Lake Forest Park contractor catches case for storming the Capitol: Prosecutors charged Joseph Elliott Zlab for "unauthorized entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds" and "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds," according to the Seattle Times. The FBI caught the mellifluously named Everett-based business owner thanks to a tip and then a search warrant. Still waiting to hear from SPD about whether six of their cops busted into the people's house.
The first round of new light rail cars are here: They're wider, they're brighter, they're bike-friendlier, and there's a little screen on the car roof showing you where you're at on your journey so you don't have to squint across the aisle and risk others thinking you're mean-mugging them. "A total of 152 new vehicles manufactured by Siemens Mobility in Sacramento, CA will continue to be delivered and commissioned through 2024, joining Sound Transit’s initial fleet of 62 Kinkisharyo vehicles," writes Sound Transit. Check out the vid:
Inslee's getting veto-happy: The Governor axed a bill that would have banned the sale of gas powered cars in 2030 while also requiring "at least 75% of registered vehicles in the state participating in a yet-to-be-completed pay-per-mile road usage charge," KIRO reports. Inslee said the link to the politically dicey road usage charge policy tanked the law's prospects.
He also vetoed some bad ADU policies: As the Urbanist outlines here, Rep. Gerry Pollet watered-down a bill that would make it easier to build accessory dwelling units in cities, one of the lowest possible bars the state needs to clear to tackle the housing affordability crisis. Pollet's policies were so bad the AARP, which wants more ADUs to help seniors age in place, pushed the Governor to veto the heart of the bill, and so he did. Now all the bill does is remove some occupant limit requirements on short-term rentals, which is fine.
Fire in Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez's building: A 79-year-old woman is in critical condition, Seattle Fire reports, after a blaze broke out near the council member's spot. In a tweet, Gonzalez said her family wasn't home at the time, and she thanked all well-wishers and first responders.
This evening, a significant fire occurred at our home. My husband, daughter, and I were not at home when the fire began. Thank you to all who have reached out, I want you to know that my immediate family is safe.
— Council President M. Lorena González (Seattle) (@CMLGonzalez) May 15, 2021
UPDATE: Mary Lou Williams, 79, died from injuries sustained in Friday's house fire. Williams was Council President Gonzalez's mother-in-law, Gonzalez confirmed in a statement on Twitter. "Our loss is unimaginable," she wrote. "We appreciate your understanding as we embark on this journey to grieve and celebrate the life and memory of one of our matriarchs, our sweet Mary Lou." The council president's building remains "uninhabitable," and she confirmed her family is staying with friends while they assess their housing plans.
Watch Chase, Crosscut's David Kroman, and the Evergrey's Grace Madigan on Week in Review: They talk fashionable blue hair, pandemic etiquette, textgate, Chief Diaz's decision to overturn discipline for the cop who issued the order to gas Capitol Hill, and the impossibility of Republicans ever returning to some kind of vague "socially moderate, fiscally conservative" Reaganism that gutted the administrative state and created nearly all the problems that Generations X, Y, and Z will spend their lives moderately improving in the most insane political environment imaginable short of full-on civil war.
Wing Luke Museum Beth Takekawa announces retirement after a long run: After 24 years with "the nation’s only pan-Asian Pacific American museum"—14 of those as its director—Takekawa plans to ease into retirement with a strong record of accomplishment behind her. Under her watch, the Ford Foundation named the museum a "cultural treasure," and its budget grew to $3.2 million. Nice work, Takekawa!
BuzzFeed fucked around for ten minutes and found the President's Venmo: His account was set to private, but Venmo makes all friends lists publicly accessible, enabling the news outlet to locate "nearly a dozen Biden family members" and also map out "a social web that encompasses not only the first family, but a wide network of people around them, including the president's children, grandchildren, senior White House officials, and all of their contacts on Venmo." Since Venmo derives the friends lists via contact info, spies or creeps could stalk the president and his associates, reveal potential whistleblowers, or generally just badger people.
Confusion over masking requirements sweeps the nation: Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated people can show their faces everywhere except on public transit, in hospitals, and in schools. State and local officials and various leaders in the private sector responded with confusion, reports the New York Times, basically because we live in a country full of untrustworthy liars and conspiracy theorists. Plus, nobody knows what to do with kids under 12, who could still spread the virus but who are ineligible for the vaccine. The answer is tell them to put on a damn mask!!!
Do Republicans shop at Trader Joe's? The Tommy Bahama-themed grocery store will allow customers to roam its aisles in search of strangely flavored lasagnas without wearing a mask on their faces, CNN reports. No, they're not asking for papers. Yes, they'll continue screening their employees and spacing people out. And yes, the unions are concerned about worker exposure.
Walmart and Costco will allow vaccinated customers to shop mask-free: Costco will allow unmasked customers to buy food en masse without requiring any vaccination proof, King 5 reports. In a memo on Friday, Walmart said unvaccinated shoppers would need to wear masks, but the memo said nothing about enforcement. The country's largest retailer also promised $75 to employees with proof of vax, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, "Target, Home Depot, CVS and Harris Teeter" will continue requiring masks.
Grocery workers consistently told me that trying to enforce mask wearing on uncaring customers was the worst part of working through the pandemic https://t.co/k9GDCdAlOY https://t.co/YcBz0nvN1c
— Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) May 14, 2021
My ass is wearing a mask at the grocery store for as long as possible because that's what QFC wants, because I love the quasi-anonymity of it, and because I don't want the grocers to think I'm an asshole quite yet.
Inside the right-wing war on voting: Mother Jones got ahold of some video that spells out the GOP's whole plan to subvert democracy and install some psycho king.
Their story goes like this: Heritage Action for America, a dark money organization born of the far-right Heritage Foundation, writes legislation designed to suppress votes and elect Republicans. The group then lobbies lawmakers or launders the lobbying through "grassroots" orgs, using the Big Lie of voter fraud in the 2020 elections as proof for the need for "policies severely restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, preventing the collection of mail ballots, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration." So far, that strategy has worked in "the battleground states of Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and Iowa."
Looks like MTG just straight-up harassing AOC: Could you even fucking imagine for one single fucking second what would happen if any progressive activist pulled some Silence-of-the-Lambs shit like this? They certainly wouldn't have been elected to Congress almost immediately afterward!
“This is a woman that’s deeply unwell. And clearly needs help. And her kind of fixation has lasted for several years now” and “raised concerns for other Members...I think that this is an assessment that needs to be made by the proper professional.” - @AOC https://t.co/lr316IsjTH
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) May 14, 2021
This is of course why Democrats must go nuclear on the GOP: I'm not sure if Beutler's suggestions here really qualify as "nuclear," but the Democrats have about a year left to go on the attack or else lose the country to madness.
Death toll reaches 130 as fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces spreads to West Bank: All but 8 of the dead hail from the Gaza strip, the BBC reports. Israel's dropping bombs on buildings and tunnels without warning civilians, and Hamas is continuing to fire rockets at Israeli cities. Meanwhile, Israeli police are crushing Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem as "violent gangs, Jewish and Arab, exploited the tension, roaming the streets looking for targets to attack." The violence shows "no sign of abating."
Huge gender gap in perceived ability to win fights against dogs, geese, and eagles: I once asked a friend if he thought a human could take on 30 geese at once. After moment of silence, his eyes met mine and he said, "You'd have to be comfortable killing a goose with another goose."