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'!)
(Digital!) Sundance 2021 kicked off tonight and runs through next Wednesday (Feb. 3): It's a big and unique year for the festival because its hybrid presentation model makes it a truly global event for the first time. In Seattle, the fest is partnering with Northwest Film Forum to put on multiple panels and workshops. While many tickets are hard to come by—each film still has limited seating, despite being online—all of the talks and panels are available for $0. We'll have reviews of the films up throughout the rest of the week. Tonight we're watching CODA, One for the Road, Summer of Soul, and Censor.
Today President Biden signed an executive order and memorandum related to Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and "protecting women's health": The executive order—Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act—helped establish a new special enrollment period for health care coverage. The memorandum—Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad—reverses restrictions on abortion access domestically and abroad imposed by the Trump administration.
Today, the Department announced a Special Enrollment Period for individuals and families to enroll in health coverage through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace from February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021, due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. https://t.co/TuryOkKJcC pic.twitter.com/6MMT6WxTo0
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) January 28, 2021
Here's part of Biden's opening remarks on the executive order and memorandum:
Today, I’m about to sign two executive orders that are — basically, the best way to describe them, to undo the damage Trump has done. There’s nothing new that we’re doing here, other than restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring the Medicaid to the way it was before Trump became President, which by fiat he changed — made more inaccessible, more expensive, and more difficult for people to qualify for either of those two items: the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid.
The first one I’m going to be signing here is to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. And of all times that we need to reinstate access to, affordability of, and the extent of access to Medicaid is now, in the middle of this COVID crisis. And the second order I’m singing relates to protecting women’s health at home and abroad, and it reinstates the changes that were made to Title 10 and other things, making it harder for women to have access to affordable healthcare as it relates to their reproductive rights.
Now don't panic or anything, but... Scientists are getting pretty worried that our game of catch-up with vaccine distribution and our dwindling stockpile is putting the US in serious danger of being overwhelmed by the oncoming COVID variants—some of which work fine against the new viruses, while others (like the South Africa variant that's arrived in South Carolina) not so much.
Novavax vaccine protects against coronavirus in variant hot spots but proved less effective against strain in South Africa https://t.co/5g2JMbLTUn
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 28, 2021
"Wear your mask is becoming wear your masks," writes WaPo: I regret to inform you that you really should wear two masks. Some European countries are now mandating medical-grade masks in public. These new COVID variants are the real deal, but that said: "You’ve always needed better masks. We needed better masks from the start."
My doc bro @jeffreyswisher advised this to me weeks ago: Time to double or upgrade masks as coronavirus variants emerge, experts say https://t.co/wRXoQYoNiw
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) January 28, 2021
But over here in Washington state, Inslee is loosening regulations so more restaurants can open for indoor dining: I'm too frustrated by this news to pass it on, so I'll let Rich do it over here.
On the heels of Biden's new climate change executive orders, there's this shocking (at least to me) headline: "GM to stop making gas-powered passenger cars and SUVs by 2035." Will global warming kill me by then? Maybe, but check back in!
Yesterday it was Cloris, now Cicely? Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Cicely Tyson died this afternoon. She was 96.
Since the Domestic Terrorist Cheerleading Squad™ (AKA Republican senators) are refusing to consider convicting the former president for inciting the Capitol riot, certain Senate members are considering other strategies, such as censuring Trump and making sure he can't run again. Other options might include making him spend ten years as a jizz-mopper at Mr. Peeps, or burying him beneath a pile of Goya beans.
The lawyer for an Arizona man who took part in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol while sporting face paint and a furry hat with horns is offering to have his client, Jacob Chansley, testify at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. https://t.co/eMde3dBPUt
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) January 28, 2021
In a related story... THE DOMESTIC TERRORIST IS IN THE HOUSE! Creepy Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (who's also a crackpot QAnon believer who believes wildfires are caused by "lasers from space") is facing increasing pressure from all quarters (especially Nancy Pelosi) over past social media posts in which she expressed enthusiasm for executing Democrats, berated a Parkland school shooting survivor, and suggested hanging Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Meanwhile, how did House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy respond? By assigning her a spot on the congressional education committee, of course!
This is cursed:
NEW: Trump met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and the former president reportedly wants to help the GOP win back a House majority: http://ow.ly/WKfA50Dldlg
Posted by Newsmax on Thursday, January 28, 2021
Crybaby rich people are pitching a fit after Redditors and others artificially inflated stocks of struggling companies (like GameStop and AMC), thereby financially wiping out a few hedge fund assholes: But cheer up, rich folk! At least we didn't eat you like we've been promising! (Though the day is still young, and we're feeling peckish.)
Here is a FANTASTIC explanation of what's going on with Reddit, Gamestock, the stock market, and the hedge funders who are losing their shirts thanks to a clever public plan to #EatTheRich. #HoldTheLine
(Tell me in the comments if you know the author, so I can credit.) pic.twitter.com/ilXidgA6Zp
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 28, 2021
Lovely to have all these new followers .. can we just check that you know that you’re following The World Wide Robin Hood Society in Nottingham and not the Robin Hood App .. if so .. a big welcome from Sherwood 🙌
— Robin Hood (@robinhood) January 28, 2021
After Republican Senator (and probable Zodiac Killer) Ted Cruz tweeted he agreed with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about investigating the current Wall Street scandal, she had this to say in response: "I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there's common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out." AOC then added, "Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren't trying to get me killed. In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign." No word yet on who's sweeping up the late Ted Cruz' ashes.
Troubling headline of the day: "Subway’s tuna is not tuna, but a ‘mixture of various concoctions,’ a lawsuit alleges." Follow-up question: Why is anyone eating Subway tuna?
Where are the kids at? Tell the kids to sign up!
Children's Film Festival Seattle is seeking a diverse youth jury pool (ages 8-18) representative of the inclusive, multicultural priorities of CFFS, and its mission to inspire empathy, understanding, and a nuanced view of the world. APPLY HERE: https://t.co/sMc0kzvJcC pic.twitter.com/eCanEf06kE
— Northwest Film Forum (@nwfilmforum) January 29, 2021