Slog PM: Britney Is Free, Bannon Is Indicted, WA GOP State Sen. Doug Ericksen Is in “Bad Shape” with COVID-19

The flag has done its job.

The flag has done its job. RS

Be free, Britney, be free: This afternoon a judge in Los Angeles freed Britney Spears from an extremely restrictive conservatorship that governed her “life and finances for nearly 14 years,” the New York Times reports. A Times documentary published earlier this year exposed the indignities of the legal arrangement, which is typically reserved for elderly people who cannot take care of themselves. That’s the power of journalism, people. May she spend the rest of her days dicking around with jump cuts on TikTok or whatever.


Seattle musician Leeni Ramadan of Prom Queen attended the celebration outside the courthouse today. In a text message, she called the festivities “wild,” but emphasized the event’s primary goal of highlighting the plight of non-famous people caught up in “corrupt conservatorships that they are working to dissolve.” Just before the crowd began to march in honor of those victims, Ramadan said confetti cannons blew and someone announced the pop singer’s liberation. “We all sang and danced ‘Til the World Ends’ in the streets and celebrated and it was a very joyous, albeit dizzyingly brief, moment in time.” Prom Queen recently dropped an album of Britney covers, which Jas Keimig wrote about here.

If it’s up, then it’s stuck: The University Bridge is stuck in the up position after “a transformer controlling a braking mechanism for the drawspan had burned out,” according to the Seattle Times. At 3 pm an SDOT spokesperson told the Times repairs would take “a few hours.”

Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen claims he’s “in rough shape with COVID”: The guy who proposed a bill to ban vaccine mandates wrote a letter to state House and Senate Republicans asking them to send monoclonal antibodies to his location in El Salvador, stat. The lawmaker said he contracted the bug shortly after his visit to the country, where he spent time earlier this year “observing” elections that installed right-wing authoritarian Nayib Bukele. Bukele’s election caused “alarm” in the US, because he’s famous for “disobeying supreme court rulings and sending troops into the national assembly to coerce legislators into approving his spending plans.”

Someone’s apparently feeling pretty good about the likelihood of landing in a safer seat after the state’s redistricting process: GOP goons are already clutching pearls in the retweets over State Sen. Emily Randall DARING to make plain the material connection between government policy and real life:

Fraudsters scoop up $1 million in homeless funds from Seattle: According to the Seattle Times, “after signing up for direct deposit with the city in November 2020, [Mary’s Place] stopped receiving most payments.” The state auditor thinks someone was merely “‘posing’ as Mary’s place” for about six months, until the nonprofit an “URGENT: FINANCE CONCERN.” The city has since installed “multiple safeguards to ensure payments arrive at the correct account.”

No lie detected:

Pierce County Sheriff’s rap sheet keeps grows longer: Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer faces two misdemeanor charges, a spot on the Brady list, and “a scathing report from a former U.S. attorney that found he endangered a civilian’s life.” And yet, KNKX reports, every option to remove him from office short of demanding a resignation he refuses to tender would be tremendously difficult to achieve. Part of the reason? He was elected during the massive anti-Trump turnout surge in 2020, so gathering enough signatures for a recall would take tons of money.

Looks like Chris Christie plans to lose to Trump in 2024: After Trump humiliated the New Jersey governor in the 2016 primaries, Christie now has a new book coming out, and he’s booked on the speaker’s circuit with a bunch of other GOP hopefuls, Politico reports. Trump people are already roasting him. One “Trump adviser” told the news outlet that “Christie is trying to create a path, but right now it’s a bike lane he needs to widen with the help of the media. Christie didn’t say Trump was a liar. You guys are giving him credit for balls he didn’t show.”

Speaking of Trump advisors: A grand jury indicted Steve Bannon with “two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress,” the Washington Post reports. The charges are misdemeanors punishable “by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.” The committee wants to know why Bannon thought “hell was going to break loose” on 1/6.

Useless climate summit proposes useless commitments on coal, fossil fuels: According to the BBC, “a draft agreement released early on Friday included watered down commitments to end the use of coal and other fossil fuels.” The exact language of the agreement “calls upon Parties to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels.” China hasn’t signed on. If we don’t reduce emissions to zero by 2050, then all the coral reefs die.

Speaking of China: President Biden will hold a remote meeting with President Xi on Monday. The leaders of the countries that produce the most carbon plan to chat about “COVID-19, climate change, nuclear weapons, and Chinese military technology,” Al Jazeera reports. Should only take about an hour.

The 5th Circuit halts Biden’s vaccine and testing mandate for private businesses: The conservative Federal appeals court sided with “Republican-aligned businesses and legal groups” who sued over the new rules requiring proof of vax or regular testing for 80 million employees at companies with over 100 workers, the Washington Post reports. In their opinion, the judges threw up a bunch of GOP pablum questioning the “supposedly ‘grave danger’” of the deadly respiratory virus going around. The new rules were supposed to take effect in early January.

I leave you with this:

Love Slog AM/PM?

JK, it’s gotta be Britney:

JK, it’s gotta be this big set from Jungle on KEXP:

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