Billionaire Richard Branson snatches the space crown from billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Billionaire Richard Branson snatches the space crown from billionaire Jeff Bezos. Meanwhile, on earth, poverty and death from preventable diseases run rampant. Drew Angerer / GETTY

Douglas County fire threatens 80 structures: The 7,900-acre wildfire is 10% contained and growing rapidly, according to the sheriff's office.

Dozens of injuries from fireworks: Harborview treated 39 people for hand or eye injuries over the holiday weekend, KOMO reports.

White Center fire damages The Lumber Yard and other businesses: Early Monday morning a fire ripped through White Center's first LGBTQ+ bar and the tattoo parlor, Rat City Tat2, the Seattle Times reports. Fire, smoke and water from the response also damaged other businesses, including a salon, a boxing gym and a bar. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Lumber Yard has now raised more than $94,000 on GoFundMe:

Tolls to rise in the tunnel and over the Tacoma Narrows bridge this fall: The Washington State Transportation Commission will likely add a quarter to toll prices on both roads to make up for pandemic losses (in the case of the tunnel) and to pay off a loan in time (in the case of the Narrows bridge), the Seattle Times reports.

This dummy is running against Congresswoman Kim Schrier again: He only lost by 3 points in 2020. Washington's contribution to slowing democratic backsliding at the federal level will be limited to reelecting Kim Schrier in the 8th Congressional District next year.

Rally for voting rights at the Federal Building next Monday: In concert with other groups across the country, Indivisible Seattle will post up downtown with some singers and some politicians to call on U.S. Senators to pass the For the People Act, which would "expand voting access through policies like automatic and Election Day registration and universal mail-in voting while blocking voting restrictions like new voter ID laws and discriminatory voter purges," according to a summary from Mother Jones. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County board chair Deaunte Damper, progressive political consultant Riall Johnson, Seattle Port Commissioner candidate Hamdi Mohamed, student voting rights activist Zoya Mir, and Seattle City Council candidate Nikkita Oliver will speak on the importance not suppressing the vote of minorities in a democracy.

Imagine not being repulsed by billionaires racing to space while a world rife with inequities they've exacerbated continues to reel.

I mean seriously, look at this shit: We could be $130,000 wealthier if not for the rich hoarding all the money.

Canada could soon reopen the U.S. border: Vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents can travel to the United States without the previously required two-week quarantine. A ban on nonessential trips is still in place, though "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said plans to totally reopen the border would be announced over the next few weeks," the Associated Press reports.

Nearly everyone who died in the U.S. from COVID-19 in June was not vaccinated: Anthony Fauci said 99.2% of people who died from the virus last month were unvaccinated, which Fauci called "avoidable and preventable," The Hill reports.

Birthday parties were the death of us: A new paper published in Jama Internal Medicine found that COVID-19 risk in families increased by nearly 33% in hotspots "after one of them had a birthday," according to the New York Times. This result held across party lines. I don't often reflect on my youth spent worshiping Jehovah at a Kingdom Hall with anything remotely approaching fondness, but I'm glad that freaky-deaky cult put me off any excessive featly to holidays or anniversaries.

This is all to say that Bernie would have won:

Oxygen shortages in Indonesia: As the country experiences a coronavirus surge and oxygen shortages, 63 patients died at one hospital this weekend, according to CNN.

COVID-19 surges in ICE detention facilities: The immigration agency is holding 26,000 people in its facilities—up from 14,000 in April— and "more than 7,500 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the centers over that same period, accounting for more than 40 percent of all cases reported in ICE facilities since the pandemic began," the New York Times reports. ICE data shows that only 20% of detainees have received a vaccination. The surge comes after inspectors found jail staff routinely not following health guidelines. Infections will continue to rise until states get serious about vaccinating detainees and prison populations.

Hackers hold hostage "thousands" of small businesses around the globe: If those small businesses ever want to see their precious "files" again, someone will need to hand over $70 million in bitcoin to REvil, "the same Russian-language group that was behind the attack on meat processor JBS," reports the Washington Post. Until then, Swedish co-ops, random schools in New Zealand, and businesses in at least 17 countries will remain on lockdown.

Republicans want to make it harder for you to secure a home loan: The Biden administration must decide whether to appoint as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency a progressive who wants to make it easier for poor people to buy houses in the middle of a housing crisis or a couple neoliberals who want to make it harder for poor people to buy houses. Republicans might threaten to spike the pick, Democrats are pushing for the two neoliberals, and progressives would like to pick someone "with an aggressive affordability agenda," Politico reports.

It's foggy out there this morning!!! But for the most part the week will be warm and clear. Also, I love the NWS, but this drizzle/fo'shizzle rhyme will not stand.

Tropical Storm Elsa heads for the Florida Keys, but may just skim the coast: "Mudslides and 'flooding rains'' sent 100,000 Cubans packing as the storm tore through the island after killing three in the Dominican Republic and St Lucia the day before, the BBC reports. Cuban officials fear the mass evacuation may lead to a COVID spike given the country's recent surge of infections.

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Lightning and flooding hamper ongoing rescue efforts in Surfside: Over the weekend, Miami-Dade firefighters found four more bodies in the rubble of the now totally demolished condo that collapsed last week. The death toll now stands at 28 people, with 117 "unaccounted for," reports the Associated Press. Thunderstorms that spun off of Tropical Storm Elsa slowed down the careful, dreary search for bodies and survivors.

COVID-19 data out of Israel not looking great: In May of this year, Israeli officials reported that the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective against COVID-19 infections. But now that the delta virus has taken over as the dominant strain, "vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease" has fallen to 64%, Reuters reports. The vaccine remains "highly effective in preventing serious illness." It should go without saying, but we live in America, so: 64% is better than 0%. If you're not vaccinated, then get vaccinated. It's been months and nobody's grown a horn.

Myanmar's military is now launching "indiscriminate air and ground strikes" on civilians: After the coup on Feb 1, the people of Myanmar took to the streets to protest martial rule. In response, the military, or the "Tatmadaw," started murdering demonstrators en masse. Over the course of the last several months "civilian defense forces" have taken up arms against the oppressive regime. Now the Tatmadaw is bombing random townships to cut off "food, funds, intelligence and recruits," sending thousands fleeing into nearby forests and jungles. The strategy, known to Myanmar's military as "the four cuts," has displaced 230,000 people and killed thousands, reports Al Jazeera.