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SuperStorm Sandy, Union Buster Mitt, part-time life…

Tuesday, October 30, 2012




► In today’s Washington Post — Powerful storm devastates New York, New Jersey — New York and New Jersey awoke Tuesday to devastating flooding, power outages and scattered fires left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which cast broad swaths of the Northeast into darkness as it barreled ashore overnight and left at least 18 dead from Connecticut to North Carolina.

► From AP — Hurricane Sandy: How to help — A list of organizations that are mobilizing relief efforts in the region and links to make donations.

► In today’s NY Times — A big storm requires a big government (editorial) — Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. He not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington D.C., but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen. The agency was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.

► In today’s Washington Post — NJ Gov. Christie: Obama ‘outstanding’ response to storm — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), generally a harsh critic of President Obama, has nothing but praise for the White House response to Hurricane Sandy.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Spending approaches $1 million in four state Senate races — They are the 1st LD race between Democratic Senate education committee Chair Rosemary McAuliffe and the GOP’s Dawn McCravey; the 5th LD race between Democrat Mark Mullet and Republican Brad Toft; the 10th LD race between veteran Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Republican Rep. Barbara Bailey; and the 17th LD race between Republican Sen. Don Benton and Democratic Rep. Tim Probst.

► In today’s News Tribune — 28th LD candidate, wife’s Social Security numbers posted online by opponent — Democratic challenger Eric Choiniere filed a police report as a precaution in the event the posting by Steve O’Ban, his Republican opponent, made them a target of identity theft.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Some who haven’t received ballot can get replacement — With a week to go until Election Day, a handful voters are having to contact the county to get new ballots, or any at all.




► In today’s Kitsap Sun — State’s health-benefit exchange explained— Come next year, individuals and businesses in Washington and across the nation will have a new way to purchase health insurance, through a “health-benefit exchange.” A spokesman from the new Washington Health Benefit Exchange was in Bremerton on Monday to explain to health leaders how the exchange now being built will work. It’s to be called the “Washington Healthplanfinder.”

ALSO at The Stand — A significant, historic victory on health-plan standards (by Teresa Mosqueda, Mar. 7)

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington takes lead in coordinating health care (editorial) — The state has been granted a federal waiver so it can tackle the vexing problem of “dual eligibles” — people who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare. Now, the state will be able to move 30,000 of these patients into a program called Health Path Washington that will give them a “medical home.”

► In today’s Olympian — Appeals court revives BIAW case — The state Court of Appeals handed down a split decision that orders additional judicial review in a 4-year-old case that alleged improper campaign finance activities by BIAW and its failure to register as a political action committee. At issue was whether BIAW needed to register as a PAC, due to its use of members’ insurance rebates to support Republican Rossi in the 2008 governor’s race.




► In the Charleston P-C — Judge: Boeing violated National Labor Relations Act — Boeing violated the NLRA in April when a human resources manager at its North Charleston, S.C., complex told a mechanic there not to talk about unionizing during working time, an administrative law judge has found. Boeing cannot prohibit employees from discussing the union while allowing discussion of nonwork-related matters during working time, the judge ruled.

► From AP — Boeing to sell 35 737 MAX airplanes to Russia




► In today’s Columbian — Port of Vancouver, growers nervously monitor grain terminal talks — The continuing negotiations between regional grain shippers and union dockworkers might seem, at first glance, like a limited contract dispute. But those talks are having ripple effects now that could turn into larger waves if Northwest operators of six grain export terminals, including one in Vancouver, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union fail to reach a new labor agreement.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Apprenticeship program to train new Seattle teachers — Some teachers in Seattle will soon be trained like medical residents, with substantial on-the-job training under the supervision of a trained mentor. Four organizations, including the Seattle teachers union, are together designing the new program, which will start next summer.




► At AFL-CIO Now — Mitt Romney: Union Buster




► In the NY Times — A part-time life, as hours shrink and shift — While there have always been part-time workers, especially at restaurants and retailers, employers today rely on them far more than before as they seek to cut costs and align staffing to customer traffic. This trend has frustrated millions of Americans who want to work full-time, reducing their pay and benefits.


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