We're getting the worst of all possible worlds: This story hasn't changed much in the last ten days, but the narrative is now clear. Observing that the stock market is up and that people seem to be using their credit cards, White House economist Kevin Hassett told the Washington Post that "we have 'a little bit of a luxury to watch and see' before having to approve additional aid." Unlike every other economist in the country, Trump's economists predict a quick recovery, and they're looking to Texas and Georgia's reopening numbers to back them up on that. (Georgia has twice the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, as many deaths as Washington, and a higher infection rate; Texas has more deaths and infections but is much bigger and has a lower rate.)
As small businesses crumble around us, as unemployment checks fail to come in, and as economists predict "a severe and prolonged economic downturn" absent another stimulus, the Trump administration will continue rejecting desperately needed aid to Americans. Trump will blame any ongoing economic problems on blue states, who will need to keep pushing back their "reopening" dates in the face of flat or slowly increasing infection rates. That's his reelection play at the moment, at least.
The President keeps blaming everyone but himself for his bad pandemic response: On Monday he sent a four-page letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, director general of the World Health Organization, announcing plans to "permanently" cease any U.S. funding for the entity coordinating the global response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, according to the New York Times. We sent them $553 million of their $6 billion budget last year. But no worries, China promised to kick in $2 billion.
"OBAMAGATE" is over: Looks like Attorney General William Barr won't allow the President to use him as his personal attorney in at least this one instance. According to Politico, Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray signaled they wouldn't be investigating Obama over a baseless conspiracy theory that Trump and his goons invented to distract the country from his bad pandemic response.
Joe Biden has a new nickname for the President: Oh HEYYYLLLL YES, baby, now THIS is what we mean when we say Democrats need to be bringing NUKES to knife fights. The big Cheeto man himself is gonna be rubbin' aloe all over his Cheeto skin to recover from that third-degree burn!!!!!!!!! :/
.@JoeBiden: "Trump is out there tweeting again this morning, I call him President Tweety: 'Reopen the country.' How are we supposed to do that if you're sitting on the money small businesses need in order to stay alive?" https://t.co/5jMuL95Upx
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) May 18, 2020
Wrote about battleground Arizona yesterday: https://t.co/RjLNgzNnjR
Today a fresh @OHPredictive poll:@JoeBiden 50%@realDonaldTrump 43%
5/9-5-11, 600 likely voters, 4% MOE
— Dave Catanese (@davecatanese) May 19, 2020
Oregon Supreme Court temporarily blocks lower court decision to overturn Stay Home order: According to the Oregonian, Circuit Judge Matthew B. Shirtcliff sided with 10 churches who sued Governor Kate Brown for issuing restrictions on religious gatherings in order to save lives, and overturned "all her 'Stay Home Save Lives’' coronavirus emergency orders" while he was at it. Responding to the state's emergency motion, Monday night the Supreme Court stepped in and saved the Governor's proclamations until they can review the case.
Similar shit going down in North Carolina: Judge James C. Dever III, a federal judge in North Carolina who was appointed by George W. Bush, "issued a provisional restraining order on Saturday allowing religious groups to assembly for services inside for the next 14 days," according to the Washington Post.
We always knew Christianity was a death cult, but damn: One county in North Carolina linked its outbreak to a single church service, "actually, a youth rally,’’ reports Rockingham Now. In Salem: "a stunning concentration of COVID." In Sacramento: "180 Exposed To Coronavirus During Mother’s Day Service At Defiant NorCal Church." In Baton Rouge: "Member of defiant Central church dies from coronavirus illness." After resuming mass on May, a Texas church shut her down again after a priest "probably" died with the coronavirus and "five other members of the church's religious order also tested positive for COVID-19." In Chicago: "Churches reopen for Sunday service in defiance of Illinois' stay-at-home order."
It's almost as bad as this American Airlines flight: Though the plane looks pretty packed, “the aircraft was not at max capacity,” reports Q13.
Just flew on @AmericanAir flight AA1154 from Fresno to Dallas. Apparently airlines are exempt from CDC guidelines for social distancing. All rows with the exception of maybe 4 rows were completely full of passengers. I've never felt so unsafe in my life. @CNN @CDCgov pic.twitter.com/D67KmZuzvl
— Tammy Gonzalez (@Tamgonzalez28) May 17, 2020
"The Lockdown Protesters Aren't the Working Class:" Via New York Magazine: "The polling is unambiguous. In April, Gallup reported that low-income adults were still more likely to fear illness from COVID-19 than financial hardship, which by then had already become acute. Later the same month, an IPSOS poll found that high-income households in 14 countries surveyed, including the U.S., were mostly likely on average to support economic re-opening. The poorer a household, the less likely a respondent was to agree that states should re-open."
As if we didn't have enough death this morning: Walter Barton, 64, says he didn't commit murder. But Missouri is going to kill him for it anyway, according to the Kansas City Star. Advocates say "Barton’s conviction relied on two of the leading causes of wrongful convictions: dubious blood spatter evidence and an incentivized jailhouse informant," and some jurors say they wouldn't have convicted Barton had they known then what they know now.
Wow, that's a lot of meth: "More than 200m methamphetamine tablets, 500kg of crystal methamphetamine and 300kg of heroin were found in raids in north-east Shan state" were found in Myanmar along with "3,700 litres of methylfentanyl," reports the BBC.
Cirque du Soleil is in trouble: The famous (and famously cursed) circus had to temporarily lay off 5,000 employees worldwide, according to the New York Times, and some in the industry wonder if it'll bounce back. Get ready for a lot of remote trapeze classes.
Yesterday Gov. Inslee allowed dental professionals to begin working during the pandemic: And some dental hygienists, who have to put their hands in peoples' mouths all day, aren't exactly pumped about this development, according to the Seattle Times: "One Marysville hygienist said she told her dentist she wanted to wait a few more months before returning to work because 'there’s no way' dental practices should be open yet."
The moldy hospital is moldy again: No new illnesses reported, but "low levels" of Aspergillus mold were found in the air vents at Seattle Children's Hospital, again, according to the Seattle Times.
33% of Seattle plans to WFH for a year: So says a poll conducted by Elucd that "the Downtown Seattle Association is closely looking at," according to the local Fox affiliate.
Man dies after falling into Green River, in the same area a woman drowned over the weekend: He was 24.
Amelia's bike got stolen: According to the West Seattle Blog, someone yanked it from her apartment in The Junction. If you see it rolling around, let em know, unless the bike is clearly much happier living its own life on its own terms.
Sohla makes a fried grilled cheese with dates and chaat masala in this Bon Appetit vid: And let's just say I'M INTERESTED