The Stand

Inslee’s veto | Trump’s tariffs | Uber’s poverty wages | Ratt’s grapevine

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Friday, March 2, 2018




► In today’s News Tribune — Inslee vetoes controversial legislative public records bill — Legislators had rushed SB 6617 at extraordinary speed through the legislative process last week in response to a Jan. 19 ruling from Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese that individual legislators have always been subject to the Public Records Act.

► In today’s Seattle Times — A victory for the people: Gov. Inslee makes the right call and rejects government secrecy (editorial) — In vetoing lawmakers’ self-serving effort, the Democratic governor showed he is willing to challenge a majority of state legislators — including leaders within his own party — to do what’s right for the people… Inslee listened. Now, it is time for lawmakers to do the same. They must stick to their word by not voting to override Inslee’s veto of this infernal legislation.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Full disclosure: Historic bills are passing! (WSLC Legislative Update) — While the commercial press has focused its attention (and advocacy) almost exclusively on the public disclosure bill, several truly historic pieces of legislation have passed in recent days that will improve state government and help working families. Progressive policy bills that for years have been killed by partisan obstruction are finally getting floor votes. And they are passing — often with bipartisan support.

► From AP — Carbon tax bill dies in Legislature — Another ambitious effort to pass a carbon tax in Washington has faltered as both Gov. Inslee and the bill’s prime sponsor said that there weren’t enough votes to pass the measure out of the state Senate.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Senate OKs new way to calculate Sound Transit car fees — It should result in reduction of the cost of vehicle licenses. The bill now goes to the House.




► In today’s News Tribune — Seattle’s two cents on Tacoma LNG plant not worth much (editorial) — Turns out Seattle doesn’t have enough trouble of their own. In a breach of jurisdiction, the City Council issued a resolution saying it’s “troubled by” Tacoma’s LNG plant.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sound Transit chief executive gets ‘an important wake-up call’ — An investigation found CEO Peter Rogoff has used offensive language and made the agency’s staff feel threatened.




► From The Hill — AFL-CIO lauds Trump’s tariffs — The nation’s largest federation of unions on Thursday praised President Trump‘s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, even as GOP lawmakers in Congress and U.S. trade partners condemned the proposal. “For years, we have called attention to the predatory practices of some steel exporting countries. Such practices hurt working people and cheat companies that produce in the U.S. We applaud the administration’s efforts today to fix this problem,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump calls trade wars ‘good’ and ‘easy to win’ — A day after stunning markets, Republican lawmakers and even his own advisers by announcing stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Trump doubled down on his approach on Friday, saying in an early morning tweet that “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

► From Reuters — U.S. corporate share buybacks ‘explode’ in February — U.S. corporations have announced more than $218 billion in share buybacks since Congress enacted the Republican tax overhaul in December, an investment research firm said on Wednesday.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Just imagine if U.S. corporations had spent that much to create jobs and raise wages (as we were promised they would), instead of artificially boosting stock prices for their shareholders. Sigh.

► In the Washington Post — Trump’s Social Security budget offers more work, less staff, longer waits — For the elderly and disabled who complain about poor Social Security assistance now, these might be the good old days. President Trump’s proposed fiscal 2019 Social Security Administration budget would cut staffing, a recipe for long waits in agency offices and on the telephone for those trying to navigate the often-difficult world of old-age, disability, survivor and Medicare benefits. Declining service is nothing new, but under Trump, there would be fewer federal employees to deal with an increasing number of people of retirement age. His budget request calls for almost 1,000 fewer full-time-equivalent work years in 2019 than this year.

► In today’s NY Times — The cruel ploy of taking immigrant kids from their parents (by Dora Galacatos, Alan Shapiro and Brett Stark) — Using children as bargaining chips with parents who seek refuge in America is horrifying.

► From Politico — EPA’s Pruitt says he will start flying coach




► From KUOW — Uber, Lyft drivers earning a median profit of $3.37 per hour, study says — The vast majority of Uber and Lyft drivers are earning less than minimum wage and almost a third of them are actually losing money by driving, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research found that the median pretax profit earned from driving is $3.37 per hour after taking expenses into account. Seventy-four percent of drivers earn less than their state’s minimum wage, the researchers say.

► From Reuters — West Virginia teachers strike continues Friday amid stubborn pay dispute — West Virginia teachers were set to strike for a seventh day on Friday as state lawmakers balk at the governor’s promise to raise salaries that are close to the bottom for U.S. educators. An end to the strike that kept more than 277,000 students out of school since last week appeared in sight on Tuesday, when Republican Governor Jim Justice promised a 5 percent raise for teachers in the upcoming fiscal year. The $58 million proposal went through the Republican-controlled state House of Delegates on Wednesday, but the state Senate sent the bill to its Finance Committee for study.

► In today’s NY Times — ‘I live paycheck to paycheck’: A West Virginia teacher explains why she’s on strike — Katie Endicott, 31, a high school English teacher from Gilbert, W.Va.: “I take care of the bills in my family and knew I can’t afford it, I can’t. I have two children, I live paycheck to paycheck. When I realized that they were taking hundreds of dollars (for higher health care costs) and then they tried to tell me they were giving me a pay raise of 1 percent, I knew I can’t just sit back. I can’t be complacent, something has to change.”

► From The Nation — Why today is a sad milestone for minimum-wage workers — A worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour this year needs to work 41 extra days just to make the same amount as he or she would have made at the same wage back in 2009, once inflation has been factored in. March 1 is the 41st day of the year, and it’s over a week later than “Minimum Wage Workers’ Equal Pay Day” last year, which occurred on Feb. 21.

► From TPM — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refusing to hold elections GOP might lose — In late December, two Republican lawmakers stepped down from the Wisconsin legislature to join Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. Their seats have sat empty ever since — and are likely to stay that way until January of 2019. In a remarkable break from precedent, Walker announced that he would not hold special elections in those districts, leaving 229,904 Wisconsinites without representation for almost a year.

► In today’s LA Times — Disneyland’s workers are undervalued, disrespected and underpaid (by Peter Dreier and Daniel Flaming) — Disneyland is famously promoted as the “happiest place on earth.” But for many of the theme park’s 30,000 employees, it isn’t the happiest place to work. That’s what we discovered after spending a year talking with Disneyland workers and conducting a survey of about 5,000 “cast members,” as the company refers to its employees.

► From the AFL-CIO — The awesomeness of ‘Black Panther’: Union made — while we could spend hours about how great an action movie it is or how beautiful it looks or the social implications of the themes and representation of African culture, let’s take a few minutes to look behind the scenes at the work it took to bring a movie like “Black Panther” to life, work done by union members.




► We know. Mashups are so 2012. Or older! But sometimes, somebody nails one so perfectly that it just seems meant to be. And such was the case last week when somebody out there on the Internets spliced together Ratt with Marvin Gaye, much to the enjoyment of The Entire Staff of The Stand. Enjoy.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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