The price of medicine is too damn high: And about 100 people rallied outside of the Federal Building downtown today to say so. The demonstration was part of the “People Over Pharma Profits” National Day of Action, led by health care advocates in Washington. Twenty speakers, including reps from local Congressional offices, labor advocates, and physicians groups protested the Trump administration’s inaction and spoke about the crisis in medicine, which includes the fact that drug prices have already jumped 10.5% during the first part of 2019 alone.
Pro journalist tip: Don't make too many phone calls. Or emails. In fact, it's better if you just don't do your job—at least, that's what seems to be the message in this strange case in eastern Oregon where local government officials are investigating a small newspaper for harassment. Sounds spicy! What could count as harassment?? Well, Rep. Greg Smith says he and his staff "have been subjected to endless phone calls, hostile emails at all hours of the day and unwelcome office visits." Sounds like… journalism to me? (Also, lol @ "hostile emails.") "If pursued, the investigation would fit into a larger pattern of intimidation of journalists by government officials," noted a communications law professor at the University of Oregon. It's trickle-down Trumpism!
Would you buy these?: They're local!
Would you wear these?
— Taylor Soper (@Taylor_Soper) August 16, 2019
Biden leads by double digits: In a new poll from CNN. I have polling PTSD after the disaster of 2016, but a new CNN poll conducted with SSRS found that "29% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters" say they will "back the former vice president" in 2020. The next closest candidate is Bernie Sanders, at 15%, which suggests to me that voters are going off name recognition at this point. That should change as the race continues. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at 14% in this poll.
Top Democrats continue to wrestle with Franken's resignation: On today's episode of the New York Times's podcast, The Daily, Senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said she has "no regrets" calling for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken after he was accused of sexual misconduct. “I couldn’t defend him. I couldn’t carry his water, and my silence was doing exactly that,” she added. “So I got to the point where I wanted to say, very clearly, that I didn’t think it was acceptable and that I felt that he really needed to resign.”
More than a half-billion bees drop dead in Brazil in three months: Researchers say pesticides are to blame. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that bees are crucial to ensuring food security. "With 500 million dead in Brazil, the future of food has come into question," writes CBS News. "The future of food has come into question" sounds... bad?
3 people and a dog rescued from Point Defiance cliff: They got stuck. Be careful out there!
Advice wanted: Email Nathalie. She's going on a bike ride with XXXX XXXXXXXX and XXXXX XXXXX (two very special guests) down 35th Avenue NE on Thursday and they all don't want to die.
Buttigieg is a slut for Glee: This is the most midwestern gay shit I've ever—
Just kidding: That tweet is a joke. But the New York Times does have a whole interactive piece on all the presidential campaign playlists. O'Rourke has a lot of rock. Harris doesn't include a single rock song. Buttigieg has walked out to PANIC! AT THE DISCO! Which is honestly worse than Glee.
Everyone wants in on podcasts: Even big corporations, like McDonald's. Did you know they paid Gizmodo to create a three-episode "investigative podcast" called "The Sauce"? And people listened?! Facebook also has a podcast. So does New Balance. They're just a drop in the bucket, with an estimated 750,000 podcasts now in circulation, but still… can't wait for Amazon Go's podcast. Does it already exist?
Familiar with Amazon's white and blue Prime envelopes?: They're not recyclable in the U.K. and the country is pissed. Customers have called it a "major step backwards" in the fight against plastic. Amazon ships around 4 billion to 5 billion packages worldwide per year, reports the Guardian.
Deciding whether or not Trump's tweets are news is a daily battle: But here's the latest egregious one. "Watched her violence"?
Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Meanwhile: Trump's sidelining even the most basic gun safety measures. Days ago, he tweeted, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.” That now seems to be off the table.
Ugh, this tweet too: Trump's accusing Jewish Democrats of "great disloyalty."
🚨🚨🚨THERE'S A NEW MATRIX MOVIE IN THE WORKS🚨🚨🚨: Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will be returning and Lana Wachowski will write and direct. The original Matrix celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Deadline has the full details on the new film here.
One last blurb for the sad boiz & girlz: Three years ago today, Frank Ocean dropped his album, Blonde—after, The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig noted to me, "edging us for the whole fucking summer." To celebrate, Genius has done a track-by-track analysis of every song on the album. Here's an anime mashup tribute, if you're into that.
HOLD UP: Some breaking news.
....The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Rich Smith contributed to one PM blurb but you'll have to guess which one.