District 3 residents, have you voted on the recall of Councilmember Kshama Sawant yet? If not, get to it, people! According to the latest from King County's election data, over 38% of registered district voters have returned their ballots. Based on neighborhood trends from recent elections, more moderate areas of the district—areas in the north and around the eastern shore, with more homeowners than renters—have the highest turnout so far. The more left-leaning Central District and Pike/Pine corridors are seeing a bump in turnout, but The Stranger's Rich Smith's predictions aren't optimistic. For the undecideds (still!?!?), I humbly submit the Stranger Election Control Board's endorsement of the Vote No campaign.
It's gonna get gross: Former Georgia Senator David Perdue just announced he'll run for governor, launching a primary fight against current Georgia governor Brian Kemp in what will be a battle for the bleakest, most conservative vision of the Peach State. If you'll remember, Perdue ate shit earlier this year after losing a runoff election to current Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff. He's already dropped a video aimed at Kemp, GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
The Department of Justice sues the Lone Star State over its new legislative maps: The suit—targeting both the U.S. congressional map and the state House one—claims that the redistricting plan drawn by Texas lawmakers violates the Voting Right Acts, discriminating against both Black and Latino voters, reports CNN. Texas picked up two seats in the U.S. House thanks to a surge in population growth, 95% of which was fueled by people of color, according to census data. But—fuck this noise—the two new seats were designed to have white voting majorities.
JUST IN: DOJ sues Texas, alleging it violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act "by creating redistricting plans that deny or abridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language minority group," AG Garland says. pic.twitter.com/5fpHzwfr4s
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2021
Prepare for vaccine checks at your favorite itty-bitty bars and restaurants: Today, the measure mandating that every bar and restaurant—regardless of capacity—check the vaccination status of dine-in guests took hold in King County, reports the Seattle Times. Previously, that mandate only covered bigger establishments, giving places with 12 or fewer seats the time to properly get their systems set up. If you're not vaccinated, a recent COVID test taken in the last 72 hours can serve as your pass to sit-down dining.
Speaking of COVID: During an interview with CNN's State of the Union, Dr. Anthony Fauci offered the teensiest morsel of optimism about the omicron variant. “Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” he said. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta.” Regardless, get that booster shot ASAP if it's your time.
Let the frontline healthcare workers eat magic mushrooms: A new trial at the University of Washington will study if and how psilocybin might help alleviate the mental anguish caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on clinicians, reports GeekWire. As the article notes, there are already studies on the effect of psilocybin and depression but healthcare workers "are experiencing something more complex" like "post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and burnout." Researchers believe this trial is the first of its kind in the country.
The U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics next year, which basically amounts to the Biden administration not sending any government officials to the games in order "to pressure China for human rights abuses," reports the New York Times. American athletes will still be permitted to compete in the games.
Don't block the box: Starting next year, the Seattle Department of Transportation will fine drivers if they clog the intersection or enter the bus lane at eight locations across the city, reports the Seattle Times. Advocates for the measure argue that drivers who block intersections make it extremely dangerous for pedestrians, especially blind people and wheelchair users.
Bob Dole died over the weekend: The former longtime Kansan senator and one-time GOP presidential candidate passed on Sunday at 98, reports AP. His body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol building this Thursday, including an arrival and departure ceremony.
Governor Jay Inslee and state Dems are discussing whether or not to delay the WA Cares Fund payroll tax: This comes after the state Senate Dems sent a letter to the guv asking him to hold off until 2023 to "address problems with the long-term care benefit," reports the Seattle P.I. The payroll tax, which will go toward long-term care costs like in-home care and meal delivery, is meant to start January 1. If approved, legislators would possibly need to convene a special session to change the bill before the end of the year. However, Inslee said "a special session could be avoided if the state can order employers to delay collecting the tax from their employees until April, which would give lawmakers time to make changes to the benefit during next year’s regular session," reports the P.I.
I'm feeling kind of depressed today: The main reason? I mean, look outside....
The Big Dark has returned.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) December 7, 2021
Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya: GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of California is dipping from Congress to become the CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group next month, reports NPR. He's leaving in the middle of his 10th term, right as his district's new boundaries likely would've made his reelection in 2022 more difficult. Good luck launching Trump's social media empire or whatever!!
A court date is set: Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer—who allegedly falsely accused a Black newspaper carrier of threatening to kill him, which triggered a massive police response—will go on trial on July 11, 2022, reports KING 5. He's facing "one charge of false reporting and one charge of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant" and, if convicted, could be barred from office.
Few things hit like a great and rather unflattering profile of a too-committed actor: Michael Schulman at the New Yorker spent months interviewing Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy, the middle child/"dark prince" of the wealthy Roy family on HBO's Succession. There are many *~*chef's kiss*~* moments in the profile—like Strong's preening seriousness and worship of Method actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert De Niro, and Al Pacino. Also of note: This rather devastating observation on Strong/American actors from British co-star/icon Brian Cox:
Brian Cox: "I just worry about what he does to himself. I worry about the crises he puts himself through in order to prepare...It’s a particularly American disease, I think, this inability to separate yourself off while you’re doing the job." pic.twitter.com/JL3NCxTVqS
— Michael Schulman (@MJSchulman) December 5, 2021
For your listening pleasure: Azealia Banks' "212" came out ten years ago today. Rejoice: