Alright Georgia, it's time to vote out the creeps: Today Georgia will hold a runoff election that will (begin to) decide the partisan balance of the Senate. If Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff beat David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, then it's Joe Manchin's and Susan Collins's senate. If they lose, then Mitch McConnell retains his iron grip over Congress. About 3.1 million Georgians have already voted, and those votes probably lean blue. A big turnout today might suggest a Republican surge. Polls opened at 7 a.m. and they close at 7 p.m. EST. So far Georgia polling places are reporting "few problems."
The President's insane 90-minute speech in Georgia last night featured "conspiracy theories, rumors, unproven assertions and personal attacks on Democrats, the news media and Georgia’s Republican officials," according to a report from the New York Times. The speech was supposed to rally supporters to vote for Perdue and Loeffler, but of course the President could think only of himself and his delusions.
Let's turn now to the President's twitter feed: Here we find the leader of the so-called free world pressuring his Vice President to overturn the results of the election when Congress certifies the votes tomorrow, which would be a once-in-a-lifetime political scandal if reporters ~*uncovered a tape*~ of Trump pressuring Pence, but which will barely register as a blip on Twitter's trending bar because he just does the crimes in public.
The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021
*Narrator voice*: He doesn't.
Years with the most federal executions since 1927:
• 2020: 10
• 1948: 4
• 1938: 4
• 1936: 3
• 2001: 2
• 1953: 2
• 2003: 1
• 1963: 1
• 1957: 1
• 1956: 1
• 1954: 1
• 1950: 1
• 1945: 1
• 1943: 1
• 1942: 1
• 1939: 1
• 1930: 1
• 1927: 1https://t.co/vIwOB0P7Y0
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) January 5, 2021
LA is running out of oxygen: I know the soft coup keeps taking weird and mildly intriguing but mostly boring turns, but we're experiencing a massive post-holiday COVID surge, and it's worth noting that Los Angeles County is directing its paramedics to stop driving "patients with little chance of survival" to the hospital in order to conserve oxygen. The Los Angeles Times reports that "emergency rooms are already so slammed that some patients are having to wait inside ambulances for as long as eight hours for a bed to open."
NEW: The LA County EMS has directed ambulance crews not to transport patients with little chance of survival to hospitals, and to conserve the use of oxygen. Per @alexandrameeks pic.twitter.com/9Hnlnc7JaP
— Pervaiz Shallwani (@Pervaizistan) January 5, 2021
England's locking down until mid-February: The BBC reports that schools are closed and people must stay in their homes unless they're taking care of "essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work that cannot be done at home." The reason is simple: the new strain is spreading faster than the hospitals can handle.
Proud Boy leader charged with misdemeanor property destruction, felonies for carrying high-capacity rounds: The Washington Post reports that cops arrested Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio for burning a BLM banner he ripped off a Black church. They also found illegal "high-capacity ammunition feeding devices" on him. "Authorities had described the burning of the banner as a potential hate crime," according to the post.
Trump's Bureau of Land Management to allow the cows of convicted arsonists to graze on public land: The Associated Press reports that the cattle of the Hammonds, a ranching family whose return to prison prompted several militia dorks to seize the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days in 2016, will be permitted to snack on 26,000 acres of premium Eastern Oregon high desert. Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed off on the deal last year, but it looks like it's actually going to happen this time. Imagine Joe Biden allowing ENDD to open up a food kitchen in the East Precinct.
Psychotic CEO of the Day (PCEOOTD?): John Mackey, the guy who Jeff Bezos pays to run Whole Foods, blamed sick people for their illnesses on the Freakonomics podcast this past November, according to CNBC. Mackey said we wouldn't need health care if people would only change the way they ate and lived, before going off about how an app on his Apple Watch convinced him to stop drinking wine before bed. Rather than replace a vampiric and brutal industry with a publicly financed and publicly administered health care system for all, Mackey would prefer to toss out a couple of alternative health care models he knows very little about and then bemoan the divisiveness the American health care debate supposedly engenders. This is the worst sort of sophistry.
Google workers launch the Alphabet Workers Union: Organizers plan to create a "non-contract" union in order to include as many different kinds of workers as possible. A good and brave step for workers at a company that has "ramped up its anti-union strategy" in the last year or so.
For Google's workers, there are some big advantages to forming a non-contract union. A big one: the NLRB allows only employees to be in traditional unions. The @AlphabetWorkers Union can also include independent contractors, temps & subcontracted workers. https://t.co/lmgdcHCxpN
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) January 5, 2021
Giving homeless people homes... "reduces crime, increases employment, and improves health, while not increasing reliance on social benefits," and could offset "up to 80 percent of housing costs...in the first 18 months alone," according to a research paper from a PhD candidate in Economics at UCLA named Elior Cohen. Those with degrees in applied microeconomics can feel free to go off in the comments.
Can you guess what happens when you provide homeless people with housing?
You reduce crime, increase employment, improve health, and do not increasing reliance on social benefits.
80% of costs are offset by the benefits in the first 18mos.https://t.co/lAwzaGFMwI pic.twitter.com/ePblSJh2Bb
— John B. Holbein (@JohnHolbein1) January 4, 2021
It's been wet out there: The first four days in January have only been wetter twice in Seattle's recorded history, according to the Seattle Times.
Whidbey Island is dealing with some landslides: The landslides are really fucking up peoples' yards, reports KIRO.
Amber Alert canceled for Yakima girl: Last night around 10:00 p.m. police said she had been located and was safe, reports King 5.
Keep your head on a swivel for cougars in Discovery Park: According to My Ballard, Friends of Discovery Park President Philip Vogelzang said someone saw a cougar aka mountain lion aka puma in the park as early as last week. Vogelzang told the outlet he presumed the wild cat has since "moved out of the area."