The Stand

Turbines cause jobs ● Boeing seeks trust ● Today’s Uber/Lyft strike

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee signs bills bringing Washington state closer to zero-carbon electricity — Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills Tuesday to combat climate change headlined by legislation to rid Washington’s electric grid of fossil-fuel-generated power by 2045, a move that makes the state a leader in the national clean-power movement. During the bill signing, Inslee took a swipe at Trump, who has called climate change a hoax and recently claimed the sound from wind turbines causes cancer. “Wind turbines don’t cause cancer. They cause jobs,” Inslee said.

ALSO today at The Stand — ‘Monumental victory’ on jobs, environment

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — New board aimed at equalizing benefits for teachers — The School Employees Benefits Board will require school districts to cover medical, dental, vision and basic long-term disability and life insurance for any employee expected to work 630 hours in a school year, which comes out to 17.5 hours per week or 3.5 hours per day. The new program will offer employees more variety when it comes to insurance plans and could make plans more affordable for employees in some districts.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Grifting with dictators? Fantasizing of holy war? Nothing is too low for politics these days (by Danny Westneat) — It’s pretty remarkable, or one would think it ought to be, that we currently have one elected official in this state who is a registered foreign agent for an authoritarian regime (Sen. Doug Erickson, R-Ferndale). And another who appears to be plotting with extremists for a homegrown, biblical civil war (Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley).

But what’s most remarkable? That there’s apparently nothing remarkable about this. Because nothing is going to happen to either of them. There probably won’t be any political price to pay within their own party, the Republicans. But more importantly, I bet there won’t be among the voters, either. We are reaching the point of maximal partisanship. In which seemingly anything, no matter how unethical or flat-out bonkers, goes.

 


BOEING

 

► In today’s NY Times — With 737 Max, Boeing wants to win back trust. Many are skeptical. — A charm offensive by Boeing to persuade airlines, crews and passengers to rally behind its 737 Max plane is already running into resistance. When Boeing dispatched one of its top lobbyists, John Moloney, to the headquarters of the influential union representing flight attendants a couple of weeks ago, he arrived determined to win their support. He met a skeptical audience. Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, told Moloney that she was rooting for Boeing, but wasn’t ready to tell flight attendants and travelers to fly on the Max: “I don’t know, sitting here right now, that I can tell you there’s complete confidence that everything’s been fixed at Boeing.”

Boeing 737 MAX jets parked at the Renton factory.

► In today’s Washington Post — Fliers plan to avoid Boeing 737 Max jets for a year or more, Barclays survey concludes — A survey of 1,765 flyers released Tuesday suggests that the flying public could prove to be the plane’s toughest critics: 44 percent said they would wait a year or more before flying the 737 Max, while 39 percent who said they would do so within a few months of its reentry into service. Only 20 percent said they would fly on a Max as soon as the grounding order is lifted, and 52 percent said they would rather fly on another type of aircraft.

 


TODAY’S UBER/LYFT STRIKE

 

► From Splinter News — Don’t cross the line — All over the world, drivers for Uber, Lyft, and Juno—some of the biggest rideshare companies—are going on strike today. That means that for today, at least, you should not use those services.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Before Uber IPO and driver strike, union analysis criticizes driver pay — Across about 560 Uber and Lyft trips in Seattle, the company kept a median of 31 percent of the fare a rider paid, up from 20 percent around 2013, according to the analysis by the App-Based Drivers Association, a local group of drivers affiliated with Teamsters Local 117.

► In today’s Washington Post — Uber and Lyft drivers strike for pay transparency — after algorithms made it harder to understand — Today’s strikes and actions highlight a contradiction: technology has long promised to bring more transparency, but the algorithms that decide how much drivers get paid have increased opaqueness over their income.

► From Gizmodo — Why Uber drivers will strike around the world today — Uber, founded ten years ago, is at a pivotal point in its history. On the eve of its initial public offering, the numbers at the San Francisco company add up to a deeply strange picture. Uber expects to be valued at more than $80 billion in its imminent big day on Wall Street. This is the third biggest IPO ever behind Alibaba and Facebook. Revenue growth has slowed recently and the company is hugely unprofitable with $1.1 billion lost in the first quarter of 2019. Executives, founders, investors, and corporate employees stand to make billions but dozens of drivers have told Gizmodo that their pay is falling. A 2018 JP Morgan Chase study found drivers pay had fallen 53 percent since 2013. Uber said that is because of a rise in the number of part-time drivers.

► From The Guardian — The Uber drivers forced to sleep in parking lots to make a decent living — A growing group of drivers commute from places as far as eight hours away and spend the night in their cars to pick up fares around San Francisco during the day.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► BREAKING from the NY Times — Trump asserts executive privilege over full Mueller reportTrump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in an effort to shield hidden portions of Robert Mueller III’s unredacted report and the evidence he collected from Congress. The assertion came as the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Wednesday morning to recommend the House of Representatives hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the same material.

► In today’s NY Times — Decade in the red: Trump tax figures show over $1 billion in business losses — By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir “Trump: The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores in 1987, Donald Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

► From Bloomberg — Each word of Trump’s tariff tweets wiped $13 billion off stocks — It was a total of 102 words that erased about $1.36 trillion from global stocks this week. Equity markets across the world were roiled by Trump’s tweets that he would boost tariffs on Chinese goods.

► From Reuters — China backtracked on nearly all aspects of U.S. trade deal — The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

► In today’s LA Times — Democrats face internal rift as progressives condemn a policy to protect incumbents –Under a new policy, the powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will refuse to hire pollsters, ad makers or other campaign consultants if they also work with a candidate trying to defeat a sitting Democrat in a primary. The rule is designed to prevent divisive primaries. But many progressives — and some moderates — see it as another move by the Democratic establishment to bully and marginalize the party’s growing liberal wing.

 


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

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