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Boeing’s secrets, GOP tyrants, FAA shutdown, heckuva jobs czar…



► Today at IAM 751’s blog — Union fights Boeing plan to close NLRB hearing — Machinists District 751 is fighting a sweeping request by Boeing to keep the public from hearing important evidence in the NLRB complaint. Among the things Boeing doesn’t want the public to know are specifics about its South Carolina tax incentive package, and even some details about the 2003 deal with Washington that ensured the 787 would be built in Everett. “We suspect the documents Boeing wants to keep secret prove that Boeing executives didn’t make a legitimate business decision to transfer work from Everett to Charleston, but instead broke the law by moving because of union activity here,” said District 751 spokeswoman Connie Kelliher.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing asks NLRB to conduct some hearings in private — Boeing asked the judge “to safeguard the confidentiality of Boeing’s sensitive business, commercial and proprietary information.” The Machinists union issued a statement saying that the “sweeping” Boeing request would bar the public from “hearing important evidence,” including Boeing studies comparing the cost of putting the second 787 line in Charleston with the cost of putting it in Everett.

► In The Hill — Democrats pivot from Boeing battle to broad defense of unions — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say the GOP bill to limit the authority of the NLRB in response to the Boeing case is evidence that Republicans want to marginalize the labor movement.

► Today from AP — Boeing profits beat expectations; lower 787, 747-8 deliveries — Boeing’s commercial airplane profits surged in the second quarter, pushing net income up almost 20%. Boeing earned $941 million, or $1.25 per share. Revenue rose 6.2% to $16.54 billion. That topped the expectations of analysts, who predicted net income of 98 cents per share on revenue of $16.47 billion. Boeing also said on Wednesday that it will not deliver as many of its new 787s and 747-8s this year as previously hoped.




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Gregoire neutral on coal terminal issue at Bellingham meeting — “Let there be no mistake, Wyoming and Montana are going to extract their coal and they’re going to export it,” she said. “The question is, does it go through Canada or does it go through Washington?” Gregoire said it’s going to take a lot of work and study before she forms an opinion on the project.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Brightwater: Just 100 feet of tunneling to go — Down 300 feet underground where the wind never blows and the world is just 13 feet in diameter, encased in concrete, a milestone is being reached: Tunneling for the Brightwater sewage-treatment plant is nearly complete. Workers also endure an otherworldly environment. For the last section where they are now working, it takes 40 minutes just to travel the six miles underground to reach the tunnel-boring machine.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Layoffs, cutbacks cited in discussion of Clallam County deficit — County Administrator Jim Jones tells commissioners that the 2012 budget will fall well short of revenues needed to maintain county spending and that layoffs could be needed. Discussion mentioned up to 25 layoffs as a possibility.

►  Today’s county unemployment news — In a scenario playing out statewide, Clark County’s private sector is slowly adding jobs, but those scant gains are being offset by cuts in government employment — Clark (9.9%▲), Cowlitz (12.2%▲), King (8.7%▲), Pierce (10%▲), Snohomish (10.1%▲), Spokane (9.1%▲), Thurston (8.5%▲), Tri-Cities (7.4%▲), Whatcom (8.8%▲), Yakima (9.9%▲)




► In today’s LA Times — GOP tyrants threaten nation’s stability (Michael Hiltzik column) — A determined bloc that controls one house of one of the three branches of government has brought that government to a halt on behalf of an adamantine no-tax pledge with which polls say a majority of Americans don’t agree. Hanging in the balance is the full faith and credit of the United States.

► In today’s NY Times — Vote on Boehner plan delayed amid opposition — House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings. (Other developments: GOP splinters into open conflict over Boehner plan, which Obama has tersely threatened to veto anyway, making Boehner “the world’s saddest tangerine.”)

► In today’s NY Times — After aiding Republicans, business groups press them on debt ceiling — The tension highlights the distance between the pro-business stalwarts of the traditional Republican Party and the populism of its newer representatives, many of whom seem to view Wall Street and Washington with equal suspicion.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, the right-wing extremists who control the state’s business lobby refuse to decry the GOP threat to plunge the nation into fiscal and economic chaos, instead echoing the vague Tea Party call for smaller guv-mint. As local corporate shill Richard Davis opines today, “The dysfunction on display this week in D.C. confirms the wisdom of limited federal government.”

► At Politico — U.S. credit downgrade worries Obama, Congress more than default — Financial analysts say losing the nation’s gold-plated, triple-A bond rating would hit Americans with more than $100 billion a year in higher borrowing costs, but it’s not just that. It would be a psychic blow to a nation that already looks over its shoulder at rising economic powers like China and wonders, what’s gone wrong? And it would give the president’s Republican rivals a ready-made line of attack that he’s dragging the country in the wrong direction.

► In today’s NY Times — A denial of reality (editorial) — How can so many Republicans lawmakers justify pushing their country toward catastrophic default just to score ideological points? The answer can be found in their statements and writings: They are constructing an alternative reality far different from that of most Americans.

► In today’s NY Times — The Reid plan vs. the Boehner plan (editorial) — This choice between proposals to cut federal spending is one between bad and awful.

► In today’s Washington Post — The GOP holds out for more (Harold Meyerson column) — For many Republicans, even Boehner’s approach doesn’t go far enough. Republicans apparently won’t be satisfied until Obama takes responsibility for all of the national debt, the Bush tax cuts and the Oklahoma heat wave, admits he’s not a citizen and goes back to Kenya.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Americans jam phone lines, websites on debt-ceiling talks — President Obama asked Americans to reach out to Congress to make their voices heard on the debt-ceiling debate — and so they did. Thousands of callers flooded the Capitol switchboard Tuesday, and email traffic swamped congressional servers. (See local coverage in The Columbian.)

TAKE A STAND! Don’t be left out. Click here to contact Congress and send them the message: No deal that kills more jobs. No deal that cuts our safety net and kills our jobs while making the rich richer.




► At Huffington Post — FAA furlough stretches into Day 4 with no end in sight — Nearly 4,000 federal employees remained temporarily out of work for the fourth day in a row on Tuesday, as Congress appeared no closer to coming to an agreement on legislation reauthorizing the operating budget of the Federal Aviation Administration. Dozens of major construction projects representing millions of dollars of work have also been halted, putting at risk thousands of construction jobs and creating potential safety concerns.

TAKE A STAND! Click here to tell Congress: Stop the Republican hostage taking of more than 90,000 construction jobs and get the FAA up and running again.

► In today’s Washington Post — USPS names 3,700 post offices that could be closed — The U.S. Postal Service is planning the largest downsizing in the history of the money-losing agency. The unprofitable stations, branches and main offices that could be shuttered starting in January account for about 11 percent of the Postal Service’s retail operations.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Check out the 39 post offices on the list in Washington state, including in Brownstone (it’s near Harrah).

► In today’s NY Times — High-pay jobs decline as low-pay jobs increase — BMW’s plans to replace employees at its Ontario, Calif., parts distribution warehouse with contract workers from a third-party firm reflect a trend of the economic recovery. “They wouldn’t do this in Germany,” said a one employee who will lose his job, referring to the labor-friendly policies in the country where BMWs are manufactured.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This doesn’t bode well for the 80 to 160 employees at the new BMW carbon-fiber parts plant in Moses Lake.

► In today’s Washington Post — Rep. Gutierrez arrested outside White House protest — For the second time in as many years, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has been arrested for demonstrating outside the White House against President Obama’s record on immigration reform.




► At — The president’s jobs czar is doing a heckuva job — for China (Jon Talton column) — President Obama continued to exhibit a pleading weakness in his prime-time speech Monday night, so it’s no wonder Monday was the same day that his “jobs czar,”General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, chose to announce the company will be moving the headquarters of its X-Ray division to China. Would it be impolite at this point to mention that GE paid no federal income taxes in 2010? Or that GE Capital was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the TARP bailout? The Export-Import Bank, funded by taxpayers, has given GE $2.5 billion in loans and loan guarantees. The biggest dilemma, which goes far beyond GE, is why much of the company’s offshore sales can’t be U.S. exports made by American workers? Some of the answers are obvious: The demands of Chinese industrial policy, Wall Street greed and less expensive labor. But this doesn’t quite cut it when so many Americans are suffering, and so many fear the living standards of their children will be lower than they enjoyed. And all the while, such companies enjoy corporate welfare and tremendous power over the decisions of government and the Supreme Court. Tell me again why the federal deficit is our most pressing problem.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.


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