Congress still doesn't have an answer on extending unemployment benefits: As a wave of evictions threaten to boot hundreds of thousands of Americans onto the street, the Republican-controlled federal government is offering a pittance. The GOP wants to reduce the increased weekly amount to $200, only extend them for a short period, and give legal immunity to employers who want to force their employees back to work in unsafe conditions, reports the Washington Post. Democrats are pushing back. A "narrow" version of the bill might pass this week, just before the current benefits expire.
Trump's National Security Advisor has the 'rona: "The White House said his infection poses no risk to the president or Vice President Mike Pence," according to Bloomberg.
Tom Cotton is an unnecessary evil: The Arkansas senator and rumored eventual presidential hopeful is supposed to be a sanitized version of Trump but now he's just hauling off and saying the enslavement, rape, and plunder of Black people in he U.S. was "the necessary evil upon which the union was built," reports the Guardian. This was the idiotic claim Cotton used to promote his act "to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project." I'm sure his fellow Republicans will object on the basis of their principled stance on local control of schools. And I'm certain the "chilling effect" of such an act will prompt the free speech crusaders to write another open letter, and to spend all day on Twitter talking about the duty of historians constantly to re-examine the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.
Rep. John Lewis's body will lie in state today beneath the Capitol Rotunda: The civil rights icon will be "the first Black lawmaker to receive one of the highest American honors, before a viewing for the public to be held outside," reports the New York Times.
Austin driver shoots and kills 28-year-old Black Lives Matter protester: According to the American-Statesman, on Friday night a man drove into a crowd of protesters and hit an "orange barrier," pulled his gun on a man named Garrett Foster (who was armed with an assault rifle), and then "fired multiple shots and drove away." Foster was married to a black woman, and "issues of racial injustice were incredibly important to him," partly driven by the amount of shit he and his wife took for being in love. He worked as an Air Force flight mechanic. The suspect was caught and released.
Melt the guns:
Truck guy pulled his gun again, BLM protester ran up with their own gun and said drop it.
(I usually avoid posting faces, but I would be negligent in my journalistic duty to modify this) pic.twitter.com/gqUBxe7Ba8
— C. Francis O’Leary (@CFrancisOLeary) July 26, 2020
Google to WFH through Summer 2021: "That makes parent company, Alphabet, the first major U.S. company to push its comeback into the second half of next year," reports the Washington Post. The move portends similar actions by other large tech companies.
Even the Trump administration says testing is taking too long: Adm. Brett Giroir, the guy who oversees the President's non-response to the deadly pandemic, says "the average turnaround is about 4.27 days," according to CNN. The big labs are backed up, and testing supplies (the transfer agents and little plastic parts) are hard to come by.
The President did a Tweet about the Feds in Seattle: In the Tweet he lies about the media's characterization of his secret police, though it's likely a lie born of ignorance considering his well-documented avoidance of print media written before 1993. Somewhat interestingly, he calls his Feds a "large standby team." One witness saw 20-30 disembark a Department of Homeland Security plane last Thursday.
Homeland Security or Federal Forces are little involved in Seattle, other than we have a large standby team in case of emergency. The media is calling that one wrong also. In Portland, we are protecting Federal property, including the Courthouse, which wouldn’t last a day!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020
He's probably just mad about Seattle protesters not taking his bait: While protesters stood in solidarity with Portland's demonstrations against police brutality and the fascistic takeover of their city, Seattle protesters remain pissed at Seattle police, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and anyone else who doesn't want to defund the police and reinvest the money into Black communities, free all protesters, close the youth jail tomorrow, and dump Durkan. On Saturday police declared a riot on Capitol Hill shortly before deploying OC blast balls, pepper spray, rubber bullets. Here's my summary of events.
The National Lawyers Guild said: They were "aggressively targeted and attacked by the Seattle Police Department" during the protests Saturday. Their observers (and me!) witnessed SPD officers "engaged in the indiscriminate use of crowd control munitions against largely peaceful protestors," and they're calling for Chief Carmen Best to investigate and discipline the officers involved. The Seattle Times mentions NLG's comments in their follow-up on the weekend's protests.
Seattle protesters demonstrating yet again that their problem lies with Seattle’s police, as a line of around 200 forms on Pine. A line of bike cops are staging to the west, sort of flipping the typical confrontation situation. #seattleprotests pic.twitter.com/caMKrZCz4O
— Rich Smith (@richsssmith) July 27, 2020
Sunday protests on Capitol Hill saw protesters forming plywood shield walls: But a confrontation with police never materialized, due largely to the protesters trying to avoid one. After a weird morning at Westlake, around 200 protesters gathered on the south lawn of Seattle Central College to formulate a response to police violence on Saturday. Organizers distributed approximately 50 plywood shields created by an "ally in Tacoma," according to Ish, one of the leaders of yesterday's protests. The protestors occupied a couple intersections in the neighborhood, and hung around outside the East Precinct late into the night. They did some chants and drew attention to the cause.
Ish, a member of the Black Indigenous Coalition: told me he stepped up to help lead because people were looking for direction the after Saturday. Reduced car brigade numbers and crowd sizes somewhat limit their actions to occupying intersections and marching, which Ish said they will continue to do every day until the demands are met. He added that Black Indigenous Coalition is working with Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on policy, and that they stand in solidarity with King County Equity Now Coalition and Decriminalize Seattle Coalition.
South Seattle protesters marched to Councilmember Tammy Morales's home last night: She had a "good discussion" with them, and said she'll follow up with the crowd sometime today.
The pandemic continues to rage in Washington: As of Saturday, the state tallied 786 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths, bringing the grand total to 52,635 cases and 1,501 deaths. "That means 2.9% of people who have been diagnosed with the virus in Washington have died," reports the Seattle Times. Most studies are still putting the virus' death rate at around 0.5 to 1%, but that can depend on where you're looking and who you're looking at, according to Nature.
People crowded Seattle beaches all weekend, like a bunch of selfish lemmings: “I thought I could come to the park and chill out, and when I got here, I realized it wasn’t so chill,” one non-selfish person told King 5. On top of probably contributing to the spread of a deadly respiratory virus, which is currently raging among people from the ages of 20 to 39, beachgoers swam without the safety of lifeguards, as the beaches are closed.
I laughed, I seethed:
It might be 91 degrees today: According to the Seattle Times. But it's probably going to cloudy this weekend, thank the Lord or Bill Gates or Baal or the scientists who oversaw the Beijing Olympics or whomever controls the weather nowadays.
A young child dies after car crash: A driver in Madison Park struck a parked van in which a 3-year-old child was playing, throwing the kid from the vehicle, reports KIRO. No drugs or booze involved, investigators say.