Tuesday, July 17, 2012
► In today’s Seattle Times — Democrats are prepared to let tax cuts expire — Sen. Patty Murray said Monday that Democrats would let Bush-era tax cuts expire for all Americans rather than renew them for higher-income families, echoing a new get-tough stance adopted by her party leaders. “If Republicans won’t work with us on a balanced approach, we are not going to get a deal,” she said. “If middle-class families start seeing more money coming out of their paychecks next year, are Republicans really going to stand up and fight for new tax cuts for the rich?”
► In today’s Washington Post — Why Democrats are willing to walk off the fiscal cliff— Among all Americans, but particularly among independents, the public is on the Democrats’ side. By a more than two-to-one margin — 41% to 18% — political independents believe ending the Bush tax cuts on income above $250,000 would be helpful to the economy.
► In today’s NY Times — Tax-exempt group’s election activity highlights limit of campaign finance rules — Efforts to require more public accounting of campaign money hit a new roadblock Monday evening in the form of a Republican filibuster that stopped the Senate from formally debating it.
► In today’s NY Times — The power of anonymity (editorial) — The Supreme Court advised broad disclosure in its otherwise disastrous Citizens United decision in 2010, which loosed a new wave of unlimited spending on political campaigns. The ability to follow the money has never been this important since the bagman days of the Watergate scandal. But not one Republican showed the courage to break ranks and speak up for the disclosure of campaign finance donors.
► In The Hill — Senate to take second shot Tuesday to advance DISCLOSE Act— Senators are scheduled to hold a procedural vote on the bill at 3 p.m. — technically, a motion to limit debate on a motion to proceed to the bill.
► In The Hill — Groups push to rein in estate tax — Business and farm groups are making a determined effort to rein in the estate tax before it expands significantly at the end of the year.
► At Slog — McKenna assistant: ‘Shut up and speak English #Asians’ — A campaign staffer for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna sent tweets that said: “shut up and speak English #Asians” and “If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk.”
► At Slog — Republican Koster raises just $115K in 1st CD race — No doubt Koster’s counting on a (lot) of Koch and Rove money to be spent on his behalf, but the fact that Democrats have collectively out raised him by a 7-to-1 margin doesn’t say much for Koster’s work ethic, let alone his support on the ground.
► In today’s News Tribune — 6th CD money race even between Kilmer, Driscoll— The bulk of Republican Bill Driscoll’s money comes from his own savings.
► In today’s Olympian — GOP lags in fundraising for 10th CD
► At Huffington Post — Trumka: Romney ‘doesn’t know a thing about responsibility’ — “He doesn’t care about hard work and responsibility,” says the AFL-CIO President. “Hey, it was profitable for him to bleed companies, kill jobs, end pensions in bankruptcy court and then walk away with millions. What did he care?”
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kitsap County looks at strategies to rein in health costs— County commissioners approve switching in 2013 to a “self-insured” model of health care that, combined with other measures, is expected to rein in costs by $12.5 million over six years.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Insurance to cover autism therapy for kids of state workers — Children with autism whose parents are insured through the state’s Uniform Medical Plan can be covered for Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy under a settlement announced Monday.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Libraries deserve better funding system than levy (editorial) — Free public libraries are an essential service. They are about reading, which is about education, personal achievement, and democracy. Because libraries are such good things, they should not be offered up to voters in politically constructed take-it-or-leave-it choices.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This from the same editorial board that aggressively supports Tim Eyman’s “politically constructed take-it-or-leave-it choices” for taxes to fund state services. I guess “essential” is in the eye of the beholder.
► At Gawker — Alaska town has had same feline mayor for 15 years — Mayor Stubbs has ruled Talkeetna, Alaska (pop: 900) with an iron paw. The position is mostly honorary, allowing the 15-year-old Manx mix to spend most of his time greeting tourists at Nagley’s General Store.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.