Biden got the bug: The White House press secretary tells the Associated Press that the President, who is doubled-vaxxed and double-boosted, exhibits "mild symptoms." He is now popping Paxlovid and taking calls in quarantine. Though we're all acting like the pandemic is over, "the virus is still killing an average of 353 people a day in the U.S.," according to the Centers for Disease Control. Given his anti-viral protections, Biden likely won't be one of them.

Remember when Donald Trump caught COVID-19? A real moment of national unity. 

The last chapter of the Jan 6 committee's story airs this evening at 5 pm. According to CNN, the hearing will focus on the 187 minutes between his initial speech and his decision to call his troops home. What was he doing for most of that time? Well, many people are saying: 

Senate proposes bare-minimum bill to prevent Jan 6 Part Deux: A ~bipartisan~ group of Senators dropped a bill to change the old law that Trump and his weird little goons tried to exploit during the insurrection. According to The New York Times, the legislation would take the heat off the Vice President by clarifying the purely ceremonial role that person holds in the process of counting electors. It would also make Governors solely responsible for submitting the results of state elections, which will cut down on fake electors trying to submit fake results, as they tried to do in Georgia. However, the nation's most deliberative body still cannot produce more than nine Republicans to back the legislation, so it's still vulnerable to death by filibuster. 

Meanwhile, only five Senate Republicans
support codifying gay and interracial marriage in the "The Respect for Marriage Act," which passed the House this week with support from 47 members of the GOP, according to the Washington Post. When reporters questioned other Republicans in the halls of Congress, they pretended as if they hadn't heard the news of the bill's passage, most likely because they were too busy tackling a trans person en route to the bathroom. 

Apropos of nothing: According to a Quinnipiac poll, people under 35 only support congressional Democrats over Republicans by 7 points, with 18% undecided. 

If you have some spare cash, donate to your local abortion fund. 

Speaking of reminders, did you know that vasectomies are free in Washington state? It's true

Russia wants more than just the Donbas: After Putin failed to take Kyiv, his army pulled back and focused its guns on the eastern Donbas region, which has been a zone of conflict for years now. But yesterday on state TV, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said the country wanted to take "the Kherson region, the Zaporizhia region and a number of other territories," too, according to Al Jazeera. Not great news for those looking for a swift, diplomatic solution and/or gas to heat European homes this winter. 

Speaking of Russia, people who hate Putin have been spreading rumors that he's sick with a bunch of diseases, but CIA Director William Burns said the dictator is “entirely too healthy,” Politico reports. 

Latin American banana workers say US-made pesticides sterilized them. According to a BBC investigation, in the 1960s and '70s, banana companies forced workers to spray "Di-bromochloropropane or DBCP" on bananas to kill tiny worms. Over the last several years, tens of thousands of those men in several Latin American countries have sued manufacturers, saying the chemical prevented them from having children. The BBC's report includes evidence of a Shell official instructing scientists studying the issue back in 1961 to "leave out speculation about possible harmful conditions to man" in the company's report to US regulators. 

The Everett Herald launches union campaign: Happy voting!! 

Driver hits and kills 13-year-old cyclist: The Washington State Patrol says the cyclist was using a crosswalk and flashing signal in Parkland when a 27-year-old driver "went through the crosswalk and struck the boy," The News Tribune reports. WSP said the driver would not receive a ticket or face criminal charges because "there was no impairment, and there was no reckless driving." The driver drove around a car stopped in front of her to pass through the intersection, according to the cops.

Microsoft cuts open jobs amid inflation and recession fears: After initially announcing a hiring slowdown in May, Microsoft is cutting some open positions in its cloud business and security software unit, Bloomberg reports. 

King County Council holds panel on gun violence: People affected by gun violence spoke to the council Wednesday, urging work on gun reform, mental health services, and programs focused on upstream causes of violence. Among the speakers: Lynniah Grayson, who said the father of her child was shot and killed outside a bar in February 2021, the local FOX affiliate reports. Grayson urged the council to see gun violence as a public health crisis: "I just want to point out the fact that it takes similar investments to what we’ve seen with COVID in order to see a difference with gun violence." The council has another discussion set for Aug. 17, when they may start to identify funding in the next budget, according to the station.  

Say goodbye to City People's: The nursery on East Madison will close at the end of this year because "we have reached the end of our lease extensions on this property." The shop has long been set to be replaced by a PCC and an apartment building. Construction should begin in 2024, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reports. 

Look up: "There continues to be the potential for auroral activity through Saturday, though the best chances to see [Northern Lights] would be away from city lights and with time-lapse or long-exposure still photography," KIRO reports. 

Looking for some more good news? West Seattle Blog has it. Cheech the Lowman Beach cat has turned up at the Seattle Animal Shelter. The beloved neighborhood cat had suddenly vanished, inspiring chalk messages from neighbors such as, "WHOEVER TOOK THE CAT FROM HERE PLEASE BRING HIM BACK." God bless. 

Let's end AM with Smog's "Sycamore": Always wanted to be the fire part of fire: