Friday, August 17, 2012
► In the News Tribune — Beware of ads like the one maligning 25th LD candidate Dawn Morrell (editorial) — An ad funded by House Republicans has falsely slammed Morrell for “allowing group homes for sex offenders and convicted criminals in our neighborhoods.” SB 5525 did no such thing. The law made no changes to where former criminals are allowed to live. And if Morrell was wrong to vote for SB 5525, then wasn’t Republican Mike Carrell wrong for sponsoring it? He’s up for election, too. Other Republican senators who voted for the legislation include Pam Roach, Joe Zarelli, Dan Swecker and Mike Hewitt. Is anyone accusing them of being soft on criminals and making it easier for sex offenders to live next door? The House GOP ad slamming Morrell is one of the sleazier examples of taking a legislator’s vote out of context.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Governor candidates fuzzy on state park funding — Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee each said this week their first budget would provide taxpayer dollars to operate and maintain the system. But neither is ready to endorse the full $18 million sought by the state Parks and Recreation Commission to ensure all facilities stay open through mid-2015.
► From AP — Libertarians sue to clock Romney from Washington’s ballot — The Libertarian Party has filed a lawsuit to block Mitt Romney from the November ballot in Washington state, arguing that the GOP no longer qualifies as a major political party.
► In today’s News Tribune — Eyman sues over price placed on Initiative 1185 — I-1185 requires two-thirds majorities in the Legislature to raise taxes. The OFM says I-1185 will reduce state toll revenue by as much as $33 million. Tim Eyman is suing the state over that assessment.
► In today’s Columbian — Port of Camas-Washougal breaks ground on Steigerwald industrial property — The port broke ground Thursday on its 120-acre Steigerwald Commerce Center, aiming to bring as many as 300 to 400 jobs to a portion of a site believed to be the largest industrially zoned, undeveloped parcel in Clark County. Of the $2.5 million the port will spend on the project, $1.5 million came from the State Legislature earlier this year as part of the $1 billion Jobs Now Act budget package it passed to build capital projects and to stimulate the state’s economy.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand –Jobs Now is already creating jobs… now
► From AP — South Africa mine shooting: More than 30 striking workers killed — Frantic wives searched for missing loved ones, President Jacob Zuma rushed home from a regional summit and some miners vowed a fight to the death Friday as police finally announced the toll from the previous day’s shooting by police officers of striking platinum miners: 34 dead and 78 wounded.
► In today’s Salt Lake City Tribune — Utah AFL-CIO president declared brain-dead after crash — James Rulon Judd, 60, the president of the Utah chapter of the AFL-CIO, was critically injured Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash in Montana and was diagnosed as brain-dead, authorities said.
► In today’s Washington Post — New rules expose bigger funding gaps for public pensions — Already-strapped state and local governments are coming under increasing pressure to reduce pension benefits or increase taxpayer contributions that help pay for them because of new rules that would require them to report those obligations more honestly, advocates say.
► In today’s Washington Post — Stepped-up computer monitoring of federal workers worries privacy advocates — Prompted by the WikiLeaks scandal and concerns over unauthorized disclosures, the government is secretly capturing a far richer, more granular picture of their communications, in real time. Federal workers’ personal computers are also increasingly seen as fair game, experts said.
► At AFL-CIO Now — AFGE elects Cox as new president— J. David Cox was elected president of the American Federation of Government Employees on Wednesday by delegates to the union’s convention in Las Vegas. Cox, who served the past six years as AFGE’s secretary-treasurer succeeds John Gage, who retired after serving nine years in the top job.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Con Ed workers overwhelmingly agree on a new contract — After 8,000 utility workers were locked out earlier this summer, Utility Workers Local 1-2 in New York City approved a new labor contract with Consolidated Edison.
► In today’s NY Times — Long-term jobless regroup to fight the odds — They were once advertising executives, engineers, social workers, teachers and purchasing managers. Now they come week after week, dressed for the office, carrying binders full of résumés and leads for potential jobs. They refine what they call their “60-second commercial” — a way to pitch themselves to nearly anyone they meet. When the three-hour meetings end, they mosey over, some reluctantly, to a table packed with day-old bread donated by a supermarket.
► In today’s NY Times — Romney says he paid at least 13% in taxes — Romney’s decision to address the tax question on Thursday appeared to be an off-the-cuff attempt to put the nettlesome issue behind him once and for all. But at least initially, it had the opposite effect.
► In the Rolling Stone — Paul Ryan is ‘the embodiment of the machine our music rages against’ (by Tom Morello, leader of Rage Against the Machine, a rock band that Ryan has cited as his favorite) — I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ouch!
► In today’s Washington Post — The real Medicare question (by Eugene Robinson) — According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average Medicare recipient would pay an extra $6,500 a year under Paul Ryan’s privatized voucher plan, which Mitt Romney has semi-endorsed and now cannot credibly disown. It really would “end Medicare as we know it.”
The question is, what do we want Medicare to be?
There is no reason Medicare cannot be reformed as social insurance. Other industrialized countries provide universal health coverage for their entire populations for a fraction of what we spend in the United States, and those other countries achieve equal or better health outcomes. Surely we can continue to do so for those of retirement age — if we still want to. The question to ask Romney is whether he believes in social insurance — whether his objections to the way Obama has begun to reform Medicare are fiscal or ideological. Ask him and Ryan whether they agree that markets are often efficient but seldom compassionate. Ask him whether he sees the free market as our servant or our master.
► For today’s T.G.I.F., the entire staff of The Stand presents: “The Girl From Ipanema” performed by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Yes, watch Frank performing on live TV in 1967, perched in his tiki chair as he picks specks of his filterless cigarette’s tobacco out of his mouth and, ignoring the ashtray beside him, flicks his ashes on the set. That cat was cool.
Enjoy, and have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.