Paul Manafort was bad: The last installment of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Russiagate concluded that Trump's 2016 campaign manager's "contacts with Kremlin-linked officials posed a 'grave counterintelligence threat,'" and that the Russian lawyer who met with Don Jr., Natalia Veselnitskaya, "had 'significant connections' to the Kremlin," the Washington Post reports.
Trump megadonor and new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, will testify: The guy who seems to be trying to slow down postal service operations ahead of the November election will speak before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, Politico reports.
The coronavirus surges in South Korea again: All thanks to a Christian church, reports the BBC. Churchgoers were also responsible for the last big outbreak in the country. We'll see this exact same pattern in the U.S., but we won't do what South Korea is doing: quarantining members and arresting the pastor on the suspicion of "hiding information about the group's members and gatherings from contact tracers."
Guys I'm obsessed with this new television show: It's called the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and it's streaming free on C-SPAN and YouTube. The show features a mixture of feel-good Amtrak montages, politicians speaking in front of highly communicative backgrounds, and Eva Longoria wandering around alone in a television studio. It's not for everybody, but it desperately wants to be.
Anyway, the news from Day 1 is mostly theater criticism about apparent party unity. CNN has a list of five highlights: Sen. Bernie Sanders accurately articulated the "stakes" of the upcoming election! Even some Republicans said they don't like Trump!
Two stand-out lines: The first comes courtesy of Kristin Urquiza, whose Trump-supporting dad died of COVID-19. "My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life," she said, to which the rest of the world replied, "I'm so sorry for your loss, but also DAYYYYYYYYMNNNNNNNN."
"My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life."
Kristin Urquiza, whose father died from Covid last month in Arizona, made an impassioned speech at the #DemConvention. https://t.co/8dIvPebW4D pic.twitter.com/E6hPhPRZkA
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 18, 2020
The other standout line came from Michelle Obama: "It is what it is," Obama said, referring to the fact that Donald Trump has long been "in over his head" for a long time now.
Michelle Obama: “Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country ... He is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is." pic.twitter.com/9nUJDOBaij
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 18, 2020
Incidentally, Seattle poet Anastacia-Reneé has a good poem: It's called “I Just Love Her So Much." You can find it in her tremendous book of poems, (v.).
The actual best moments include two minutes of Bernie preparing to deliver his speech live, and this pure-cringe rendition of Buffalo Springfield's era-defining classic, "For What It's Worth," performed by Billy Porter and original songwriter Stephen Stills, who's probably better known for his work with the folk supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
I still don't know why they insisted on so many speeches being live — especially when Michelle Obama's keynote and several other appearances were pre-taped — but it gave us this wonderful bit of Bernie Sanders that came through via satellite. pic.twitter.com/RrJ8yzmbPg
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 18, 2020
Catch tonight's episode of the DNC, featuring one minute of AOC, and more minutes of Bill Clinton and Dr. Jill Biden.
Oh, and if you're a disaffected socialist who still thinks voting for Joe Biden means selling out to the Machine, that kooky editor over at Current Affairs has some words for you: "I believe in working to get Biden elected solely because it creates the most favorable conditions for ultimately eliminating the kind of politics Biden represents."
Who will speak at the Republican National Convention, you ask? The St. Louis couple who clearly didn't know how to properly hold the guns they pulled on Black Lives Matter protesters, reports the Guardian.
FYI Guy Gene Balk looks at the recent 'rona numbers: "A smaller portion of tests done in King County are coming back positive," the Seattle Times finds, but "several parts of the county have moved in the opposite direction. The two biggest spikes in positivity rate were in Seattle’s Eastside suburbs." The highest rates (but largest improvements!) remain in the south end. Balk includes a handy map of the rates in your neighborhood over the last couple weeks.
Cop has low morale: Yeah bud, who doesn't. I've been getting emails about auto pay resuming on my student loans for like a week now.
County law enforcement watchdog expects to lose her position: Deborah Jacobs, director of King County's Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (OLEO) said she has been subject to "bullying" and expects to lose her position, the Seattle Times reports. The County Council had ordered a "workplace investigation" into Jacob's management of OLEO related to still-unspecified complaints.
Man shot and killed on Aurora near Fremont: Officers Monday night were searching for a suspect who fled on foot, reports the Seattle Times.
School bus drivers laid off: In Edmonds, 175 bus drivers are out of work because students will be doing remote learning, according to King5.
A 23-year-old, 53-pound tortoise is missing in Ocean Park: There's a $500 safe return reward for the tortoise, whose name is Lucy, according to KOMO.
ICYMI, Waterfront Park will be gone within 90 days: Late last week Mayor Jenny Durkan approved a plan to demolish Pier 58, aka Waterfront park, "as quickly as possible," reports King5. A structural engineering firm recommended destruction after assessing the pier, which has significantly shifted away from the land. The design and construction of a new pier is in the works and already paid for. The city expects the new pier to be complete in 2024.
Pacific Northwest Ballet is going all-digital this season: When the camera is handled correctly, ballet translates beautifully to the digital realm. (Nothing works as well as psychotic drag, of course, but other performing arts must try anything they can during these trying times.) In any event, PNB's digital performance of Alejandro Cerrudo's One Thousand Pieces fucking floored me, so I'm looking forward to the new season. "The line-up will feature a combination of high-definition videos of new works rehearsed, performed, and filmed under conditions to ensure the well-being of the artists and production teams; and archival videos of story ballets and works that wouldn’t be possible to perform during the pandemic," according to a press release. The Seattle Times has a story.