The Supreme Court dismisses Obamacare challenge: Thank FUCK. The final decision was 7-2, with Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissenting. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, saying that "Texas and the other states that challenged the law failed to show that they were harmed by it." Despite worries that 6-3 Republican-appointed majority on the Court would lead to a gutting of a service that provides healthcare for millions of Americans, conservatives have definitively failed for a third time to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "The Affordable Care Act has won. The supreme court has just ruled the ACA is here to stay. And now we're going to try and make it bigger and better." https://t.co/UWlFRkE5YR pic.twitter.com/gatM4V5Dp2
— The Hill (@thehill) June 17, 2021
The recall petition against Jay Inslee is no more: A judge dismissed a petition filed last month by a group called Washingtonians to Recall Inslee seeking to recall Washington's guv' over his "mishandling" of the state's COVID pandemic response, reports KOMO. In an email, the judge wrote that the five claims presented in the petition were "legally and factually insufficient." The group could file an appeal but it's not yet clear if they plan to do so.
I'm honestly not sure who exactly asked for this, but now we have it: After getting unanimous approval in the Senate earlier this week, a bill to make Juneteenth—the day in 1865 when enslaved Africans in Texas learned of their freedom from Union soldiers—a federal holiday also passed in the House of Representatives. 14 Republicans voted against it. The bill will now head to Biden's desk to sign later this afternoon. This is cool, I guess, but feels like self-congratulatory backslapping as the furor over "critical race theory" is at its peak and bills to strip (mainly Black) citizens of their voting rights are getting passed through state legislatures. Want to help Black people, Ol' Joe? Make Election Day a federal holiday—and give us reparations.
Congressional Black Caucus members sing the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” after the signing of the bill in the House to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.pic.twitter.com/TBuPZ4ddRG
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@KJP46) June 17, 2021
A man drowned in Lake Washington yesterday: He was trying to rescue a child who'd fallen off a sailboat around Chism Beach Park. According to the Bellevue Fire Department, the kid made it safely back onto the boat, but the man slipped into 110 foot deep water, reports the Seattle Times. By the time crews showed up, a recovery was not possible.
Google pays up to settle campaign finance lawsuit in Washington state: According to the Seattle Times, the tech behemoth decided to settle charges "that it has not complied with Washington’s strict campaign finance laws, which require businesses to retain records of political ads they sell in the state" and will fork over $400,000 plus attorneys' fees. This is the second time in three years the company has had to settle a campaign finance lawsuit, but the first time it has admitted to non-compliance with the state law.
Unemployment claims went up last week: The number of people filing new unemployment claims hit 412,000, rising 37,000 from the week before, reports AP. This is the first time since April that jobless claims went up, but a four-week average of claims fell by 8,000.
As Charles mentioned in Slog PM: Five candidates vying for the job as Seattle's mayor met virtually last night at Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition's mayoral forum, fielding questions about transportation, equity, and the environment. The Stranger's Nathalie Graham tuned into the proceedings—read her comprehensive thread about the night down below:
Fecal Fest is here: Before you scat enthusiasts get all hot and bothered, this is not some horny sex fest. Rather, it's opportunity for gardeners to get their paws on "Zoo Doo"—compost from the Woodland Park Zoo. According to the Seattle P.I. this Zoo Doo is poop "produced by the zoo's non-primate herbivores including tapirs, mountain goats, rhinos, hippos, giraffes and zebras" and is good for veggies and annuals. In order to buy some of this fecal matter, residents have to register for a lottery by July 9 and can get anywhere from 10 gallons to 100 gallons (or by the truckload) of the stuff. Someone named Dr. Doo (no relation to Scooby) will contact the lottery winners for a July 24-25 pickup.
A bomb went off at a home on the Olympic peninsula, injuring two: The suspected bomb-maker sustained chest injuries, had his left arm amputated, and remains in critical condition. His six-year-old granddaughter suffered burns to her head, but has been released from the hospital, reports KOMO. FBI detectives and Washington State Patrol bomb squad searched the property and said they found "evidence of materials used to manufacture handmade pipe bombs and improvised devices."
Diana Ross is blessing us with an album for the first time in 15 years. Hallelujah.
Encampment at Pratt Park slated for a sweep: Yesterday, the city posted a notice at the Central District park announcing its intention to remove tents and personal belongings, due to an "encampment impeding public park use," reports CHS Blog. Apparently, Seattle's Homelessness Outreach and Provider Ecosystem (HOPE) Team has been onsite to help connect people who've been living in the park with services and shelter "as available." The city plans to sweep Pratt Park on Friday.
Weather break: I gotta unearth my summer clothes!
Sunny, dry & warm Thursday with highs in the 60s near the water & 70s inland. These temps look to continue thru Saturday, then 70s & 80s on #FathersDay with some lower 90s possible Monday!
By the way, #SummerSolstice is also Sunday. Hmmm...coincidence? 🤔 #wawx pic.twitter.com/uDGnaHEsKi
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) June 17, 2021
Are aviators Biden's "thing"? President Joe Biden gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a pair of custom Randolph USA aviators after their summit yesterday, as well as a "crystal sculpture of an American bison—the national mammal of the US—made by Steuben Glass of New York," reports CNN. The aviators were symbolic, as the company that produces them has ties to NATO. My guess is that Putin put the sculpture straight into the trash.
European Union members agree to lifting travel restrictions on tourists from the United States.
U.S. government pours $3.2 billion into development of COVID antiviral pills: The program, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services, aims to address the gap left by the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed which saw a bigger investment in vaccine development than treatments, reports the New York Times. The money will speed up clinical trials already in process, clearing the way for a COVID antiviral pill to potentially become available by the end of this year.
For your listening pleasure: "Gone (Devault Remix)" by Charli XCX featuring Christine and the Queens.