $250 million" toward affordable housing projects, writes The Seattle Times. "Like most of its previous tranche of funding, though, the new money isn’t for free—it’s a line of credit for a state agency that administers tax-exempt bonds, a kind of low-cost financing for affordable-housing projects." As a certain someone commented in the office: "Hard to get too excited about opening a line of low-interest credit to developers who want to build 'deeply affordable' housing in the Eastside, but it is SOMETHING."
BREAKING: Crosscut swears in a headline.
Congrats on the naughty word 🏆 https://t.co/1zF6zPqZ5m— The Stranger 🗞 (@TheStranger) January 16, 2020
More ITMFA news: Mitch McConnell announced that the articles of impeachment will be read on the Senate floor tomorrow around noon. Afterward, Chief Justice John Roberts will be sworn in so he can preside over the Senate trial. The trial will really start to rev up next Tuesday, McConnell said. Roberts, by the way, pondered today if "OK Boomer" constitutes age discrimination. You're all going to jail, Zoomers.
Let's end with some 'grams: I really loved the I, Anonymous this issue. Good god.
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I said no gifts. I meant it, too. You knew that I Marie Kondo'd my apartment twice. I gave you the book to read before that Netflix show got popular. But you insisted. You made me open up gift after gift of trinkets and items I might use but probably won't. With each new gift, I cringed, knowing it would eventually find its way to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. You made me perform for you with those old rehearsed lines: "Oh how sweet!" "This is so thoughtful!" When I opened a pair of pants, you even had me go into the bathroom to try them on. "Let's see!" you urged. I came back with the new pants on, tags dangling, and you all looked at me and I wanted to disappear forever. I told you I don't want any gifts, so why do you all keep giving them? Are they for me or for you? —ANONYMOUS
And check out our new cover: It feels apropos, considering it came out during the middle of a snowstorm and the day after a Democratic debate. See it up close and big here (or just pick up a damn paper).