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Debate night, lockout lawyers, Teamsters’ GOTV trick or treat…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



► From AP — Debate doubleheader begins tonight at 6 p.m. — President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney debate at 6 p.m., then at 8 p.m., the final gubernatorial debate in Seattle between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Tonight: 2nd AFL-CIO presidential debate chat — Don’t forget to check in here to join the AFL-CIO’s live chat on the second presidential debate with its policy team and Working America. They’ll be blogging from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PDT.

► In The Onion — Obama excited to participate in first debate — Saying he was excited to “finally get out there” and defend his policies in front of the entire nation, President Obama told reporters he was energized and eager to participate in his first debate of the 2012 election cycle Tuesday night.




► At Slog — McKenna is wrong: Opting out of Medicaid expansion would cost more than opting in (by Goldy) — The only thing Rob McKenna won in his partisan attorneys general lawsuit was the right for states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion provisions of Obamacare, and he appears to have every intent to do so. It’s not sound fiscal policy that drives McKenna’s opposition to Medicaid expansion, but stubbornness or vindictiveness or ideology. And if elected, McKenna could carry through on his threat with the stroke of his veto pen, with little likelihood of enough Republicans crossing the aisle to override it.

► At — Inslee’s lead in governor’s race down to 3 points — A new poll conducted by SurveyUSA, which two weeks ago showed Inslee with a six-point lead, now indicates a smaller lead of 47-44 percent.

ALSO at The Stand — Labor steps up and out for endorsed candidates — This Saturday, Oct. 20 will be the FINAL Super Walks of the election season in Everett, Renton, Silverdale, Spokane and Vancouver. In addition, weeknight phone banks continue across the state, including at YOUR home or office, if you like. See the full Labor Neighbor calendar and VOLUNTEER!




► In today’s Oregonian — Northwest grain handlers, longshoremen call in federal mediator — A federal mediator will try to broker a deal in Portland between longshoremen and owners of terminals that handle about a quarter of U.S. grain exports, a spokesman for the terminal operators said Monday night. The mediator could help avoid a lockout looming at the terminals in Portland, Vancouver and the Seattle area.

► In The Columbian — Longshore union, grain shippers ‘still talking’ — Having extended contract talks to the middle of this month, union dockworkers and grain shippers — including United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver — said Monday they still haven’t reached a deal but held out hope for one with a simple message: We’re still talking.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Longshoremen detail planned lawsuit to stop SoDo arena— ILWU leaders and their attorneys reiterate their plans to sue the city and King County for violation of state environmental laws if the arena agreement is signed by Mayor Mike McGinn and Executive Dow Constantine. The King County Council unanimously approved the agreement Monday, and the city council passed it 7-2.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Economic uncertainty puts brakes on NW wind power industry — After a decade of whirlwind growth, Central Washington’s wind industry has put all new construction on hold after being confronted by a mix of national and regional issues. At least seven permitted projects are up in the air in Kittitas and Klickitat counties.

► At — Next SPEEA negotiating session with Boeing is Thursday — Union: “At the Oct. 10 meeting, SPEEA teams asked numerous questions about the reasoning underlying Boeing’s rejection of every item we proposed. Boeing did not answer most of these questions but committed to bringing answers to future meetings.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Symphony, opera musicians authorize strike — After months of contract negotiations with the managements of the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera, the musicians of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization have authorized a strike.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Too many empty seats on Sounder north line — As commuter buses run standing-room-only on the freeway, the daily Sounder trains between Everett and Seattle are one-third full, serving a mere 1,125 passengers per weekday.




► In The Nation — Meet the lockout lawyers destroying sports — Currently the sports world is suffering its fourth lockout in the past 14 months. On four occasions since August 2011, pro sports owners have locked their publicly subsidized stadium doors, sent stadium workers home and stopped play as usual. This is not coincidence or happenstance. It’s a coordinated management offensive that has reverberations far beyond the playing field. A law firm called Proskauer Rose is now representing management in all four major men’s sports leagues, the first time in history one firm has been hired to play such a unified role.

► At Huffington Post — Walmart strikes mark new chapter in labor’s fight with mega-retailer — If nothing else, a not-insignificant number of Walmart workers have proved willing to declare themselves activists or, at least, dissatisfied employees. It takes a certain boldness to invite bad publicity on one’s employer, particularly in a weak economy.

► From AP — Monthly Social Security payments to increase by 1.7% — The increase, which starts in January, shows that inflation has been relatively low over the past year, resulting in one of the smallest increases in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.




► From AP — Privatized Medicare would raise premiums, study finds — Nearly six in 10 Medicare recipients would pay higher premiums under a hypothetical privatized system along the lines of what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has proposed, according to a study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The study also found striking regional differences that could lead to big premium hikes in some states and counties.

► In today’s NY Times — Debt impasse shadows race for presidency — Without agreement of some kind, more than $700 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts would occur after Dec. 31, scheduled by a mix of coincidence and bipartisan agreement.

► From AP — American Crossroads plans $11 million ad blitz for Romney — A Republican-leaning independent group supporting Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is spending $11.1 million on new television ads aimed at women. Co-founded by George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, the group and its affiliated nonprofit, Crossroads GPS, has already spent $135 million on ads so far to back Romney.




► And Teamsters, Joint Council 28 wins the award for The Cutest GOTV Video with this gem:


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