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Gregoire’s grim choices, nuisance of amputation reports, Occupy America…



► In today’s Seattle Times — Gregoire outlines grim choices for budget cuts — For the fourth year in a row, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday outlined more than $1.5 billion in state cuts to health care, social services, prisons and education. The latest round would increase public-school class sizes, eliminate subsidized health care for the working poor and release hundreds of inmates early.

39-page PDF document outlining Gregoire’s proposed cuts

► In today’s Olympian — Gregoire to consider options for revenue — In a major shift from a year ago, Gregoire said she will look at revenue options that would allow lawmakers to avoid cutting the full $2 billion needed to cover the budget gap and maintain a reserve through mid-2013.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Educators say ‘demoralizing’ cuts would have lasting impacts — Education has already suffered deep cuts, but Gregoire’s proposals would make the situation almost untenable, according to Central Washington school officials.

► Additional coverage from AP and the (Everett) Herald, the (Longview) Daily News, the (Spokane) Spokesman-Review, (Vancouver) Columbian, and the Yakima H-R.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Bad, worse and unthinkable (editorial) — The picture is heartbreaking, frustrating, and leaves one to conclude that we’ve passed the point of diminishing returns in cuts to education, corrections and many human services. Short term reductions appear now to be eating into our future prosperity.

► At The Slog — Gregoire: ‘I haven’t done the work’ — On Thursday, Gov. Gregoire held her ground: “I know you want me to talk about revenue. I can’t. I can’t, because I haven’t done the work.” And therein lies the problem, for nobody in Olympia has been willing to do the hard work necessary to lead our state toward the revenue solutions necessary to address even a fraction of our structural deficit, let alone the recession induced shortfalls.




► At AFL-CIO Now — Former Massey official guilty in Upper Big Branch mine case — The former director of security at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine was found guilty in federal court of lying to federal agents and destroying documents sought by investigators looking into the deadly blast. Twenty-nine  miners were killed in the 2010 explosion.

► In today’s NY Times — Some justice at Upper Big Branch (editorial) — Prosecutors were tight-lipped about what comes now, but surely they must be tracking this illegal policy further up the Massey chain of command. And Congress, which is still protecting Big Coal, should stop fighting a raft of needed reforms, including making it a felony — rather than the current misdemeanor — to tip off workers when an inspector is on the way.

► But the beat goes on, today in The Hill — Trade groups say reporting rule for job injuries, amputations a job-killer — The National Association of Manufacturers and other employer associations that want OSHA to abandon a proposal to require employers to report workplace injuries within eight hours and amputations within 24 hours are saying the requirement would be a nuisance and a job-killer.




► In The Hill — Health care law’s popularity hits new low — Support for Democrats’ healthcare reform has hit its lowest point since the law passed in March 2010, says a new poll. After months of split support for the law, 51% of respondents to the latest poll had an unfavorable view while only 34% had a favorable impression.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Why is it that this law is subjected to poll after poll regarding Americans’ “impressions” of it (while its specific features remain popular), when polls are either not taken or completely ignored on extremely unpopular measures like so-called free trade agreements? Discuss.

► In today’s NY Times — With new labor contracts, Detroit protects turnaround — After bankruptcies, bailouts and a decade of downsizing, America’s three large automakers wanted to ensure that expensive new labor contracts would not undermine their fragile turnarounds.

► In today’s NY Times — Critics see ‘chilling effect’ in Alabama immigration law — Some say the new law is a first step in a larger and long-considered strategy to topple a 29-year-old Supreme Court ruling that all children in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, are guaranteed a public education.




► In today’s LA Times — Three oil giants report big jumps in profits, revenues — Occidental Petroleum’s earnings rose 50% and its revenue was up 26%, Exxon Mobil saw increases of 41% in profit and 32% in revenue, and Royal Dutch Shell says its earnings doubled and revenue rose 36%.




► In today’s NY Times — Outrage grows over veteran injured at Occupy Oakland protest — The veteran, Scott Olsen, 24, was critically injured on Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a projectile thrown or shot by law enforcement officers combating protesters trying to re-enter a downtown plaza that had been cleared of an encampment earlier in the day. Olsen, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine, suffered a fractured skull.

► At — The Right’s smear machine goes to work (Joel Connelly column) — The protests have alarmed the country’s right-wing media and its wealthy keeper-manipulators. So the tireless promoters of the Tea Party “citizen” protest in 2009 have now set out to discredit what has in 2011 become a big, spontaneous — if loosely organized — citizen protest.

► Local news coverage of Occupy Bellingham, Occupy Everett, and Occupy Vancouver.

Washington’s Occupy protests on Facebook: Occupy BellinghamOccupy EverettOccupy OlympiaOccupy Seattle (website) — Occupy SpokaneOccupy TacomaOccupy Tri-CitiesOccupy WenatcheeOccupy Yakima




► In today’s Washington Post — The study that shows why Occupy Wall Street struck a nerve (Eugene Robinson column) — It does matter that as the pie grows, the various slices do not grow in proportion. We’re not characters in one of those lumbering, interminable, nonsensical Ayn Rand novels. We believe in individual initiative and the free market, but we also believe that nationhood necessarily involves a commitment to our fellow citizens, an acknowledgment that we’re engaged in a common enterprise. We believe that opportunity should be more than just an empty word.


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