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VOTE! Plus state cuts, Boeing secrets, Verizon update…



If you haven’t already mailed in your primary election ballot, today is the deadline. If you can’t find it, contact your County Auditor’s office for information about where you can go to cast a provisional ballot.




► In today’s Olympian — Governor wise to get ahead of expected weakness in budget (editorial) — Given the uncertainty of the global economy, Gov. Chris Gregoire and Marty Brown, her budget director, are right to sound the alarm and prepare this state for perhaps another $1.7 billion in budget cuts. You could feel the governor’s frustration in her letter to agency directors and front-line workers asking them to prepare for budget cutbacks as deep as 10%.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Jay Inslee says he hasn’t lost Eastern Washington ties –In his first Tri-City campaign appearance since announcing his run for governor, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee told members of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that he hasn’t forgotten his time as a hay farmer and small business owner east of the Cascades.




► At IAM 8751’s blog — Union: Default setting for courtroom is “unlocked” — A federal judge has rejected the Boeing Co.’s plan to turn the ongoing NLRB hearing into a secret trial. Federal Administrative Law Judge Clifford Anderson has also placed sharp limits on Boeing’s ability to keep the public — particularly Machinists Union members — from seeing many of the relevant documents that will be entered as evidence in the case.

► In today’s Seattle Times — NLRB judge allows Boeing to request sealing of documents — The administrative hearing judge on Friday issued a protective order allowing Boeing to request the sealing of documents in the case and to exclude union officials, the press and the public from the hearing when proprietary company information is under discussion. However, the IAM union claimed a court victory because the judge “placed sharp limits” on what information can be restricted and sealed.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — GOP hypocritical on NLRB lawsuit against Boeing (letter) — Republicans must allow the NLRB to seek justice by not attempting to obfuscate the process and by making inane demands that undermine their efforts. There cannot be a double standard for enforcing the law. The system must be allowed to work, regardless of interests, the same as it did then when Reagan was able to break PATCO in 1981.




► In today’s Seattle Times — King County Council OKs $20 car tab hike for Metro — After four hours of recess, closed-door meetings and rumors of reversed positions, the King County Council voted 7-2 Monday to do what its members proclaimed they would last week: Increase car-tab fees $20 to spare bus-service cuts.

► In today’s Yti-City Herald — DOE told to take second look at vit plant safety culture — Actions proposed by the Department of Energy to strengthen the nuclear safety culture at the Hanford vitrification plant represent a start, but DOE should take a closer look at the issue, says the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

► At — Seattle’s “green jobs” program a bust — Amid great fanfare last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods. More than a year later, only three homes have been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.

► In today’s News tribune — Tacoma teachers want a contract that puts students first (column by TEA President Andy Koons) — Our children deserve dedicated, caring, highly trained educators who have adequate support. The Tacoma Education Association bargaining team, made up of teacher volunteers, is prepared to negotiate every day until the start of school. TEA members are meeting Aug. 29, and I hope we’ll have a tentative agreement to review. If not, we will meet again Aug. 31 to decide our next steps.




► In today’s NY Times — Sides in Verizon strike trade more accusations — Although lacking any proof, the company is accusing the union of engaging in sabotage to telephone facilities. Union officials said they oppose all sabotage and have repeatedly told their members not to engage in such acts. They also said that Verizon was exaggerating the number of incidents. At the same time, the unions have their own complaints about Verizon, saying that several strikers have been struck by managers’ cars.

UPDATE from yesterday’s Verizon strike coverage at The Stand — CWA Local 7800, SEIU, and other unions will be picketing at the Seattle Verizon store at 6th & Olive (next to Pacific Place) from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 16-18. Picketers will also be at the Renton Verizon store, 960 Park Ave. N., from 4-6 p.m. daily. Come show your support!

► At AFL-CIO Now — Wisconsin voters set to defend two pro-worker, anti-Walker state senators — Today, Wisconsin working families are going to the polls to defend two state senators who stood up to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on workers. Democratic Sens. Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch face recall elections financed by Republican tea party money.

► At Huffington Post — Child labor rules stalled at White House as farm accidents continue — Last week, two 17 year olds were critically injured in Oklahoma when they were pulled into a grain augur while on the job. Yet the White House continues to sit on new child labor rules proposed last year by the DOL that some safety advocates say could have prevented that accident.

► In The Hill — Approval of Congress ties all-time low — Just 13% of U.S. adults said they approve of the way Congress is handling its job, tying a previous low point set in December of 2010, during the lame-duck session.

► At Politico — Supercommittee runs risk of turf war — The 12-member supercommittee needs to find its $1.5 trillion in spending cuts from somewhere — and that means treading on the jurisdiction of some very powerful committee leaders who may not be happy to have ceded a significant amount of authority on perhaps the biggest spending cut bill in American history.

► In today’s NY Times — Republican extremism, bad economics (Steven Rattner column) — The positions of the Republican presidential candidates on economic issues amount to the most radically conservative of any set of candidates at least since Barry M. Goldwater in 1964.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Buffett: Rich can do more (editorial) — A fair, sustainable solution to the nation’s deficit problem requires shared sacrifice. The super-rich, says one of the super-richest, don’t need the extraordinary tax breaks they currently enjoy. As usual, the Oracle of Omaha’s advice is worth heeding.

► In today’s NY Times — Looking closer at taxes on the rich — Whatever the political viability, Buffett’s proposal — rolling back the so-called Bush tax cuts on people who earn more than $1 million a year and on income from capital gains and dividends — would put a significant dent in the nation’s budget shortfall. The tax increase would generate as much as $500 billion in new revenue over the next decade — about a third of what the Congressional committee is supposed to cut from the deficit.

► At — Howard Schultz: Don’t give politicians any more money — In an email to fellow business leaders, the Starbucks CEO wrote: “I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people.” Essentially, Schultz wants Americans to “go on strike against their politicians.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s surprising that Schultz, the Pacific Northwest’s highest-paid CEO and the anti-union poster boy for labor law reform, would support any kind of “strike.” But it’s not surprising that he is more concerned about deficit spending — while offering no specific solutions other than calling for more “leadership” — than he is about job creation, which is what the rest of America cares about.




► At the Onion News Network —

Miners Trapped In Life-Threatening Mining Jobs (Season 1: Ep 3 on IFC)

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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