The eagle has landed: Air Force One touched down at SeaTac International Airport shortly after 5 pm, carrying Mr. President Joseph Robinette Biden and several government types aboard.
In preparation for his arrival, the city swept nearly every tent in view of the Westin Hotel: Democrats love holding fundraisers at the Westin, and cops blocked off streets around the hotel, so it's likely that President Joe Biden will pay the spot a little visit on his trip to this corner of the country. "To ensure a secure perimeter" for his event, today the city swept poor people away from 5th & Lenora and Stewart & Westlake, according to the Mayor's spokesperson, because god forbid this town confront Biden with the material results of his failure to funnel enough federal money into public housing. All told, the city removed 12 tents, one structure, and referred 13 people to shelters, though less than half (six) took the referrals. For more on why people would decline access to the city's broken shelter system, read this.
In a fundraising email released yesterday, the WA State Republican party vowed to “be outside his venue LOUDLY AND PROUDLY denouncing his radical agenda and calling for the end of his anti-American policies," emphasis theirs. So keep your head on a swivel for like 12 dorks screaming "Let's Go Brandon" downtown.
Presumably that means they'll also be protesting J.D. Vance for advocating for a coup? I mean:
If I were Biden, I'd take the train up north to Vancouver, BC: In that beautiful PNW city Mudede always writes about, you'll find rogue dispensaries dishing out magic mushrooms in the hopes of spurring the city to legalize them, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun published earlier this month.
Seattle's Starbucks Roastery votes to unionize: In a 38 to 27 vote, the workers at the massive, touristy spot on Capitol Hill decided they wanted a seat at the table. The result represents a big win for the shop's 100+ employees and another humiliating loss for the bean juice company in its own hometown. It also brings workers one step closer to unionizing all three of the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in the US. Earlier this month, workers at the New York Starbucks Roastery in Chelsea won their union election. Now the Chicago location serves as Schultz's last stand. The successful effort today means unions have won 26 of the 28 elections held at stores across the country, which bodes well for the 237 stores that have filed to form unions. And it looks like they couldn't be happier:
Washington Community Alliance gathered some data on race and gender representation among elected officials across Washington. Looking at state, county, city, and school board seats, they offer these core findings:
• Washington’s County Councils and Commissions are 99% white and 75% male—extremely unrepresentative of the broader public.
• Washington’s prosecutors are 97% white and 87% male.
• White people were overrepresented in all of the elected offices studied.
• School boards for the top 30 most-populous districts were the most racially representative (at 30% people of color) among all of the offices studied.
• Latinos are the most underrepresented racial group in Washington state’s local government and legislature. For example, Latinos make up only 4.6% of the House and 2% of the Senate, while making up 13.7% of the state.
Tim Ceis and Ron Sims have bad taste in architecture: The conservative consultant and former King County Executive both hate the look of King County's Administration Building — a big, imposing block of a building with a distinctive diamond pattern on the outside — according to the Seattle Times. I hear the argument that it projects Kafkaesque bureaucracy, I accept the argument, and yet still I think it looks charming. On summer days it looks like a nerd in argyle sweating by the pool, and on winter days it looks like a WWII bunker — both fitting looks for a place that held "the assessor and recorder’s offices, various licensing departments and the county’s business operations." Anyhow, it's not going anywhere anytime soon, but the county decided to leave it vacant due to everyone working from home now.
WA State Supreme Courts overturns Edmonds gun safety law: In 2018, the northern suburb passed a law that required gun owners to lock up their weapons, but today the Court unanimously decided that law went too far, KING 5 reports.
"Cruise season starts Saturday:" Prepare to observe tourists sporting alarming tans and roaming cow-eyed along the nice eight-lane highway we built for them along the Waterfront. The West Seattle Blog has the story.
The bumpy start for the capital gains tax repeal campaign just got bumpier: A survey of 553 likely Washington voters found that only 40% of respondents would vote to ease the tax burden on the rich. Meanwhile, a contemporaneous survey of 572 likely Washington voters saw that number drop to 37% once voters learned that the "measure would decrease funding for education, early learning, child care and school construction," which they will, thanks to a new law requiring ballot measures to include a fiscal impact statement. Turns out taking money from kids and giving it back to the rich is unpopular.
Mudede recommends a poetry reading from Rajnii Eddins: The former Seattleite and current Vermonter reads at Wa Na Wari tonight and also on Saturday. According to Mudede, he "commanded one of the greatest 206 hiphop tracks ever produced, Helladope's cinematic 'Mind Shiftin':"
Speaking of recommended events: The Seattle Audubon and the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict organized a plant sale on Sunday, April 24 from 11 am to 3 pm on the upper meadow of Cal Anderson park. The UW Society for Ecological Restoration and Black Star Farmers (BSF) will sell plants, and BSF will offer tours of the BLM Garden. The Capitol Hill Tool Library will be on hand to sharpen tools and give away ice cream, and you'll find tons of free seeds on offer. Seattle Audubon's urban conservation manager, Joshua Morris, will teach interested passersby how to make compostable planting pots and how to spot birds.
Well, that was quick: Warner Bros. Discovery decided to shutter CNN+ after less than a month. While network news competitors have rolled out free streaming services, CNN+ tried making people pay $5.99 per month for new shows, but it seems like the demand wasn't there. As for the workers: "Staff were told Thursday that they will continue to be paid and receive benefits for 90 days, and will be encouraged to apply for jobs elsewhere at the company. After that 90-day period, they will be laid off with a minimum of six months severance," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Ukraine updates: A New York Times analysis of satellite images shows an apparent mass grave just outside the besieged city of Mariupol, with "approximately 300 pits dug close to a cemetery." City officials claim the graves could hold between 3,000 and 9,000 dead civilians. Meanwhile, Putin held one of those weird televised meetings with his general, wherein he claimed victory in Mariupol and bragged about deciding not to "storm" a steel plant where "thousands" of Ukrainian soldiers remain holed up and ready to fight, the Washington Post reports. The Post also has the list of the latest batch of weapons the US sent to Ukraine, which includes "72 155mm howitzers and the tactical vehicles to tow them, 144,000 additional artillery rounds, and ... 120 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems."
Florida moves one step closer to canceling Disney for daring to oppose the "Don't Say Gay" law: Today the State House passed a bill that removes the company's ability to levy taxes "on the lands of its theme park," the BBC reports. The bill already passed the Senate, and Governor Ron DeSantis plans to sign it.
In related news, this is how Republicans describe massive corporations now:
The only thing these people trust is the church: And probably cops and the military, but those massive government institutions didn't make this list for some reason:
When I say that Republicans tell pollsters "everything is bad, except church" what I mean is, very literally:
EVERYTHING is bad, except church. (Banks, maybe you can hang.) pic.twitter.com/GW8WHYZkn1
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) April 21, 2022
Biden has been no better than Trump on immigration: A report from Human Rights First found that Biden's decision to jail "tens of thousands" of asylum-seekers for an average of 3.7 months was "inhumane, unnecessary, and wasteful," according to Al Jazeera. The outlet notes that detaining people seeking asylum is "generally prohibited under international law, except in exceptional circumstances."
Let's close out the day with "Cement Shoes" by DJ Spanish Fly.