Silence at Boeing, out-of-state initiatives, fiscal cliffs…

Thursday, August 23, 2012 

(Warner Brothers edition)




► At — SPEEA files Unfair Labor Practice charge against Boeing — The union claims the company told employees they were banned from making negative comments about Boeing. “Such discussions by union members are protected by the National Labor Relation Act (NLRA). Employers’ efforts to curb these discussions violate federal law,” SPEEA says. The union said Boeing company representatives made those remarks at an employee orientation meeting Friday. (Also see coverage of this story in The Herald.)

► In the (Everett) Herald — SPEEA makes contract demands public — SPEEA’s negotiators have expressed frustration because Boeing leaders are presenting their offer in pieces — health care, retirement, wages — rather than in a complete proposal.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing slows the pace on 777X — Major Boeing customers say the jet maker has tapped the brakes on its plan to develop a new version of its star widebody jet, the 777, a plane that Washington state’s aerospace industry dearly wants to see built here.




► At PubliCola — Business group will push Legislature for tax consolidation— The Association of Washington Business, the conservative statewide business lobby group, will push hard this year for legislation that would consolidate collections of cities’ business and occupation taxes at the state level — legislation the city finance office has estimated could cost Seattle as much as $43 million a year.




► In the Seattle Times — Out-of-state money chooses what we vote on (by Danny Westneat) — The charter-schools measure, Initiative 1240, spent a staggering $2.6 million on signature gatherers — more than $6 per signature. That was a few rich folks, Bill Gates and some others, just buying their way onto the ballot. Probably because there was no army of impassioned volunteers burning to go door to door in the name of charter schools. But the corporate-lackey prize this year goes to our man of the people, Tim Eyman. He has shed any pretense of a people-powered campaign. His Initiative 1185 has 95% of its financing from corporate behemoths such as oil companies (Shell, Conoco, BP), the national beer and soda-pop industries and big pharmaceutical firms. They bought a spot on our election ballot, as if it were a highway billboard, apparently to reiterate how much they really, really don’t want their taxes raised.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — John Koster faces headwinds not of his own making — Fifty-four percent of Americas polled said Republican candidates for Congress were out of step with the public. More worrisome for the GOP might be this figure: 29% of registered voters said they had “very negative” impressions of the Republican Party.

► In the Seattle Times — Inslee releases tax returns, urges McKenna to do the same — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee released five years of federal income-tax returns in response to requests from media organizations. Republican Rob McKenna so far has turned down similar requests.




► In The Hill — AFL-CIO goes door-to-door — The AFL-CIO is planning to have activists knock on 640,000 doors in 23 states over the weekend. The AFL-CIO will have its members out knocking on doors early this year to counter the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Grassroots effort exposes real GOP agenda

► At Huffington Post — Ryan budget would lower taxes for wealthy, raise them for everybody else — Under Ryan’s plan, the bottom 80% of American earners would have paid about $1,700 more in taxes on average than under Obama’s plan, according to a new analysis. Despite the boost, the government would have lost out on $183 billion in revenue 2011 and at least $2 trillion over a decade, thanks in part to tax cuts for the top 20%.

► At Politico — Poll: 0% of blacks for Mitt Romney — President Barack Obama continues to beat Mitt Romney among African American voters with a staggering 94% to 0% lead, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

► In today’s NY Times — Patients would pay more if Romney restores Medicare savings, analysts say— Mitt Romney’s promise to restore $716 billion that he says President Obama “robbed” from Medicare has some health care experts puzzled, who say restoring them in the short term would immediately add hundreds of dollars a year to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for beneficiaries.

► In The Hill — New poll finds majority opposes making changes in Medicare — In the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, a majority of voters would rather Medicare “continue as it is.” Fewer than a third offered support for Ryan’s budget proposal that recipients get federal subsidies to buy private insurance.




► In today’s Washington Post — Recession imminent if ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax hikes, budget cuts not averted — The U.S. economy will hurtle into a recession if Congress fails to avert a series of tax increases and budget cuts due in January, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, warning that a fiscal impasse would have consequences even more dire than previously forecast.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Republicans are playing chicken with America’s economy by holding the budget and middle-class tax cuts hostage to their top priority: extending Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%. But as both sides continue finger-pointing, don’t forget that “sequestration” (automatic across-the-board cuts) was the GOP’s bright idea in the first place.

► From AP — Middle class’ share on income shrinking — The middle class is receiving less of America’s total income, declining to its smallest share in decades as median wages stagnate in the economic doldrums and wealth concentrates at the top.




► At — Texas county prepares for ‘civil war’ if Obama re-elected— “(President Obama is) going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN, and what is going to happen when that happens?,” asks a Lubbock County administrative officer. “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”


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