Do you know where this precious Japanese black pine bonsai is?
Do you know where this Japanese black pine bonsai is? Courtesy of the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Sanders and Warren are neck-in-neck in campaign donations from Seattle, reports FYI Guy Gene Balk for the Seattle Times. Interestingly, the two candidates receiving the most donations from Seattle are also the candidates who are most critical of Amazon. Based on the total contributions through December 31, 2019, here's how campaign donations from Seattle residents shake out:

Bernie Sanders - $1,094,000
Elizabeth Warren - $1,024,000
Pete Buttigieg - $942,000
Joe Biden - $563,000
Andrew Yang - $462,000
Amy Klobuchar - $204,000

China's economy is idling: The novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan has shut down China, and "is already slashing traffic along the world’s shipping lines," writes the New York Times, "leading to forecasts of a sharp fall in production of everything from cars to smartphones." One Chamber of Commerce president in China told the Times “it’s like Europe in medieval times, where each city has its checks and crosschecks.” Here's the latest on the outbreak.

South Korea celebrates Parasite's historic win: On the BBC Global News Podcast this morning, a reporter based in South Korea said that fans are rushing to the locations that were filmed in Parasite, offering momentos and taking pictures. More from the LA Times:


After many amendments ("loopholes"), the Seattle City Council voted to prohibit some evictions during the winter: But "the council trimmed the period covered by the legislation from five months to three months; limited the rule to low- and moderate-income tenants; and exempted landlords with four or fewer housing units," writes Daniel Beekman for the Seattle Times. Kshama Sawant, the sponsor of the legislation, felt this was a lopsided victory, but a victory nonetheless. Mayor Durkan has been skeptical of the legislation, warning that "a legal fight is almost certain and could be costly to taxpayers," via her new spokesman, Ernesto Apreza. It's unclear if Durkan will sign the legislation into law. We'll have more on this tomorrow. (For more on why we would need a winter eviction moratorium, read this guest op-ed.)

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission charged Councilmember Sawant with violating ethics and elections codes for using "City facilities to promote or oppose candidates and ballot measures." Sawant and her office have been vocally supporting a "Tax Amazon" campaign. The violation(s) are explained in detail on SCC Insight. More:

The Tax Amazon campaign is also flouting state campaign disclosure laws. Since it is actively soliciting contributions, when it officially adopted a resolution to organize a ballot initiative on January 25 (and arguably before, since it was both fundraising and discussing the initiative before January 25) it was required to register with the state Public Disclosure Commission and the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission as a political committee within 2 weeks: under state and Seattle law, filing is required within 2 weeks of the beginning of fundraising. As of this writing, the campaign has not registered either with the PDC or the SEEC.

A new dinosaur has been discovered and its name is THE REAPER OF DEATH (or, "Thanatotheristes degrootorum"). It actually looks pretty cute. It's "the first new tyrannosaur species to be identified in Canada in 50 years," according to researchers.

It's another big day in the Democratic primary race tomorrow: Today's the last big push before New Hampshire picks a Democratic nominee. Based on polling averages, Sanders leads the pack with Buttigieg coming in eight points behind him. Joe Biden is third, with Warren coming in as a close fourth-place. More from the New York Times:

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who finished third, doubled her post-Iowa fund-raising goal to $4 million. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the fourth-place finisher, is trying to re-energize his campaign. And Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who came in fifth, is seeing bigger crowds and told reporters, “We’re surging.”

The Backstreet Boys are back (in Auburn), alright!

Meet the 71-year-old retiree keeping The Mountain Messenger, California's oldest weekly paper, alive: Carl Butz is making sure a four-to-six page paper keeps churning for the residents of Downieville, California. A hero in a very depressing world. I like to think that if we went under the Slog commenters would visit our grave daily to continue fighting with each other. Not quite as noble as Mr. Butz, but still something.

Amazon isn't giving up in its legal fight to obtain the $10 billion JEDI defense contract: The tech company unexpectedly lost the coveted Department of Defense contract to Microsoft, a decision that Amazon claims was fueled by Trump's bias against Jeff Bezos and Amazon. The company is now doing the unprecedented move of requesting a deposition from Trump. "It is extremely rare for a sitting president to be deposed, especially in a civil case. But Amazon says extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures," writes Geekwire. Trump didn't even testify in his own impeachment proceeding, so it's wild that Amazon thinks it will have success here. Geekwire's Monica Nickelsburg writes: "Even if Amazon is successful, it would be the start of a long road toward getting the president to sit down for a deposition. The decision would almost certainly be appealed and likely rise to the U.S. Supreme Court."

CenturyLink Field is about to be totally cashless: Meaning, bring credit and debit cards! The move is said to be part of an effort to "speed the transaction process throughout the venue."

Two very valuable bonsai trees, both decades-old, were reported stolen from the Pacific Bonsai Museum on Sunday, writes the Seattle Times. The museum says the bonsai trees were stolen from a secure and alarmed exhibit area. Here's what the museum wrote on Instagram:

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Some heartbreaking news: early this morning, two bonsai were stolen from our display. Thieves made off with our Japanese Black Pine — the one grown from seed in a tin can by a Japanese American while he was incarcerated during World War II— and our Silverberry— a bonsai since 1946 originally created Kiyoko Hatanaka.

“This is a tremendous loss, not only to our collection but there is a strong likelihood that the trees will perish. These trees have been cared for every day for more than 70 years, and if that daily care doesn’t continue the trees will die,” said Aarin Packard, Curator, Pacific Bonsai Museum.

Please help us recover our bonsai. Information leading to the recovery of these valuable bonsai should be forwarded to kathy@pacificbonsaimuseum.org. No questions asked upon their return. We just want to make sure these trees will be around for another 70 years for everyone to enjoy.