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.
Trump 2024? Over half of Republicans say, “Yes, please!” ETHAN MILLER / GETTY IMAGES
The Trump administration is salting the earth on its way out: Yes, the ~power of American institutions~ appears to be greater than the power of a washed-up reality television show star and his freaky little melting orcs, but that’s not stopping the bad President and his administration from just breaking everything it possibly can on the way out. Last week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took steps to kill a couple Federal loan programs the Fed could use to help small businesses in lieu of a gridlocked Congress, reports Politico. Now so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens, but a lot more depends on the results of the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Trump 2024? Over half of Republicans say, “Yes, please,” according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Members of Biden’s proposed cabinet founded and staffed a shadowy consulting firm: The place is called WestExec Advisors, Politico reports. One insider told the magazine the firm’s staffers help “U.S. companies with global footprints navigate geopolitical risks,” but the Project on Government Oversight described the firm as a bunch of lobbyists “helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies.” Since the advisors don’t directly lobby the government on behalf of these businesses, they don’t have to register as lobbyists, which means we don’t know which defense businesses they’ve worked for. Now they (Anthony Blinken, Michèle Flournoy, and Avril Haines) will probably run President-elect Joe Biden’s national security team.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein will step down as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee: The decision came after “intense pressure by progressives who said she was not up to the task of leading a crucial panel at the forefront of the partisan war over the courts in a new Biden administration,” according to the New York Times. Progressives feared Feinstein may go easy on Republicans attempting to block Biden appointments. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is next in seniority and plans to seek the spot.
The warehouse industry is going gangbusters: Now that somehow even more people shop online, Amazon and Walmart are snapping up every giant tin box they can find, according to the New York Times.
Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama file for unionization vote: The vote at a newly opened warehouse “could be a major labor battle against a company that has long opposed the unionization of its workforce,” the Washington Post reports. Workers say they face “outrageous work quotas.” Amazon says: “We don’t believe this group represents the majority of our employees’ views.”
If states were countries, the global ranking of new cases per capita now begins with 10 states:
1 North Dakota
3 New Mexico
4 South Dakota
11 Georgia (the country)
12 Kansashttps://t.co/ZqucXYl6sT pic.twitter.com/4Il6L0M54A
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) November 24, 2020
Massive COVID-19 outbreak forces “world’s top latex glove maker” to shutter half its factories: Top Glove, a corporation based out of Malaysia, said nearly 2,500 of its employees tested positive for the virus. The BBC reports the company really fucking sucks due to poor labor practices.
The English will get their football back soon: Our allies across the pond will let 4,000 fans into outdoor stadiums in parts of the country with low COVID-19 numbers, according to Al Jazeera. Only “home fans” can go “to prevent unnecessary travel on public transport by opposing fans.”
Trevor Noah will host the Grammys, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic it remains to be seen what January’s Grammys will look like.”
Hillbilly Elegy dropped on Netflix: Everybody hates it. Jason Bailey nicely sums up the consensus view for Vulture: “Ron Howard’s Netflix-produced adaptation of J.D. Vance’s inexplicable bestseller is among the worst films of the year, a shameless pander for awards recognition and social relevance that hollers and clangs for the better part of two hours, making lots of noise while managing to say almost nothing. It’s absolute bottom-tier work for just about everyone involved—up to and including Mr. Howard, who himself has never exactly screamed ‘icon of working-class ennui.'”
King County needs more contact tracers: As cases spike, Public Health – Seattle and King County has 75 contact tracers and plans to have 110 by the end of January, according to KIRO.
Speaking of contact tracers, don’t lie to them: If you’re traveling locally or nationally for Thanksgiving—in direct defiance of public health officials who would also like to see their families as soon as possible—at least tell the contact tracers the truth if you or someone you know tests positive after the fact. That includes vital information such as the name of the person who hosted the party and the names of the people who attended. As the local Fox affiliate put it, “That kind of information is what contact tracers need to help limit the spread of the deadly virus.”
Public health officials express skepticism about blaming the recent surge on social gatherings: Epidemiologists at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and in North Dakota told the New York Times the data makes it difficult to say where to place most of the blame:
In most places, the virus is too widespread to claim with any confidence where someone became infected. Where once clusters were obvious — in nursing homes and meatpacking plants, for example — now there are thousands of small outbreaks in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, colleges and gyms.
It’s also worth quoting this section from that Times piece, featuring analysis from Harvard’s Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist:
‘Household gatherings would be much safer if officials put stricter limits on commercial and nonresidential activities. They are choosing not to, and then saying the fault lies with individuals.’
Local governments could also provide safer gathering spaces for people, with open-air tents, firepits and heat lamps as temperatures drop, Dr. Marcus said: ‘Then the message becomes a more realistic one. Instead of ‘don’t gather,’ it’s ‘gather here instead.’’
Listen to the puppets:
The price of houses in Seattle continues to rise: With an increase of 10.1% year-over-year, we have “the second-fastest growth in the nation,” according to the Seattle Times. Next time a well-off Seattleite complains about property taxes, comfort them by congratulating them on the skyrocketing value of their home. If they say, “but I don’t have that money in my pocket,” then express deep concern over this market failure.
Police arrest suspect in Belltown stabbing: A caseworker at a Plymouth Housing apartment building was stabbed to death at the building. Police arrested a man accused of the stabbing Monday afternoon, reports KOMO.
Sounders player tests positive for COVID-19: The team hasn’t disclosed the player’s identity. Players and staff are continuing daily testing, the Seattle Times reports.
The West Seattle Food Bank needs turkeys: They prefer frozen birds, but they can take fresh, too, reports the West Seattle Blog.
Revelations here include turning leftover stuffing into dumplings: And also reheating white meat and dark meat in different ways. “When you have children you don’t treat them the same. They’re individuals,” Sohla El-Waylly says of the bird parts. And she’s right.