Here's your daily evening roundup of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin'!)
Today, after traitorous Republicans in Congress refused to agree to ask Veep Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, charging him with “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” Sounds about right—but here's what's tricky: The impeachment, if passed, likely won't get to the Senate until after Trump leaves office, but he will have a better chance of getting convicted under a Democratic-controlled Senate... that will be very busy trying to push through Biden's agenda, which includes COVID relief. Buckle up for a busy late winter!
Mike Pence and Donald Trump finally spoke to each other: After half a week of silence. "A senior administration official told CNN they met in the Oval Office, had what was described as a good conversation and discussed the week ahead while 'reflecting on the last four years of the administration's work and accomplishments.'" A nice little chill chat? Sure. This is Donald Trump's final full week in office.
I'll drink to that. Actually, I won't because I'm doing a Dry January but you get the idea.
The FBI warns of nationwide "armed protests" at Capitols all over the country: They released a bulletin this morning, saying, "Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January." Here's what Washington state's Capitol looked like in Olympia today:
Washington House Democrats introduced a bill that would ban the use of chokeholds and lateral neck restraints in Washington state policing: Rep. Jesse Johnson (D-Federal Way), one of the legislators sponsoring the bill, told Crosscut's Melissa Santos that 2020 served as a reminder that lawmakers "really need to look at equity, and racial equity specifically." In addition to chokeholds and neck restraints, the current bill includes bans on using an “unleashed” dog to arrest someone, tear gas (but not OC gas), buying “military equipment,” covering badge numbers, and some other changes.
Here are some more Parler updates, in addition to the drama Matt detailed earlier today:
To recap, Parler:
- Sued Amazon, but filed a day late
- Never served Amazon with the suit
- Left its API exposed to be fully scraped
- Collected users’ Social Security Numbers, geolocation, phone manufacturer and carrier etc
w/ @nicoleperlroth https://t.co/p8OLmI5YsB
— Karen Weise (@KYWeise) January 11, 2021
The company is preparing to transfer to Sammamish-based Epik, which hosts Gab.
An Idaho internet company is blocking Twitter and Facebook, which could violate a Washington law: The company wrongly claims the platforms are censoring free speech. "It has come to our attention that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in censorship of our customers and information," read an email to Your T1 WIFI's customers, which spread across state lines between Washington and Idaho. That's a problem for the company. "Your T1 WIFI's actions...could violate Washington state's Net Neutrality law," notes KREM2, which broke the news. Idaho is gonna Idaho.
The Trump administration put Cuba back on the "sponsor of terrorism" blacklist: Trump's admin, itself a sponsor of terrorism, placed new sanctions on Cuba days before Biden will take over the White House. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had this to say:
Cuba’s continued support for terrorism in the Western Hemisphere must be stopped. Today the United States is returning Cuba to the State Sponsors of Terrorism list to hold the Castro regime accountable for its malign behavior.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 11, 2021
Removing Cuba from the blacklist was one of Obama's main foreign policy achievements. Trump has targeted that achievement since taking office.
U.S. House Democrat tested positive for coronavirus after sheltering in place during the Capitol Insurrection: Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey put the blame on her fellow lawmakers. They did not wear masks: "She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots. As reported by multiple news outlets, a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks." Rep. Coleman is 75 and a cancer survivor, notes the Washington Post. It's unclear how many lawmakers were affected by this outbreak.
Acting homeland security secretary Chad "Chode" Wolf—the same douche-sicle who sent Federal agents to attack and kidnap Portland protesters—is
skittering away stepping down from his post: Probably because he doesn't want to be involved in any attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment on the prez. This has been today's "PROFILE IN COURAGE."
And the fallout from last week's attempted coup on the nation's Capitol building continues! On Sunday, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund told the Washington Post that he had requested support from the D.C. National Guard SIX TIMES before and during Wednesday's riot, and that each request was denied—because the higher-ups allegedly thought it would "look bad." Maybe they don't realize that headlines, like the following, also make them "look bad": "Video shows mob dragging a police officer down stairs. One rioter beat the officer with an American flag pole."
Watch this video analysis of how Capitol attackers dragged police officers into the crowd, beating one with a stick that carried an American flag while the crowd chanted "U-S-A!"
(Contrary to social media, the officer who died was not in this group)https://t.co/RwY4Mcs8gI
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) January 11, 2021
Two women have accused Seattle rapper Raz Simone of abuse and coercion: The news comes from KUOW. You should read the story, but here's a snippet:
Two women stepped forward to tell their stories, using their full names.
Amanda Branch and Angelica Campbell told KUOW that Simone abused them. Branch said he coerced her into stripping out of state, and turning over her money; Campbell said he pushed her into prostitution.
Simone denied these claims in a three-hour interview with KUOW. He called this a conspiracy to oppress and cancel a Black man.
“[I] do not do that,” he said adamantly. “I'm very against that.”
Campbell’s account is supported by a protection order petition; Branch’s is supported by her mother’s account, hospital records, and a statement from a roommate who said she witnessed the abuse.
Many national media outlets erroneously suggested Simone was the "de facto leader" of CHOP during coverage last summer.
I don't think this will make a difference, but: Hundreds of historians have called for Trump's removal.
Some food news: The chocolate bulldog mousse at Timeless Tea is delicious, yet I feel so bad eating it.