Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi were vaccinated today: The state lowered the vaccine threshold to 65 on Monday, allowing Jay to get his first shot. The vaccine rollout continues to be messy, but this is nice:
AMAZING NEWS! We finished giving the first round of #CovidVaccine to all residents in nursing homes across WA today! Still working on the rest of long-term care, but this is a major milestone. Shout-out to the many pharmacies helping us protect the most vulnerable Washingtonians.— WA Dept. of Health (@WADeptHealth) January 22, 2021
Parler looks to Russia: Of course they do. Parler, the embattled right-wing-beloved tech platform with a kink for conspiracy theories, started working with DDoS-Guard, a Russian company, a few days ago. The publicly available information shows Parler's data going through a DDoS-Guard server in Belize, a tactic that cybersecurity experts think is a way to protect Parler's web host's true identity and location. "Most people would be afraid of being fronted by Russians, but Parler actually signed up for it," a security engineer told Bloomberg. "It’s a little crazy."
Biden laid the groundwork so the minimum wage for federal workers can raise to $15 an hour: Glad that the feds have finally caught up to Seattle (almost). The requirement for federal contractors to raise their wages won't happen immediately (within the first 100 days, says the White House), but the order also restores collective bargaining and other worker protections revoked by Trump. This is your friendly reminder that $15 an hour still doesn't cut it.
.@JanetYellen on $15 min wage, in written responses to senators' questions:
"I believe the workers who have risked their health to provide necessary services to American households should be paid a wage that allows them to afford basic necessities like food and rent."
— Ylan Q. Mui (@ylanmui) January 22, 2021
Bitch better have my (stimulus) money: Nearly eight million Americans have still not received either their $1200 or $600 stimulus checks from last year. A new executive order from Biden asks the Treasury Department to hurry the hell up, calling on them to examine their delivery structure to make sure everyone gets their money on time. It also expands food stamps, increasing the amount of money families get for food each month.
Catch up on all the executive orders Biden signed this week: Right here. Biden's expected to sign about this many orders next week, too.
Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda proposes an ordinance that would give grocery workers in Seattle an extra $4 in hazard pay: The ordinance wouldn't apply to convenience stores or food marts, just to grocery businesses that employ 500 or more employees worldwide. If it passes, the ordinance would stay in effect until grocery workers are properly vaccinated.
The Council is expected to pass the ordinance on Monday.
Vote:— ufcw 21 (@UFCW21) January 23, 2021
Councilmember Herbold - YES
Councilmember Gonzalez - YES
Councilmember Lewis - YES
Councilmember Strauss - YES
Councilmember Mosqueda - YES
5 in favor, none opposed! The bill establishing hazard pay for Seattle grocery workers will go to the full city council. #HazardPayNOW
Speaking of big ideas, Biden's new immigration plan includes providing a lot more protections for children crossing the border, along with letting them apply for refugee or asylum status, and more humane treatment of migrants. But SURPRISE! Racist Republicans hate that idea, and it may be tough to get (or rather, find) 10 non-racist GOP Senators to hop on board with the plan.
Tyler Miller, the guy who runs the Facebook group "Liberty, At All Hazards," sues Gov. Inslee and his Department of Enterprise Services for the fences around the state's Capitol: Here's a section of the press release, lol:
The lawsuit seeks the removal of the chain-linked fence currently preventing the general public from approaching the Legislative Building at the Capitol Campus, as well as ordering that public access to the viewing galleries of both legislative chambers be restored. The lawsuit further asks for injunctive relief against any future actions that would result in the public again being cut off from accessing the building.
The lawsuit claims that the state's virtual sessions are "not adequate" and that physical access to the Capitol building must be granted. He notes in the lawsuit that virtual access to the legislative chambers does not allow "nuanced 'behind the scenes' action and observation." As Rich noted in Slog AM this AM: "This weekend the ~750 members of the Washington National Guard called up to stand outside in the rain and protect the legislative buildings from the rage of heavily armed insurrectionists will start heading home, though large numbers of Washington State Patrol officers will continue roaming around the campus in their deeply strange and unsettling hats."
"The temporary chain link fencing is a regrettably necessary and admittedly unattractive security measure being used for...Posted by KOMO News on Friday, January 22, 2021
This is quite the leading sentence: "Microsoft has been granted a patent that would allow the company to make a chatbot using the personal information of deceased people."
The Capitol domestic terrorist known as QAnon Shaman (the asshole wearing the horns and the furry man-kini) is now claiming he was "duped" by Trump: This caused him to "make decisions he should not have made." I assume he's not talking about his outfit.
Pot comes to Arizona: Recreational cannabis sales are open in the Grand Canyon State just a few weeks after voters approved legalization. This is likely only the beginning of cannabis legalization this year—states need that $$$.
Let's stay on the pot beat for a second: In London, read the mysterious tale of an illegal "Cannabis Factory" in the city's deserted financial district. And in California, a new deal offers cannabis companies additional and better options for banking. More of this, please.
We're back at it: Wooo-wooo, here comes the IMPEACHMENT TRAIN. ICYMI: Nancy Pelosi says the articles of impeachment against our wildly corrupt former president will be delivered to the Senate on MONDAY, but don't pop the champagne just yet—the actual trial will be delayed until February 8 to allow Trump time to mount his indefensible defense. However, sneaky Dems are already talking about the possibility of invoking the 14th Amendment to make sure Trump never holds public office again. Also, there's this guy:
Donald Trump may not be the only one facing impeachment. A petition has been filed against Trump supporting Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron. https://t.co/U3cAwCG7Ul— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) January 23, 2021
Denmark has studied the new variant virus that has overtaken the UK, and discovered it is not responding to the normal ways of slowing a pandemic (such as a lockdown): Cases are increasing 70 percent per week. Meanwhile the US, who has not been studying it as hard, has no fucking idea how fast it's spreading. Have a fun weekend!