WEATHER REPORT: It's DRAMATIC out there!
The latest: Nearly 60 mph winds along the coast and 90 mph winds in the mountains. Ferries and trains canceled. Around 150,000 people without power across the state. A nearly record high temperature. A state of emergency in the town of Hamilton due to flooding, with more flooding around Sedro-Woolley. The border town of Sumas looked like this:
As CNN put it: "The Pacific Northwest has gotten more rain in the last two weeks than they normally see for the entire month of November, which is also stacking up to be one of the top five wettest Novembers on record for Seattle." What's on the table with this current system? "Extreme rainfall, river flooding, damaging winds and even landslides." We didn't know atmospheric rivers had categories like hurricanes but apparently this is a Cat 5 atmospheric river. Not good!
Very windy conditions - now is a great time to charge devices, double check flashlight batteries, and give your emergency kit a look. You can also sign up for alerts from your local emergency managers - visit https://t.co/d9bPpQZHMh for more information. https://t.co/lDvrrrE5cI
— WA Emergency Management (@waEMD) November 15, 2021
It took freaking forever but Biden has signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that former President Trump repeatedly tried and failed to accomplish. This infrastructure bill may not solve all ills, but it's still the biggest such step in a generation and a much-needed "win" for Biden.
Meeeeeeaaaaanwhile, the head of the Congressional Budget Office had some not-so-great news regarding the Build Back Better Act, the $1.85 trillion social safety net/climate change legislation, saying that the Biden administration's idea of ramped up enforcement of tax evaders by the IRS still won't be enough to foot the bill. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal told KUOW last week that she expects the House to pass the Build Back Better Act this week—they better hurry up before Congress shuffles off for a Thanksgiving break.
Incredible to see Seattle’s own Heather Kurtenbach at today’s signing ceremony for our infrastructure bill! It was great to hear her share how this bill will bring good-paying, union jobs to Washington!https://t.co/2Ogo1NvXXp
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) November 16, 2021
After signing, Biden shuffled off to a Zoom date with China's leader Xi Jinping. The two leaders are expected to address the origin of COVID, human rights abuses, and Taiwan during their three-or-so-hour virtual summit. “For the first time in 20 years we will be investing more in infrastructure than China," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said today during a media briefing.
Pandemic-era pessimism: A new Washington Post-ABC poll finds that "majorities" of Americans support Biden's infrastructure package and Build Back Better bill, but Biden's overall approval rating has fallen to a new low, 41%. The poll also gave a warning to Democrats: "The Post-ABC poll finds that, if  elections were held today, 46 percent of adults overall would back the Republican candidate for Congress and 43 percent would support the Democratic candidate."
Business Insider published a Buzzfeed-style piece dragging Dick's over the weekend, and Seattleites threw a fit. (TBH: We shouldn't pearl-clutch over the "Dick's is disappointing" take—it's not exactly a gastronomical marvel; it's a burger-eating experience that requires a certain context: you should be drunk/wet/hangry and desperate for a gut-bomb. With the right context, those little grease-bags serve.)
This doofus in the Business Insider said the burgers & fries at Dicks were disappointing but also says she waited a half an hour to eat them. About to lose my fuckin mind here pic.twitter.com/k8ZKw3nKJ7
— Justin🦩Boldaji بلداجي (@justinboldaji) November 13, 2021
Yes & you eat them sitting on the street curb
— Justin🦩Boldaji بلداجي (@justinboldaji) November 13, 2021
And also…local journalism matters ✌️
— Angela Cabotaje (@AngelaCabotaje) November 15, 2021
Case about-to-be closed: The defense in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder case made its closing arguments today, and tried to depict the killer as just "a 17-year-old kid out there trying to help this community." OH, FFS! Before closing arguments, the very politically suspicious judge in the case dismissed a weapons charge against Rittenhouse.
“You cannot hide behind self-defense if you provoked the incident.”
– Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger, delivering closing arguments in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial pic.twitter.com/riNkBDUR4I
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 15, 2021
Walking turnip Stephen K. Bannon surrendered to authorities after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6 domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol.
Lying doorknob Alex Jones will be held liable for defaming the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre with his "false flag" lies, according to a judge.
Resident Marxist Charles Mudede ruminated on today's political battles in American courts over here.
And over the next few weeks, you might spot crews assembling the fuselage of a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet across from the Denny Substation downtown: It comes in 39 pieces, reports Heidi Groover for the Seattle Times, and it will be the centerpiece of the 1200 Stewart Project, which will include retail space and multiple luxury residential high-rises. Vancouver-based Westbank designed the project, and an architect who worked on it says it "hopefully ties the past [the Boeing Jumbo Jet] to the future [South Lake Union's tech companies]." Obviously, Mudede will have a few words about this on Slog later this week.
Quit lighting queer bars on fire: In late February, 2020, during the final breaths of the BeFoRe TiMeZ, prosecutors say a 24-year-old named Kalvinn Jay Garcia set a recycling dumpster on fire in the alley behind Queer/Bar on Capitol Hill. The fire leaped up "the side of the building toward the second floor, where at least 50 people were attending an event while several customers were inside the club on the first floor." Renee Raketty, reporting for Capitol Hill Seattle blog, highlights this detail:
During questioning at the East Precinct, police say Garcia told [Detective Scott] Kawahara that he blamed “fucking queers and fucking fairies” for being kicked out of the place he was staying and becoming homeless. He also allegedly stated he did not like them and described them as “disgusting” and stated he doesn’t believe their lifestyle should be flaunted in his face. He added that he got angry and, instead of taking his rage out on a “bunch of queers,” he started the fire. “I’m going to take these fucking queers,” he said, according to police.
Prosecutors charged Garcia in King County Superior Court on hate crime and arson charges, but he returned to a federal grand jury with just the arson charge early this year. Raketty has more here.
Hard not to be reminded of the recent White Center arson while reading Raketty's story.
Let's close out tonight with Los Esplifs, Slog's new favorite band.