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He only knows the Proud Men: The President's changing up his story. "I don’t know who the Proud Boys are," he said this afternoon. "I mean, you’ll have to give me a definition because I really don’t know who they are," Trump said. Sure.
Trump says he does "not know who the Proud Boys are," but they should "stand down and let law enforcement do their work."
(He said they should "stand by" last night.) pic.twitter.com/kgi2R8DgN9
— The Recount (@therecount) September 30, 2020
He just can't help himself: Trump spent a good part of the day blaming Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace for last night's historically chaotic presidential debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates says it’s adding new "tools to maintain order." Hopefully one of those tools is a mute button.
Let's forget about Trump for a minute and dig into Seattle's budget: Adding fuel to October's dumpster fire... it's budget season in Seattle, baby! Here's Nathalie Graham with some updates from today:
Mayor Durkan says she'll follow through on 2020 budget promises: Mayor Jenny Durkan vetoed the original rebalanced 2020 budget because of the cuts it made to the Seattle Police Department and the city's Navigation Team, which sweeps homeless encampments. But, the council overrode that veto. Today in a press release, Durkan announced she intends to follow the commitments outlined in the budget.
That means the Navigation Team is dead. The Department of Human Services is now responsible for all responses to unsheltered homelessness in the city like it was before 2017.
Durkan and Chief Adrian Diaz will start lobbying for out-of-order layoffs of 70 SPD officers: One of the biggest dust-ups around the 2020 rebalanced budget was the part about SPD layoffs. If SPD followed tradition, they would let officers go on a "last in, first out" basis, which would cut the newest and most diverse group on the force. The council said that Durkan and Best could just request that the layoffs be done "out of order," which Durkan and Best claimed was a time-consuming process. Now Durkan and Chief Diaz will need to lobby for these layoffs.
A busy eight weeks ahead for the Seattle City Council: In the wake of Durkan's 2021 budget proposal, the council will now have special budget committee meetings two times a day to go over specific city departments' budgets. Here's the schedule of meetings for this week (click the pic to enlarge):
During today's special budget committee meeting, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda stepped in to clarify the record: According to Mosqueda, in a press release earlier this week, Durkan claimed responsibility for the $9 million allocated to Seattle's Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE) for food access programming. (OSE's budget funds things like emergency grocery vouchers and nutrition programs for seniors.) Mosqueda clarified that this budget allocation came from the council, specifically the JumpStart Seattle payroll tax that Mosqueda spearheaded and which Durkan has been critical of. There's a lot of drama around the JumpStart Seattle tax in the 2021 budget.
Sawant said the mayor's budget left out funding for a Green New Deal (GND) oversight board: "It's concerning," Sawant said today. "The climate change crisis is only accelerating." The Seattle Green New Deal ordinance passed last year. It established several climate change-related environmental commitments for the city and founded an oversight board of community members, scientists, and experts who would make decisions around GND policies. The board should have been in place by the time 2021 budgeting talks kicked off. Sawant said Durkan instead prioritized a youth climate council, which, according to Sawant, hasn't met once. I've reached out to the mayor's office for confirmation on that. The city hasn't seated the GND board yet, and it doesn't seem like they'll do so in the next year.
Because of OSE budget cuts and the city hiring freeze, not only is the GND oversight board not being appointed but the position that would appoint the board, the GND coordinator, was slashed in Durkan's 2021 proposed budget. That means the head of GND policies won't get appointed for all of 2021. The board can't be appointed until that position is filled. A nightmare. Ben Noble, the City Budget Office director, said that this wasn't a permanent budget decision. Still, damn.
The council is supposed to allocate $20 million to the GND through the JumpStart Seattle tax: It's in the spending plan and everything. Without a coordinator and an oversight board, who will make a plan for spending that money? The answer is... nobody knows yet!!!
Thanks, Nathalie! Moving on to a few more headlines on cruise ships, stimulus bills, and Capitol Hill closures.
The CDC director wanted a "no sail" order for cruise ships to extend until mid-February: And then the White House blocked the order, reports the New York Times. Axios' Jonathan Swan got the original scoop: "Instead of following [CDC director Robert] Redfield's desire—which a number of White House officials have argued is unreasonable—the Trump administration plans to extend the no-sail order for cruise ships until October 31." The White House claims this move "is not about politics. It is about saving lives." Hm.
Starting tomorrow, bicyclists can legally roll past stop signs if cars aren't coming: Here's the legislation. "It’s a really intuitive maneuver," the policy director for Washington Bikes told the Seattle Times. "I’ve seen people do it. That’s why the law has been passed in recent years in a few different states."
It's the last day of September: That means it's Psychotronic Challenge season. Each October, Scarecrow challenges people to watch 31 psychotronic films, which means watching movies from "a genre of films that typically have a science fiction, horror, or fantasy theme and were made on a low budget." You can take or leave the "low budget" part of the definition, but you should watch at least one psychotronic movie per day during October, selecting films inspired by these prompts. I'll note my nightly picks in Slog PMs across the next 31 days, starting tomorrow. Play along; it'll be an appropriately spooky distraction from our national freakshow.
Speaking of Scarecrow... The world's largest archive of DVDs, VHS, and Blu-rays is open again. They've been doing rental-by-mail and rental-by-pickup, but now they're letting groups of up to two enter in 30-minute shifts. Today I scheduled a recurring weekly appointment and the world feels a little familiar again.
We’re very pleased to announce that we’re opening the doors for by-appointment browsing. All the info here: https://t.co/Pivv539ePN pic.twitter.com/RrWY1CW9gB
— ScarecrowVideo (@ScarecrowVideo) September 30, 2020
The US Senate passed a funding bill that avoided a government shutdown: Just in time. There was a midnight deadline.
There was supposed to be a vote on another stimulus bill tonight:
The House will be proceeding with our vote tonight on the updated #HeroesAct in order to formalize our proffer to Republicans in the negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 30, 2020
But: "House Democrats will hold off on a planned vote Wednesday night on their $2.2 trillion stimulus proposal to allow more time for bipartisan negotiations in a last-ditch effort to reach a deal just weeks before Election Day. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are still far apart, however, as negotiations continue, according to four sources briefed on the talks," reports CNN.
More closures around Capitol Hill: The Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 will permanently close at the end of October after 36 years of business, reports Capitol Hill Seattle blog. The shop joins the blog's growing list of Capitol Hill and Central District COVID-19 Crisis Closures.
I know, I know, we're trying to leave this debate behind us: But this quote is living in my head rent-free. Speaking of which... it's October. Rent is due.