Washington

Slog AM: WA Drivers Respond to Gas Prices, Global Recession on Horizon, and Penguins Reject Zoo’s Penny-Pinching

Gas going by the wayside: All that price gouging from the world’s leading oil companies may be starting to bite them in the ass, as demand for gas in Washington declined in recent months due to record-high prices at the pump. Lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic also played a factor, but demand had been climbing until late last fall when prices started to soar. 

In related news: Economists are predicting a recession. While forecasters don’t think the oncoming downturn will be as severe as our recent economic trauma in 2009, they do expect it to last longer than the contractions the economy experienced back in the 1980s. On the bright side, our national refusal to build enough housing should keep those lucky enough to own property from seeing the floor drop out of their most important asset’s value. 

Recession worries sink euro to 20-year low: America isn’t the only economy on the brink, as ripple effects from the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia’s oil sector cause the euro to sink to its lowest value against the dollar in two decades. Will this context make it into TV news segments on inflation’s impact on the midterms? Almost certainly not. 

Inflation spares no species: 

Republicans doing what they do best: According to the Washington Post, GOP leaders in nearly two dozen states have redirected federal pandemic aid into their general funds to pay for tax cuts. Congress approved the money expressly to help people struggling to afford housing or other basic necessities, but Republican AGs have convinced courts across the country to look the other way. Perfectly healthy legal system we’ve got here.

Numbers don’t lie — or do they? Seattle Times FYI Guy Gene Balk’s latest column points out the challenge the pandemic presents for collecting good data on population growth since 2019. If only his colleagues on the paper’s editorial board applied the same skepticism and critical thinking to crime statistics over the last few years, maybe we’d be having an educated debate on public safety.

Good job with the copy & paste, Dow: King County Executive Dow Constantine followed Governor Jay Inslee’s lead in signing an executive order instructing the cops under his command to refuse to cooperate with abortion prosecutions. This will surely end well.

Welcome to the “finding out” phase, insurrectionists: I hope these refusals are accompanied by raucous laughter from the bench.

Firing bad cops isn’t impossible, it’s just much harder than it should be: Lewis Kamb of Axios has the story on SPD’s latest attempt to terminate a parking officer who’d already been fired for wondering aloud why “we can’t just bring back lynching.” An arbitrator overturned the department’s first attempt to fire him back in January, and now the department is asking a court to overturn that arbitrator’s decision to reinstate the officer. 

Investigating bad cops isn’t impossible, it’s just much harder than it should be: The mayor of Uvalde has lost faith in the integrity of the oversight probe into the law enforcement response that he’s called an “abject failure.” In an interview with CNN, he said he fears the Texas Department of Public Safety investigation could end up being a “cover up,” and he wants Texas Governor Greg Abbott to intervene. I wish him the best of luck getting a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful to hold cops accountable for failing to do their jobs.

WA’s campaign finance laws earn top marks: According to a new report from the nonprofit Coalition for Integrity, Washington does the best job of any U.S. state in regulating campaign contributions. Loyal readers of the Slog will not be surprised by this news, given former Stranger editor Eli Sanders’s coverage of Washington’s attempts to get Facebook to comply with those stringent campaign finance regulations.

I have no words: For a country that claims to care about family values, we’re doing a shit job of preventing kids from losing their parents:

Right-wing media releases latest explanation for gun violence: Spoiler alert, they’re still not convinced that the widespread availability of deadly killing machines leads to the child in the previous blurb having to make a spectacle of her grief.

On that note, some more lofi hip hop from the depths of my YouTube algorithm to ease the anxiety of living in such a bad country:




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