Have we complained enough about the heat yet? Yesterday was the peak of this godforsaken heat wave, but today is another scorcher with a high of 87. Thankfully, the current heat advisory from the National Weather Service expires at 5 pm. Our region’s new normal of sweltering summer temperatures costs more than sweat. According to the Seattle Times, more and more people are spending hundreds or thousands to install air conditioning in their homes. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of air-conditioned homes in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties increased by 44%.

Because I was heat-addled and bored, I asked the Washington Post’s new climate answers AI chatbot if climate change will destroy Seattle, which probably wasn’t productive given the electricity demands of AI. The bot told me that while its information did not “specifically predict the long-term destruction of Seattle due to climate change,” the extreme weather events like this heat wave were consistent with the broader patterns of climate change. The chatbot added (condescendingly, I’ll add, as it was a computer, and I was still wet from a 10-second cooldown shower and pitched between box fans) that I should already be aware that these conditions pose immediate risks to our health and infrastructure.

Now to Ashley, who walked around in the heat to bring you this story…

Council Member Tanya Woo reports hateful graffiti to the FBI: Northwest Asian Weekly ran an op-ed last week condemning some graffiti in the Chinatown-International District (CID) that targeted Woo. The original article had only one example of the messages scrawled across parts of the neighborhood, so we went out and found the rest. None of the messages featured explicitly racist language, though some people argued that putting the graffiti in the CID and targeting Woo specifically could point to racist intent. Couple things to note: Woo submitted the op-ed on behalf of the writer. She also said she never saw the graffiti herself and instead members of the community brought it to her attention, but the op-ed writer said they both saw the graffiti together. Woo ignored multiple requests for comments on this story.

Reichert watch: Today Washington State Dems launched a site highlighting gubernatorial candidate Dave Reichert’s conservative record. If people type in reichertforgovernor.org, reichertforgovernor.net, reichertforwa.net, or reichertforwa.org they’ll be redirected to the website “ReichertRevealed.com,” a page that recounts his anti-abortion views and pro-MAGA track record. Washington State Democratic Spokesperson Hannah Kurowski said the website highlights what’s at stake for Washington and also “Reichert’s willingness to say one thing in public and another behind closed doors.”

Back to me!

Blurring the lines: Current and former staffers told the Seattle Times that Hillary Franz used her position as state public lands commissioner for political gain in a past race for Governor and in her current congressional run. Staff said they were pressured into organizing official DNR events influenced by her campaign needs and encouraged to attend her fundraisers.

Zapped: Regional power planners say Washington’s booming data center industry could push the state power grid beyond its limits in just five years. The centers will consume enough electricity to power five Seattles by 2029. If the industry overflows our capacity, planners warn the region would need to find more power sources to keep the lights on, which conflicts with our goals of phasing out fossil fuels and meeting environmental mandates that protect salmon.

Overnight fires: Seattle firefighters responded to three fires that killed two people Wednesday morning, KOMO reported. In Belltown, an apartment fire on Vine Street killed one person, left another in critical condition, and injured several more. A fire on the upper floor of a residence on 12th Ave South in South Seattle killed one person. In Ballard, SFD quickly put out a residential fire on 12th Ave Northwest before anyone was injured.

Should he stay or should he go? Sources told the Washington Post that it seemed as if dozens of lawmakers could call on President Joe Biden to step aside this week, but that mood shifted after the Congressional Black Caucus embraced him. On Tuesday, House Democrats gathered at DNC headquarters. As they left, most dodged reporters, and those who dared to stop gave only meek comments. Take Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who told House leadership in an off-the-record call just days ago that Biden had to go. He said his concerns were now “beside the point.” So far, 10 House Dems have publicly called for Biden to step aside, according to the Post. This morning, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested time was running out for Biden to make a decision. Seattle-area Congressman Adam Smith is still out here giving him the business, though: 

What about the Senate meeting? The Hill reports that Senators were concerned and anxious about Biden’s candidacy after the woebegone debate, but they are not anxious enough to call for his replacement. Someone familiar with the meeting told the Hill that Sens. John Tester (D-Montana), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) think Trump will beat Biden. Several senators warned that the party is in trouble if Biden stays in, while several others said Biden’s determination had mostly settled the debate for now, and that he has the pledged delegates to stave off any challenge at the DNC. 

Is it settled, though? If polling is to be believed, Biden is doing badly. Shortly after the Senators broke from their huddle, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report showed Trump gaining electoral ground. The forecaster reclassified toss-up states Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada to “lean Republican.” Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District moved from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.” A national survey from top Democratic pollster Bendixen & Amandi found that of the 86% of likely voters who watched all or part of the debate, 61% thought Biden didn’t have the mental acuity or physical capacity to hold power for another four years. Only 33% said Biden should continue as the nominee. The survey also found Vice President Kamala Harris led Trump.

Thanks? To leverage this moment of Democratic confusion, failed Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley released her primary delegates and urged them to support Trump in a show of conservative unity. It means nothing. Trump only needed 1,215 delegates for the Republican nomination. He has almost twice that number. Haley had 97. Considering she wasn’t even invited to the Republican National Convention this year, it’s embarrassing, too.

Don’t be fooled: The New York Times reported that the Republican party has followed Trump’s lead and adopted a platform that’s softener on abortion, but it seems like a dupe. Trump knows abortion restrictions are a liability for his campaign. Bans appealed strongly to his evangelical base but repulsed many voters, and so he spun the issue into a question of states rights. For Slate, Susan Rinkunas argued that Trump and the Republicans can claim they’re not for a national abortion ban all day long. Their “new” position still leaves the door wide open for one. As President, Trump could enforce the 19th century Comstock Act and direct the FDA to revoke approval for the abortion drug mifepristone, and a Trump-y court could establish fetal personhood under the 14th Amendment.

Residents near a Bitcoin mine in Texas are living a “nightmare”: People in the city of Granbury, Texas, an hour outside of Fort Worth, told Time Magazine that the constant and “dull aural hum” emanating from the nearby Bitcoin factory is causing their splitting migraines, vertigo, fainting spells, heart palpitations, hypertension, tinnitus, and panic attacks. There is a growing body of research that shows the noise pollution from these virtual “mines” can cause the kind of mass public health problems one would only expect from a real one. In response, the industry is lobbying expeditiously to exempt themselves from noise restrictions. 

🎵Pee-Pee Man 🎵 Elton John allegedly whipped out his Elton Johnson in the middle of a shoe store in France to pee in a bottle on Monday. The shopkeeper told TMZ that he hadn't known who John was, and that he didn't possess good aim.