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Infrastructure wins, Supercommittee!™, U.S. aristocracy…



► In today’s Seattle Times — Voters back tunnel; mayor concedes defeat — Start digging. After more than a decade of wrangling on how to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle voters on Tuesday said the city should stop dithering and move ahead with the $2 billion Highway 99 tunnel. In a rebuke to Mayor Mike McGinn and other tunnel opponents, nearly 60% of the votes counted Tuesday were in support of the project.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sales tax for roads passing in Snohomish — Voters appeared Tuesday to be approving (57%-43%) a sales-tax increase that would pave roads and fund a couple of major projects. The proposition would raise the sales tax in Snohomish by 0.2% to 8.8%. The estimated $660,000 annual revenue would be used to maintain 41 miles of city streets and fund projects to improve traffic flow.

► Today at AFL-CIO Now — Report: Invest $1.7 trillion in infrastructure or lose jobs — The nation needs to spend $1.7 trillion by 2020 to shore up its infrastructure, or it could lose more than 876,000 jobs, and hold back the nation’s gross domestic product growth by $3.1 trillion in the next nine years, according to a new report by the American Society of Civil Engineers.




► In today’s Olympian — State budget cuts lead to layoffs at Providence — Providence St. Peter Hospital is set to cut 8% of its work force — 250 full-time-equivalent positions — as part of an effort to close a $28 million gap in its 2011 budget. The gap is the result of cuts to Medicaid and other state-funded health care cuts.

► In — State worker headcounts dropped again in July — Total employment in general government agencies dropped another 401 to 60,305 last month, continuing a steady trend since 2008. The state had 66,714 people on the payroll at the end of June 2008. That means there’s been a drop of 6,409 people, or almost 10% in the general-government headcount, over roughly three years.




► At the Slog — McKenna fundraising letter channels Wisconsin’s Walker — Republican gubernatorial wannabe Rob McKenna is proposing the same divisive, union-busting agenda pioneered by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin… at least judging by the rhetoric of the fundraising letters he’s sending out to GOP supporters, in which he warns that lobbying by “public sector unions” is bankrupting our state.

EDITOR’S NOTE — For more information, see The Stand analysis: McKenna is no moderate on workers’ issues




► At The Hill — Conservative group sues NLRB for Boeing documents — Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, has sued the NLRB for documents related to its case against Boeing that the panel has been hesitant to release.

► In the (Everett) Herald — No word from Boeing in end to 787 tests — The Boeing Co. expected to wrap up flight testing on its 787 Dreamliner last weekend, clearing the way for regulatory approval on the new jet. But, on Tuesday, Boeing still wasn’t ready to confirm that flight testing is complete.




► In today’s Columbian — Veterans, their advocates tell Murray they need jobs, housing — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, in Vancouver Tuesday for a “listening session” with veterans and their advocates, said she’ll do her best to protect veterans’ benefits as she steps into a high-profile role as co-chair of the new deficit-reduction supercommittee.




► In The Hill — Senate Democrats on Supercommittee!™ want stimulus in deficit deal — Supercommittee!™ Co-chairwoman Patty Murray, and Sens. Max Baucus and John Kerry said the supercommittee needs to make jobs a top priority. “We know that our goal is to reduce spending. But we also know that America faces not just a budget deficit but also a jobs deficit. Nobody on this committee would be happy if we reduced the budget deficit but even more Americans end up losing their jobs,” Murray, Baucus and Kerry wrote in an op-ed.

► In today’s Washington Post — Obama to issue new proposal on jobs, debt reduction — President Obama plans to make a major speech in early September laying out new proposals for job creation and taming the federal debt. He is expected to make fresh proposals, possibly including tax cuts and new infrastructure spending, to spur hiring.

► In today’s NY Times — Fight for a jobs agenda (editorial) — Come September, Obama’s aides say he will roll out more programs to put Americans back to work. What we are hearing so far doesn’t go nearly far enough.




► Today at AFL-CIO Now — Wisconsin vote is rejection on Walker’s radical agenda — Wisconsin voters yesterday easily turned back a Republican\tea party attempt to recall two strong pro-worker state senators who battled Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on workers’ rights, health care, education and working families. Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt says the election showed “the people of Wisconsin are looking for a check on Scott Walker’s reckless and radical agenda.”

► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats win last two Wisconsin recalls (E.J. Dionne column) — What’s clear is that the fight has moved public opinion the Democrats’ way, but not as fast or as dramatically as the Democrats had hoped.

► At AFL-CIO Now — More than 100,00 sign petition urging Verizon to bargain — In just one week, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam to get serious about bargaining and to stop trying to push Verizon workers out of the middle class. You can add your name to the petition here.

► From AP — UAW’s King hopes Detroit talks will wrap up in mid-September — The comments by King represent the clearest signal yet that the UAW is moving on a fast track in talks with the three Detroit automakers and could have deal with each by the Sept. 14 expiry.




► At Washington Policy Watch blog — Ayn Rand 2.0: An emerging American aristocracy (by Stan Sorscher) — America’s founding fathers rejected aristocracy. Our Constitution prohibits titles of nobility. But nothing in the Constitution prevents us from sliding backwards into a functional aristocracy. We are becoming a society of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. If we allow the top 1% to rewrite policies to solidify their positions of privilege, we will have a functional aristocracy, a shrunken middle class and millions of workers in wage peonage.


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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