Feinstein's replacement found: Gov. Gavin Newsom will reportedly name EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat after the ancient senator turned to dust died on Friday. Butler is a Black, pro-labor (though she worked for Uber as they fought a California measure to give ride-hail drivers employment status) fundraising powerhouse who runs the nonprofit that aims to help elect Democrat women in political races across the country. Without any limitations or preconditions on her appointment from Newsom, Butler could choose to run for the seat in 2024 when Feinstein's term would have ended. Vice President Kamala Harris will swear Butler in on Wednesday. Butler will become the only Black woman in the Senate.
King County needs homes: It shouldn't be news to anyone that there's a big whopping housing crisis in King County. To even make a dent toward ameliorating housing woes, King County needs to build thousands upon thousands of new houses, apartments, and condos in every city in the county. We're talking 309,000 new homes across King County in the next 20 years, according to the King County Council's affordable housing committee. A good chunk of those will need to be affordable, aka subsidized by the government. A $907 million housing levy up on November's ballot could help with that.
Congress passes bandaid spending bill, avoids shutdown: On Saturday morning, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy stowed his pride and actually did some politics. He partnered with Democrats and wrote up a bipartisan stopgap spending bill that made it through the House and quickly through the Senate. It will keep the government open and functioning until Nov 17. By then, lawmakers should have figured out a real spending bill. Things were tense and dramatic on Saturday, however. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) accidentally pulled a fire alarm in a rush to vote, and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) filibustered for 50 minutes. Meanwhile, Matt Gaetz (R-Fla), threatened "to oust McCarthy from his post if it passed," The Hill reports. The bill passed the Senate 88-9.
In case you want to update your shit list: Here are all the Republican senators who voted against the bill: Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, Ted Cruz, Bill Hagerty, Mike Lee, Roger Marshall, Rand Paul, Eric Schmitt, and J.D. Vance.
Rain returns: October is here. So is the weather. After a brief, sunny (yet crisp) reprieve this weekend, the gray sky will shroud us again and douse us with downpours. Just for today, though. By midweek, we'll be back to summer.
Rainy today for the area followed by an October warm spell later in the week. In 78 years of records Seattle has had 4 or more days in a row of 70°+ weather in October only 7 times. It happened twice last year (6th-9th & 13th-16th). Normal number of 70°+ days in October, 2.#wawx pic.twitter.com/h0WsJrDcxv— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 2, 2023
Season ends for the Mariners: Seattle's favorite baseball team couldn't repeat last year's post-season Cinderella story. Instead, much to the disappointment of their loyal fanbase, the Ms sputtered to an uninspiring end as they failed to clinch victory against the Texas Rangers while the Houston Astros kept winning. There's playoff math involved here that I will not be spelling out. I think you get the gist. Here's The Needling's take on why the season's end:
Ferry fares went up: Over the weekend, fares for Washington state ferries increased by 4%. They're expected to increase next year, too, since "the new transportation budget requires state ferries to generate $419 million in revenue," according to KIRO 7. Fares pay for 57% of ferry operations and maintenance. Boy, seems like they'll need all the maintenance money they can get with this aging fleet. I'll pay whatever it takes to employ someone to swab the fuel tanks for bacteria and fungus before the ferry makes its voyage.
Washington's minimum wage will go up: In January, the state minimum wage will increase from $15.74 an hour to $16.28.
She is so back: Simone Biles was dominant in the world gymnastics championships. She posted top scores in floor exercise, vault, and balance beam. Check out her vault. This trick, formally known as the "Yurchenko double pike," is now known as the "Biles II," since she's the first gymnast to perform it internationally.
SIMONE HAS DONE IT‼️— NBC Olympics & Paralympics (@NBCOlympics) October 1, 2023
Simone Biles is the first female gymnast to perform the Yurchenko double pike on vault internationally and the skill is now officially called the "Biles II". #Antwerp2023 pic.twitter.com/d6wjjzDxpM
Canada's fires are still burning: We may not be able to smell the smoke anymore in the US, but the fires that have been gobbling up land across five of Canada's territories are still going strong. In fact, last week fires up north burned as much land in seven days as a whole typical fire season in Colorado. It's fall. Typically, the fires would start dying down by now. From Axios: "A little over 70,000 square miles of land has burned since May in Canada, equivalent to the entire state of Washington." That amount of burning releases a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. Scientists are worried, too, that these fires could have melted permafrost and released the carbon stored in there for thousands of years.
Trump's civil trial in New York starts today: There are so many legal battles. This one is about how Trump allegedly fraudulently exaggerated claims of his own wealth, faked documents, and did other shady business stuff. In this case, the judge already found that he inflated the worth of his properties and ordered him to dissolve businesses or remove them from his control. Now the court will consider the other charges as the state seeks $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.
Nobel prize for the jab: Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman received the Nobel Prize in Physiology for identifying "a chemical tweak to messenger RNA" that allowed for quickly-made, potent COVID-19 vaccines to be rolled out in less than a year. Not only did the two save millions of lives with their work, but their discoveries have forever changed vaccine technology. Despite anti-vax propaganda that the vaccine was made too fast, Karikó and Weissman, who met in 1998, had been working on this research for decades before the pandemic hit. But, the anti-vaxxers will never know that since they don't read.
UPenn is probably so embarrassed right now: Apparently, while working on her groundbreaking research at the University of Pennyslvania, Karikó had grant after grant denied. No one took her research seriously. She never earned more than $60,000 and had no tenure prospects. Then, she was demoted. Now she has a Nobel Prize. Read this Glamour profile for more.