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Boeing complains, Haugen opposed, we’re the 47%…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — SPEEA abandoned talks, Boeing says — Boeing officials called SPEEA’s move to send the company’s offer to members for a vote — and urging them to reject it — is an “unprecedented departure” from normal negotiations. In response, Ray Goforth, the union’s executive director, emailed SPEEA members, telling them, “you’ve just received an email from Boeing actually complaining that the members are getting to vote on the offer.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Said one Boeing official, “Look, normally we present an insulting piece-of-$%#! offer like this and it’s kept just between us negotiators. But now they’ve gone and showed it to everybody, and now they’re all pissed off at us. Hey, I’d be mad, too.”  (Nobody actually said that… unless you read between the lines.)

► At — Is Boeing’s KC-46 tanker program in trouble? — After a prolonged battle to win a $35 billion deal supplying the U.S. Air Force with tankers, Boeing could see its tanker program axed by the government as part of spending cuts that will take place if Congress doesn’t act on a new budget before the year’s end.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Ferry unions back GOP’s pick, rather than Sen. Haugen — Three unions representing most Washington State Ferries employees are endorsing and giving money to Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s opponent, Rep. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor) in the 10th Legislative District. Their leaders know Bailey’s conservative politics are far from friendly to their interests. But they say Haugen went too far in 2011 by using her position as Senate Transportation Committee chairwoman to bust one union and eliminate a valued dispute-resolution panel gained through collective bargaining 30 years ago.




► In The Olympian — Task force’s first education funding report goes to high court — The 38-page report basically says the task force is “working on it.” Two lawmakers co-chairing the task force — Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. Gary Alexander (R-Thurston Co.), put out a joint statement today that gives no hint at what hard choices must be made in the months ahead.

► At PubliCola — Sensible reforms will get Washington’s economy back on track (by Rep. and Senate candidate Tim Probst) — We can get our economy back on track if we acknowledge three basic truths. First, economic policy shouldn’t be treated as a political football. Second, a sound economy requires us to focus on quality, as well as cost. And third, our working families aren’t a drag on the economy. Just the opposite: our people are our most important economic asset.




► From AP — Ill firefighter dies at hospital — Chris Seelye of Darby, Mont., a timber faller working on the Klone Fire north of Entiat, became ill on the fire line Monday afternoon, and died Monday night.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Foss Maritime to expand Rainier shipyard — The boatbuilder will undertake a $1.7 million expansion of its shipyard that will enable it to boost employment and build two vessels at the same time.




► At AFL-CIO Now — Trumka: Romney’s ‘entitlement’ remarks ‘spit in the face of everyday people’ — When Mitt Romney dismissed 47% of the population as shiftless riff-raff who pay no income taxes and live off government largess, the Republican presidential nominee “spit in the face of everyday people who know what it means to work incredibly hard and still sometimes fail to get by,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

► At Politico — Mitt Romney stands by ‘47%’ remark

► At HuffPost — Host of infamous event blames the help

► In The Hill — GOP frets Romney is blowing the race

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ya think?

► In today’s NY Times — Mitt Romney: Class Warrior (editorial) — Turning the rich against the poor is Mitt Romney’s campaign tactic and his plan for governing. The right wing has long been whining about people who don’t pay taxes and who, therefore, don’t deserve a say in government. They have it backward. The shame is not that those people don’t pay income taxes. The shame is how many poor people there are when the top 1 percent can amass uncountable fortunes fed by tax breaks and can donate tens of millions of dollars to political candidates to keep it that way.

► In today’s Washington Post — Romney’s 47% fantasy (editorial) — Romney suggests that Obama voters are such sheep that there is no point in reaching out to them — and that their support for Democrats is purely selfish. The possibility that principles might motivate their political behavior does not even occur to Romney. It’s a demeaning, as well as inaccurate, view of the people he hopes to lead.

► At Slog — We Are the 47% (by Goldy) — I freely admit that there were a few years mixed in there in which I did not pay an income tax. But even in my worst years, I never paid the federal government less than 15.3% of my earnings, significantly more than the 13.9% effective rate Romney says he paid in 2010. Like all working Americans, I pay a 15.3% flat tax (temporarily reduced to 13.3%) toward Social Security and Medicare, two of the “entitlements” Romney accuses me of wanting for nothing.

► Jon Stewart’s take…


► At TwissBlog — Americans pleasantly surprised to hear that Mitt Romney actually cares about 53% of them — Republicans got a much-needed lift with the news that Mitt Romney cares about 53% of all Americans, up significantly from earlier estimates of 5-10%.

► In The Onion — Romney apologizes to nation’s 150 million ‘starving, filthy beggars’ — Saying that he deeply regretted his choice of words at a private $50,000-a-plate fundraising function in May — during which he argued “[his] job is not to worry” about the lower-earning half of the nation’s populace — Romney personally appealed to the country’s “dirt-caked garbage pickers and toothless street urchins” for forgiveness.

► In The Onion — Romney campaign sends in ‘Champion of the Poor’ Paul Ryan for damage control — “Obviously, I have my reservations about Romney, especially after he basically labeled me as a government-dependent freeloader,” said 49-year-old unemployed construction worker Vernon Fletcher. “But Paul Ryan — that guy definitely has our back.”




► At AFL-CIO Now — Chicago teachers, student heading back to school — Chicago’s striking teachers will head back to school after the Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates voted to suspend their strike while members consider an agreement framework. “All of our members are glad to be back with their kids,” said CTU President Karen Lewis. “It’s a hard decision to make to go out, and for some people it’s hard to make the decision to go back in.” CTU’s members still must vote on the agreement framework, which has been recommended by union leaders.

► In today’s NY Times — Teachers end Chicago strike on second try— In a private meeting on Tuesday afternoon, 800 union delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend the strike after classes had been halted for seven school days, which left parents at loose ends and City Hall taking legal action.




► From McClatchy — Trans-Pacific trade deal ignites fear of job losses — There is mounting anxiety about the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest trade pact proposed in U.S. history. And as 400 negotiators from nine countries met privately at a golf resort in northern Virginia last week in an attempt to finalize details, New Balance officials weren’t the only ones fretting. Autoworkers feared the loss of 26,500 domestic jobs and said the production of American cars would fall if Japan joins the pact and the United States drops a 2.5% tariff on Japanese cars, making them cheaper to buy. Doctors worried that it will be harder to get medicines to fight AIDS and other diseases in developing countries if U.S. negotiators insist on extending patents for pharmaceutical companies. And many members of Congress and other critics lamented that such big decisions were being made in secret meetings, at a luxury resort in the Potomac River Valley, far from public view.




► From AP — American Airlines notifies thousands of a layoff risk— The airline is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees, although a spokesman said the company expects job losses to be closer to 4,400. The notices went out to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as American goes through a bankruptcy reorganization.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Penn. Supreme Court Voter ID development is ‘a positive step’ — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to send the voter ID law back to the lower court for evaluation on whether the law disenfranchises voters “is a positive step,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Not enough people pay income tax? What about Boeing? (by Danny Westneat) — So Mitt Romney thinks if you don’t pay income taxes, then you’re a handout-addicted moocher who can’t take responsibility for bettering yourself. Harsh. That’s mean to say such a thing about Boeing. In 2011, Boeing had no net income-tax liability for the fourth year in a row, despite $5.1 billion in profits.

Obviously, Boeing is no deadbeat — the company is a jobs factory right now and pumps $1 billion a week into the economy. A ship worker who paid no income taxes was no layabout either. The reason he had less than zero tax liability is because he supported two kids, as well his wife who was in college — both of which made him eligible for big tax credits.

The point being: It’s not really our fault we no longer pay, Mitt. It’s your party’s fault. And a reckless Congress. They are the ones that keep slashing taxes, and larding up the tax code with so many special-interest loopholes, that tens of millions of people, and thousands of corporations, have fallen off the income-tax rolls in the past decade.


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