In related news, politicians need to do more: As Congress stalls on passing any form of gun regulation with teeth, Ol' Joe will announce six tepid executive actions addressing gun violence today. According to The Guardian, Biden's new executive actions include: directing the DOJ to issue proposed regulations on "ghost guns" in the next month; also directing the DOJ to place restrictions on stabilizing braces that turn pistols into rifles; and asking agencies to "direct more resources to community violence prevention measures." Biden is also expected to announce the nomination of former federal agent and gun control advocate David Chipman to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (VERY American). They shouldn't stop until all the guns are melted.
There were two giant fires on Capitol Hill yesterday evening: One burned just below St. Mark's Cathedral in a nearby greenbelt. CHS Blog says "explosions were reported at an encampment in the brushy area." Despite this alarming photo, the cathedral was not engulfed in flames nor were there any reported injuries.
The other Capitol Hill fire claimed a life: Occurring on 18th Avenue late yesterday afternoon, fire officials say they recovered a man's body from a two-story accidental house fire. Firefighters got control of the blaze within 15 minutes, completely extinguishing it in 30 minutes. No more information about the victim has been released.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill restoring voting rights to Washington residents convicted of felonies: The restoration is automatic upon their release from prison, reports the Seattle Times. According to the Department of Correction 20,000 people in Washington have now gotten back their right to vote under this bill.
Looking for a rage read? Here is The Hollywood Reporter's scathing report on epicly cruel theater and film producer Scott Rudin. Rudin's behavior is apparently widely known in both industries, and some of his former staff have gone on record about his abusive and manipulative behavior. There's lots of infuriating details from this write-up, but this one takes the cake (or the potato?):
One recent Rudin assistant says the mercurial producer threw a baked potato at his head in 2018 for not knowing why someone from indie distributor A24 was in the lobby.
"I went into the kitchen, and I was like, 'Hey, Scott, A24 is on the way up. I'm not sure what it's concerning,' " he says. "And he flipped out, like, 'Nobody told me A24 was on my schedule.' He threw it at me, and I dodged a big potato. He was like, 'Well, find out, and get me a new potato.' "
Some Washington counties are facing a potential rollback of phases: Which SUCKS. According to KOMO, Pierce, Skagit, and Whitman counties are among those in danger of heading back to Phase 2. Cindan Gizzi, Deputy Director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, told the news outlet that a rollback is likely a done deal, with COVID cases up 20-25% in Pierce County. State health officials will make a decision this coming Monday on the rephasing of these counties.
Everyone say a prayer or cast a spell, as another fucking ghoulish Giuliani is considering hopping into politics: Andrew Giuliani is considering a run for governor of New York despite having never held public office, reports the New York Times. If he decides to take the leap, he'll join well-known conservatives Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island and 2014 GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino in challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his seat. It looks like New Yorkers have a shitty line-up no matter what side of the aisle they're on.
The tallying of votes in Bessemer's Amazon union election has commenced: According to the Retail/Wholesale Department Store Union, voter turnout is around 55%, says Reuters. If the workers get their union, they would be the first Amazon warehouse to unionize in the United States. Maybe this is really cliche, but I can't help but think of this scene from Norma Rae in relation to this news:
You can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine right now! Starting on April 15, all Washingtonians over the age of 16 will become eligible for some coronavirus-fighting juice. If you haven't already gotten a dose and you live or work in King County, you can preregister for a vaccine and the city will notify you when an appointment becomes available. When you finally snag a time, you will make an appointment for both the first and second dose if you get Pfizer or Moderna. Now get to moving!
Meanwhile: The mass vaccination site at Lumen Field set a new daily record of 8,000 doses yesterday. Fingers crossed that the wider eligibility range blows that record out of the water.
Unemployment numbers are up again: Last week's first-time jobless claims were at 744,000, above the predicted 694,000 from economists, reports CNBC. Continuing claims, however, dropped 16,000 to 3.73 million, which is "the lowest level for continuing claims since March 21, 2020."
Let's break for the weather:
I think Sen. Joe Manchin just likes the attention: The squeaky wheel gets the grease, etc. etc. Anyway, the West Virginian senator with a Democrat Sun and Republican Moon/Rising says he will NEVER, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE vote to eliminate the filibuster. “The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed for Washington Post yesterday. It's time to end YOUR political game, buddy, and retire!
The centuries-old piñata industry in Mexico has taken a huge hit during the pandemic: With almost no help from the government to speak of. In a bid to attract interest, some artisans are making coronavirus-themed piñatas of Susana Distancia, Mexico's social distancing superhero; the "much maligned" coronavirus czar Hugo López-Gatell; as well as the spiky virus itself.
Two frontline workers are running for PCC Board: MyBallard reports that two PCC workers, Donna Rasmussen and Laurae McIntire, are running for election to the local co-op's board. Their decision to run came after PCC CEO Suzy Monford opposed the city passing pandemic hazard pay to grocery workers. Rasmussen says the store needs employees on the board to "avoid missteps like [Monford's] in the future" and McIntyre says she wants to make sure PCC "stays committed to LGBTQ inclusion, racial equity, and justice for workers all along the supply chain." Electronic voting begins today for PCC members (check your email!) and ends May 2.
For your listening pleasure: Loving the gay energy of "Gone" by Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens right now. Peep the tied up car: