What are the pine trees singing to rainy Seattle?
What are the pine trees singing to rainy Seattle? Richard Wellenberger/gettyimages.com

A Key Element in Inslee's Proposed Washington Budget Is: "[New] taxes on capital gains." Can we give the guv' an amen? Obviously the rich and their party will not do so. Seattle Times: "Republicans, who are in the minority in the state House and Senate, took a dim view of the budget package." Also, notice how the right-leaning MyNorthwest pounced on this part of the proposal: "Gov. Inslee is renewing his push for a state capital gains tax on the sale of stocks, bonds, and other assets."

What Would Be Much Better Than Plain Old Sweeping the Homeless? Maybe just giving them hard cash to move themselves. It's not as crazy as it sounds. Indeed, Vancouver-based Foundations for Social Change conducted an experiment along these lines in 2018. It gave 7,500 Canadian dollars (around $5,600) to "50 homeless adults, compared to a control group of 65 homeless people who did not receive any money." And what happened a year later? World Economic Forum reports that...

..those who received the money saw their days spent homeless drop from 77% to 49% in the first month, compared to the non-cash group, which saw a rise from 64% to 78%. The cash recipients also moved out of homelessness faster over the year.
This little experiment showed how easy it is to solve the homeless crisis. But those in power will have none of it. They want us to deal with homelessness one way, the hard way. Why? The nature of our economy needs spectacles like the sweep of Cal Anderson. Our system does everything it can to make it easy for the public to hate the poor and hard for it to hate the rich.

Let the Spectacle of Poverty Punishment Begin:

In a Word: Mike Pence has pretty much been the president since his boss lost the election in early November. CNN: "US Vice President Mike Pence publicly receives Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine." As for Donald Trump?

Trump Orders Pentagon Not to Chill With the Next President: This man has just no way to give up on himself. Bloomberg reports:

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has ordered Pentagon officials to pause cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The move came after the Defense Department initially said it was cooperating with the transition that’s underway across the federal government with just over a month before Biden’s inauguration.

'Tis the Season: Of the porch pirates. One has even got it down to the getup of an Amazon Prime delivery person. The porch pirate also returned the face mask to a way of life it knew very well before the pandemic: that is, a life of crime.

A Tight Situation in West Seattle: Got an old couple that close to God. This is what happened. The couple (both are in their 70s) was trying to get somewhere fast. But a van that happened to be in front of them refused to do anything but take its own sweet time. So, the driver obnoxiously honked at the slow van. And this honking business, which should be banned in this city, pissed off the van's driver. When the devil of a red light made the vehicles wait side-by-side, the van's driver had in one hand the wrong answer to so many American problems. There was a report. And in a flash, there was God. Was now the time to taketh away what He giveth? "The couple was grazed by the bullet." The vacuum fluctuated as God popped back to where He always comes from: nothing. The van sped away. All involved lived to see another day.

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Today Will Be the First Day of Lots and Lots of Rain: It's also the day when pedestrians around the city never fail to wonder why Seattle doesn't have more trees of the splendid pine family. They are green all year around. And, unlike those naked (or denuded) deciduous trees, evergreens offer cover to walkers. Indeed, this is what they sing to pedestrians when it's just cats and dogs from that relentless river in the sky: "Come in, come out of the rain."

KOMO: "The first storm will roll in Friday, with a second, stronger storm due in later Saturday into Sunday. A third storm completes the rainy hat trick on Monday."

Sound Transit: Will suspend fare enforcement next year and replace enforcement officers with mimes trained to publicly humiliate freeloaders. And yes, what I just said about the mimes is not true, if you're wondering.

The Gods of Very Hard-Living Can Only Marvel at this Good Piece of News: The man with the second-biggest name in the iconic British rock band the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, today reached the 77th year of his life. Here is my favorite picture of the still-rocking septuagenarian: