Congress averts government shutdown: Congress deciding to fund the government probably shouldn’t be a regular nail-biter in this country, but, hey we did it? Almost all Democrats and the majority of Republicans approved Speaker Mike Johnson’s short-term funding plan that keeps the money flowing into early 2024 without any of the budget cuts and policy changes that the staunchest conservatives wanted most. The Senate is expected to pass the bill, and President Biden said he’d sign. Read more about the deal here.
KKK grocery clerk in Gold Bar: Call me old-fashioned, but wearing a gun holster and a shirt that reads “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas / Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” seems like improper work attire. Not so from the perspective of a clerk at Gold Bar Family Grocer, who wore the gear under his apron. The city's mayor, Steven Yarbrough, criticized the grocer and suggested the gun/racist shirt combo could violate the state’s Open Carry Laws regarding intimidation. It’s unclear if the employee has been fired or not, reports the Everett Herald.
Election update: Rich Smith has more here, but the short version is that District 4 Seattle City Council Candidate Ron Davis narrowed the gap between him and Maritza Rivera, and that you should check your ballot status. Due to some issue with the lock, one mailbox at 15th and John with 85 ballots hadn’t been emptied since mid-October. USPS turned over the ballots yesterday, but they wouldn't tell us if they experienced problems with other boxes. With such tight margins, your vote really does matter.
Not trying to be weird or anything, but check your ballot status.— Rich Smith (@richsssmith) November 15, 2023
Today, @USPS turned over 85 uncounted ballots to King County Elections after discovering that one of their new-fangled boxes hadn't been emptied since mid-Oct.https://t.co/VqxzemWRLW
Israel raids al-Shifa hospital where thousands are trapped: The Israeli Defense Forces said it launched a targeted attack on Hamas inside the largest hospital in Gaza early Wednesday. In the last few days, intense fighting had rendered al-Shifa non-operational and without fuel, creating catastrophic conditions for the 2,300 patients still inside. In total, an estimated 7,500 people are sheltering at al-Shifa, according to Al Jazeera.
The attack has drawn sharp criticism around the world: Martin Griffiths, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said that “Hospitals are not battlegrounds;” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, called the reports “deeply concerning.” Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, said in a speech that Palestinians are facing “an open war of genocide against our people in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank,” while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the world was watching “this killing of women, of children, of babies.” Belize is the latest Latin American country to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel over what it called “indiscriminate bombing.”
I'm appalled by reports of military raids in Al Shifa hospital in #Gaza.— Martin Griffiths (@UNReliefChief) November 15, 2023
The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns.
Hospitals are not battlegrounds.
Evidence points to Israeli rockets hitting al-Shifa hospital prior to the raid: Around 1 am Friday morning, a projectile slammed into a at the center of a hospital courtyard. Before 10 am, three more strikes would hit the hospital complex, killing seven and injuring several others. The IDF blamed misfired Hamas rockets, but a New York Times investigation revealed at least three of the projectiles appear to have been Israeli munitions, according to experts who analyzed photos of weapons fragments.
Tacoma police trial continues: Lawyers for the three officers accused of killing Manny Ellis again drew parallels from his drug use and prior arrests to the night of his death. On Tuesday, they focused on a 2015 domestic dispute, five years before his killing, where he was allegedly on methamphetamine. On Monday, they examined a 2019 arrest when Ellis, high on meth, charged at officers. But the night Ellis died in March 2020, he told officers at least five times that he could not breathe, and the Pierce County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide by asphyxiation from police restraints. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses accused officers of making up statements about the night he died.
Some dogs still missing after fire in SODO: On Monday, the Washington Department of Transportation interrupted Allison Scarborough’s trip in Japan with bad news. Her dog, Georgie, had died after running from a fire at The Dog Resort onto I-5, and her dog Remi was still missing, she told KING 5. At least one more owner’s dog is still missing. Weirdly, another Dog Resort in Lake City went up in flames this February, but in that case no dogs were lost or killed. The owner of The Dog Resort did not respond to KING 5’s request for comment.
Sorry, another really sad dog story: On August 19, 71-year-old Rich Moore and his elderly Jack Russell Terrier, Finney, went missing on a hike to Blackhead Peak in Colorado’s San Juan mountains. After 2,000 cumulative search hours, a hunter spotted Moore dead in a drainage basin, the little dog alive and nestled beside him. After a trip to the vet, Finney was reunited with his family. Authorities have absolutely no idea how he survived. The Archuleta County Coroner ruled that Moore likely died from hypothermia.
To take the money, or not to take the money: Burien has less than a month to accept $1 million from King County to build 35 “shed-like” shelters to house its small population of unsheltered people. The City Council has selected a few potential locations, including a public park and a city-owned parking lot, so what’s the hold up? Members are divided on whether to offer shelter or to make sleeping outside illegal. The Council will take up the issue again on Nov 20, seven days before the offer expires. The last meeting got so intense they took an adult time-out to cool tempers.
Texas megachurch pastor speaks at pro-Israel rally: John Hagee, the right-wing leader of the influential Christians United for Israel, was prominently featured at the "March for Israel" rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC yesterday. He’s an odd bedfellow for a number of audacious reasons, and not everyone was happy with his presence.
Hagee, for instance, blamed Hurricane Katrina on the gays (though he later apologized) and he hates Catholics. He says he believes that any peace accord between Israel and Palestine could only be the work of the anti-Christ, and in 1999 he said that God sent Hitler to “help Jews reach the promised land,” a doozy he apologized for ten years later. Hagee has also promoted conspiracies about Jewish bankers controlling the federal reserve, and he asserted that the anti-Christ would be a half-Jewish homosexual, which he may be confusing with some of my friends. While Hagee said he doesn't believe support for Israel can bring on the end-times, polls show half of all American evangelicals believe Israel is an important part of an apocalyptic prophecy.