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Subdued and feisty debates, American stumbles, goodbye Mr. Blue Sky…

Friday, October 12, 2012




► In The Hill — AFL-CIO ramps up direct mail campaign — The AFL-CIO and its super-PAC, Workers’ Voice, have launched a new round of direct mail and worksite leafleting in dozens of down-ballot races across the country. (The gubernatorial and Congressional races in Washington are reportedly included.)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee, McKenna spar over budget, health care and education — Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna sparred about the budget, education and health care during an hourlong debate Thursday night that was broadcast across the state. The candidates broke little new ground.

► MORE debate coverage in today’s (Everett) HeraldSeattle P-INews TribuneSpokesman-Review

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Re-elect Maria Cantwell (editorial) — Sen. Maria Cantwell, who is seeking her third term, continues to exhibit the leadership, ballast, work ethic, and farsightedness of the consummate lawmaker. She stands as a steady, thoughtful voice in Washington, a proponent of small business, manufacturing, the environment, and Wall Street reform.

► In today’s Seattle Times — GOP group drops another $1 million into AG race — After reporting last week that it was pouring $1.2 million into TV and radio ads criticizing Democrat Bob Ferguson and promoting Republican Reagan Dunn, the group is putting another $1.2 million into the race.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — John Koster says too much government assistance creates ‘slothfulness,’ ‘sense of entitlement’ — Says the Republican candidate for Congress in the 1st CD: “(The system) seems to reward the mediocrity, dare I say it, slothfulness, and laziness… And, furthermore, it creates a dependency on government programs, even an addiction I can say, by virtue of the sense of entitlement it creates.”




► In today’s NY Times — Tribes add potent voice against Northwest coal terminals — Environmental groups and green-minded politicians in the Pacific Northwest are already on record as opposing a wave of export terminals proposed here. But in recent weeks, Indian tribes have been linking arms as well, citing possible injury to fishing rights and religious and sacred sites if the coal should spill or the dust from its trains and barges should waft too thick.

► At — Machinists to meet with Boeing workers in S.C. — Boeing workers in South Carolina have been contacted by the IAM about a meeting next week. The union has kept in contact with supporters and wants to share information about collective bargaining with interested Boeing hourly workers, a union spokesman said.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford whistleblower’s case dismissed — A whistleblower lawsuit against vitrification plant subcontractor URS Energy and Construction has been dismissed in Eastern Washington U.S. District Court.




► In today’s Chicago Tribune — New breed of manufacturing jobs offer hardscrabble lifestyle — Factory jobs can still be good, but in the past three decades, benefits have eroded and pay has stagnated for many, or even fallen. Some entry-level manufacturing jobs pay so little that workers depend on government aid to feed their families and pay for health care. Wages have declined across many industries, including manufacturing, as unions have lost their bargaining clout, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

► In today’s Washington Post — Exporters are doing better than you think — Looking at the inner details of the latest export numbers — what American goods and services are being bought internationally and where — gives a sense of both optimism at the nation’s often understated advantages, and reasons to worry about the near-term.




► From AP — American Airlines stumbles on path to recovery — Just weeks ago, American Airlines was working its way through bankruptcy court, on schedule for one of the fastest turnarounds in aviation history. the the airline’s on-time record has fallen well below its competitors’ performance, and its cancellations are the highest of any airline. There are signs that the trouble — which began in September when American threw out the union contract of its pilots — is causing passengers to switch. Domestic traffic fell by 7.1% in September from the same month a year earlier. No other major airline experienced a drop like that.

► From Minnesota Public Radio — National union boycott against Crystal Sugar — The AFL-CIO will kick off a nationwide boycott of American Crystal Sugar on Monday in a bid to return 1,300 union workers to their jobs at five sugar beet processing plants.

► In today’s Washington Post — A real class war may be on its way (by Harold Meyerson) — Given all the racial and cultural rifts that divide Americans, the emergence of a majoritarian redistributionist movement would be extraordinary. But given the slow growth and stagnating incomes of recent decades, even as the rich have claimed more and more of our wealth, the emergence of such a movement is long overdue.




► In The Hill — Biden dominates with sharp performance — A combative, energetic performance from Biden — replete with sharp jabs at Ryan and regular outbursts of dismissive laughter — was the key ingredient of the night and seemed likely to drive the discussion in the aftermath.

► In today’s NY Times — Bipartisan spin on Medicare plans — As Rep. Ryan debated Vice President Biden, he sometimes seemed to be defending his own past budget and Medicare proposals as much as his running mate’s plans — sometimes in misleading ways.

► At– Sen. Wyden to Rep. Ryan: I DON’T support your Medicare plan — During the debate, Ryan said his Medicare privatization voucher plan was “bi-partisan” and dropped the name of his Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden as someone who supported it. Wyden waited about 17 seconds after that comment to tell the world — via his Facebook page — that ain’t so.

► In The Onion — Eloquent Biden brings entire audience to tears in debate stunner — In what observers called a stunning and unexpected display of oratorical eloquence and candor, Vice President Joe Biden delivered a deeply articulate and heartfelt speech at the conclusion of Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, reportedly moving the entire audience at Centre College to tears. “Go ahead and laugh at Uncle Joe, or call him a fool if you like — I’m not going to stop ya,” Biden said. “But know that I have a soul, and that my soul bleeds. Hell, I may not always know which way I’m going, or why, but god damn it if I’m not trying the best I can. The everloving best I can.”




► Because we were appalled this week to learn that one of our young co-workers had never even heard of the Electric Light Orchestra, and because the extraordinary stretch of sunny warm weather finally leaves western Washington today, the entire staff of The Stand presents ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.”

This week, Jeff Lynne released a new album in which he re-recorded — not remixed, but re-recorded — ELO’s greatest hits. Our staff unanimously approves of his faithful-but-clearer recreations of these classics (listen to snippets here), but we’ll keep the old versions on our iTunes as well.

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.

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