Republicans propose “cheapskate plan” for dealing with COVID. Biden wants to spend $1.9 trillion; a group of 10 Republicans has proposed $600 billion. One of the big differences between the plans: There’s no mention of state or local relief in the Republican version. Democrats need support from 10 Republicans in order to avoid having the bill bogged down by a filibuster (or they could just nuke the filibuster and make everyone’s lives easier).
There's a coup underway in Myanmar and Trump supporters are taking notes. The military has taken over the government and detained democratically elected officials. Here in the US, some prominent right-wing figures have perked up with the thought that the same could happen here.
Over on Gab this prominent Trump supporter—247 k followers, RT'd by Trump back when that was a thing—is celebrating the Myanmar coup as a model. pic.twitter.com/Sk1oE8PkyO
— Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet) February 1, 2021
Getting a vaccine has not been easy. You may be shocked to hear this, but people are reporting that it’s difficult to obtain a vaccine, even if you’re in a high-priority category. The chief culprit is availability — there aren’t enough shots available, and it’s hard to predict how much more is on the way. It’s probably not helping that at least one local hospital prioritized vaccinations for their donors.
Anti-vax weirdos shut down a vaccination site in LA. It was only closed for an hour, but it was a harrowing hour: Creeps with anti-vax signs prowled around cars, shouted at people, and had to be escorted away by cops so the vaccinations could resume. They caused a minor delay, but nobody lost out on their slot… this time. Meanwhile, remember that pharmacist who destroyed several hundred doses of the vaccine a few weeks ago? Turns out he thinks COVID is a hoax and the sky was created by the government to stop people from seeing God. His ex-wife previously told a judge that he was stockpiling guns.
We’re at the mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium to get my mom the vaccine. The anti–vax protestors have approached the entrance to the site. The LAPD have now closed the gate. We have been sitting here for about half an hour. Nobody is moving. pic.twitter.com/GrJPA5wrqx
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 30, 2021
This is Black Lives Matter week in Seattle schools. Teachers have been provided with educational resources, including a “starter kit” to begin age-appropriate conversations; and the steering committee behind the week has called for emphasis on BLM issues to last all year long. The Seattle Education Association is also calling on the public school system to end all contracts with the Seattle Police Department.
Republicans are making it harder to vote. They’re redrawing districts and locking down voting booths. Texas and Florida are likely to be particularly contentious, with growing Democratic bases that Republicans will need to find creative ways to suppress.
Trump has new lawyers. Following the collapse of Trump’s legal team a few days ago, he’s gone and found himself a new pair of suckers to take his case. Say hello to David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. … one’s an associate of Jeffrey Epstein, the other tried to protect Bill Cosby from accusations of sexual assault. Couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate team. I don’t personally think the impeachment will be successful, but it’ll be even worse if we don’t try.
A key creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show has passed away. Alan Burns also worked on The Munsters and Rocky & Bullwinkle, and he created the Cap’n Crunch character. Along with James L. Brooks, Burns won five Emmy Awards for The Mary Tyler Moore Show — much better than his previous project, My Mother the Car. It was just last week that we lost Cloris Leachman; here's a video I did awhile back about the surprising way that The Mary Tyler Moore Show & Cloris' character Phyllis handled a gay character's coming out.
A new report paints a bleak picture of Amazon Game Studio. According to Bloomberg, the company is plagued by a “bro culture” that wrecks projects and promotes unqualified men over women. Insiders say that the guy running the show is a Bezos sycophant who expects every project to be a tentpole and then understaffs them — which maybe explains why in eight years they’ve barely gotten anything to market.
Apple’s getting ready to move into their new South Lake Union offices. Logos are popping up on signs and construction fences are coming down. The company is expected to hire around 2,000 people to work on various engineering projects, with a possible focus on iCloud. Kind of an awkward time to be christening a new office space, but we probably can’t expect everyone to work from home forever.
Improved streets are taking shape down by the waterfront. Check out the Washington Street/Alaskan Way intersection here — it’ll be a nice promenade and bike path when it’s done (and when the weather gets nice). There’s still way too much space for cars, but hey that’s a problem for future generations to deal with/be killed by.
Get rid of whatever Saturday Night Live is supposed to be and just have Bowen Yang do whatever he wants for an hour and a half every week.
Check on your New England friends. A big storm’s brewing on the East Coast — a foot or more of snow is predicted with strong winds. Might be a good idea to check with anyone you know over there and make sure they’re prepared. And if they’re snowed in, hey, maybe it’s a good time to start reading an epic fantasy novel.
Here is a miniature Bag End. It is lovely.