The root cause of the slow vaccine rollout rests with the pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer and Moderna have so far vastly underdelivered on their vaccine manufacturing contract with the U.S. government, but in the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee today the companies "are expressing confidence in their latest promises after continuing to invest in manufacturing and steadily advancing production," the Washington Post reports. They say they'll start pumping out 28 million doses of the vaccine per week for the next five weeks, which is "far greater than their performance so far." We'll see. Or we won't.
Getting vaccine delivery back on track after winter storms: Some Washington hospitals will get twice as much vaccine this week, reports the Seattle Times. Delays last week closed the four state-operated mass vaccination sites.
U.S. Capitol Police tell Congress they didn't know the mob was coming: This morning current and former leaders of the Capitol Police are testifying before two Senate committees about security on the day an outsized number of Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and radicalized Facebook users stormed the Congressional building to disrupt the vote certification and maybe loot a lectern or two. The New York Times reports that the former House sergeant-at-arms plans to argue that neither the very expensive police force nor any of the other security agencies anticipated "a coordinated assault on the Capitol," nor did they imagine such an attack possible. Watch live:
You can share links to Australian news stories again: Facebook and Australian lawmakers came to an agreement around an arbitration clause in a new law that requires tech giants who sucked up the digital ad market (Google and Facebook) to pay publishers for the news people access on their websites, reports Axios. Traffic to news sites tanked after Facebook banned links to news sites from down under, revealing just how many people eat their news out of a toilet that's slowly convincing them to storm the U.S. Capitol.
Another sacrifice to the gender binary: A young man from Liberty, New York, home of Munson Diner, literally blew himself up while assembling some sort of explosive device for the sole purpose of putting a little pizazz in a gender reveal party, according to the BBC. The dead man's older brother blamed the explosion on "the freakiest of freak accidents," but didn't say much more.
Alleged oligarch's pawn arrests opposition leader in the country Georgia, sparking protests: Police deployed chemical weapons against protesters who filled the streets outside parliament in Tbilisi on Tuesday after the new prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, approved the arrest of the opposing party's leader, Nika Meli, according to Al Jazeera. Garibashvili is "a loyal lieutenant of the powerful oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili who is widely seen as the man in charge in Georgia, despite having no official political role." Some Western diplomats are calling for an ease of tensions.
Riot police stormed the Tbilisi headquarters of Georgia's main opposition party and arrested its leader, Nika Melia, on Tuesday.
The arrest triggered large protests https://t.co/OeJN8IpSva pic.twitter.com/X428diSCxL
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) February 23, 2021
I know it's not sexy, but: You refuse to read about insurance companies using credit scores to set insurance premiums and Washington Democrats caving to insurance lobbyists at your peril.
MC Hammer is correct:
You bore us. If science is a “commitment to truth” shall we site all the historical non-truths perpetuated by scientists ? Of course not. It’s not science vs Philosophy ... It’s Science + Philosophy. Elevate your Thinking and Consciousness. When you measure include the measurer. https://t.co/hsZzHNwJ0M
— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) February 22, 2021
Bruce Harrell is thinking about running for mayor: A news anchor for the local Fox affiliate said he's "strongly leaning toward a run." A reporter for a nonprofit newsroom said he "seems pretty likely to run." If you think he's also thinking of running, please say so in the comments of this muckraking misfit blog.
One thing we know about Bruce Harrell: As a mayor, he would not want to "swivel around in a chair," a point he made emphatically a few days before deciding not to serve as mayor until Jenny Durkan's election. He did serve as interim-interim mayor for a few days, though. With Nathalie on vacation, I guess it falls to me to follow up on the outcome of the four executive orders he signed during his brief mayorship.
A couple more things we know about Harrell: He was first elected as a city council member in 2008. He took a distant 4th place in the primary for his 2013 mayoral run but beat current Seattle Councilmember Tammy Morales during the district reelects in 2015 and was ultimately elected City Council President in 2016. He was also the last Black person on the council.
Yet another thing we know about Harrell: In July of 2017, only months before he expressed his disdain for chair swiveling, he also said the following in reply to a question from a reporter about whether former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray should get to keep his job after several people had accused him of rape: "I would ask that I don’t want to be judged for anything 33 years ago or perhaps it’s something that someone may take exception to. And I would challenge each of you to think about where you were 33 years ago. The question is are you doing your job today right now?" He later attempted to explain his comments by bringing up his successful effort to remove structural barriers for people with criminal records who struggle to find jobs.
Seattle Council President Lorena Gonzalez, who is definitely running for Mayor, was the first council member to call for Murray's resignation. Might be kind of an interesting dynamic if Harrell does ultimately decide to jump in.
Another Boeing problem: A Boeing 757 operated by Delta on its way to Seattle made an emergency landing Monday afternoon "after flight crew noticed an indicator warning of a possible problem with one of its engines," according to the Seattle Times. The plane landed safely, but that followed two engine failures on Boeing planes Saturday, one that exploded over Denver and another over the Netherlands.
Seattle is still a home-seller's paradise: Despite handwringing and concern-trolling and other strange noises emitting from the landed gentry, prices for houses in town are up double digits, according to the Seattle Times. Homeowners are staying put, which is reducing supply in the market.
On the jobs:
City Council to consider loosening home business regulations: Today, if someone files a complaint against a business operating at home, the city has to look into it. The new rules would "loosen the rules that often lead to complaints" by suspending requirements like customer visits by appointment only, the West Seattle Blog reports.
The man Seattle police shot near the waterfront last week: Is Derek J. Hayden, 44. The King County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man Monday. A Port of Seattle police officer called Seattle police on the night of Feb. 16 about a man with a knife. A spokesman for the Port said Port officers unsuccessfully tried to use foam-tipped projectiles but decline to offer further details. Learned all about it in the Seattle Times.
“Homeowner buried in his own living room by speeding hit-and-run driver” is a headline: A hit-and-run driver crashed into a house in Parkland, Wash., pinning a man inside under the car, according to police and the ex-wife of the man, KIRO reports. Police are searching for the driver.
Avalanche danger is "extreme": The state closed Stevens Pass again on Monday because of avalanche danger, according to KOMO.
Reminds me of the 2014 banger, Force Majeure: A film by Ruben Ostlund that haunts me to this day.