Single-Payer Health Care Is Here By 2026, If We Want It

Slog PM: Bellevue School District Takes Teachers Union to Court (and Fails), Who Attended Yesterday's Inauguration?

Mimi from RENT was there. You can find out who was at the inauguration in this kinda fun interactive from the New York Times.
Mimi from RENT was there. You can find out who was at the inauguration in this sorta fun interactive from the New York Times. NYTimes

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'!)

Amazon has partnered with Virginia Mason to run a pop-up vaccination site at the Amazon Meeting Center in South Lake Union from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday: Bless its heart.

President Biden (aaaaah), after sadly noting that the nation's COVID death toll will probably top 500,000 next month, announced his “full-scale wartime effort” plan to get the country's pandemic under control: The plan includes invoking the Defense Production Act, as well as asking for more workplace protections, requirements for masks on planes, trains, and buses, and quarantines for international travelers coming into the United States. It's a plan! LIKE, AN ACTUAL PLAN!!

Biden's been busy signing executive orders: We'll have our own overview of the first two days of executive orders up tomorrow morning on the blawg.

FAUCI UNLEASHED: Now that he's finally out from underneath the anti-science thumb of Trump, Dr. Anthony Fauci is a new man, and casting some shade on his former corrupt boss. Is that a new hairstyle? It's fresh.

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As Chronically Underfunded Health Departments Stand Up Mass Vaccination Sites, Amazon Contributes a One-Day Pop-Up

Cant wait til they start doing next-day delivery of the vaccine for Prime members.
Can't wait til they start doing next-day delivery of the vaccine for Prime members. DAVID RYDER/GETTY IMAGES

The trillion-dollar company that counts itself among one of the few businesses absolutely raking it in during the COVID-19 lockdowns would like you to know that it has partnered with Virginia Mason to run a pop-up vaccination site at the Amazon Meeting Center in South Lake Union from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday.

At the one-day event, Virginia Mason volunteers plan to administer 2,000 vaccines to anyone who is eligible regardless of insurance status. Find out if you're eligible for the jab with the state's PhaseFinder tool, and hop on the hospital's waiting list here.

Amazon's senior vice president of global corporate affairs, Jay Carney, announced the temporary site at Governor's Inslee's press conference on Thursday. The company will also lend one of its executives to the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center to, ya know, "leverage our operations, information technology, logistics and communications" in ways that can help put more vaccines in arms, Carney said. Carney concluded by mentioning a plan to pay a third-party occupational health provider to administer the vaccine to eligible recipients at their own fulfillment centers.

I didn't hear much about Amazon coming out in support of any statewide or federal taxes to help pay for chronically underfunded public health departments tasked with standing up mass vaccination sites all over the state while using antiquated and disparate systems in an already hopelessly fragmented health care system, but I do want to take this moment to thank them for chipping in. (At the press conference, Gov. Inslee said "[Amazon has] not asked for any recompense" for their assistance, and he's "hopeful they’ll continue to help us...in additional ways." So I guess there's still time for growth, but I'm not holding my breath.)

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We're Giving Away Virtual Theater Tickets!

The CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work dance film festival starts February 4.
The CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work dance film festival starts February 4. Bret Doss

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!

While you're waiting for IRL theater to return (which Rich Smith wrote may happen late this year), virtual productions are a great way to support local artists and break up your Netflix routine for a bit. To give you a taste of what's on offer now, we're giving away free tickets to three upcoming shows: Macha Theatre Works' 17 Minute Stories show tomorrow, Whim W'Him's This Is Not the Little Prince, and CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work. Read on for more details, or fill out this form to enter. Good luck!

Read on EverOut »


Trump Left a Mess, Now Washington State Is Cleaning It Up

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is a master chess player, like with actual chess, not with 3-D chess like Trump fans like to claim hes playing; can you imagine Trump playing chess????
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is a master chess player, like with actual chess, not with "3-D chess" like Trump fans like to claim he's playing; can you imagine Trump playing chess???? Photo Courtesy Bob Ferguson

Deep-cleaning the Oval Office (and removing the Diet Coke button) was the easy part. What’s to be done about the last four years of wretched Republican policy? Trump may be gone but he leaves a trail of destruction through the federal government that will take years to undo. There were big things, like the racist ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries; there were small things, like new regulations that would have allowed manufacturers to sell pollution-causing dishwashers (yes that’s a real thing); and then there were the massive headaches like the scheme to sabotage the Post Office.

Some of those nightmares can be waved away with an executive order, and indeed Biden has begun the process of cleaning up, like a weary parent coming home to discover that their teen has thrown a party that left the house in quite a state. But some puke stains are not so easily scrubbed off the walls, and it’ll take a lot of very tedious work to undo the damage.

Don’t worry, though. Washington’s got a plan for cleaning up Trump’s mess—ninety-seven separate plans, in fact.

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Finding Quality CBD Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

If you’ve ever purchased or looked into buying CBD, you probably know it’s not as easy of a process as it sounds. Sure, CBD is just about everywhere these days, but its prevalence doesn’t mean you should just grab the first product you see at the gas station. (Tip: Never buy CBD at the gas station.)

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We've Got a New, Sexy HUMP Trailer!


2021 HUMP! Trailer from Index Media on Vimeo.

After fifteen years of bringing HUMP! to movie theaters—after fifteen years of making it possible for people to be porn stars for a weekend in a movie theater without becoming porn stars on the Internet for life, after fifteen years of getting people together in theaters to watch porn the way their grandparents did—we faced a tough choice after the pandemic hit early last year. We obviously couldn't pack people into theaters. That meant we could either cancel HUMP! 2020 or make HUMP! 2020 available—for the first time—on the dreaded Internet. Last year's HUMP! Film Festival started before the pandemic hit so we reached out to the filmmakers and performers and asked them what they wanted to do. They'd made their films to be shown in theaters, not streamed on the Internet, and we were willing to cancel the festival. But the filmmakers wanted their films to be seen! So thanks to them—thanks to HUMP! filmmakers and performers—the show went on and HUMP! fans were able to enjoy HUMP! 2020 in the comfort and safety of their own homes!

And that's how HUMP! fans will enjoy HUMP! 2021: in the comfort and safety of their own homes! And we've got a great new lineup of fun and hot and sexy and crazy and interesting and moving HUMP! films, all made during the quarantine, all streaming online starting January 30th. More than 120 films were submitted for HUMP! 2021 and being locked up for the last ten months really inspired people to make some amazing dirty movies for this year's festival. This is not only going to be one of the best HUMP!s ever, it's also the most diverse HUMP!s ever and one of the most visually interesting and entertaining HUMP!s ever! Check out that trailer! (Trailer by Shane Wahlund, music by Erik Blood.)

We've added a number of special viewing parties to the lineup—I'm hosting the opening night viewing party on January 30th—and tickets are on sale now!

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The Best Movies & Shows to Stream in Seattle This Week: Jan 21-27, 2021

Glass artist Nao Yamamoto (pictured) reps Seattle on the new season of the glass-blowing competition show Blown Away, hitting Netflix this Friday.
Glass artists Nao Yamamoto (pictured) and Tegan Hamilton rep Seattle on the new season of the glass-blowing competition show Blown Away, hitting Netflix this Friday. Netflix

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!

A handful of international Oscar contenders hit virtual Seattle cinemas this week just in time for your post-inauguration popcorn ceremony (that's a thing, right?). Read on for details on those entries (like Gianfranco Rosi's Notturno and Amjad Abu Alala's You Will Die at Twenty) and other picks like Ramin Bahrani's The White Tiger on Netflix. Plus, if you haven't heard, The Stranger's amateur stoner short film fest SPLIFF is accepting submissions through March 5! And don't forget to check out the latest installment of The Stranger's Film Club, a new biweekly video series centering Black films with Stranger film experts Jasmyne Keimig and Charles Mudede.

Streaming: Local Connection
Father About a Father Who
Between the years 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs captured moments with her enigmatic father on 8mm and 16mm film in an attempt to better understand him and her own relationship with him and the rest of her family. The result is filled with ruminations on masculinity, fatherhood, and hidden truths.
Northwest Film Forum
Starting Friday

Read on EverOut »


A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Korean Genius

At 15 years old, E.J. Koh was left in the United States when her parents moved to South Korea.
At 15 years old, E.J. Koh was left in the United States when her parents moved to South Korea. JENNY JIMENEZ

In the last few months Seattle writer E.J. Koh’s The Magical Language of Others was released in paperback, blessed with a 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Award, long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award, and featured in Crosscut. Elliott Bay Book company also invited Koh to speak about her book with living legend Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings, Engine Empire) tomorrow at 6 p.m. In celebration of all this good fortune brought on by hard and careful work, The Stranger happily re-ups this feature on Koh and her excellent book that I wrote a while back.

"There is a Korean belief that you are born the parent of the one you hurt most," E.J. Koh writes in her new memoir, The Magical Language of Others. "I was revenge when I was born in 1988 at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, California."

This is the logic that drives Koh's narrative, a cinematic and multigenerational saga about the hard work of repairing past transgressions through present action so that the future can be, hopefully, maybe—so long as we keep working at it—more joyful.

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Fernanda Valadez's Remarkable Debut Film

If I hadnt known it beforehand, I would have assumed this was director Fernanda Valadezs fifth or sixth feature because of its confidence.
If I hadn't known it beforehand, I would have assumed this was director Fernanda Valadez's fifth or sixth feature because of its confidence. Courtesy Kino Lorber

A haunting and beautifully realized film, Identifying Features (Sin señas particulares) is a meticulously constructed work that teeters on the edge of magical realism.

It tells a story of one mother's journey to find her son who has disappeared while attempting to cross the border from Guanajuato, Mexico into the United States.

Magdalena Loredo Martinez, played with resolute grace by Mercedes Hernández, must navigate a hostile and tedious world to find her son, even as no one else cares about what happened to him. It seems hopeless and likely futile for Magdalena as she retraces her son's steps from bus stations to shelters, but she remains dogged in her determination.

On her journey, she encounters strangers who show simple kindnesses. The most notable is Miguel, played with delicate tragedy by David Illescas. The two bond as he tries to make his way home to his mother after being deported. The parallels between Miguel and Magdalena's son are apparent.

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Tell Us Something Good, the Black Tones

We talked to twin siblings and the Black Tones members Eva (guitar/vocals) and Cedric (drums) about how theyve been staying entertained lately.
We talked to twin siblings and the Black Tones members Eva (guitar/vocals) and Cedric (drums) about how they've been staying entertained lately.

EverOut is The Stranger's new website devoted to things to do in Seattle and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Stranger EverOut and Stranger Things To Do, just in a new spot!

As we reach nearly a full year of quarantine, you'd be forgiven if you're running out of ideas for keeping boredom at bay. That's why we're starting this new column we're calling "Tell Us Something Good": We're asking some of our favorite local celebrities for their recommendations for things to do in Seattle.

This week, we talked to the Black Tones, the Seattle-based rock duo of twins Eva and Cedric Walker, in advance of Eva's appearance in the first episode of BAZZOOKA, an "afropunk apocalyptic web series set in the year 2022" set to have its virtual premiere and launch party through Northwest Film Forum this Thursday, January 21. Read on to find out where the twins have been getting takeout, the music that's been keeping them sane during quarantine, and more.

Read on EverOut »


Cops Arrest Three During Abolish ICE March on Inauguration Day

A Biden stan watches on as cops follow a group of antifascists away from the Seattle Center. I didnt think anything could make me miss the Rep, but last nights tour though the Seattle Center made me want to sit for a five-hour production of A Raisin in the Sun.
A Biden stan looked on as cops followed a group of antifascists away from the Seattle Center. I didn't think anything could make me miss the Rep, but last night's tour though the Seattle Center made me want to sit for a five-hour production of A Raisin in the Sun. RS

While most of Seattle watched Jon Bon Jovi cover the Beatles during Joe Biden's 90-minute inaugural telecast, a group of about 150 protesters wearing black bloc burned an American flag in front of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office downtown as part of a protest calling for the abolition of the agency.

A protester who gave their name as Comrade Matty said the flag-burning on Biden's Inauguration Day "shows that no matter who is in power we still stand for the same principles."

Data for Progress founder Sean McElwee coined the term and the hashtag #AbolishIce, but many in the crowd didn't appear too tapped into the principles advertised by progressive think tanks. In fact, political opinion varied wildly in the group.

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Slog AM: Buttigieg Testifies Before Senate, Three Arrested During Inauguration Day Protests in Seattle, Ol' Joe Gets to Signin'

Theres going to be a lot of this in the next four years.
There's going to be a lot of this in the next four years. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

900,000 people filed new claims for unemployment: This is slightly less than the estimated 925,000 and below last week's total of 926,000. Continuing claims also dropped by 127,000, down to 5.05 million. There are still 16 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits, a number which we are likely to see rise as the latest fiscal package extends benefits for displaced workers, says CNBC.

Avril Haines is Biden's first confirmed Cabinet member: The Senate approved Haines for director of national intelligence by 84 to 10, making her the first woman to lead the US intelligence community, reports CNN. Due to discussions around party power sharing in the Senate, Biden might struggle to get his nominees confirmed as quickly as his predecessors. If you'd like to watch Pete Buttigieg annoyingly smirk under Senate questioning, watch his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Transportation:

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The Big Names That Would Have Greatly Improved the Celebrity List for Biden's Inauguration

What cannot be disputed is that the celebrities who participated in Biden's inauguration are of a much, much higher caliber than those who participated in Trump's inauguration in 2017.

Who had Biden's back? Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks, Carole King, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, the Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, John Legend, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Biden's team even managed to fulfill a dream of America's first Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff: reunite the New Radicals, a band with a hit tune from way back in the day (1998) called "You Get What You Give."

That said, Biden's celebrity list is not that interesting. All of the top musicians no longer top the charts, and the movie stars are no longer famous for their movies but rather famous because they are famous.

The message Biden's celebrities communicated as a whole today? That he's going to be a safe president. Expect no excitement or shocks or drama. Indeed, instead of Garth Brooks singing "Amazing Grace" at the close of the inauguration ceremony, Biden should have had Mary J. Blige perform "No More Drama."

But imagine if Biden's response to four years of non-stop Trump drama was to communicate wonder rather than prudence. What would the celebrity list have looked like in this direction? All I can offer is my picture of the other and cooler inauguration.

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Inauguration Day Live Blog: We Did It, Joe!

Noted Gaga stan, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Noted Gaga stan, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

WHEW! What is up with January and Wednesdays? Thanks for following along today as we covered Joe Biden's inauguration. We saw Lady Gaga belt the national anthem, multiple historic swearing-in ceremonies, and even some toilet paper with Donald Trump's face on it. You can watch the day's festivities in full through this recorded live stream:

Celebrating America, the Inauguration Night Special begins at 5:30 PM Seattle-time and is hosted by America's dad, Tom Hanks. You can watch a live stream of it below:

We're back with our regular Slog AM + PM activities tomorrow morning. Until then, soldier on, Sloggers.
xoxoxoxoxoxxx

WH PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI HOSTS FIRST PRESS BRIEFING
5 PM

This already feels Different. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki held her first press briefing this afternoon, kicking the affair off by going through Biden's 17 executive actions signed just hours ago in the Oval Office. She stated that Biden's objective is to bring "truth and transparency" back to government as well as "rebuilding trust with the American people" which will be "central to our focus in the press office and in the White House. Every single day."

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Activists Hold Funeral for "Death of Identity Politics" in Front of City Hall

Street theater is back, baby!
Street theater is back, baby! RS

In Seattle, the world outside the very digital and very D.C. inauguration ceremonies has been pretty quiet. Unlike the morning of Joe Biden's win, nobody is out dancing in the streets, and nobody is out yelling at people for dancing in the streets, though someone deep in the #Resistance set up an elaborate anti-Trump ritual in the middle of Pike St near 11th Ave outside of Retrofit Home.

Though the FBI and some media outlets expected large right-wing protests between Jan. 17 and today, few have materialized, and the ones that have attracted only a handful of heavily armed dorks.

Fortified state Capitol buildings likely drove off many, and on social media local right-wing organizers basically described the fear of copycat insurrections as a conspiracy perpetuated by the mainstream media and the FBI. One organizer even encouraged Washington right-wingers to stay home today as a sort of counter-protest.

Local lefty activists in Seattle, however, did plan two demonstrations for today; a "funeral for identity politics" scheduled for 11 a.m. in front of City Hall, and an Abolish ICE march at Occidental Park starting around 4 p.m.

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This Is What an Excellent Week for Comic Books Looks Like

IMG_8047.jpg

This week is… good? Like, it is a time of somewhat positive feelings and news? How remarkable. Amidst all the reasons to feel a sense of relief today, like the unclenching of a muscle that has been flexed for exactly 1,460 days, is that it is one of the best weeks for new comic books that I can recall in many months.

My advice to you: Extend your feelings of liberation and joy by quitting your job, so you have enough time to read all of the excellent new books released this week (available at your local comic book shop; thanks to our friends at Phoenix for helping to pick out some favorites). There’s a stunning new work that transports old-timey fairy tales to someplace very sleek; there’s a gorgeous lesbian romance set in Edwardian times; and there’s a story of a teenage supergenius and his arch rival’s lemonade stand.

And that’s only the start! I’m going to be running two separate comic reviews this week, a day or two apart, because there simply isn’t enough room in one post to also review the lovely new Wonder Woman book, the book about an arcane private investigator in the 1970s, and the book about a cop/thief siblings with psychic food powers. Oh geez it’s all so good. So! Let’s dive in.

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