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It's time to call it, Republicans: Murdoch's moving on.
Two King County Sheriff's deputies injured in Woodinville: An armed man shot them, and then they shot him, killing him. Here's the Seattle Times:
The deputies, who are both men, responded to the apartment complex around 12:15 p.m. after reports of “suspicious circumstances” possibly involving a “prowling of vehicles,” said Meyer. When they arrived, they spotted a man walking outside the apartment complex with “some sort of case” slung over his shoulder.
The deputies attempted to talk to the man and he pulled out a weapon and fired a round of shots at deputies, who returned fire, Meyer said. The deputies shot the man, who died at the scene.
The deputies, who wore bulletproof vests, are hospitalized and in stable conditions.
Ben Carson, who is 69 and also somehow still the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, tested positive for coronavirus: "He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery," said his chief of staff on Monday.
Carson was at Trump's election night party, where no one wore a mask: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was there, too, and got the bug. David Bossie, the Trump adviser overseeing the campaign's legal response to the 2020 election, also has the deadly bug. "Dave’s no longer a part of the decision-making process," one source told CNBC. That multi-state legal effort is getting off to a great start.
Let the post-election firings begin: Trump announced on Twitter this morning that he fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is acting secretary "effective immediately." Both dudes suck. NPR:
Esper earned the derogatory nickname "Yesper" for seemingly acquiescing or remaining silent over the president's kneejerk moves. Those ranged from reducing U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Syria with little or no deliberation to stopping Pentagon efforts to rename military bases named after Confederate generals.
“A move like this probably sends a chill through the senior ranks of the military,” Nicholas J. Rasmussen, a former top counterterrorism official in the Bush and Obama administrations, said in an email. “Not because of anything about Chris Miller personally, though it’s a highly unconventional choice, to be sure. But simply because a move like this contributes to a sense of instability and unstable decision-making at exactly the time when you want to avoid sending that kind of message around the world.”
Mr. Miller is a former Army Green Beret who participated in the liberation of Kandahar early in the war in Afghanistan. He also previously served as the top counterterrorism policy official in the National Security Council under the Trump White House. After that job, he briefly served in a top counterterrorism policy role at the Pentagon this year.
And here's Seattle-area U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, on the sacking:
“In the national security community, it is well known that periods of presidential transition leave our country exposed to unique threats. Until President-Elect Biden is sworn into office next January, it is imperative that the Pentagon remain under stable, experienced leadership.
“Dismissing politically appointed national security leaders during a transition is a destabilizing move that will only embolden our adversaries and put our country at greater risk. President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary Esper out of spite is not just childish, it’s also reckless. It has long been clear that President Trump cares about loyalty above all else, often at the expense of competence, and during a period of presidential transition competence in government is of the utmost importance.”
Will Biden's Department of Justice prosecute Trump? I anticipate Biden's DOJ will avoid locking up Trump for fear of seeming like the leftwing version of "Lock Her Up!" but it's one of the biggest questions the next DOJ must consider. Biden has already said that locking up a president would be a "very unusual thing and probably not very good for democracy." Still, he also said he wouldn't "interfere with the Justice Department’s judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law." The next nominee for attorney general will surely face intense, bloviated questioning about this issue from Republicans in the Senate.
Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden is stepping down: The local airline is going through a crisis, reporting a quarterly net loss of $431 million. It expects to cut down its workforce to between 19,000 to 20,000 in the next year, reports the Seattle Times. After eight years of leading the company, Tilden will hand the reins over to Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines' president and member of the Alaska Air board.
Governor of Utah declares state of emergency, mask mandate: Gov. Gary Herbert also banned social gatherings of people from other households, expanded the state's testing operations, and suspended all high school and club sporting events. The orders will currently only last until November 23. They're in response to a massive surge of coronavirus cases in the state, which has more than 130,000 positive cases.
What the hell is going on in Georgia? The Peach State's Republican senators are calling on the state's Republican secretary of state to resign. Stacey Abrams raised $3.6 million in two days. Ossoff has challenged Republican Sen. Perdue to three debates before their runoff election. Also this...
The Yang Gang heads to Georgia: Et tu, Obama?
Great news #yanggang - Evelyn and I are moving to Georgia to help @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock win! This is our only chance to clear Mitch out of the way and help Joe and Kamala get things done in the next 4 years. More details to come but let’s go!!! 😀🇺🇸🚀 https://t.co/egcdwqC1qZ
— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) November 8, 2020
We've got more on what's going down in Georgia in a separate post here.
Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is close to completion and 90 percent effective: Their stocks soared after the announcement. Anti-vaxxers already began whipping up conspiracies and baseless claims, like that the vaccine is actually a secret microchip that Bill Gates is going to use for nefarious (and unclear) purposes. Jeez. This is what we're in for.
Will a real estate company save Seattle's arts and culture scene? Our hunch goes with "no," but the city has launched a new "mission-driven" real estate development company called The Cultural Space Agency. The company aims to "be the missing link between the city's cultural sector, the commercial property world, local government and wealthy benefactors, and will emphasize preserving and developing spaces for communities of color." Crosscut's Margo Vansynghel has more on the agency here.
The Capitol Hill Goodwill site will be reborn as a 171-unit mixed-use building: Half Price Books previously leased the building before Goodwill took it over in 2014. Capitol Hill Seattle blog speculates that "if the 2014 deal with the nonprofit retail and jobs organization was a common ten-year lease, you might see a development plan and sale rounding into shape sometime around 2024."
This honestly sounds like a plot to a film: From 2016 to 2018, ex-Microsoft engineer Volodymyr Kvashuk stole $10 million worth of digital currency from his ex-employer, reports GeekWire. He took advantage of a "testing program for Microsoft's online retail sales platform," then used the money to buy a $1.6 million lakefront home and a Tesla. Today he was sentenced to nine years in prison for 18 federal felonies after being ordered to pay $8.3 million in restitution.
Truly cursed: Last month, lawyers said they couldn't find the parents of 545 migrant kids because the United States separated them from their families at the border. Now they're saying that number is much higher: 666.
Attorney General Bill gives federal prosecutors the go-ahead to investigate election fraud, despite little evidence: In a memo written to U.S. attorneys, Barr said investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.” There's no indication of mass fraud occurring during this election.
Did anyone else catch the sunrise this morning? I never understood "purple mountains majesty" until this moment.