► In today’s Tri-City Herald — 1,100 Hanford layoffs planned — The Department of Energy has authorized its environmental cleanup contractors at Hanford to lay off up to 1,100 more workers in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. That’s in addition to up to 1,985 layoffs already announced this year, the majority of which will be Sept. 29. Hanford started the year with about 12,000 employees, meaning the potential layoffs announced this year would cut jobs by about a quarter.
EDITOR’S NOTE — These layoffs are directly related to the expiration of the federal stimulus money. So the next time your teabagging neighbor spouts his Faux News nonsense about how “Obama’s spending” didn’t help the economy, remind him that thousands of families in our state avoided the unemployment line in the past two years because of it. (in fact, Hanford was the biggest recipient of federal stimulus contracts.) Things will get much worse in the Tri-Cities, and not just because that stimulus money’s gone. As this story points out, the teabagger-controlled U.S. House is proposing to drop the $521 million proposed Hanford budget for the coming year to $408 million.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — DOE plans to extend Batelle contract at PNNL — The Department of Energy plans to extend Battelle’s contract to operate and manage Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland for five more years.
► At Publicola — Labor groups stage “unemployment line” outside Rep. Reichert’s office — Armed with signs demanding job creation and castigating U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th) for supposedly catering to corporate interests, more than 200 people showed up to a protest this morning outside Reichert’s Mercer Island office. The protest was organized by a coalition of progressive labor groups (SEIU, Working Washington, MoveOn, Rebuild the Dream) and re-enacted a Great Depression scene, complete with a makeshift soup kitchen, members dressed up as 1930′s “newsies,” and an unemployment line. (Also see The Slog’s Soupline standoff on Mercer Island.)
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Kennewick council candidate: Shoot illegal immigrants — Loren Nichols, a city council candidate in Kennewick, has advanced to the general election on a platform that includes calling for illegal immigrants to be executed if they refuse to leave town.
► In today’s News Tribune — Bethel teachers OK contract; board to vote — Teachers signed off on a new two-year contract. Union leaders said they’re optimistic it will be approved by the five-member School Board.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing 747-8 cargo jet gets FAA approval — After a year and a half of flight tests, Boeing’s largest airplane ever, the 747-8 jumbo, received the FAA’s approval to enter service as a cargo jet. Cargolux of Luxembourg is expected to take the first delivery next month.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kitsap leaders seek to buy a little 737 buzz — Local political, business and education leaders want to spend as much as $35,000 to try for a more major role than they’ve been asked to play in an upcoming study to keep future Boeing 737 work in Washington.
► In today’s Olympian — Final ruling needed on legality of two-thirds tax vote (editorial) — The issue needs to be settled by the courts. We look forward to a “yes” or “no” decision on the direct question of whether the voters can set voting requirements through an initiative or whether that takes a constitutional amendment. It’s time to end the uncertainty.
► At Slog — State Supreme Court rules public defenders eligible for state pensions — In a sometimes snippy 5-4 decision, the court upheld a lower court ruling that King County’s public defenders are eligible for the state’s PERS. The ruling could end up costing county taxpayers tens of millions dollars.
► In TheOlympian.com — Two PDC finalists announced — The PDC has settled on two finalists out of 71 applicants for the campaign-finance watchdog’s executive director job. Both Andrea McNamara Doyle and Alan E. Rathbun are veterans of state agencies. Both meet the public next Wednesday in an open house.
► In today’s Daily Kos — AFL-CIO election strategy emerging but questions remain — AFL-CIO President Trumka has suggested, without naming names, that organized labor would withhold support from Democratic incumbents who had not fought hard enough against Republican efforts to curb collective bargaining or cut social programs.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Howie, wowie: Schultz puts politicians on notice (editorial) — A round of boisterous applause, please, for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s deliciously, in-your-face call to other CEOs to withhold campaign contributions to President Obama and incumbent members of Congress.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Compare the Seattle Times’ gushing praise to a super-rich CEO calling for the withholding of political contributions to what happened when Jeff Johnson of the Washington State Labor Council essentially suggested the same thing at the state level in March 2009 when labor-backed legislation with sufficient votes to pass was being quashed. The politicians called the cops considering it to be an illegal threat.
► In today’s NY Times — Customers feel ripples from Verizon strike — As a strike by 45,000 Verizon workers approaches the two-week mark, the company’s customers are beginning to feel the impact — and are complaining about it. Verizon acknowledges “minor” disruptions since the strike began on Aug. 7. But some customers of its landline telephone, Internet and cable television service are reporting significant delays getting current lines repaired and new ones installed.
► In today’s NY Times — Companies point fingers as students protest conditions at chocolate plant — A day after hundreds of foreign exchange students walked off their jobs at a plant packing Hershey’s chocolates to protest low pay and physically draining work, executives at the Hershey Company and three other companies involved in the plant scrambled to sort out which one was responsible for the conditions that prompted the students’ complaints. Among the four companies with a role in the huge plant where the foreign students were employed, each one pointed to another as being the primary manager in charge of monitoring the students’ work.
► In today’s NY Times — Not the America they expected (editorial) — There is much good to see in this country. And no one should want to sugar coat the tougher side of life here either, including long shifts at backbreaking jobs for low pay that is familiar to American workers. But no workers should have to put up with bullying from bosses or threats of firing (or in this case deportation) if they want to organize. That sort of “cultural experience” should shame us all.
► In The Hill — Republican supercommittee member vows no cuts to entitlement benefits — A Republican member of the powerful, deficit-slashing supercommittee vowed this week that the panel won’t touch benefits under Social Security and Medicare. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said it’s “critical” that current enrollees in those entitlement programs “not see benefit reductions.”
► At Politico — Slow start for Supercommittee! — Several members of the new Supercommittee! are willing to get a jump on slashing $1.5 trillion in government spending by Thanksgiving, but the power of August recess is proving difficult to overcome.
► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats’ road tour strikes back at GOP’s stand against raising taxes — In town hall meetings across the country this August, Democrats are making a concerted effort to use this month’s congressional recess to change a national narrative on taxes.
► Jon Stewart calls out The Poor: “You food-chilling mother-#$%s! How DARE you!”
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.