Momma money, USPS bill, our class system…
Monday, July 16, 2012
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ruderman’s mother funds groups attack ads targeting DelBene — A political-action group formed to attack the business record of 1st Congressional District candidate Suzan DelBene was funded entirely by the mother of one of DelBene’s opponents, Laura Ruderman, according to FEC filings released Sunday.
► At SeattlePI.com — Murray to anonymous PAC: Stop the smears against DelBene — “Unfortunate” and “ugly” is how U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the state’s most powerful Democrat, describes anonymous “SuperPAC” smear mailings denouncing U.S. House candidate Suzan DelBene.
► In the Seattle Times — Wealthy throwing money at charter schools initiative — The $2.3 million given to I-1240 so far includes just three families that have donated less than $50,000 — and only one family that has contributed less than $1,000.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Odd 1st District race is one of a kind — The victor will be a member of the U.S. House for less than a month and leave with the title of congressman — or woman — for life.
► In the Olympian — McKenna, Inslee discuss health law with state’s AARP– Inslee said he will fight to preserve the ACA’s features that end lifetime limits on coverage, close the so-called donut hole in Medicare’s prescription coverage and avoid tapping the elderly to fix state budget gaps. McKenna, who had sued to overturn the ACA, said he wants to see more options for consumers to use Health Savings Accounts.
► From Bloomberg — Republicans urge Romney to release tax returns, change debate — Anxious that Democrats are gaining an edge with voters, Republicans are pressuring Mitt Romney to reveal more about his income taxes and his record at Bain Capital LLC as his campaign strategists weigh how to respond. The decision whether to release more personal financial information, one adviser said, rests with Romney. So far, he has remained firm in his decision not to disclose any tax information beyond his 2010 and 2011 filings.
► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Jobless picture darkens in Eastern Wash. metro areas, bucking national trend — The unemployment rate in nine of 10 metropolitan dropped from May 2011 to May 2012 nationwide, as did the nation’s unemployment rate, which fell to 8.2% from 9%. But the Tri-Cities went the opposite direction. In fact, all four major population centers in Eastern Washington bucked the national trend. The unemployment rates in Wenatchee and Yakima also increased, while Spokane stayed constant at 9.1%.
► At SeattlePI.com — Cantwell: As workforce retires, who will build Boeing planes?– During a tour of Machinists Inc., a precision machining company and Boeing supplier in Seattle, Cantwell announced she will be holding a Senate Aviation Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., this week on aviation competitiveness.
► In The Hill — Postal Service rescue bill stalls in Congress as cash woes mount — The House’s delay in considering a postal reform bill is sparking concerns that the rescue of the U.S. Postal Service could be delayed until after the November elections — or even until the next Congress. Meanwhile, the Postal Service is on pace to lose billions of dollars this fiscal year, and owes $11 billion, in two separate installments, over the next two and a half months in prepayments for retiree health care.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s an idea… don’t make the USPS be the only business or government agency on the planet that has to pre-pay benefits for employees who haven’t even been born yet. Just sayin’.
► At Huffington Post — Democrats mock GOP for protecting own health care in repeal vote — When Congress passed the health care law, it required members of Congress to get their insurance on exchanges with the rest of the public. But in voting to repeal that law, Republicans and a handful of Democrats were also voting go back to the old system where the lawmakers get a sweeter deal than most of the rest of the country.
► In today’s NY Times — Five ObamaCare myths (by Bill Keller) — The slogans and scare stories have taken over the discussion. The Affordable Care Act is humane, fiscally viable and Democrats should be out there defending it.
AMERICA’S CLASS SYSTEM
► In The Hill — Voters now say wealth is now an impossible dream — Nearly half (47%) of likely voters believe it is impossible for them to become wealthy in the course of their lifetime, according to a new poll for The Hill.
► In today’s Washington Post — A challenge to conservatives (by E.J. Dionne) — Conservatives are beginning to face the fact that America is no longer the land of opportunity and upward mobility. Reports show that social mobility is greater elsewhere, notably in Denmark, Australia, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden and Germany. What do these countries have in common? Not to put too fine a point on it, all have national policies that are, in right-wing parlance, more “socialist” or (to be precise) social democratic than ours. They guarantee their citizens health insurance. They have stronger union movements and more generous welfare states. They tend to keep higher education more affordable. In most cases, especially Germany’s, they have robust apprenticeship and job training programs. They levy higher taxes.
► In the NY Times — Two classes, divided by ‘I Do’ – The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality and questions about a core national faith, that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay. But striking changes in family structure have also broadened income gaps and posed new barriers to upward mobility. College-educated Americans are increasingly likely to marry one another, compounding their growing advantages in pay. Less-educated women are growing less likely to marry at all, raising children on pinched paychecks that come in ones, not twos.
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