Washington

Slog PM: A Fucking Lot of Swearing-Ins

He’s mayor! Seattle Channel

Welcome to your evening round-up. First up…

Paging Sean Hannity: Ding dong. Beep beep. (What sound does a pager make? I’ve never seen one in real life, hehe 😊) What was up with all that texting during the riot, Sean? The House select committee investigating the Capitol Insurrection would like to chat.

The letter:

The Select Committee now has information in its possession, as outlined in part below, indicating that you had advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th. It also appears that you were expressing concerns and providing advice to the President and certain White House staff regarding that planning. You also had relevant communications while the riot was underway, and in the days thereafter. These communications make you a fact witness in our investigation.

Fox News declined to comment.

Only 4 out of 10 Republicans think the Capitol Insurrection was “very or extremely violent,” according to this new AP-NORC poll. 3 in 10 think it was “somewhat” violent, and another 3 in 10 think it was “nonviolent.” One Capitol Police officer described the insurrection as a “trip to hell” but what does he know. A little peaceful sit-in, that’s all.

Council President Juarez: Yesterday, PubliCola reported that the Seattle City Council had picked Councilmember Debora Juarez to become its president “after an intense and unusually public campaign for the position.” This afternoon it became official when the council voted unanimously to elect Juarez, who becomes the first Indigenous Seattle City Council President in the council’s history.

Lots of swearing-ins in Seattle today: It’s “back to school for City Hall,” as Hannah Krieg put it in the post she just published.

“One Seattle” to rule them all: At around 11 AM this morning, Bruce Harrell was ceremonially sworn-in as mayor (he’d already been technically sworn-in at his home), proclaiming that he’ll “lead this City obsessed with excellence and kindness.” He talked about saving salmon and children, implementing “ideas that work,” and rejecting “slogans and mean tweets” (you hear that, 🌹 Twitter) before rolling out his own slogan: “One Seattle.”

“There are 88 cities named Washington,” Bruce said (I haven’t checked the math), “41 Springfields in this country… 35 cities named Franklin…” but “there’s quite literally only One Seattle.” Nailing that slogan, Bruce.

Here’s the speech:

When pressed on whether his administration will extend former Mayor Jenny Durkan’s eviction moratorium, which currently expires January 15, he said he’ll let us know in “about a week.” From Hannah:

Ideally, he said he would have more time to look back on the efficacy of the moratorium and then come to a decision that “balances” the protection of “vulnerable residents,” who may end up homeless as a result of lifting the current moratorium, and “vulnerable landlords,” who may end up selling their units due to lack of rental payments.

Earlier in the day, around 9:30 AM, City Attorney Ann Davison had a virtual swearing-in: TL;DR: “She vaguely implied that Seattle doesn’t ‘enforce’ its laws, and she blamed her presence in office on ‘politicians’ who were ‘more interested in hearing themselves talk than solving problems.'”

Davison suggested a crackdown on misdemeanor gun violations, which her office handles; felonies go to the county prosecutor’s office. PubliCola pointed out that “only a handful of gun-related crimes are misdemeanors under Washington law, including ‘unlawfully displaying’ (or brandishing) a firearm as an intimidation tactic and carrying a concealed handgun without a permit.”

And later in the afternoon, the city clerk swore in the council members: JumpStart Seattle architect Teresa Mosqueda is back for her second term, and self-described “pragmatic progressive” Sara Nelson is here for her first. Here’s Hannah again:

Nelson identified combating crime as her top priority. She said she will work toward adequately staffed and resourced police and fire departments, quicker 911 response times, and police reform.

Nelson pointed to homelessness as another big priority in her speech. On the campaign trail, she did not typically provide unique solutions to homelessness, but rather deferred to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. She reaffirmed her support for KCRHA’s implementation plan, and made a plea for more money to fund mental health and addiction services.

And don’t forget the Port: Packer has a thread on the Port’s day.

Enough swearing-ins.

Maybe you’re more up-to-date on conspiracy theories than I am, but I was unaware some people were rumoring Betty White died from coronavirus booster-related complications. She didn’t. “Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home,” her longtime agent and friend told People. “She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived.”

I hope they play Golden Girls re-runs in heaven: I might believe in heaven if someone told me it had TV.

Republican rumors, continued: No! Vaccine mandates aren’t the reason we’ve had more closures on the mountain passes, you mountain rubes! (I used to live in Idaho. I put in my time. I can call the mountain-people names.) “I wouldn’t say that we’ve had closures that are a direct result [of the mandate],” a WSDOT spokesperson told KIRO Radio. “Meaning, ‘Hey, we don’t have anybody to run the plows so we’re going to close I-90.’ That has not happened.” The closures are due to weather, shitty drivers, and shitty cars.

But please, slow down, snow: The Washington State Department of Transportation says Snoqualmie Pass is breaking records: “By Monday afternoon, 236 inches of snowfall was recorded, more than the 229 inches by Jan. 3 that was recorded in 2007 and 212 inches in 2004.”

Seattle’s Hollow Earth Radio is on the move: The station, just named Seattle’s best by Seattle Gay News, left its Central District location of 11 years and is “moving and looking for a new space from which to broadcast and hold events (when possible),” they tell us. They’re continuing to serve Seattle remotely (same), but are hunting for a fresh spot. More details below:

Reach out to them if you’ve got leads.

Reckless in Texas: As the president is telling Americans today that there’s “no excuse” for people to be unvaccinated, the governor in Texas is telling the president not to tread on his state’s National Guard. He says he will sue the feds to block the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate and told Texas guardsmen in a letter today that Biden “is not your commander-in-chief under our federal or state Constitutions.” (True*.) “And as
long as I am your commander-in-chief, I will not tolerate efforts to compel receipt of a COVID19 vaccine.” Other Republican governors in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska have recently made similar posturing. It’s definitely an election year.

*via Military.com:

Guardsmen have dueling obligations to both the governors of the state they serve and the president. During the bulk of their service, troops fall under either State Active Duty or Title 32 orders, meaning they are under the command of the governor. Guardsmen can also be activated under federal Title 10 orders, which are usually reserved for overseas missions that make up a significant portion of the Guard’s mission portfolio.

The fight sets up a power struggle between states and the Pentagon over who has default control of the Guard, something that has never been fully articulated in courts or military law.

It’s back to takeout for Pagliacci: It’s pizza, so that should be easy.

UW says classes will “largely” return in-person starting January 10: Still, in a letter to students, faculty, and staff, the college’s provost and president told instructors to “plan for how to accommodate higher than usual student absences due to illness.” UW and many colleges in the area went online this week so students and staff could get properly tested before coming back to campus.

One million cases in a single day: Local brainiacs predicted Omicron would drive extremely high case counts, and their predictions have born out. The United States just set a brutal record: We recorded over a million cases in a single day yesterday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That’s a whole lot of people stuck in quarantine.

While experts believe Omicron to be less dangerous than previous variants, it’s doing a great job “twisting the nation in knots.”

In case you need fitness tips… Personally, I prefer stoned walks.

Music to walk to: Help, I’ve fallen back into City Pop. It’s Light in the Attic‘s fault.

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