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Trade wars, Kochs in Shelton, socialism in schools, Hanford layoffs…

Today’s news links:



► At The Hill — White House submits trade pacts after deal with Republicans –The White House sent three pending trade agreements to Congress on Monday after reaching a deal with House Republican leaders. The agreement will allow trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to move forward, in addition to legislation to help workers who are hurt by increased trade.

► In today’s NY Times — Free trade standoff is resolved — The government says that the deals would increase annual exports of American goods by about $12 billion, or roughly 1%. Service providers like banks and law firms are also expected to benefit.

Click to read The Stand's "China's currency manipulation is now OK?" (Aug. 30)

► In The Hill — Senate votes 79-19 to move bill punishing China on currency — The Senate voted Monday to advance legislation pressuring the Chinese government to stop undervaluing its currency, a practice most economists agree is giving the country an unfair trade advantage and is costing the U.S. jobs. Passage through the House is less clear, and GOP leaders have given no indication they will move forward with it.

► From Reuters — China warns of trade war if bill passes — An angry China warned Washington on Tuesday that passage of a bill aimed at forcing Beijing to let its currency rise could lead to a trade war between the world’s top two economies. China’s central bank and the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs accused Washington of “politicising” currency issues and putting the global economy at risk after U.S. senators voted on Monday to start a week of debate on the bill.




Photo by Adrian Kinloch. Click to enlarge.

► In the Daily Beast — Unions join Occupy Wall Street — A couple of weeks ago, Occupy Wall Street seemed destined for marginality. But now, helped in part by publicity from police brutality and mass arrests, the demonstrations are mushrooming, capturing the attention of people all over the country. More and more people are turning up in New York’s Zuccotti Park, while similar protests are breaking out in dozens of cities nationwide. Suddenly, mainstream progressives are wondering if this could be the beginning of the left-wing populist uprising they’ve been waiting for.

► In today’s Washington Post — Wall Street protesters hope to plant seeds of national cause — Similar protests are springing up in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago, and organizers in Washington, D.C. plan a march at Freedom Plaza on Thursday to “denounce the systems and institutions that support endless war and unrestrained corporate greed.”

► At — Occupy Seattle encampment grows at Westlake Park — What started last Saturday as a small protest with 20 people at the Federal Building downtown has now transformed into a makeshift tent village at Westlake Park with more than 60 people spending the night in tents. (Visit their Facebook site.)


THEY ARE THE 0.0001%


► From Bloomberg — Koch brothers flout law getting richer with secret Iran sales — An investigation has found that Koch Industries — in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East — has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism. Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Locally, the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity group begins a “cut spending” tour today in Shelton and later in Vancouver (just a few miles from the former Georgia-Pacific mill in Camas that the Kochs bought in 2005 and laid off 300 workers). AFP’s Washington state chapter is notorious for flouting state campaign finance laws by anonymously funding inaccurate TV attack ads against Democrat Denny Heck in the 2010 elections. The former state AFP chairman, Kirby Wilbur, is now the chairman of the State Republican Party.

► In today’s Washington Post — Cozy relationships, ‘peer benchmarking’ send CEO pay soaring — At the vast majority of large U.S. companies, boards aim to pay their executives at levels equal to or above the median for executives at similar companies. But, as critics have pointed out, if every company tries to keep up with or exceed the median pay for executives, executive compensation will spiral upward, regardless of performance.




► In this 2005 clip, the late, great comedian George Carlin describes the themes that could very well serve as the Occupy Wall Street Manifesto in 2011. But be warned, he uses some of those Seven Words that got him arrested for indecency in his younger days.



► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford tank farms lay off 244 workers — The latest layoff notices bring to 244 the number of layoffs at the nuclear reservation linked to uncertainties in the budget for the fiscal year that began Saturday. The total cutback at Hanford since spring is now 1,993 jobs. The year started with about 12,000 jobs at Hanford.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — School leaders brace for special session cuts — Local school leaders and some legislators worry that a source that provides millions of dollars to local school districts — levy equalization funds — will be high on the list of possible cuts when lawmakers meet in a special session in late November to cut $2 billion from the state budget.

EDITOR’S NOTE — BTW, rural conservatives, it’s been pointed out that School Levy Equalization = Socialism. BOO!

► In today’s Olympian — ‘Sell the van,’ Gregoire tells Lotto chief

► In today’s Seattle Times — Gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee should shift gears toward state issues (editorial) — U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is wasting voters’ time by making an issue of federal health-insurance reform in his campaign for governor in 2012.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Attorney General Rob McKenna’s decision to defy the Governor and the Legislature and sue to repeal ALL of the reforms — an action that jeopardizes continued insurance coverage for all Washingtonians with pre-existing conditions and for young adults, among many others — is NOT A RELEVANT ISSUE?! It might be the most important issue of the election! With editorials like this, the Times should just go ahead and start filing PDC reports disclosing their in-kind contributions to McKenna’s campaign.




► In today’s NY Times — After ruling, Hispanics flee an Alabama town — They left behind mobile homes, sold fully furnished for a thousand dollars or even less. Or they just closed up and, in a gesture of optimism, left the keys with a neighbor. Dogs were fed one last time; if no home could be found, they were simply unleashed. Two, 5, 10 years of living here, and then gone in a matter of days, to Tennessee, Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Arkansas, Mexico — who knows? Anywhere but Alabama.

► In today’s NY Times — Alabama’s shame (editorial) — President Obama needs to show stronger leadership in defending core American values in the face of the hostility that has overtaken Alabama and so many other states. As for Alabama, one has to wonder at such counterproductive cruelty. Do Alabamans want children too frightened to go to school? Or pregnant women too frightened to seek care? Whom could that possibly benefit?




► In today’s NY Times — Ford reaches contract deal with UAW — Under the contract, Ford would add 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States over the four-year contract and invest $6.2 billion in American factories. After union officials from Ford plants across the country review the agreement, the union will present it to rank-and-file members for ratification.


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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