Mr. Eymans probably not laughing at the moment.
Mr. Eyman's probably not laughing at the moment. Lester Black
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'!)

Americans' opinions of the GOP are tanking, according to a recent poll: The GOP is apparently determined to make those ratings plummet even further. Today the Senate impeachment trial officially kicked off (yesterday they were just debating its constitutionality), with impeachment managers tasked with the impossible responsibility of breathing decency into the lifeless bags that are Trump-supporting Republicans. It started today at noon EST, and each side—the impeachment managers and Trump's lawyers—has up to 16 hours to present their arguments. The sides can't take longer than two days each, and each day's presentation can't exceed eight hours. That means we could be watching four days of this stuff, with Trump's meandering defense coming at the end of the week. Neither side is expected to take their full 16 hours.

The House impeachment managers' prosecution breaks down into three main parts: "The provocation, the attack, and the harm." Each part breaks down into additional parts. We started today with the provocation.

Impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett, who couldn't vote to impeach the president because she is a delegate from the Virgin Islands (U.S. territories have limited power), was among those who took to the podium today: She argued clearly that the violence was "deliberately encouraged" by Trump. Which should be obvious! But here we are.

Trump was initially pleased by the attacks: He literally said he loved them.

Getting back to Plaskett: Another moving moment came from her today when the impeachment managers released unseen security footage of assailants breaching the Capitol. Plaskett then juxtaposed the moment against 9/11, reflecting on those who sacrificed their lives to protect the Capitol in 2001 and how they compared to January's insurgents—and Trump, who was "borderline enthusiastic" about the Capitol's destruction.

Here's some more unseen footage presented by Plaskett: It shows Mike Pence evacuating the chamber and Officer Eugene Goodman leading the mob away.

In other coup news: President Biden announced sanctions on Myanmar's military leaders, who recently directed a coup and detained elected leaders. Biden said he would identify the "first round" of sanction targets this week and that he will stop Burmese generals from receiving U.S. funds, as well as impose export controls. These are the Biden administration's first sanctions. The BBC has a straightforward, simple explainer on what's happening in Myanmar here.

Sticking with the military for a sec: Biden and Harris made their first official Pentagon visit today. Biden, a military father, surrounded by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other leaders, acknowledged that over 40 percent of active-duty troops are people of color but that top-ranking military positions are still mostly populated by white people. (Austin is the first Black U.S. Defense Secretary.) "It’s long past time that the full diversity and full strength of our force is reflected at every level of this department," said Biden in a speech this afternoon.

$2.2 billion is coming our way, baby: This evening the Washington State Senate passed a bill that allocates $2.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding. To give you a sense of scale, landlord and tenant groups estimate that we need $1 billion just to cover the amount of rental assistance needed to get through the pandemic, and this bill does not allocate $1 billion for that purpose. Everyone knows the federal (and state) government needs to do more, but with Republicans gumming up the works in Congress, this is what we can do for now.

Here’s what’s in the bill: There will be more reporting on this tomorrow, but this gives you an idea of where a lot of the money is going.

• $714 million for assistance to K-12 schools, including $46 million for non-public school assistance
• $618 million for public health, including $438 million for testing and contract tracing
• $100 million for epidimeology and laboratory grants, and $68 million for vaccines
• $365 million for a variety of housing-related items, including rental assistance
• $240 million for business assistance grants
• $91 million for other income assistance programs, including $65 million for immigration services, $12 million for disaster cash assistance, $9 million for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and $5 million for food assistance;
• $50 million for a variety of childcare-related items;
• $26 million for food banks and other food related programs


Tim Eyman can't get rich off of initiatives anymore: The years-long case against "Washington state’s most prolific conservative activist and political provocateur"—a euphemism for "demon"—reached a conclusion today. Thurston County Superior Court decided Eyman committed "numerous and particularly egregious" violations of campaign finance law, reports the Seattle Times, and that Eyman can no longer control finances for political committees. The court issued Eyman a fine of over $2.6 million. AG Bob Ferguson wanted $7.8 million but noted that the $2.6 million fine is still the largest in state history for individual campaign finance violations. A real knockout job, Tim. "This will not prevent Eyman from conceiving, drafting, and promoting initiatives," said Ferguson. "It will, however, stop his practice of directing financial kickbacks into his personal bank account."

Bruce Springsteen got a DWI: He was arrested back in November for driving under the influence, but the news came out today, and it was trending. (UPDATE: Wait a minute... "New Jersey rock icon Bruce Springsteen’s blood-alcohol content was 0.02 - just a quarter of New Jersey’s legal limit - when he was arrested on Sandy Hook in November and charged with driving while intoxicated, a source familiar with the case told the Asbury Park Press.")

In REAL celebrity news, here's your latest #GorillaGlueGirl update: Tessica Brown has made it to LA, where she will meet with a surgeon to remove the gorilla-glue helmet she accidentally created. For a refresher:

Washington’s Department of Health to release more detailed vaccination data: At some point today the state’s COVID-19 dashboard will include vaccine data broken down by age as well as race and ethnicity. As the state nears its millionth-dose milestone (of two-dose vaccines), the data reveals “significant” equity issues, health officials said in an afternoon press conference. WA Health secretary Umair Shah said Hispanics account for only 4.7% of people with one jab and 5.9% of people with two jabs, but they make up 13.2% of the state’s population. Similar inequities exist for Black people and Native Americans. We'd list them, but the numbers still aren’t up as of press time.

“We’re going to need to continue our work in this area," Shah said health officials see this inequitable trend across the country, and he offered a few explanations for the “complex” problem. He cited “language issues,” “maybe issues around immigration,” “maybe issues with trust and mistrust with the government or public sector,” and “hesitation with the vaccines themselves.” He noted some bullshit circulating on social media encouraging people to “wait” to take the vaccine. He also cited a lack of diversity among people in the high-risk group the state vaccinated first, namely health care workers. He also said that about “11% of the vaccine data” doesn’t indicate race and ethnicity, so the numbers are probably off a little. Shah vowed to “continue our work” with BIPOC communities via the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Collaborative. The department will also release a plan for “equitable vaccine access with strategies to reduce the inequities” in the coming weeks.

We've got more COVID-19 updates, but let's give your eyes a break and think about movies for a second.

The 2021 Oscars will go on—with multiple live locations: Director Steven Soderbergh is among the producers planning to broadcast the show live from the Dolby Theatre and other, "multiple locations." The ceremony is pushed back to April 25 to allow films more time to screen. One of those potentially nominated films is likely Minari, which finally premieres this weekend in Seattle.

Today Public Health Seattle and King County again acknowledged the iniquities of vaccine distribution at the county-level, noting that “preliminary data indicates that vaccine uptake is higher among white residents in King County compared to residents of other races and ethnicities in King County.”

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In response, the department published their “principles for equitable vaccine delivery, which direct their “partners” (public and private entities responsible for actually putting shots in arms) to “focus on highest risk and most impacted,” coordinate with leaders in BIPOC communities, make registration easy for people, offer vaccinations outside of regular business hours, send out mobile teams to reach hard-to-reach people and locate vaccination sites near public transit, and offer all necessary materials in the 20 most commonly spoken languages in King County.

Also, people are confused about when to get the second dose of the vaccines: If you’re those people, then you should know that you’re supposed to get the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine 3 weeks or 21 days after the first dose, and you’re supposed to get the second dose of the Moderna vaccine 1 month or 28 days after the first dose. Make sure to keep your little vaccine slip (but don’t share it on social), and try to get the second dose in the same place where you got the first dose.

We recommend mummy wrap to prevent coronavirus infections: But the CDC recommends, again, that you wear two masks—a disposable surgical mask covered by a cloth mask. N95 masks are still the "gold standard." If you don't have access to that, go the double-mask route.