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DelBene and Heck, city budget axes fall, job truthers…

Monday, October 8, 2012




► In the (Everett) Herald — Elect Suzan DelBene (editorial) — In 2000 and 2010, The Herald endorsed Republican John Koster in his campaign for Congress in the 2nd District. (He lost both races to Rep. Rick Larsen.) The 1st District is something altogether different, however, a demographic mishmash that demands an adaptive leadership style and willingness to challenge Washington, DC’s ossified political culture. Our heads tell us that person is Suzan DelBene.

► In the Olympian — Heck is the clear choice in the 10th (editorial) — Denny Heck best represents the moderate-to-progressive views of Thurston County voters, advocating for a balanced approach of cuts and revenue increases to the budget and focusing on housing and job creation as the keys to economic recovery. On every account, Heck offers voters a more thoughtful, independent choice than his opponent.

► In the Seattle Times — GOP ad uses outdated Inslee proposal — A Republican Governors Association ad accuses gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee of proposing to invest state pension money in startup companies, but Inslee dropped the idea long ago. The ad is mostly false.

► In the Olympian — McKenna, Inslee outline plans to bring efficiency to government — Finding $5 million or $10 million more for training managers and workers to implement “Lean” efficiency improvements won’t be easy. Thus far, both candidates are hedging on how many taxpayer dollars they might invest in the effort. But both say they would look for ways to commit resources to the efforts, knowing there will be savings later.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Should restrictions be lifted on UW, WSU investments? — Voters this fall will be asked to consider a constitutional amendment that would allow the state’s two research universities to invest a portion of their reserve funds in private companies or stocks.




► In the News Tribune — Broadnax taking a short-sighted approach to solving Tacoma’s fiscal crisis (by IBT 117’s Tracey Thompson) — Instead of seeking to develop more measured long-term solutions that will help balance the budget, save jobs and maintain vital services, Tacoma’s new city manager wants to solve the city’s colossal structural problem overnight with massive cuts to critical public services and the elimination of 217 jobs over the next two years. The problem is that most of his proposals are far too radical and would have a devastating impact on the local economy and the city’s infrastructure.

► In the Spokesman-Review — Spokane mayor hands out layoff notices — Last month, the city announced that about 100 jobs would be eliminated in the city’s 2013 budget as part of Mayor David Condon’s 2013 budget plan, which he will present to the City Council on Monday. Most the positions are vacant, but about 35 are filled. A city spokeswoman said she expects about 20 to 30 more layoff notices to be given in coming weeks.

► From AP — Longshoremen plan river protest if lockout occurs — Longshoremen plan to take to the water if northwest grain terminal owners decide to lock them out of their jobs, a U.S. Coast Guard official says.

► In the Daily News — Construction worker presumed dead after falling from Lewis & Clark Bridge — A contract worker is missing and presumed drowned after falling 200 feet from the bridge into the Columbia River on Sunday morning.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Union job is to protect employees and their jobs (by Fred Rumsey of the Hanford Atomic MTC) — Where are our priorities as a nation, when we’re willing to take a stand over the outcome of a football game but remain silent over the onslaught on our workers? Misplaced, that’s where.




► In The Hill — Gallup: Romney tied with Obama after historic debate win — A new Gallup poll released Monday shows that 72% of debate watchers picked Romney as the winner of the Wednesday face-off in Denver; 20% picked Obama. Gallup said the strong debate performance also helped push Romney into a tie with Obama, with both candidates pulling support from 47% of registered voters over three days after the debate. Those number show Romney’s debate helping him close a five-point gap.

► In today’s NY Times — With Biden up next to debate, Obama’s aides plan comeback —  The focus on Biden comes as the campaign tries to diagnose what went wrong in Denver and what to do about it. Advisers had seen two presidents during practice debates, one who had been listless and passive two nights before and another energetic and aggressive the next night. It turned out the former was the one who showed up in Denver.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Where did all our pensions go? — A total of 84,350 pension plans have vanished since 1985. This figure shocked Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Donald L. Barlett and James W. Steele, who just released their latest book, The Betrayal of the American Dream. Their chapter on retirement chronicles the heist of the American dream’s secure retirement by the financial elite. Steele says there’s another number we should pay attention to: $17,686. That’s the median value of 401(k) accounts in 2011. For most working people, the amount in their 401(k) account would pay them less than $80 a month for life.




► Saturday, Nov. 3 on the National Mall in Washington, DC — The Million Muppet March




► In today’s NY Times — The truth about jobs (by Paul Krugman) — The data show an improving economy, and that’s what the right wing can’t handle. The furor over Friday’s report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down President Obama that good news for the nation’s long-suffering workers drives its members into a blind rage. It also revealed a movement that lives in an intellectual bubble, dealing with uncomfortable reality — whether that reality involves polls or economic data — not just by denying the facts, but by spinning wild conspiracy theories. It is, quite simply, frightening to think that a movement this deranged wields so much political power.


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