The Stand

‘Grand Bargain,’ Inslee still leads, ‘traditional’ America is over…

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

 


FISCAL CLIFF

 

► At AFL-CIO Now — With events across country, working families turn from election to protecting the social safety net — Before the end of the year, Congress will meet in a “lame-duck” session and tackle numerous issues that could have powerful effects on the lives of middle-class Americans. Some politicians and Wall Street executives want a “grand bargain” that could cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, all to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people.  Working families won’t stand for these proposals and have organized events all across the country to let politicians know that tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to the social safety net are not acceptable.

CALL CONGRESS NOW at 1-888-659-9401 and leave a message for your U.S. senators and U.S. Representative urging no benefit cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and no more tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans. (Download the flier.)

ALSO at The Stand — Call Now to oppose lame-duck ‘grand bargain’Today at 11:30 a.m., the Washington State Labor Council will host its annual post-election luncheon at Seattle’s Catholic Seafarers Center, 2330 1st Ave.  But this year, in addition to the usual post-election analysis, raffle benefiting the Center and celebration of the beginning of the holiday season, U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-9th), and U.S. Rep.-elects Suzan DelBene (D-1st) and Denny Heck (D-10th) will be on hand to hear from a brief panel of speakers discussing the “grand bargain.” The luncheon costs $15 per person. Please RSVP to Braden Van Dragt at the Catholic Seafarers Center at 206-441-4773, but you can also pay at the door. The entire staff of The Stand will be there. Will YOU?

► In today’s Seattle Times — DelBene to get started in Congress as soon as Tuesday — Democrat Suzan DelBene could start voting in Congress in the lame-duck session that starts Tuesday, after Secretary of State Sam Reed wrote a letter saying she is expected to win the special election to serve the remainder of Jay Inslee’s term in the 1st Congressional District. She had 61 percent of the special-election vote Tuesday night.

► In today’s Washington Post — After Obama’s reelection, overtures from Republicans on debt negotiations — With a sluggish economy facing major threats, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) opened the door to increased tax revenue as part of a bipartisan deal to tame the soaring national debt. Republicans are “willing to accept new revenues,” Boehner said, suggesting he is willing to break with the orthodoxy of many influential Republicans out of a desire to “do what’s best for our country.”

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers addresses fiscal cliff — With Americans electing a divided government, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has softened her position on compromising over scheduled tax increases before the end of the year.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This morning, union members and other supporters rallied and sent a delegation to the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) to express working families’ positions on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and on extending tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans.

 


STATE ELECTION

 

IAM District 751 President Tom Wroblewski, left, presents Jay Inslee with a model of a 787 at the WSLC Convention in August.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee still ahead; McKenna not giving up — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee started making plans for a transition team for his administration Wednesday, even as Republican rival Rob McKenna insisted the election wasn’t over and predicted he’d ultimately prevail. Inslee led McKenna by about 51 to 49 percent Wednesday night, a lead of nearly 49,000 votes. McKenna saw an uptick in his percentage of the more than 216,000 votes counted Wednesday, including 50,000 in King County. But barring a big turnaround, it appears he will fall short of breaking the Republican Party’s 32-year losing streak in gubernatorial elections.

► In today’s Columbian — Newest county election results show GOP gains — State Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) still trails Democratic challenger Tim Probst in the 17th District, but Probst’s lead shrank from 222 to 102 votes. In the 17th District race for Probst’s former seat in the House, Republican Julie Olson extended her lead over Democrat Monica Stonier from 78 to 128 votes.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kilmer’s win creates state Senate vacancy— At least seven Democratic candidates have expressed interest in getting the party’s nod to be his replacement for the next year, then run against a Republican for the final year of Kilmer’s term. Replacing Kilmer in Olympia will be taken on first by Democratic precinct committee officers. Then, the appointee will have to run for the position in 2013 before running again for a full term in 2014.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Marijuana: For many employees, it’s legalization in name only — A rush to smoke a celebratory joint when pot officially becomes legal on Dec. 6 might be ill-advised for many in the state’s workforce. Anyone who works for the federal government still will be prohibited from using marijuana. Any “at-will” employees, who can be fired without cause, also might be putting themselves at risk by lighting up. For nonfederal union employees, the marijuana initiative also could mean more time at the bargaining table.

► In today’s News Tribune — State voters were generous — if there wasn’t a price(editorial) — Tuesday’s returns suggest that Washington is becoming a libertarian paradise — a place where gays can marry, marijuana is legal and parents might even be given the choice of independent schools for their children. But oh, by the way — not a penny more for public education or other state programs.

 


NATIONAL ELECTION

 

► In today’s LA Times — AFL-CIO takes victory lap after elections — Well aware that unions played a prominent role in supporting the incumbent’s effective ground game, the AFL-CIO celebrated President Obama’s reelection, though its leadership was keen to emphasize that its fight isn’t over. Said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “Last night, you saw what our nation is — Latinos, young people, African Americans, union families, a very vibrant multiracial, multi-ethnic, multigenerational country whose electorate and leaders are slowly becoming more representative of who we are.”

► From Bloomberg — California voters reject curb on union political power — Proposition 32 would have prohibited donations to political campaigns with funds derived from payroll deductions, such as union dues. The measure lost 55.5% to 44.5%.

► In today’s NY Times — An invigorated second term (editorial) — The president’s victory was decisive, and many who didn’t support him nonetheless told pollsters that they agreed with his positions on taxes, health care and immigration. He now needs to use the power that voters have given to him to enhance and broaden his agenda.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Patty Murray’s tactics pay off with gains in U.S. Senate — Patty Murray’s stint as the Senate Democrats’ chief strategist this election culminated Wednesday with her party expanding control of the chamber by two seats, thanks to two Democratic wins not even Nate Silver, the political forecasting whiz, expected.

► At TPM — Poll: Latino vote devastated GOP even worse than exit polls showed — An election eve poll of 5,600 voters across all 50 states concluded Obama won by an eye-popping 75-23 margin. Latino Decisions research concluded that CNN’s exit poll estimate of 71% of Latinos breaking to Obama likely undercounted their support, although they agreed with the assessment that turnout equaled 10 percent of the electorate.

DON’T FORGET — Rallies will be held TODAY celebrating the power of the Latino vote and calling on elected officials to reform immigration laws and keep families together. The rallies are: in Seattle at noon at Seattle Central Community College, Broadway & Pike; in Yakima at 6 p.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 5 South Naches Ave.; and in Vancouver at 7 p.m. at St. John Catholic Church, 8701 NE 119th St. These rallies are being organized by OneAmerica. Learn more.

► In today’s Washington Post — Gay marriage’s long march to equality (editorial) — On Tuesday, Americans in Maryland, Maine and Washington state voted by almost identical four-point margins to extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples; in a fourth state, Minnesota, voters rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, again by about the same margin. With those ballot victories for marriage equality, the first after a 14-year string of defeats in 32 states, it is now reasonable to imagine a day in the not-very-distant future when marriage for gay and lesbian couples across this country will be unexceptional, unencumbered and mostly unremarked upon.

► At TPM — Poll: Democratic voters faced significantly longer lines — Voters across the country complained about long waits in states around the country, as long as seven hours in quadrenially troubled Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott dramatically reduced early voting days despite similar issues in 2008.

► In today’s NY Times — Little to show for cash flood by big donors — While outside spending affected the election in innumerable ways, the prizes most sought by the emerging class of megadonors remained outside their grasp. President Obama will return to the White House in January, and the Democrats have strengthened their lock on the Senate.

► In today’s Washington Post — For U.S. Chamber of Commerce, election was a money loser — The day after an election in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent millions of dollars backing losing Republican candidates, executives began the brutal process of assessing what went wrong at the nation’s leading business organization.

► At Huffington Post — Former Congressman Alan Grayson reelected in Florida House race —  Grayson, a fiery progressive who won a national following with his outspoken defense of health care reform and relentless and unapologetic assault on his GOP opposition, was first elected in 2008, but lost in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — UW wants to lift freeze on salaries — Saying it cannot keep salaries frozen any longer, the University of Washington plans to ask the Legislature to lift a pay freeze on university employees and to help pick up some of the tab on an increase — as much as $75 million over two years.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Symphony cancels four additional concerts — The Spokane Symphony announced Wednesday that several more performances will be canceled as its musicians continue to strike.

ALSO at The Stand — Spokane Symphony Orchestra musicians strike

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing prunes defense, but local programs ‘robust’ — Boeing said it will continue to shrink its defense business by reducing the number of managers and facilities and consolidating business units to cut another $1.6 billion in costs over the next three years. However, its defense operations in the Puget Sound region remain “very robust,” particularly the P-8 anti-submarine plane and the Air Force KC-46 refueling tanker.

► In today’s Columbian — C-Tran receives Plan B for light rail — A day after voters rejected a sales tax increase to help pay for light rail, a small task force sent C-Tran leaders what it believes is a viable Plan B. The proposal combines several alternative funding sources to cover the annual operations cost of light rail in Vancouver, planned as part of the Columbia River Crossing.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Hours cut at Social Security offices in King County — Public hours at five King County SSA offices will be cut starting Nov. 19. The Seattle Metropolitan, Seattle North, Burien, Kent and Bellevue offices will close a half hour earlier at 3 p.m. On Jan. 2 next year, the offices will also start closing at noon on Wednesdays.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima’s Social Security office to reduce hours — Starting Nov. 19, the office at 801 Fruitvale Blvd. will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, leaving the day shorter by 30 minutes.

 


NATIONAL

 

► In The Hill — Rep. McMorris Rodgers make move to climb Republican ladder — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) made her bid for House Republican conference chairman official on Thursday, sending a letter to colleagues in which she touted her record on the party’s leadership team.

► From AP — U.S. trade deficit narrows as exports climb to record level — The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in nearly two years because exports rose to a record high. The gain may not last given the global economic slowdown.

 


TODAY’S MUST-SEE

 

► Stephen Colbert: “Traditional” (white) America is over…

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.

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