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Port talks, AFL-CIO mailers, history revised, So is 25…

Friday, September 28, 2012




► In today’s Columbian — Talks at Northwest ports go down to the wire — The union contract between longshoremen and the companies that operate six grain terminals in the Pacific Northwest expires Sunday, threatening to disrupt shipments of wheat, corn and soybeans to Asia as the weight of last year’s violent protests in Longview bears down on negotiations.




► In today’s Huffington Post — AFL-CIO to attack GOP candidates in key races — The AFL-CIO will start investing heavily in high-profile non-presidential elections next week, sending hard-hitting mailers to 180,000 union families in six states (including Washington state) urging them to back Democrats in their Senate and gubernatorial races.

► At Slog — The Washington Restaurant Association thinks you are stupid — There is no such thing as a “Progressive Conservative Coalition.” This poster is concern trolling at its finest, a cynical effort to confuse voters by conflating McKenna’s campaign with those of President Obama and R-74, an effort almost entirely funded by the the anti-sick-leave, anti-minimum-wage, pro-Republican Washington Restaurant Association.

► At PubliCola — Attack ads against Tacoma Democrat mislead voters — Wealthy Tacoma trial lawyer Jack Connelly has put nearly $600,000 of his own money into his state senate campaign against progressive state Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D-27) for the open seat vacated by retiring state Sen. Debbie Regala. Connelly is spending his money on negative TV ads and mailers attacking Darneille for supposedly being soft on crime.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Gubernatorial debate producers prep for Tuesday — Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee are coming to Yakima next week for the fourth of six debates — and the only one in Central Washington — in their race to reach the governor’s mansion in the November general election.




► At PubliCola — Fact-checking Supreme Court Justice James Johnson — At this week’s landmark hearing where Democratic state legislators and education advocates argued against Tim Eyman’s I-1053, which requires a two-thirds majority of the state legislature to raise taxes, conservative Justice James Johnson got in attorney Paul Lawrence’s face. Johnson cited some historical context he claimed appeared in the Seattle Times in 1889 and declaring, “Now that’s my history.” The problem is, the Times made no mention of his theory.

► In today’s News Tribune — For-profit treatment facilities need state oversight(editorial) — It’s unfortunate that the state’s shortage of psychiatric facilities — and general reluctance to fund mental health care — have resulted in for-profit companies like California-based Hanbleceya stepping in to fill a vacuum. The state needs to exert more oversight — by requiring staff training and adequate supervision, for starters — in order to improve safety for clients and neighbors.




► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. revises hiring numbers: 453,000 more jobs added in third year of recovery — Obama, for the first time, can now say that the economy has reclaimed all the jobs it lost since January 2009, the month he entered office. But the revised data are not uniformly good news. From April 2011 through March 2012, the economy lost 67,000 more government jobs than previously thought, most of them educator positions. Public-sector job losses have been a big drag on the recovery.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Microsoft offers U.S. big bucks for H1-B visas — Faced with 6,000 job openings and Congress at loggerheads over whether to admit more skilled workers from overseas, Microsoft on Thursday offered a twofer solution — charging employers millions of dollars for the right to hire more foreigners and using the money for training to eventually fill those jobs with Americans.

► In today’s NY Times — Europe’s austerity madness (by Paul Krugman) — Here’s why the protesters in Spain and Greece are right that inflicting more and more pain serves no useful purpose.

► From AP — Fans give returning NFL refs standing ovation




► In honor of the 25th anniversary of Peter Gabriel’s classic So, one of the all-time desert-island favorite albums of the entire staff of The Stand, we present the newly restored high-definition version of the “Sledgehammer” video. (This one calls for full-screen mode!)  Gabriel is currently touring with his original 1987 band and playing this album in its entirety live. But alas, he’s doing this nowhere near the Pacific Northwest. (Sigh.)

Have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.


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