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Cookie monsters, Boeing & Airbus, your Congress at work…

Thursday, July 12, 2012




► At Huffington Post — The 12 Cookies Joke (by SPEEA’s Stan Sorscher) — A CEO, a Tea Party member and public employee sit at a table, with 12 cookies on a plate. The CEO grabs 11 cookies and tells the Tea Party member, “You better watch him. He wants your cookie.”

A recent study said that 93% of all new income in America in 2010 went to the richest 1%. The remaining 7% of all new income in the country was split up (not evenly of course) among the remaining 99% us. For 99% of us, the average income gain was $80 for the year. The average gain for the richest 1% was $105,637 for the year. The average gain for households in the very richest 0.01% was 4.2 freakin’ million dollars that year. I immediately thought back to the cookie joke. Seven percent is essentially one in 15. Indeed, in 2010, CEOs did get 14 of the 15 cookies! The rest of us, 99% of America, split the remaining cookie.




► In today’s Seattle Times — United unveils 150-plane order for MAX, 737-900 — The order includes 100 of the forthcoming MAX-9 jets and 50 737-900 ERs. With today’s order, said CEO Jim McNerney, the 737 has now surpassed 10,000 orders, “an unprecedented milestone in the Jet Age.”

► At — Supply chain changes bring more 787 assembly work in-house— Small changes to the 787 supply chain have been going on this year with the outcome that work once done overseas is now being done at its final assembly lines in Everett and Charleston. It’s a dynamic that will be even more apparent on Boeing’s next new major airplane program, according to Stan Deal, the Boeing executive in charge of the entire commercial airplanes supply chain: “There has been a shift of view, of philosophy.”

► From AP — Gregoire holds talks with Boeing rival Airbus — Gov. Chris Gregoire has been building a close relationship with Boeing’s chief rival, Airbus, and said Wednesday she was ready to recruit the company to build a new manufacturing site in the state.

► At — Airbus, in U.S. drive, looking for suppliers in Boeing’s home state — David Williams’ job is to find more U.S. suppliers for Airbus and its parent company EADS. He says: “Washington is a key aerospace state. We’re looking for suppliers who can add value to the EADS and Airbus supply chain and that’s an obvious pond to fish.”




► From AP — Pro-charter schools group spends $6 per signature to get initiative on ballot— Yes On 1240 has raised a total of $2.3 million and spent about $2.1 million to gather about 350,000 signatures. Most of the money has come from Washington technology leaders, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who donated $1 million.

► At — State revenue up $66.5 million; economy still ‘weak’— The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council says Washington’s revenue collections over the past month were $66.5 million above the agency’s forecast of mid-June. But the report includes a note of caution.

► In today’s Seattle Times — U.S. education official calls on state to step up higher-ed help — An Obama administration official calls on state leaders to provide “stable and predictable higher-education funding” as one of the ways to ensure all residents earn at least a year of education after high school.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Farmworker killed in Wapato forklift accident— A 23-year-old farmworker has been killed in a forklift accident at Consolidated Fruit on Borquin Road.

► In today’s Columbian — Pendleton disputes safety violation claims — Pendleton Woolen Mills is asking L&I to throw out all 41 of the workplace safety and health violations — and $93,300 in penalties — it levied against the company’s textile mill in Washougal.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — City of Bremerton could owe in labor dispute— The city may be forced to pay back wages for misclassified work on the Park Plaza parking garage project following a complaint filed by Iron Workers Local 86 with the state.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — $422,140 grant to fund salaries for 4 new Clallam firefighters




► In today’s NY Times — House votes, again, to repeal health care law— Waging old battles with new zeal, the House passed a bill on Wednesday to repeal President Obama’s health care overhaul law less than two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld it as constitutional. The bill was approved by a vote of 244 to 185, with five Democrats supporting repeal. It has no chance of approval in the Senate and would face a veto from Obama if it ever got to him. (Washington state’s delegation voted on strict party lines.)

EDITOR’S NOTE — That makes 33 times the House has debated and taken this political, meaningless vote. CBS News reports that House Republicans have now spent $50 million of our tax dollars on this grandstanding. Meanwhile, House Republicans have refused to vote on the President’s Jobs Bill. Not one vote on jobs. And speaking of things they don’t have time to do…

► In The Hill — House unlikely to vote on postal reform before August recess— House GOP leaders had said they would try to bring up the postal bill before the recess, but members now say there is almost no chance postal reform would make it on to the floor schedule this month.




► In Mother Jones — Romney invested millions in Chinese firm that profited on U.S. outsourcing — This previously unreported deal runs counter to Romney’s tough talk on the campaign trail regarding China. “We will not let China continue to steal jobs from the United States of America,” Romney declared in February. But with this investment, Romney sought to make money off a foreign company that banked on American firms outsourcing manufacturing overseas.

► In the Boston Globe — Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated — Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time. The timing is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date.

► At Politico — If true, Romney ‘would be guilty of federal felony’

► At The Onion — Romney receives 20-minute standing ovation at NAAWP event— During an address Wednesday to the National Association for the Advancement of White People, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a lengthy standing ovation from the group of 2,000 Caucasians who had gathered to hear him speak.




► At AFL-CIO Now — AFL-CIO backs marriage equality in DOMA case brief — In the brief, filed along with Change to Win and the National Education Association, the three union groups say, “The Defense of Marriage Act, by intention and design, ensures that workers with same-sex spouses earn less money, are taxed more on their wages and benefits, and have available to them fewer valuable benefits and less economic security than their counterparts with different-sex spouses.”

ALSO at The Stand — Why our state’s labor movement supports marriage equality (by WSLC Secretary-Treasurer Lynne Dodson)

► In today’s Huffington Post — Five myths about public employee pensions (by IAFF President Harold Schaitberger) — There’s an oft repeated myth being fed by many that claims the defined benefit pension plans available to most public employees are going bankrupt. While a new report by the Pew Center for the States feeds those myths, Pew’s research paints a false picture of pensions. Here are five oft-peddled myths about public pensions followed by the facts.

► In today’s Washington Post — New home construction a promising sign — The increase in new home construction is particularly encouraging because of the economic benefits that ripple out each time a construction crew breaks ground.

► In today’s NY Times — The road to more jobs (editorial) — With the economy coming up short by millions of jobs since the start of the Great Recession, aid to state and local governments would have a powerful effect on hiring.

► In today’s NY Times — The mystery of John Roberts (by Linda Greenhouse) — I doubt there was a single reason for the chief justice’s evolution on the Affordable Care Act ruling, but let me suggest one: the breathtaking radicalism of the other four conservative justices. The opinion pointedly signed individually by Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia and Alito would have invalidated the entire ACA, finding no one part of it severable from the rest. This astonishing act of judicial activism has received insufficient attention, because it ultimately didn’t happen, but it surely got the chief justice’s attention as a warning that his ostensible allies were about to drive the Supreme Court over the cliff and into the abyss.

► In the Columbia Journalism Review — Manufactured quotes –Two weeks ago The New York Times wheeled out that old chestnut of Great Recession-era economic reporting: Companies can’t find workers, despite high unemployment. One of the Times’ main anecdotes comes from a Baltimore “small business owner” who turns out to be an executive-committee member of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers, the powerful D.C. trade lobby.




► At Huffington Post — A thousand cuts: Austerity measures devastate communities across the globe — The austerity budget, conservatives’ favored response to the Great Recession, is more than just simple belt tightening. It’s not one cut or 10, but a thousand. City and neighborhood essentials like bus service become expendable, and things that we have come to depend on as part of our daily lives are slowly erased. Those teachers and firefighters Mitt Romney doesn’t want to pay for? They’re already part of austerity’s disappeared jobs.

This austerity mindset is taking hold not just in cities and states across the United States, but around the world. While conservatives have championed austerity as eat-your-peas necessity, these massive cuts often have unintended consequences. The Huffington Post is launching a series of articles examining the global impact of austerity, from the loss of affordable housing funds in San Francisco to increasing class sizes in New York’s public schools, fewer food inspectors in Canada, loss of disability benefits in the United Kingdom, the decimation of France’s solar industry and more.


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