Great way to start the weekend: The President took a break from celebrating the internet's obsession with Dank Brandon memes last night to tell a crowd of donors at a fundraiser that we haven't been this close to "nuclear Armageddon" since the Cuban Missile Crisis. His comments come as Putin continues escalating his rhetoric around using a so-called tactical nuke to bolster his military's wilting performance in Ukraine. Putin has said he'd use "any means necessary" to protect Russia's "territorial integrity," which could include the newly annexed parts of Ukraine. Fun times we live in!
Axios joins the bike lane beat: As my colleague Matt Baume has reported over, and over, and over again, drivers in this city really have no respect for the rule of law when it comes to parking in bike lanes. Melissa Santos over at Axios brought attention to this horrifying lack of urban manners yesterday by profiling a local cyclist who is tackling the problem in the most Pacific Northwestern way possible: passive-aggressively shaming drivers on the internet. Join Sanders Lauture's noble quest on Twitter.
I'm screaming inside because of this headline from the Associated Press: "GOP steps up crime message in midterm’s final stretch." This is nonsense. How do I know? The article itself opens with an acknowledgment that the representative ad for this "trend" is full of misrepresentations and footage of crimes that didn't even happen in the state where said ad is airing. Even the FBI's flawed crime report released yesterday showed the crime they did measure in 2021 didn't change in a statistically significant way from 2020. Here's an accurate way to frame this "attack" from the GOP: "Despite little evidence that crime is on the rise, Republican candidates step up efforts to fear-monger their way back into power."
My kingdom for a fact-checker: I'm not particularly interested in Jon Talton's latest regurgitation of Downtown Seattle Association talking points, except for his repetition of what's become a shibboleth for Seattle Times opinion writers: "(I wonder how much money businesses and organizations must spend on private security now, thanks to the City Council majority’s hostility to the Seattle Police Department?)."
My dude, I wish the City Council was hostile to the cops. I wish they refused to keep funding an institution that hasn't ever actually solved the root causes of crime, and held the line on a massive fight for hundreds of millions of dollars to end the housing crisis that's causing all the visible poverty that upsets Talton and his ilk. But they're not.
For what I'm sure won't be the last time, here's what the Council has actually done to staff the Seattle Police Department: they approved funding to hire 125 more cops in 2021, but SPD could only fill 81 vacancies. Through June of this year, SPD had only filled 30 of the 125 positions the Council funded. So why do business-friendly voices in the media continue to push this false narrative?
Without reading Talton's mind, I can't say for sure. But it does serve as a convenient distraction from the obvious truth that we need to tax big business and/or the ultra-wealthy who profit from them much more heavily if we're ever going to provide enough affordable housing and behavioral health treatment capacity for everyone who lives here.
In real police news: Shoutout to every union that opposes restrictions on police guild bargaining powers for fear of undermining the labor movement. After all, when cops show this kind of solidarity with striking workers, how can you not have their backs?
NEW: DHL delivery drivers were violently arrested while peacefully striking last month in Rhode Island.— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) October 6, 2022
Picketers were attacked by police in riot gear and suffered broken ribs, a fractured tailbone & concussions.
The drivers have been on strike since June. (TW: police violence) pic.twitter.com/IaajtNG3wG
Get fucked, Zuck: A King County Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that Facebook violated our state's campaign finance laws 822 times. The ruling opens up the social media hellsite's parent company, Meta, to up to $25 million in fines. Meta claimed it was "impossible to comply" with the same rules that tiny newspapers have followed for years, but didn't explain why.
Dank Brandon update: Although some lefties got frustrated with the relatively limited number of people Biden's mass pardons for simple possession of weed will actually let out of prison, let's not lose the forest for the trees on this one. Rescheduling cannabis at the federal level is an enormous fucking deal. Also, hat tip to the social team for the Secretary of Health & Human Services for their subtle sense of humor:
THE TIMESTAMP ON THIS TWEET https://t.co/bmS0D7CxwM pic.twitter.com/WtSKXaoUy4— McKenzie Wilson (@McKenzieAWilson) October 6, 2022
Proud Boy pleads guilty: Jeremy Bertino became the first of the several defendants in an upcoming trial for seditious conspiracy to plead guilty yesterday, reports CNN. Bertino didn't attend the January 6 insurrection, but he played a key part in organizing the assault and egged on fellow Proud Boys members to enter the Capitol during the riot, according to court documents. The trial for the remaining defendants is set to start in December.
Trump must have a thing for documents: The Department of Justice keeps asking Trump's lawyers to make him hand over all the classified documents in his possession, according to numerous court filings. A source familiar with the DOJ's outreach told CNN that the DOJ remains concerned that their raid of Trump's beach house didn't recover all of the classified pieces of paper in his possession. Let's just hope he hasn't clogged every toilet in Mar-A-Lago by attempting flush the evidence before the FBI comes knocking again.
Herschel Walker scandal keeps getting worse: For him, anyway. After he tried denying that he paid a woman who is not his wife to get an abortion, the woman who provided the Daily Beast with the literal receipts of the transaction has now come forward. She's the mother of one of Walker's children, which undercuts his non-denial denial that he didn't know the accuser when the scandal first broke.
But at least Georgians will have a fair election... Sorry, couldn't even finish the joke. It's getting bleak out there, y'all.
Worrisome ingredients for a Mid-term mess: Election officials are getting buried in false and often bad-faith claims according to the respected Campaign Legal Center:— Jane Mayer (@JaneMayerNYer) October 7, 2022
Frivolous Mass Challenges to Voter Eligibility Damaging to Democracy https://t.co/EInVO9lMi9
But don't worry, none of this is real: Not in a "this is all a simulation" bong-ripping tech bro sense, but in a Nobel Prize-winning sense. Scientific American reports that three quantum physicists won this year's prize in physics for their work in proving that "objects are not influenced solely by their surroundings and they may also lack definite properties prior to measurement." Apparently, this has important implications for quantum computing that I'm not going to pretend to understand.
I'm so ready for fall: But since the weather refuses to acknowledge the passing of time, let's end AM with an attempt to manifest the mono-cloud that should reign over this season.