If you're not vaccinated, stop going out so much: On a call with reporters today, King County health chief Dr. Jeff Duchin said there's "a good chance we’re looking at the beginning of the 4th wave" of out-of-control COVID-19 cases. Duchin blamed the proliferation of more virulent variants and increasing public activity for the steady rise in cases, and said we needed "a few more weeks of serious effort to finish this off more successfully." Though the vaccines do bring hope, "We can’t let the light at the end of the tunnel blind us," he said.
Though much of the county's elderly and most vulnerable populations have already been vaccinated, younger people catching the bug is no joke. Just ask anyone who is still experiencing symptoms that range from "mild to incapacitating" months after infection.
You know what to do: Limit activities with unvaccinated people from outside your home. Wear a tight-fitting mask when you're around people. Avoid crowds and crowded indoors spaces. Don't hang out inside anywhere too long. Keep baking. Keep candlestick-making. Read Slog.
Sen. Patty Murray throws down on voting rights: In the past, Sen. Murray hasn't taken a position on ending the filibuster—a dumb procedural rule popularized by fucking John C. Calhoun that contributes to partisan gridlock—but today she announced her support for a little filibuster exemption in order to pass H.R. 1/S.R. 1, a bill that would expand voting rights and limit gerrymandering. Not bad!
NEWS: Sen. @PattyMurray, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, tells the @SpokesmanReview she "will consider every legislative option, including an exemption to the filibuster, to ensure" the For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) becomes law.
Story to come.
— Orion Donovan-Smith (@orionds) March 26, 2021
Oh look, the New York City Council passed a bill to limit qualified immunity "in cases of excessive force and unreasonable searches," reports Al Jazeera. Qualified immunity policies prevent people from suing cops for violating civil rights, which is an idea that's apparently too hot for the Washington state legislature to handle. Even after months and months of protests in Seattle and tons of pressure from groups such as Black Lives Matter, the bill went nowhere.
Biden is no fan of Georgia's racist anti-voting laws: The President blasted the new, draconian laws as "Jim Crow in the 21st Century," reports the Washington Post.
Amazon's Twitter poster has been on one: The trillion-dollar e-commerce giant has been paying someone to do a terrible job of trolling progressive lawmakers who support the Bamazon union drive on Twitter. The dimwitted tryhard behind the account falsely claimed Amazon workers didn't pee in bottles before taking unsuccessful runs at Sen. Elizabeth Warren for writing tax laws she didn't write and at Sen. Bernie Sanders for not forcing a state he doesn't run to adopt a $15 minimum wage. That said, Sen. Warren's claim that she wanted to break up Amazon in part so they could never be "powerful enough to heckle senators with snotty tweets" was a dumb move.
This whole episode supports my deeply held belief that every Tweet is a mistake. Except for this one:
Sanders responding to the various Amazon PR tweets going after him as he traveled to Alabama. “It says to me that they’re nervous.” pic.twitter.com/767HkHzgqR
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 26, 2021
Amazon workers will hold their vote on Monday: In the meantime, check out today's rally, and read Nathalie's piece on the company cutting off employees from a massive directory that workers use to connect with one another across the globe, a tool that would have come in handy in future organizing efforts.
I am very proud to stand in solidarity today with Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama who are fighting for dignity on the job and the right to join a union. Join our rally LIVE from Alabama. https://t.co/XpW1abVI1B
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 26, 2021
Pre-K and elementary school students will return to school on April 5: Seattle Public School officials don't know yet if the district will have enough buses to get kids to school, but they do know kids and high school students with disabilities will return to half-day, in-person instruction starting the week after next, the Seattle Times reports.
Washington Department of Health monitoring 23 people for Ebola: King 5 has the story on the health department keeping track of people who recently traveled to Washington from a couple West African countries that have seen outbreaks. "Health officials say public risk is low," according to the TV.
The Office of Police Accountability absolves SPD Officer Noah Zech for killing Shaun Fuhr: The police "oversight" agency did not sustain allegations that Officer Zech, who is white, acted with bias and failed to use deescalation tactics when he shot Fuhr, who was black, in the head as he ran from police with a baby in his arms, reports the Seattle Times. According to police reports, Fuhr had gotten drunk and beaten his girlfriend with an iron the day before the incident. Still drunk the next day, he allegedly fired a shot at his girlfriend in a park, and then fled with the baby when cops showed up. Though Fuhr had left his gun behind at some point during his attempt to flee, when the cops showed up they thought he was armed, and Zech shot him.
The Black Tones and Payge Turner are playing a sold-out show outside of the Museum of Flight: Seattle Refined hails the gig as "Seattle's first socially-distanced, outdoor concert," though I will not abide such clear Sean Feucht erasure. Though I guess Feucht's opportunistic, holy-roller scam wasn't exactly "safe," so I take it back.
Metro rolls out BLM buses: My Ballard missed the opportunity for the bad pun in their report on new paint jobs "designed by one of the Metro’s transit operators" for "two 60-foot Metro coaches."
The author of the Ramona books is dead: Beverly Cleary made it to 104 (!) before dying in Carmel, California, nearly 21 years after the Library of Congress dubbed her a "Living Legend," according to her longtime publisher, HarperCollins. Watch an interview with this champion conducted shortly before her 100th birthday:
The author of Lonesome Dove is dead: Larry McMurtry quit the world on Thursday in Texas, according to the New York Times. The master of the American door-stopper also wrote some of the greatest films of the last century; he wrote The Last Picture Show with Peter Bogdanovich, adapted Terms of Endearment for the screen with James Brooks, and co-wrote Brokeback Mountain with Diana Ossana. Here is McMurtry describing the origins of the title of his popular "anti-western" and also sort of making the case for paid family leave.
Speaking of the yeehaw agenda: Lil Nas X swaps his horse for satan's lap in "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)," which features the rapper grinding on a leather-daddy devil after sliding down to hell on a stripper poll following his banishment from a Rome full of doppelgängers who dragged him before a trial in the Coliseum for licking the forbidden snake in his own personal garden of Eden. I guess there's some symbolism going on here, but we'll probably need to watch the video forty or fifty more times before we understand the full impact of this thing.
A little backstory: