Excuse me, officer, but is that some Nazi shit you have there among your papers? A Capitol Police officer was suspended after the discovery of a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. A congressional aide saw a copy of the antisemitic document at a security checkpoint Sunday, photographed it, and provided the photos to the Washington Post. After the Post asked the Capitol Police about it, the department said its acting chief had suspended an officer. "It is unclear from the photographs who was in possession of the document, which was held together by a binder clip with its pages tattered and stained. A date stamp indicated it was printed in January 2019," the Post reports. The document is at the root of antisemitic conspiracy theories claiming Jews are attempting global control.
Enough of these Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler puff pieces: Dear "both sides" news media, please stop falling all over yourself to write fawning pieces about this Washington Republican who somehow found the courage to do the extremely obvious and correct thing at the most politically opportune time exactly once in her entire career as a Congresswoman. Without fail, your pieces, like this one published yesterday afternoon in Politco, neglect to mention pretty obvious political motivations and bend facts to fit the dubious narrative of any real "resistance" to Donald Trump, who maintains his freaky little grip on the party.
The writer for Politico claimed, for instance, that Herrera Beutler's district "became increasingly competitive under Trump." That feels like a stretch. Carolyn Long challenged the Congresswoman in 2018 and in 2020, and she lost by way more the second time. Meanwhile, polling in the district remained consistent during that period.
The writer also embarrassingly argued that JHB occupied "a moderate lane in the Republican conference" while also citing the fact that she's "voted with Trump just 80 percent of the time," which "puts her at the bottom of the pack in the GOP." There is no "moderate" lane in the Republican conference. If someone votes with Trump 80% of the time and another person votes with Trump 100%, then they're both sycophants.
The writer also called Washington's 3rd Congressional District an "increasingly purple district:" Again, as if JHB hadn't won in a waltz last year, or as if state house Democrats hadn't lost two seats from that congressional district while failing to pick up anyone on the outskirts of Vancouver, ultimately rendering the district redder than it has been in the past. It is true, however, that the district may become bluer, but only as a result of redistricting, the prospect of which may have factored into JHB's decision-making process a little more than these intrepid Congressional reporters are letting on.
Thank you for enduring that rant: Now for some bagel news.
North Korea has yet to recognize Joe Biden's administration: But that hasn't stopped the country from throwing shade at the US after we conducted joint military exercises with South Korea, reports the BBC. State media quoted Jim Yo-jong, the dictator's sister, sounding like a tough in a bad mafia movie: "A word of advice to the new administration of the United States that is struggling to spread the smell of gunpowder on our land from across the ocean. If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step." "Yeah, see," she added, as she took a puff from her cigar and absently flipped a nickel in a shadowy alley.
The World Health Organization sees "no evidence" of AstraZeneca's vaccine causing blood clots: But on Monday four new European countries stopped doling out the company's vaccine after reports of vaccinated people developing blood clots, according to Al Jazeera. The pause comes despite an increase in cases across Europe. We'll know more Thursday, when the European Medicines Agency plans to release another report on the vaccine, but for now Germany, France, Italy and Spain will defy the UN and refrain from getting these shots into arms. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said "there is no cause for concern with its vaccine."
The director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University says vaccines do not cause blood clots, reports the New York Times. Oregon Health and Science University vaccine researcher Mark Slifka told the paper, “There are a lot of causes of blood clotting, a lot of predisposing factors, and a lot of people who are at increased risk—and these are often also the people who are being vaccinated right now."
AstraZeneca - 37 reports of blood clots among 17 million vaccinated? That’s 0.0002%. Isn’t this just a bit of a panic?
— Doug Henwood (@DougHenwood) March 16, 2021
The murder rate is still high: A New York Times analysis of the FBI's latest quarterly report shows murder "up 18 percent relative to the same period last year. Some educated guesses for the rise include "the various stresses of the pandemic; the surge in gun sales during the crisis; and less belief in police legitimacy related to protests over police brutality." As time begins to return to its regularly scheduled program, the Times suspects this bloody rate will come down. Another thing to flag: Going forward, the FBI will start pulling from a more modern crime database. The upside: we'll get more detailed crime reports. The downside: it'll be harder to say what the data "means" for a few years.
Checking in on Texas after COVID-19 restrictions lift: CNN checks in with a San Antonio restaurateur who found "go back 2 China" vandalism at his restaurant, a Fort Worth store manager who says most customers wore masks even though they weren't required in the store, and a Houston restaurant owner who's still requiring masks and says his "sales have increased tremendously."
Seattle DSA to host a town hall on tenant's rights: Seattle-area reps will be on hand to answer questions about the Legislature's efforts to protect tenants. If you want to brush up, read this story on the major concessions the House has already made on "just cause" legislation, and the ones the Senate may make.
Eviction Protection Now: A Virtual Tenant Rights Town Hall with Community Leaders & State Legislators (https://t.co/j7RyIQ4oEX)
Wed, Mar 17, 6:30pm pic.twitter.com/iVWSilTm3Q
— Seattle DSA🌹 (@SeattleDSA) March 10, 2021
Mississippi joins Alaska in opening vaccine up to everyone, reports the New York Times. I'm jealous, but I'm prepared to patiently wait my turn until we get some more vulnerable people vaxxed. Quick q for the commenters: Are any of you camped out in front of places that distribute the vaccine and asking around for any extras at the end of the day? If so, has it worked? Tell me your story and I'll write about it without blowing up the spot.
Driver plows through San Diego homeless encampment, killing three people: The 71-year-old driver was arrested at the scene and faces a count of felony DUI and other charges, the Associated Press reports. The three people killed and six others injured were believed to be homeless. The mayor said the city would offer shelter to people living in the area but "added that the city is facing a shortage of beds at its shelters," according to the AP.
On average, Seattleites are now spending $30 more per week on groceries: That represents a 25% increase over last year's numbers, the Seattle Times reports. Historically high grocery prices account for part of the rise here, FYI Guy Gene Balk points out. And yet still Kroger and PCC weep about cities and counties boosting grocer pay by $4 per hour.
I can't drive 45: And neither can anyone else driving through Seattle, thank God—or, rather, the Washington Department of Transportation, who finally "approved Seattle’s request to lower speeds on portions of state routes that run along surface streets in the city," according to the Seattle Times. The city/state lowered speed limits by 5 miles per hour on "Aurora Avenue North, Lake City Way and other state-owned streets that run through Seattle," and the agency will "continue to evaluate...anything above 30 mph."
Space Needle sues its insurance company: The Space Needle company claims North American Elite Insurance Company failed to pay out an insurance policy for losses due to COVID-19. In the lawsuit, lawyers for the Space Needle say the landmark has lost millions of dollars since the start of the pandemic, KIRO reports.
Swedish reports increase in kids and teens seeking mental health care: The number of kids admitted to the hospital for mental health crises doubled from the same time last year, King 5 reports.
Seattle's new tunnel boring machine is coming together: The machine is being put together in Ballard, My Ballard reports, and still needs a name. Tunneling for the "underground wastewater storage tunnel" starts this summer. You've still got time to suggest a name for this little pooper scooper. But if you've got a good idea, then submit it quick! Voting starts on the 18th.
West Seattle bald eagle recovering from internal bleeding: The eagle, found last month at the Don Armeni Boat Ramp, "was evaluated on Monday, March 8, and her blood values are continuing to improve," a PAWS Wildlife Center spokesperson told West Seattle Blog. "She was moved to our flight pen and is flying well. She is due for another veterinary check tomorrow with the hope that her blood values will be back to normal. If they are, we will be releasing her back to the wild that day."
Racist message left at Pinehurst church: The message left in front of the International Full Gospel Fellowship said the word "China" and "U will pay," Q13 reports. Members of the church "believe it's a hate crime and said it's the fourth incident like this one since January."
It's going to get cozy in a few days:
Who's had 82% more rain than Seattle so far this month? San Diego, that's who! After the past winter, we've probably earned the sunshine we'll see tomorrow. Things turn wetter for the second half of the week. #wawx pic.twitter.com/M3K9POyfYU
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 15, 2021