Local saboteur(s) still on the lam: The Seattle Times reports that the Pierce County Sheriff's Department is investigating the possibility that the four attacks on power plants on Christmas could have been the work of a coordinated group. So far, the cops are not reporting any leads on who the person or group responsible for the attacks might be.
Finally! KUOW reports that Washington lawmakers will try to address the tidal wave of spam calls that the state's residents receive every year with a new law in the upcoming legislative session. The Attorney General's office says those calls total more than 600 million per year, with scams making up half of those annoying interruptions.
Twitter faces eviction in Seattle: Sadly, not from my phone (yet). In an apparent cost-cutting move, the New York Times reports Musk directed his subordinates to stop paying rent at the company's Seattle office. Twitter's landlord in Seattle didn't take that news well, and Twitter opted to close the office rather than have its landlord evict them.
Farewell, Alex! Alex Zielinski, our compadre down at the Mercury in Portland, is moving on to a new job in the new year. To celebrate, let's revisit one of my favorite pieces she's written that went semi-viral among Abolition Twitter last night.
News flash: more cops does not lead to less crime.— Elliott Young (@elliottyoungpdx) December 29, 2022
You want to reduce crime, start upstream.
The year-end recap you didn't know you needed: Hannah has collected the best and worst moments for the City Council's progressives and relatively moderate members, and you should go read both pieces! Seven members of the Council will be up for reelection this year, so go refresh your memory on what they've done and failed to do before all those glossy mailers try to gaslight you into thinking that they somehow defunded the police while giving Amazon a reach-around.
Got those NYE plans settled yet? If not, check out this collection of nearly two dozen options to ring in the new year for less than $25 from our friends at EverOut. And for the love of all that is holy, please plan ahead to use King County Metro's fare-free service to avoid driving drunk.
An obvious tragedy: The Seattle Times reports that homeless students in Washington's public schools are nearly three times more likely to receive suspensions or expulsions than students with secure housing. The disparity is even worse than comparing the relative discipline records of students of color to their white counterparts, so you know this is bad. Despite claiming they're aware of the problem, the state has yet to offer a coordinated response or program to reduce the discipline disparity in the same way they're proactively changing policies to address the racial disparity in discipline.
Speaking of race: The man has a point. After all, conservatives in Ronald Reagan's California suddenly became huge fans of gun control after the Black Panthers conducted an armed demonstration at their state capitol back in the sixties.
“I’m African American. Child of the sixties. I think it would have been a vastly different response if those were African Americans trying to breach the Capitol,” House sergeant at arms William J. Walker told congressional investigators. https://t.co/NStITOJWDd— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 28, 2022
Orange Man still bad: The Associated Press put together this roundup of the highlights from the House's investigation into the January 6 insurrection, and it deserves a read. We cannot memory-hole this like so much else from the Trump era, regardless of how unpleasant it is to realize exactly how close we came to a coup two years ago.
Orange Man still dumb, too: Trump's tax returns are finally out in the public, after the Supreme Court rejected his lawsuit to stop Congress from releasing them. Now that people have gotten a peek, it's obvious why he tried to hide them in the first place. The Associated Press's analysis of the returns shows more than 150 of Trump's businesses reported negative income in 2020 on his way to $58 million in losses for that tax year. The documents also confirm prior reporting from the New York Times that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in two of the last five years.
My nomination for shitpost of the year: Honestly, has there been a better argument for the end of social media than watching this man's brain rot in real time?
December 30, 2022
Listen up, homeowners and drivers: Starting on Sunday, a boatload of federal money from Biden's Inflation Reduction Act to incentivize you to reduce your contribution to climate change will become available. I'm gifting you this link from the Washington Post explaining the three most important programs subsidizing switching to heat pumps, buying an electric vehicle, and installing rooftop solar panels on your home. Read it, and budget for some planet-friendly lifestyle upgrades in the new year.
The end of the world, by the numbers: In case saving some money isn't enough of an incentive to get you to do your small part to address climate change, maybe this review of the year's exceptionally terrible natural disasters from the Washington Post will do the trick. Some stats that will stay with me throughout 2023: nearly 7.5 million acres of forest burned in wildfires this year and researchers had to go back 1,200 years to find a period of sustained drought in the American West to match the one we've experienced since 2000.
Let's end 2022's last AM with the final episode of what turned out to be my favorite podcast of the year, The Walk Home from the fine folks at KNKX. They released an update on Christmas Eve recapping Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer's trial, and if you haven't listened yet, you really should.