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Seahawks, legacies, grand bargaining, The Big Fail…

Monday, January 7, 2013




st-seahawks-12-wild-card► In today’s Seattle Times — Wilson, Lynch once again the winning formula in comeback win — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. The combination produced the Seahawks’ winning touchdown with 7:08 left. Wilson and Lynch. It was the combination punch that allowed Seattle to overcome its largest deficit of the season to win the franchise’s first road playoff game in 29 years. Seattle 24, Washington 14.

(The Seattle Seahawks chapter of the NFL Players Association is the only professional sports union in Washington that is affiliated with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — and has been for decades. Go Hawks!)




► In today’s News Tribune — Labor negotiations fail to spare cuts at 2 Tacoma fire stations — With no apparent resolution to labor negotiations aimed at scaring up extra money, the City of Tacoma is set to move ahead this week with an unpopular plan to reduce fire department service in the Proctor district and on the East Side.

► In the News Tribune — Picketing of local grocer ends, but how UFCW Local 367 measures success is unclear — Five days a week, rain or shine, for almost 16 months, union picketers staked out the sidewalk in front of downtown Tacoma’s first grocery store in decades, encouraging people to take their business elsewhere. The picket appears to be over, despite a vow by UFCW Local 367 to continue it indefinitely.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Portland to discuss paid sick leave requirement — The city of Portland, Ore., is planning to discuss a proposal to require businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The coalition backing the idea is made up of labor, community and business groups and is seeking to follow in the footsteps of Seattle, San Francisco and other cities that have successfully passed similar ordinances.

mayor-macklemore► At — Macklemore: I’m running for Seattle mayor — The popular Seattle rapper says he wants to run for Seattle mayor, “It’s time to fight for the city and stand up for the people.” But not until 2025 or so, when he figures he’ll be finishing up his music career.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Norm Dicks championed Washington state’s aerospace, environment (editorial) — The Bremerton Democrat’s retirement capped a 36-year service to the 6th Congressional District and leaves Washington with a political legacy benefiting our state, particularly in aerospace and the environment.

► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — In an era of budget cuts, what is Gregoire’s legacy? — Gov. Chris Gregoire may be remembered more for presiding over years of steep budget cuts than anything else. But Democrats and Republicans credit her ability to negotiate compromise amid partisan gridlock.

► In today’s Olympian — He’s seen the good, bad, ugly in state government — In 34 years in public office, Brian Sonntag has been a witness to government at its best and worst. Says Sonntag: “State government does pretty well. It’s full of hard-working, conscientious public employees who care about doing their jobs well.”




socsec-medicare-not-entitlements► In today’s Washington Post — White House sees promise in revisiting elements of ‘grand bargain’ — Democratic and Republican officials say they could build on the grand bargain talks, which looked at raising new revenue through an overhaul of the tax code and reducing spending, including on Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — What “entitlement reform” really means

► In The Hill — Democrats to look for up to $1 trillion in new revenue this year — Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.

► In the NY Times — McConnell takes taxes off the table in new talks — The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, made clear on Sunday that he would oppose any effort by the Obama administration to raise more tax revenue and that he remained focused on finding ways to cut spending as the government grapples with its debt.

► In today’s NY Times — The next round of tax increases (editorial) — The White House seems to think the fiscal-cliff deal has established a firm foundation for building a new fiscal house. In fact, the deal could make tax reform less likely. And without reform to raise new revenue, deficit reduction would have to rely heavily on spending cuts, an outcome that can be averted only by persuasive and sustained leadership from President Obama.

► In The Hill — Defense industry fears sequestration delay won’t stop Pentagon cuts — The defense industry is worried last week’s budget deal on taxes could damage its negotiating position for the next “fiscal cliff” deadline two months from now, when across-the-board spending cuts would take effect. “At a certain point the industry has to deal with what’s coming at them,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.




► From AP — NHL, union reach tentative agreement —  Hockey is back, and it took nearly four months and one long night to get the game back on the ice. With the season on the line, the NHL and the players’ association agreed on a tentative pact to end a 113-day lockout and save what was left of a fractured schedule.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Unions continue to help out working families hit hard by Sandy — While John Boehner and his allies in the U.S.House of Representatives play politics with aid to families whose lives were shattered by Superstorm Sandy, numerous unions have stepped up to provide money and supplies to those in need.

► In Sunday’s NY Times — Health insurers raise some rates by double-digits — Even though regulators are required by the new health care law to review requests for a large rate increases, many states have not given the overseers any authority to deny or roll back rates that are deemed excessive.




economists-fail► In today’s NY Times — The Big Fail (by Paul Krugman) — It’s tempting to argue that the economic failures of recent years prove that economists don’t have the answers. But the truth is actually worse: in reality, standard economics offered good answers, but political leaders — and all too many economists — chose to forget or ignore what they should have known. If everyone tries to slash spending at the same time, incomes will fall — and unemployment will soar. When that happens, governments need to step in, spending to support their economies while the private sector regains its balance. But it all went wrong in 2010, when austerity became the order of the day, and supposed experts who should have known better cheered the process on.

(For those of us who were intrigued about the idea that Krugman would make a great Treasury Secretary, unfortunately, the Nobel-prize winning economist has taken a pass on that “bad idea.”)


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