Biden will likely relax outdoor mask mandates today.
Biden will likely relax outdoor mask mandates today. MLADENBALINOVAC/GETTYIMAGES.COM

Seattle is dying: For an entire year Seattle's hot-hot housing market took second place only to Phoenix! But now, tragically, this month Seattle's home prices have only grown at the third-fastest rate in the country, according to a Seattle Times analysis of our good lord, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, mightiest of indices, oracle, weaver of dead dreams. San Diego hath overtaken us this month. But next month, we're coming for your ass, you pleasant coastal city in California!!!

When the Big One hits, let's hope you're nowhere near Belfair, a little town at the tip of the Hood Canal. That place could be under 14 feet of water after an earthquake off Washington's coast triggers a tsunami, according to King 5's report on new maps from the Washington Geological Survey.

Seattle Sen. Joe Nguyen wants to be King County Executive Joe Nguyen: But first he'll have to beat the Dow Constantine machine, which enters the race with over $1 million. Read all about it here. He'll announce at 11:30 a.m. today at Hing Hay Park.

Seattle Congressman Adam Smith says we should give up on the whole "global military dominance" thing: Smith told the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, that “deterrence, not dominance, is what I’m really kind of looking at us being able to do here,” according to Air Force magazine. That's not nothing coming from the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. Smith said cheap and widely available "swarms of drones" outperform our big and expensive death machines, and so continuing to blow tons of money on F-35s doesn't make sense.

Keep your head on a swivel near Issaquah: On Monday a hiker spotted a bear just off the West Tiger 3 Trail. KIRO has the video.

Jeb the miniature horse has arrived: Jeb left a greenbelt in West Seattle for New Mexico. Based on this video from West Seattle Blog, he's settling in just fine.


ICYMI, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler won: This year Kreidler requested a bill from the Legislature that would stop insurers from engaging in the racist practice of using credit scores to set certain insurance rates, which ends up forcing poor people to pay more for car insurance than middle-class and wealthy people with worse records. Sen. Mark Mullet worked with insurance lobbyists to gut the bill. Kreidler called for it to die. It died. After that, he used his emergency powers to issue a rule banning the practice for three years. The insurance companies sued, claiming he tried to do "an end-around the state Legislature." Last Friday, a Thurston County Superior Court approved Kreidler's move. Today the Commissioner issued a May 6 deadline for property and casualty insurers to file their plans to meet the rule requirement, which should help "protect those who are the most hurt financially by the pandemic from being forced to pay even higher premiums," he said.

Inslee signs law directing school districts to phase out racist Native American mascots: The bill would take effect Jan. 1 and give schools until Dec. 31 to choose a new mascot, reports our local Fox affiliate. My colleague Matt Baume wrote about five Republicans who tried to stop that bill in its tracks.

Amazon started vaccinating its warehouse workers: Only someone with the memory of a goldfish could congratulate the local e-commerce giant for doing the right thing. While its "tens of thousands" of white collar tech workers worked from the comfort of their own homes and watched their stocks go gangbusters, Amazon's "roughly 1 million" warehouse workers risked infection to show up to the company's facilities, "where workloads surged even as the virus ravaged communities," the Seattle Times writes. When workers stopped showing up to avoid a deadly respiratory virus, the company "rolled back COVID-19 benefits for warehouse employees, including pay bumps and unlimited unpaid sick leave."

Judge blocks protections for farm workers: A judge in Yakima County has blocked some regulations meant to protect farmworkers from the coronavirus, the Associated Press reports. The rules now on hold included "twice-daily visits from medical staff to isolated workers; required workers to be within 20 minutes of an emergency room and an hour from a ventilator; and provided workers open access to people in the community." But the judge allowed restrictions on bunk beds to stay in place over objections from the Washington Farm Bureau and Wafla, a firm that supplies workers for farms and faced fines for violating certain regulations.

And now a break for the weather:

Political drama in the UK: Boris Johnson's former aide accused the prime minister of planning to have Conservative Party donors pay for upgrades to his apartment, which the former aide calls "unethical, foolish, [and] possibly illegal." Johnson's team claims he paid for the renovations himself, though it's not clear whether he borrowed the money from a donor, according to CNN.

Officials in North Carolina still have not released body camera footage of killing of Andrew Brown Jr.: Brown's family and one of their lawyers were shown a 20-second clip, which they said showed Brown inside his car with his hands on the steering wheel as police tried to arrest him on a drug warrant, the New York Times reports. The lawyer who watched with the family said the video snippet showed the "execution" of Brown.

Biden could change outdoor mask guidance today: The president is set to give remarks on the state of the pandemic, and three people tell CNN he will announce new CDC guidance on vaccinated people wearing masks outdoors. The specifics of the announcement are still unclear.

Armed forces called in for coronavirus outbreak in India: The country's case count hit above 300,000 for the sixth day in a row. India now plans to use oxygen from armed forces reserves, and retired medical personnel will return to work in struggling facilities, Reuters reports. Indian hospitals continue to be overwhelmed as the country attempts to get vaccines and other help. India has four times the population of the United States but 11 times as many new infections, the Associated Press reports.

People on Twitter are losing their minds over Epicurious' decision to cut beef from its recipe diet. When they read the news, local and national right-wing nutjobs immediately flipped, hilariously and hypocritically signaling their own virtues to their base as they slammed the Conde Nast publication for "virtue-signaling." The joke, as ever, was on the nutjobs. The magazine's editors said the outlet "actually pulled the plug on beef well over a year ago" and people still flocked to their recipes. Nobody noticed then, so meat-eating identitarians couldn't make a culture war out of it. But now that there's a tweet, there's a dust-up. And where there is a dust-up, there will be a Fox News segment. And where there is a Fox News segment, there will be Ted Cruz attacking Democrats for trying to snatch strip steaks from the mouths of good, hard-working American babies. What I have learned from this moment of social media lunacy is that people don't know where their food comes from, that people don't know what a food magazine is, and that Americans are hungry for exactly one thing, and that's an opportunity to express a throwaway opinion about something. I also learned that Seattle Police Officers Guild president Mike Solan follows a guy who has made a living eating large quantities of meat in short amounts of time on social media.

Which reminds me:

Love Slog AM/PM?

To cleanse the mind (and the timeline), I leave you with Maggrite: