December 27, 2020

A light-hearted look a last week’s stories from political cartoonists!

Political Cartoon: The perfect 2020 Christmas gift
Credit: Signe Wilkinson,
for The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board
How the Grinch really stole Christmas
Credit Jack Ohman: The Sacramento Bee
Russia suspected of alleged largest hack in U. S. history.
Credit: Lisa Benson, Washington Post Writers Group
AG Barr’s last day on the job was December 23, 2020.
Credit: Michael De Adder, Canada
Editorial cartoon
Trump campaign loses WI. appeals court ruling on Christmas Eve
Credit Signe Wilkinson, The Palm Beach Post
STAT Status
Credit Jack Ohman The Sacramento Bee

December 26, 2020

Christmas Tree Recycling for Thurston County Residents
Credit: Thurston County

When the holidays wind down and the decorations get packed away, it’s time to figure out what to do with the Christmas tree. This season, free tree collection and drop-off opportunities are available county-wide.

To prepare your tree for recycling, please remove all ornaments, lights, stands, nails, and tinsel prior to drop-off. Flocked trees are accepted.

Drop-off Locations

All Thurston County residents: Trees are accepted at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) located at 2420 Hogum Bay Road NE in Lacey from Saturday, December 26, to Sunday, January 10 (closed Friday, January 1). The WARC is open Monday–Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Customers with other waste in addition to a tree should expect to make two trips across the scale.

Rainier residents: Take trees to the Rainier Drop-Box Facility at 13010 Rainier Acres Road from Saturday, December 26, to Sunday, January 10 (closed Friday, January 1). The Rainier Drop-Box Facility is open Friday–Sunday only, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tenino residents: Residents can take trees to 418 S. Wichman Street from Saturday, December 26, to Sunday, January 17.

Yelm residents: Residents can place trees in a designated dumpster at Yelm City Park anytime from Saturday, December 26, to Sunday, January 10, or until the dumpster is full.

Read more

December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas to you and yours –
From the Yelm Community Blogger!

An inspiring message about the wonder of a child, perfect for Christmas.
Credit: Probably Tomfoolery

The Yelm Community Blog has published an annual Christmas message since 2006. The following are in the Christmas Spirit:

– The Polar Express – “I Believe” scene
This excerpt reminds us that the true spirit of Christmas lies in each of our hearts.
Watch here

“Christmas in the Northwest – Brenda Kutz White”
“Post production opening clip taken from The Christmas in the Northwest Christmas special that aired on KOMO TV [Channel 4] in Seattle back in December of 1987 featuring Brenda Kutz White’s song “Christmas in the Northwest.”

All proceeds from the Christmas in the Northwest project go to Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.”
Copyright © 1987 Fisher Broadcasting, Inc.
Click here for the video.

– 10,000 singing Beethoven’s – Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy)
Worth hearing and seeing, from 2012.
Click here


– World’s Largest Virtual #Hallelujah Chorus – Click here

– Michael W. Smith – Christmastime
Click here for this moving rendition of a holiday favorite.

– “Do You Hear What I Hear? (Home Free) (Christmas A Cappella)” 2015
“Originally written during the Cuban missile crisis [Oct. 1962], a parallel can be drawn to any time when the world needs a reminder to love not hate.”
Click here for the video.

– “Christmas Gift Suggestions”
By Oren Arnold
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

– “Interesting Facts About Christmas”
“No matter how many Christmases you’ve celebrated, you may not know how five of the most common Christmas traditions came about. Let’s begin with a few interesting facts about Christmas from
* Christmas was declared a U.S. federal holiday on June 26, 1870
* Every year, 30 to 35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S., most of them cultivated by one of the nation’s 21,000 Christmas tree growers
* Poinsettias are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the plant to America from Mexico in 1828
* The Salvation Army has been collecting Christmas donations on the streets across the U.S. since the 1890s
* “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written in 1939 by copywriter Robert L. May as a marketing piece to attract customers to the Montgomery Ward department store
* Construction workers initiated the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in New York City in 1931
* The first eggnog made in the U.S. was consumed at the Jamestown settlement in 1607
By Dr. Mercola.
Read more

December 24, 2020

On this Christmas Eve –
“The First Noel” – Music Video by The Tabernacle Choir!
Credit: The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

The First Noel (Lyric Video) by The Tabernacle Choir

“The First Noel” is a traditional English Christmas carol arranged by Dr. Mack Wilberg, music director of The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Click here for this moving video.

December 24, 2020

NORAD’s Santa Tracker is now live.
Santa due over Yelm late tonight!
NORAD tracking Santa.
Credit: Arian Lam, NBC News

“NORAD Tracks Santa”

“24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks everything that flies in and around North America in defense of our homelands. On Dec. 24, we have the very special mission of also tracking Santa.

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a young child accidently dialed the unlisted phone number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believing she was calling Santa Claus after seeing a promotion in a local newspaper.

“Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night, was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the youngster that CONAD would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole.

Thus a tradition was born that rolled over to NORAD when it was formed in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions across the globe. Click here for the 2019 live Santa Tracker.

“Thanks to the services and resources generously provided by numerous corporate contributors and volunteers, NORAD Tracks Santa has persevered for more than 60 years. 

“Though the program began due to a misdialed number, NORAD Tracks Santa has flourished and is recognized as one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs.

“Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly fifteen million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Volunteers receive more than 130,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline from children around the globe.

“This year, children and the young-at-heart are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.” Read more to track Santa!

“NORAD is tracking Santa. Why aren’t we tracking our government’s complicity in Santa’s lies?”

“What do we really know about this “St. Nick” guy, anyway, except that government officials are telling bold-faced lies about him?” by Sam Thielman, reporter and cultural critic, NBC News.

December 23, 2020

* Capitol’s political clashes concern Olympia officials,
* Politico: Is Trump Cracking Under the Weight of Losing?
* Pat Robertson laments Trump’s ‘alternate reality’!
Barricades block entrances to state Capitol campus Friday.
State officials and Olympia city leaders disagree on the tactic.
Credit: Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times.


Seattle Times: ‘A recipe for disaster’: As Olympia becomes the site of political clashes, officials voice concern for the Capitol and the city

NVN: Shower Trailer Provides Service for Those in Need in Yelm Twice a Month

Tacoma News-Tribune: More stimulus money is on its way to Washington. Here are the answers to your questions

Airliner Watch: Alaska Airlines to acquire 68 737-9 MAX jets with options for another 52

WaPo: It could take years for Biden to restore wildlife protections erased by Trump


Kaiser Health News: No More ICU Beds at the Main Public Hospital in the Nation’s Largest County [Los Angeles]

Dr. Mercola: Screen Time, Emotional Health Top Concerns for Kids During COVID


NBC News: Trump pardons former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, ex-GOP congressmen, and others

Politico: Is Trump Cracking Under the Weight of Losing? Getting the boot from the White House is an undeniable ego blow for a man who has never admitted defeat.

Axios: Trump turns on everyone – Targets of his outrage include Vice President Pence, chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Pompeo and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We cannot stress enough how unnerved Trump officials are by the conversations unfolding inside the White House.”

MSNBC: ‘Disgrace to his uniform’: Col. Wilkerson on Flynn’s martial law election plot

MSNBC: ‘Thuggery’: Four star Army General Barry McCaffrey blasts Trump’s MAGA martial law plot

Salon: Fox News, suddenly worried about a defamation suit, forced to debunk its own false election claims

MSNBC: Even TV preacher Pat Robertson laments Trump’s ‘alternate reality’ – Have we reached the point in our modern political history at which radical TV preacher Pat Robertson is a voice of moderation in the Republican Party?

New York Times Opinion: I’m Haunted by What I Did as a Lawyer in the Trump Justice Department [Erica Newland worked in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department from 2016-18.]

December 22, 2020

* Congress passes long-awaited Covid relief bill,
* House watchdog details meddling with CDC Covid-19 reports,
* NYT: “The ‘Red Slime’ Lawsuit That Could Sink Right-Wing Media!”
Virginia removed their statue of Robert E. Lee from the US Capitol
Credit: @GovernorVA

*** TOP NEWS ***

CNBC: Congress passes long-awaited Covid relief bill and government funding plan

NBC News: Federal prosecutors have discussed obtaining Giuliani’s electronic communications, say two sources – The federal investigation of the president’s personal lawyer is ongoing, said two sources familiar with the matter, with one saying it is “very active.”

Politico: ‘Subpoenas are necessary’: House watchdog details extensive meddling with CDC Covid-19 reports

Denny Heck on leaving the House of Representatives: “Thank You”Click here for Rep. Heck’s top 10 accomplishments


Gov Inslee issues proclamations on travel restrictions and updates to existing religious guidanceorders travelers from Great Britain and South Africa to quarantine

Christmas Tree Recycling for Thurston County Residents

Thurston commissioners allow asphalt recycling, expand opportunity for mining

The [Centralia] Chronicle: Yelm Grad Goes From Yearbook Class to Senior Designer at Starbucks

Support your favorite Washington small businesses and their employees during the COVID-19 crisis by purchasing a gift certificate online or over the phone.

Riding the ferry in Washington this holiday season brings risks — and these changes – essential travelers only is recommended


Millions of holiday travelers pass through airports despite COVID warnings, TSA says [Ed.Note: Will the U.S. see another virus spike by mid-January?]

Kansas City Star apologizes for decades of racist coverage – The newspaper had “robbed an entire community of opportunity, dignity, justice and recognition,” its editor wrote.

The New York Times: Treasury Department’s Senior Leaders Were Targeted by Hacking

On Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that the statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from the US Capitol on Sunday night.

The New York Times: The ‘Red Slime’ Lawsuit That Could Sink Right-Wing Media – Voting machine companies threaten “highly dangerous” cases against Fox, Newsmax and OAN, says Floyd Abrams.

The Ocean Floor Is Spewing Methane Due to Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells


Politico: House intends to reissue subpoena for Trump’s financial records next year

Salon Magazine: Donald Trump’s American carnage: He continues to ignore COVID as his GOP enablers make it worse

Politico: House Republicans meet with Trump to discuss overturning election results

CNN: Some White House advisers fear Trump’s final days

December 21, 2020

AG Barr: Special Council not needed for Hunter Biden, election fraud,
Another cabinet member now out of step with Trump!

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Barr: No need for special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, election fraud
“Barr: No need for special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, election fraud”
Credit: Greg Nash via MSN

Barr: No need for special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, election fraud

By Morgan Chalfant, The Hill:

Attorney General William Barr on Monday said he saw no reason to tap a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s finances or claims of election fraud.”

“‘I think to the extent that there’s an investigation I think that it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department,’ Barr, who is leaving office this week, told reporters. ‘To this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave.’

President Trump has reportedly discussed pushing for a special counsel to be appointed to take over the investigation into President-elect Joe Biden’s son, which is currently being run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware. Hunter Biden acknowledged the existence of the investigation earlier this month. It is said to relate to his foreign work.

In another rebuke to Trump, Barr also said he saw no need to tap a special counsel to investigate claims of fraud in the presidential election. Trump is said to have discussed the possibility of naming Sidney Powell, a proponent of election-related conspiracy theories, as a special counsel to investigate claims of fraud.

“‘If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to,'” Barr told reporters.”


Washington Post Deputy Editor Ruth Marcus penned this op-ed December 14, 2020, even more pertinent today: Barr failed at his job. His bootlicking resignation letter made that clear [scroll down for the text]

December 21, 2020

‘Christmas Star’ will light up tonight’s sky,
as Winter officially begins on today’s solstice!

This event is called a "great conjunction." These occur every 20 years this century as the orbits of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn periodically align making these two outer planets appear close together in our nighttime sky.
Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction tonight
Yelm weather set to clear by nightfall, look in southwest sky
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NBC News: ‘Christmas Star,’ not seen in 800 years, will light up on longest night of the year

The Weather Channel: Winter Solstice Rings in Planetary Treat World Hasn’t Seen Since Middle Ages – Be sure to look up on Dec. 21. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a double planet – something that hasn’t happened since 1226.

– WINTER begins Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:02am PST
“It is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the shortest day of the year.
“In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.
“December Solstice in Yelm, Washington, U.S.A. is on Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:02am PST,” quoting
Read more

December 21, 2020

* Gov. Inslee announces auth. of Moderna vaccine,
* Seahawks hold on, win in D.C., clinch playoffs,
* What is known about Europe’s coronavirus mutation!
Health Care Workers lead list for our gratitude
Credit: Signe Wilkinson, The Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News


Gov. Inslee announces authorization of Moderna vaccine by Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup

Gov. Inslee delays implementation of plastic bag law in Washington due to pandemic

Seahawks hold on, win in D.C., clinch playoffs

FAA, Boeing Game 737 MAX Recertification Process

Hanford reportedly a target of Russian hackers in nationwide infiltration of federal agencies

U.S. Population Growth Falls to Lowest in a Century Amid Pandemic Fallout

It’s Been a Long Nightmare Before Christmas for UPS and Postal Workers

Pain, despair and poverty reach fever pitch for unemployed workers

Hacked networks will need to be burned ‘down to the ground’

Why climate change denial still exists

Biden just introduced a historic climate A-team tasked with carrying out an ambitious energy agenda


Belgium, Austria, Italy, Netherlands halt UK flights, fearing new coronavirus variant

WaPo: Here’s what we know about the new European coronavirus mutation

CDC issues guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination after allergic reactions

Study: Vitamin D deficiency found in over 80% of COVID-19 patients


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