Sawants gotta be smilin for now.
Sawant's gotta be smilin'...for now. SURESH CHANMUGAM

LOL and HOLY SHIT, SAWANT COULD WIN THIS THING, MAYBE: King County Elections tallied up 7,145 more votes in the election to retain or recall Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and it's fucking close. The recall campaign currently only leads by 246 votes, with ~1,200 votes left to count. The elections department will count those ballots in its next drop tomorrow at 4 pm. If Sawant takes 62% of that batch, as she did in today’s drop, then she’d lead the recall campaign by 47 votes.

Pacific Northwest Ballet presents: Romeo et Juliette at McCaw Hall
Romeo et Juliette returns to PNB to sweep you off your feet – just in time for Valentine’s Day!

*Slight correction on that math, but nothing fatal*:

Now, there are 656 active signature challenges: That means King County thinks 656 of you signed ballots in some kinda freaky way that didn’t match your earlier signatures. If you want to know if your vote counted, then track your ballot here. If the county challenged your signature, then you have until Dec 16 to fix it on your own. Do it soon! Ballot challenges hit younger voters at higher rates. And if it’s not clear by tomorrow who’s leading in this election, then you can expect the campaigns to start trying to hunt you down.

How about a recount? Fun fact: The recall is considered a local ballot measure, and as such there aren’t any mandatory recount requirements. That said, either side can request one, though that side would need to pay for the total cost of the recount. (Most of that cost would come from paying for the staff to recount the ballots.) Considering that both campaigns dropped a million dollars on this race, they’d likely be willing to shell out the money to double-check the numbers. In any event, if either side requests a recount, then the process wouldn’t take as along as other recounts, since the elections department would only need to count one race in one district.

So, when will this all end? Nobody knows exactly.

What do we know? Real estate tycoons and developers spent a million dollars and a year-and-a-half of District 3's life to try to boot a socialist out of office, and it’s this fucking close. Embarrassing.

The fine folks at the Seattle Times are having a hard time chewing these new recall results: "The effort to recall Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant continues to advance, with Wednesday's ballot count resulting in 50.3% of voters agreeing to remove her from office." Sawant cut a "commanding lead" down to a virtual tie in an election climate that her foes made as unfavorable as possible. If the haters lose, they will need tons of therapy, which they can afford.

Seattle, this morning was very gloomy and this afternoon was very "sunshine on my shoulders". What is this about? What ever it is, it's not settling. Please recall that disturbing line by Icelandic pop star Bjork in "Human Behaviour": "They're terribly, terribly, terribly moody... Then all of a sudden, turn happy."

Suddenly happy Seattle...
Suddenly happy Seattle... Charles Mudede

Copper, is, after all of these years, and after all of the changes in capitalism, still very popular with thieves. Seattle Times: "Authorities investigating multiple copper wire thefts on King County freeways". I actually recall this kind of crime being a big thing even in Zimbabwe, in the 1980s of my youth. My country had bauxite and gold. Zambia (which is above Zimabwe) had copper. These riches, however, were stopped from falling into the pockets of black people. Just saying it like it is.

Omicron is in King County. And it's probably already everywhere. Next to you in a bar. Next to you in a bus. Best be ready to live with it and not die from it.

This is how you run a country, and how a country needs to be run. Thank you, Finland. But, next time, have your phone on you:

Some people are saying that the days of the Trump-appointed monster who runs the USPS, the sorting machine-destroying Louis DeJoy, are finally numbered. The former head of the USPS board, Rob Bloom, is no longer the head of the USPS board of governors. This means Biden can finally bust a move, and so on and so on. But the fact of the matter is the Dems are weak when it comes to firing their enemies. Here Trump made his mark impressively. If he said he was going to fire you, you were as good as gone. With Biden, it's all of this nice-nice do things proper, play by rules that do not even exist in the books.

Pelé, don't go yet. Hold on with all you got. There is still some time for you in the world that knows you as the greatest footballer ever. The BBC: "Brazil legend back in hospital for treatment on colon tumour".

The great music and culture critic Greg Tate crossed the river yesterday. The details of his death are still in the fog, but he seemed to be in the thick of things only a few days ago—still writing, still thinking, still not loving the police. Tate's work for the Village Voice in the late-80s and the 90s influenced a following generation of critics and writers that, at the end of the second millennium, included me. He always had something vital to say about black art, music, and film. He also had a band, Burnt Sugar, which experimented with rock, soul, and fusion jazz. I end this week's PM with my favorite track by Tate's Burnt Sugar, "bas (kiss) super grungy mix":

Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer: Jan 13-Feb 14 at Bagley Wright Theatre
Part theater, part revival, and all power, this one-woman show will have your head nodding and hands clapping!