Today in "No, Joe, the pandemic isn't over": Regardless of whether we continue to call COVID a "pandemic" or not, leading health experts tell NBC News that the disease will remain a leading cause of death in this country for the foreseeable future.
Jail services to resume next month: King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Monday that jails will resume in-person visitations and some group activities in as soon as two weeks. Mental health experts told the Seattle Times that the lack of such programming likely contributed to the spike in suicides in the jail this year, and they expressed hope that less isolation would reduce the likelihood of additional suicides in our overcrowded jails.
Speaking of jail deaths: Weird how the people who say they're all about enforcing laws can't figure out how to follow this one.
BREAKING: A DOJ report and Senate investigation have revealed that dozens of states have failed to report in-custody death data as required by the Death in Custody Reporting Act. Upwards of 5,000 deaths are missing from the official data. https://t.co/kdAcHUY2DZ— Ethan Corey (@EthanSCorey) September 20, 2022
Every Supreme Court story is dumb now: Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat reported on the latest developments in the case of the Bremerton assistant football coach who sued all the way to the Supreme Court after the school district put him on paid leave for refusing to cease holding public prayers at high school games. Surely that case was legit and the coach is now back on the sidelines coaxing teens to give each other concussions, right? Nope. He's joined the conservative celebrity grifting circuit.
Register to vote, fellow kids! KUOW reports that overall voter registration jumped from 75% of eligible voters to 80% after yesterday's national holiday to mark the need to register to vote. That's great news! What's less great is that most of that increase comes from the olds signing up in greater numbers, while the percentage of voters age 18-24 slightly dipped. Millennials, whose registration numbers increased slightly, need to get our younger comrades signed up to receive ballots this fall if we have any hope of defeating the gerontocracy.
#SolanWatch, Episode 1: Welcome to a new blurb series, where I listen to Seattle Police Officers Guild Mike Solan's terrible podcast so that you don't have to. Over the weekend, Solan resumed podcasting after several months on hiatus to argue that public safety shouldn't be politicized. Of course, he did so while explaining the reasons his union acted politically to endorse and promote Federal Way mayor Jim Ferrell's candidacy for King County Prosecutor, apparently unaware of the irony. That's all that you really need to know, and I sat through a solid 15 minutes of irrelevant ranting about Solan's beef with Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter to make sure, so be thankful.
You really got us, Ron! I genuinely don't know how Marc Caputo, a longtime political journalist out of Florida, sleeps at night. Amplifying the narrative of someone weaponizing their position of power against the vulnerable to advance their own career is the exact opposite of what journalism is supposed to do, and yet:
“The media, the Democrats, everyone got punked who decided to heed some s—- on Twitter instead of waiting for confirmation from the governor’s office. The entire point of this is to put a spotlight on the border. It’s what the governor has said.”https://t.co/wj9AIHNZd1— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) September 21, 2022
Can we fast forward to the "finding out" phase, please? The migrants fleeing political unrest in Venezuela aren't taking DeSantis's abuse lying down, and have banded together to file a class action lawsuit against the 2024 hopeful. The complaint alleges DeSantis and his compadres in Florida's government engaged in “a premeditated, fraudulent, and illegal scheme ... for the sole purpose of advancing their own personal, financial and political interests.” The suit asks a federal court to issue an injunction to stop DeSantis from continuing this ridiculous ruse.
Here's how to treat undocumented people: Instead of lying to them and flying them to Martha's Vineyard, Washington's state legislature appropriated $340 million in COVID aid for our state's undocumented population that's finally getting disbursed to people in need. Late is better than never, and immigrant-led community organizations running the aid program have promised to withhold applicants' personal information from ICE.
Periodic reminder that Fox News is just propaganda:
According to a new book, Bret Baier — the face of Fox News' "straight news" division — wanted network executives to rescind the accurate Arizona call and award it to Trump because the campaign was "really pissed" and it was making him "uncomfortable."https://t.co/SVC9sGk1nN— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 20, 2022
Back in reality: President Biden will address the United Nations today to rally the world against Russia's aggression in Ukraine and a whole host of other issues, reports the Associated Press. Biden's speech will include the announcement of $2.9 billion in food aid for countries struggling with the ripple effects of the invasion in Ukraine, which exports tons of grain when not under invasion, and the worsening effects of climate change.
Speaking of war: It doesn't look like many Russians are super jazzed about Putin announcing that he's calling up as many as 300,000 reservists to continue prosecuting his war against Ukraine, as flights out of Moscow sold out within hours of his announcement.
Ending with some good news: Join me in delighting over this headline from CBS News: "Mark Zuckerberg's net worth has dropped $71 billion this year." Sure, Zuck is still ranked on Forbes' list of billionaires, but he dropped from 3 to 22. In a world that allows people to have billions of dollars, that much public embarrassment is just about the most we can hope for in terms of accountability for a tech bro who accidentally destroyed democracy.
No spoilers: Since it's Wednesday, it's time for the next episode in KNKX's podcast about the investigation into Manny Ellis's death at the hands of Tacoma police. I won't ruin the excellent pacing of the pod's storytelling with any spoilers, but I promise you'll want to listen to the whole thing.