No moral analysis required for God's love: In a new document, Pope Francis said same-sex couples can now be blessed by Catholic priests. God's love isn't contingent on who you're porking! Although, Pope Francis doesn't want any of his priests to get it twisted—these little blessings should not be confused with the sacrament of marriage. Marriage for same-sex couples in the eyes of the church is still off the table. Enjoy these blessing scraps, though.  

Japan buys US Steel: Nippon Steel will buy US Steel—once the biggest company in the world before experiencing decades of decline—for $14.6 billion. The United Steelworkers union is not pleased since it only agreed to support a deal by another unionized American company. The union said the deal disregards the concerns of its dedicated workforce and "demonstrates the same greedy, shortsighted attitude that has guided U.S. Steel for far too long." The union intends to block the deal. 

Sound Transit CEO scores sweet exit package: Julie Timm, Sound Transit's CEO of just 16 months, will peace out come January 12. She said her departure is her own choice. A motion from the board called the separation "mutual." It's still unclear what the circumstances of Timm's departure are; was she fired? Did she quit to take care of a sick family member? Whatever the reason, Sound Transit will pay Timm her $375,000 salary plus benefits for a full year as severance. She will serve as a consultant for the next year. 

I'll take "Juicy Jeopardy! News" for $1,000, Alex: Wait. Not Alex. I'll take the category for $1,000, Mayim. Wait, shit. Mayim Balik, who split Jeopardy! hosting duties with Seattle's Ken Jennings, announced she had been let go and she would no longer be hosting the show. Jennings will be the sole host now. Notably, Balik, the former Big Bang Theory star, declined to host during the writer's strike early this year out of solidarity with the union. Jennings kept hosting. Address all your category requests to Ken, please. 

Snowless December on tap: Our mild winter continues with sad snow news.

Wildfire worker protections: Face it, in our new climate-change-impact normal, wildfire season is here to stay. As if accepting the permanence of the hell season, Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries announced new rules for outdoor workers during smoky days. The rules require employers of outdoor employees such as farm or construction workers to "monitor air conditions and provide new training, masks or respirators, and access to spaces with clean air" on smoky days. 

Fire in Fairhaven: The historic Bellingham building, the Fairhaven Terminal Building, was gutted by fire over the weekend. It's extensively damaged and unstable. One employee of one of the businesses housed in the building is missing. 

Flat fares on the light rail: From now on, all light rail trips will cost $3. While this is good news for long trips which maxed out at $3.50, it's a bummer for the majority of light rail users who take short trips which used to cost a minimum of $2.25. The Urbanist reports "two-thirds of riders who tap on and off with their ORCA transit card spend $2.50 or less." But, the powers that be think the $3 flat fare is the way to go despite 52% of current light rail riders thinking the opposite. 

Plantations removed books "too focused on slavery" from gift shop: Plantations in Texas quietly removed nearly two dozen books from gift shop shelves after receiving complaints they "were too focused on racism and white supremacy," reports the Houston Chronicle. Amateur historian Michelle Haas, author of the book 200 Years a Fraud, which aims to point out her perceived historical inaccuracies in Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir Twelve Years a Slave, made these complaints. Haas thought the books in a Texas plantation she visited focused too much on the slaves and not enough on the white family who owned the plantation. The gift shops removed many of these books including Remembering the Days of Sorrow, Invisible ManStamped from the Beginning, and Roots to avoid retaliation from lawmakers. 

Israel killed three Israeli hostages: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated in a preliminary report on the killings that three Israeli hostages escaped their Hamas captors when they were "mistakenly identified" by IDF soldiers, then shot and killed. They were shirtless, waving a white flag, and screaming for help in Hebrew when the IDF shot them. Critics believe the hostage killings are an example of how the IDF has treated Palestinian civilians: brutally. 

Car crashes into Biden's motorcade: President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were in Delaware headed to their home in Wilmington after a campaign dinner when a car crashed into a vehicle in Biden's motorcade. Officials believe this was a car accident and not an intentional act. 

Sex? In the Senate hearing room? Right-wing news site, The Daily Caller, obtained and published a video showing two men having sex in the Senate hearing room. According to the Daily Caller but sourced by me through CNN because I cannot in good conscience link to the the Daily Caller, one of the men was a staffer in Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s office. The staffer is allegedly the no-longer-Senate-employed Aidan Maese-Czeropski who wrote a statement on LinkedIn which said: 

“This has been a difficult time for me, as I have been attacked for who I love to pursue a political agenda. While some of my actions in the past have shown poor judgement, I love my job and would never disrespect my workplace... I will be exploring what legal options are available to me in these matters."

More Clarence Thomas bullshit: This year, ProPublica unearthed lots of dirt on the fancy gifts and expensive favors bestowed on the Supreme Court justice by conservative heavy hitters. In the latest report, ProPublica found Thomas was thousands of dollars in debt before he started receiving these gifts around the year 2000. Before the gifts started flowing in, Thomas allegedly complained to a conservative lawmaker about how he might resign if the Supreme Court didn't boost justice salaries or allow for paid speaking gigs. Soon after, the lavish gifts started coming in for Thomas. 

If you want to lose some hope for humanity on this lovely Monday: Here's a story about how content creators are flocking to a Philadelphia neighborhood to film and exploit people on drugs

In maybe good (???) news: Comedian Ziwe's interview with ousted Rep. George Santos went live this morning. I haven't watched it yet because I was too busy writing all of this for you, but it should be a romp: