We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the stories you’ve come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to The Stranger.
Mt. Everest got two feet taller. Paula Bronstein / GETTY IMAGES
Lame duck President continues soft coup campaign: Like some kind of low-rent mob boss in a musical about low-rent mob bosses, Trump called up the Republican House Speaker at the Pennsylvania state legislature and said without evidence, “I’m hearing about all these issues in Philadelphia, and these issues with your law…What can we do to fix it?” The Speaker’s spokesperson told the Washington Post he couldn’t overturn the results, but he and the rest of his craven goons pressured their representatives in Congress to reject the results. Thanks to Democratic control of the House, this electoral grift will not succeed, and neither will the President’s other efforts.
Another general: President-elect Joe Biden wants General Lloyd Austin to run the Pentagon. If Trump hadn’t stuffed his departments with generals, the news that Biden lined up five people with military backgrounds to fill roles traditionally filled by civilians would cause a bit of a stir among those of us who would like to see the military subordinate to civilian rule. “If this trajectory continues it could have a detrimental effect on the military’s ethical standing,” reports Politico.
They should have to pay some kind of extra tax or something: A bunch of Republican members of Congress are running around D.C. eating steak inside and knocking back cold ones with aides in the middle of a deadly respiratory virus outbreak, Politico reports.
Meanwhile, people in the UK are pumped to “do their bit” by getting “the jab” on “V-day”: The language for all this is just so much more enjoyable over there. Anyway, the Brits started jabbing people with their 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine today, though “ministers have warned it could be Easter by the time restrictions are lifted in a significant way,” according to the BBC.
A 90-year-old woman named Margaret Keenan was the first to receive the vaccine outside clinical trials: But a man named William Shakespeare was the second person to get it. Shakespeare, an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire, told the BBC he was “pleased” about the whole thing and complimented the “wonderful” staff at University Hospital in Coventry. As you might suspect, the reporter really went for it on the puns in this piece.
Shakespeare sounds nice, but Keenan has a better way with words: For those who fear taking the vaccine, Keenan says, “Go for it! Go for it, because it’s free.” Pretty cool to have free health care.
Margaret Keenan, the first patient in Britain to receive the coronavirus vaccine, hopes to set an example for people hesitant to become vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/kMGEp7F4Vy
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 8, 2020
Let’s check in with the COVID-19 situation over here in the ol’ US of A: Ah yes, the “deadliest week” yet.
NEW: We have just recorded the deadliest week of the pandemic in the United States. With an average of 2,259 coronavirus deaths recorded per day, the numbers over the past seven days surpassed the previous April peak.https://t.co/74QzWYbn1p pic.twitter.com/BrhqvOopCH
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) December 8, 2020
The FDA thinks Pfizer’s vaccine looks good: “Documents released by U.S. regulators Tuesday confirmed that Pfizer’s vaccine was strongly protective against COVID-19 and appeared safe,” according to the Associated Press. “The positive review from the Food and Drug Administration sets the stage for a decision allowing the vaccine’s initial use within days.” Independent scientists will debate the data live on Thursday to increase US confidence in the vaccine, which is good because…
40% of Americans say they probably or definitely won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine: Pew published the study last week. The demographics: 69% of Democrats say they’ll take the vaccine compared to only 50% of Republicans; way more men than women say they’ll take it (67% to 54%); way more olds than middle-aged people say they’ll take it; less than half of the Black population, about 60% of the white and Latino populations, and 83% of Asians say they’ll sit for the prick, er…uh….sit for the stick….or….um……….jibby the jab. I’m having fun with sounds.
At least we’re doing better than the Russians is a phrase I guess I’ll get used to saying. Independent pollsters at the Levada Center found that only 59% of the country plans to let a physician fill their arm with Sputnik V. According to the New York Times, “The first-in-the-world bombast may have only deepened Russians’ suspicions.”
We’re killing more civilian Afghanis with bombs than ever: 700 dead last year alone, according to a BBC analysis of Brown University’s Costs of War Project. “The group attribute the rising figures to the US relaxing its rules of engagement in 2017.” The Afghan Air Force is doing their part, too. “In the first six months of 2020, 86 civilians were killed and 103 injured in air strikes by the Afghan military.”
New Zealand released an 800-page report on the Christchurch massacre: A commission investigated last year’s tragedy, wherein a pathetic maniac killed 51 Muslims while live-streaming the whole thing. They found that cops couldn’t have known about the attack beforehand, as the killer’s signs were “too ‘fragmentary,'” according to Al Jazeera. The report did find, however, that the killer had been overusing testosterone, that YouTube radicalized him, and that authorities in the city deployed “’an inappropriate concentration of resources’ in probing religious violence in the country, distracting them from other possible threats such as that of white supremacists.” Do we uh, do 800-page reports on our mass shootings?
The worlds tallest mountain just got taller: Can you separate a mountain from its snow cap? For years China said no but Nepal said yes. The two countries disagreed over the true hight of Mt Everest until today, when Nepal decided to take another measurement and China agreed to count the snow. The mountain is now 29,032 ft tall, up from 29,030.
Court holds Seattle Police Department in contempt for throwing blast balls and deploying pepper spray during Black Lives Matter protests in August and September in ways that violated U.S. District Judge Richard Jones’s earlier ruling, reports the Seattle Times. The judge found some cases where SPD blast-balled correctly, some cases where they didn’t, and their punishment is still TK.
Maybe march more in Auburn?
South King County makes up about a third of the county’s population, but accounted for 56% of the county’s police killings, @M_Hellmann reports https://t.co/xN9AWkFWaY
— Heidi Groover (@heidigroover) December 7, 2020
SPD settles Che Taylor lawsuit: The city will pay Taylor’s family $1.5 million. The agreement comes two months after a federal judge ordered the case to trial, “saying it had developed into a case of ‘they said, he’s dead’ after evidence raised questions about whether Taylor was actually armed when he was gunned down by two plainclothes officers who had been watching the home,” reports the Seattle Times. Officers killed Taylor in 2016 and said they saw him reaching for a gun on his hip, but the only gun found was under the passenger seat of a car he had left under debris and in a position a judge said was difficult to grab.
Sad about this, RIP:
.@KING5Seattle Analyst & former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best says she’s been encouraged to run for Mayor, but:
“It’s not something I have considered at this point. I find it very flattering. We do know that whatever happens in the future is going to take strong leadership.”
— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) December 8, 2020
Washington has 500,000 health care workers and expects 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine: The state hasn’t yet said how many doses of the Moderna vaccine we’ll get, KIRO reports.
Meanwhile, the big freezers are here: UW Medicine has an ultra-cold freezer for each of its three campuses to hold the vaccine, Q13 reports.
Snohomish County megachurch appears to host maskless service with singing: A video the church posted on Facebook showed people singing with no face coverings and while not social distancing. One local resident was outraged and took his concerns to KIRO. The church didn’t return the tv station’s calls.
If you want to narc on some maskless dorks: Or if you want to narc on yourself for BEING a maskless dork and then interrogate that for a bit, then send an unsigned rant, confession, or accusation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Seattle gets it: They’re going big on Christmas with outdoor light displays. One resident of High Point tells West Seattle Blog, “our block is off the hook this year!”