Here's your daily evening round-up of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin'!)
Amazon has partnered with Virginia Mason to run a pop-up vaccination site at the Amazon Meeting Center in South Lake Union from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday: Bless its heart.
President Biden (aaaaah), after sadly noting that the nation's COVID death toll will probably top 500,000 next month, announced his “full-scale wartime effort” plan to get the country's pandemic under control: The plan includes invoking the Defense Production Act, as well as asking for more workplace protections, requirements for masks on planes, trains, and buses, and quarantines for international travelers coming into the United States. It's a plan! LIKE, AN ACTUAL PLAN!!
Equity is at the core of our COVID-19 response. That's why today, I signed an executive order to establish the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, protect those most at risk, and address racial and other disparities.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021
Biden's been busy signing executive orders: We'll have our own overview of the first two days of executive orders up tomorrow morning on the blawg.
FAUCI UNLEASHED: Now that he's finally out from underneath the anti-science thumb of Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci is a new man, and casting some shade on his former corrupt boss. Is that a new hairstyle? It's fresh.
Let's get spanking: The tix to HUMP 2021! are on sale and we've got a hot new trailer to boot. We're hosting a few viewing parties this go-around—including a nude one if you're into that kind of thing.
The Bellevue School District heads to court to force staff back into buildings: The district took educators and their union to the King County Superior Court today, arguing that many teachers' refusal to return to in-person teaching is an illegal strike. The district says it will use non-union staff to fill its buildings. Teachers voted Tuesday night not to return more staff to buildings until they can get vaccinated. KUOW's Ann Dornfield has more on the labor fight here. Seattle Times' Dahlia Bazzaz also has more on the court hearing here. UPDATE: The court has denied the district's request for an order to make teachers return to in-person teaching. Labor wins—for today. When do the scabs show up?
We love a wife guy: Move over John Cassavetes, there's a new sheriff in wife-guy town!
I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American President or Vice President. But I'll always remember generations of women have served in this role before me—often without much accolade or acknowledgment. It’s their legacy of progress I will build on as Second Gentleman.
— Douglas Emhoff (@SecondGentleman) January 21, 2021
McConnell proposes giving Trump two weeks to prepare his impeachment defense: Sources close to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say he will ask Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to give Trump until early-February to prepare his case, reports Politico. Nancy Pelosi has not sent the article of impeachment to the Senate but said early Thursday that she would submit it "soon." If she presents the article tomorrow, Politico suggests the move would potentially "tee up" a trial to start within a day. Trump's already got a lawyer. It's not Rudy Giuliani, sadly.
I'm fully ready to pretend Trump never existed, but I think that's irresponsible, so I guess we have to ask: What's Trump up to? Besides, presumably, preparing for an impeachment trial and all that other legal trouble, Trump's kicking off a retirement in Florida. He's not alone. Here's the Times:
Several of Mr. Trump’s children and associates are also decamping to South Florida. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have reportedly acquired a property on the exclusive island of Indian Creek, north of Miami, and rented an apartment in nearby Surfside. Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, have been spotted house-hunting in Jupiter, where The Palm Beach Post reported that some neighbors were already objecting to the couple’s possible presence.
The town has also been abuzz about which (presumably) private school will enroll Barron Trump, and whether it will be near Mar-a-Lago or further south in Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale, a move that would require the 14-year-old to while away many hours in South Florida’s notoriously dense traffic.
It's like Where's Waldo, but with Lindsey Graham: This new interactive from the New York Times breaks down who was at Biden's socially distant inauguration. Let's see... we've got Jennifer Lopez, Patty Murray, Dan Quayle...
Pete Booty Judge got a friendly reception in Congress today during his confirmation hearing for secretary of transportation: NPR described it as "downright warm." People are "quite certain" he'll get confirmed.
There's a new Ballard pool: MyBallard takes a dip with a lil' peek.
Well, this is chilling: The brother of Michael Flynn—QAnon champion and corrupt Trump cohort—was on the call when the Army refused to send help to the Capitol Police when they and lawmakers were under siege from domestic terrorists on January 6... even though officials sternly and repeatedly denied he was on the call! You know... it's almost like they're covering something up!
Parler is fucked: The wild social app loved by right-wingers, which I only recently learned how to spell correctly, will not live in Amazon's cloud any time soon. Today, a judge sided with Amazon and ruled that "the Court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring [Amazon Web Services] to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in." The outlook is grim for the Parler. Our boy Eli Sanders published a good post on his Substack detailing how all of this relates to Section 230. In retrospect, Parler CEO John Matze probably shouldn't have given this disastrous interview to Kara Swisher.
Speaking of QAnon chuds, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Greene (and believer in pedophile lizard people) said she's filed articles of impeachment against President Biden, only one day after being sworn into office. HAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAA! On behalf of all Lizard People, her scheme shall fail!
In a newly uncovered 2018 FB post, Marjorie Taylor Greene endorsed the conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside job and that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged. She also (again) endorsed the conspiracy theory that the Parkland shooting was staged. https://t.co/cxgyPELg7w
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) January 21, 2021
While he may be pursuing an arms deal with the Russians, Biden hasn't forgotten about their election meddling, Solarwind hacking, and alleged bounties on US troops, and is launching an investigation into their bullshit. In a related story, Vladimir Putin is in the market for a new puppet and is scouring LinkedIn.
We're doing Sundance this year: In case you missed it, Sundance Film Fest is going virtual this year, and it's coming to Seattle by way of Northwest Film Forum. The fest kicks off next week, and we'll have coverage of it every day on this here blog, Slog. Here are a few of the films we're looking forward to, but we'll highlight some others at the start of next week. Let Boots Riley explain to you how this whole thing is going down. I love Mr. Boots: