Washington

Slog PM: SPOG Drags Feet on Vax Mandate Negotiations, Centrist Dems Continue Tanking Biden’s Agenda, the Haitian Asylum-Seekers Are Gone

He’s back. And he’s not coming for your tabs this time. HEIDI GROOVER

A bunch of unions reached a deal with Seattle on the vaccine mandate: The Seattle Police Officers Guild, however, remains a holdout. Paul Kiefer at Publicola said the cops are “pushing for an extended deadline and bonuses.” People joked about the vaccine mandate as a way to inadvertently defund the police, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up funding the police quite nicely. Strange that our fearless protectors, the selfless public servants who think of nothing but ensuring the safety of every single Seattleite, still refuse to protect us from themselves.

In any event, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office, “highlights” of the tentative agreement include a day off for workers who get the shot before the deadline, 10 days of “COVID-19 Supplementary Paid Leave,” and use of “applicable leave” time for those who start the process by Oct 18 but who won’t be fully vaccinated until afterward. Another contract gives city employees who worked in-person a “one-time payment of $1,750,” and it also allows those who “choose to telework until January 19, 2022” much more time to get vaccinated.

All of this seems to compensate well beyond the “impact” of forcing workers to take the day to get a goddamned shot that will save their goddamned lives. That said, if we lived in a world with stronger unions, workers wouldn’t need to take unsympathetic positions to get time off that they should already have. Frustrating situation all around.

The state’s highest-paid employee still refuses to take the vaccine: The Spokesman-Review reports that Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich still hasn’t sat for the jab yet: “He’ll have to either receive the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 4 or receive an exemption – or risk losing his job.”

Let’s take an orca break: KING 5 spotted some of the pretty killers in the water this afternoon. Skip to around 3:20 in the vid to see some action.

The Seattle Times‘ Scott Greenstone wrote a good profile on Marc Dones: The new CEO of the new agency tasked with ending homelessness in the region plans to “fix the county’s laggy and incomplete data system so they know exactly who is homeless where, then impose a sensible set of requirements for homeless shelters and nonprofits housing people,” the Times reports. The thing that excites me the most about Dones? They are “a candid speaker not afraid of conflict in a city where government officials are often tight-lipped.” Praise Jesus.

From a potential $9 billion hole to yet another billion dollars better: The state’s budget forecast for this cycle (2021-23) keeps looking rosier. Today the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council added over $900 million to the state’s expected collections. “Downsides include higher inflation [in certain areas of the economy], rising COVID-19 cases and ongoing supply chain issues,” the Associated Press reports.

Speaking of supply chain issues: Costco is once again asking you to stop stockpiling toilet paper and stuff. “Delta-related demand” spurred the company to limit purchases of “toilet paper, paper towels… Kirkland Signature water and high-demand cleaning products,” the Seattle Times reports.

Tim Eyman is back at it: I’ll write more on this later, but right-wing Republican Rep. Jim Walsh and a guy who I thought wasn’t supposed to be managing PACs for initiative campaigns have launched a campaign to put I-1408 on the November 2022 ballot. The initiative would ban all taxes related to “income,” which they say would invalidate Seattle’s JumpStart tax, the newly passed capital gains tax, etc. They say they need 400,000 signatures before Dec 30 of this year, which they think will cost about $2.7 million to round up, and they appear to be in the process of trying to get them. I’m just gonna lob this bomb and then duck out of the room, but direct democracy in Washington is broken and we should kill it.

Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene represents a what district? A “purple” district??? That’s the bullshit she fed John King as justification for her crusade to block Joe Biden’s agenda in Congress. A Republican hasn’t carried Washington’s 1st Congressional District, which she has represented since 2012, since Reagan. DelBene is Microsoft money cocking an eyebrow at a slight increase in corporate taxes.

Eric Levitz at New York Mag has the correct analysis on why a dozen centrists in safe blue seats want to tank the last chance Dems have of doing anything of substance quite likely for the next eight years: “Labor is weak, Congress is malapportioned, and some old rich Democrats have annoying beliefs.”

Related: Congress responded to a summer of upheaval and rampant police abuses with absolutely jack shit, thanks to Republicans and conservative Democrats. Over the last several months, Dems such as House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J, and others worked to publicly denigrate key aspects of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, The Intercept reports. GOP Senator Tim Scott, feeling no real pressure, refused to go along with any compromises and killed the deal this week.

Related: Decades after they could have done it, the House passed a bill to codify abortion protections in federal law, the Washington Post reports. Democratic Senators Bob Casey (a catholic centrist from Penn.) and Joe Manchin III (a coal baron) won’t say if they’ll vote for it. Republican Sen. Susan Collins won’t support the bill “because it would weaken conscience protections for health-care providers who do not want to perform abortions.”

Related: Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell yelled at Georgian sideshow Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Capitol steps today after MTG yelled at a bunch of Democrats for supporting the abortion bill that everyone knows won’t pass the Senate. The rub: Dingell didn’t yell at MTG for her odious views on abortion but rather for being uncivil in expressing them. Priorities!

A few hours later, Dingell sent out a fundraiser email: That’s politics, baby!

Can’t wait for the wall-to-wall Fox News coverage about the dangers of anti-mask anarchists pounding on school windows and screaming at cops about nothing:

The 15,000 Haitian asylum seekers who were living under a bridge are now gone: A couple thousand were “rapidly expelled on flights since Sunday under pandemic powers that deny people the chance to seek asylum,” another 4,000 “were being processed for a possible return to Haiti or placement in U.S. immigration court proceedings,” and “others have been released in the U.S. with notices to appear in court or to report to immigration authorities, and some returned to Mexico,” Politico reports. Biden vows that “people will pay” for border patrol agents who apparently harassed the migrants with reins and horses.

Mark your calendars… This January the University of California Press plans to publish Jonathan Malesic’s The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives. Malesic is a “former academic, sushi chef, and parking lot attendant” with a religious studies degree from Virginia, and yesterday the New York Times adapted part of the book for a big piece in the opinion section. I’m into this: “Dr. Weeks calls for a six-hour work day with no pay reduction. And we who demand labor from others ought to expect a bit less of people whose jobs grind them down.”

Biden forms “the Quad” to continue economic campaign against China: Today the President wrapped up a two-hour meeting with the leaders of India, Japan, and Australia to hash out deals on the “key challenges of our age, from COVID to climate to emerging technologies,” Al Jazeera reports. China said “the Quad” was “doomed to fail.”

In attempt to capture the last bit of summer feeling in the air today, I leave you a nice KEXP live performance of Mac DeMarco’s “Salad Days.” Have a good weekend if its your weekend, everybody!



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