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Budget or else, Belshaw strike, food stamp cuts, ‘Crazy’ solo…

Friday, June 21, 2013




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Layoffs, closed parks, no lottery without budget deal — The governor’s office offered a preview of what might occur if legislators fail to reach budget agreement and a partial government shutdown ensues. State parks will close, the lottery will halt, and most convicted criminals will be monitored less closely outside prison walls if Washington is forced to cease many of its operations July 1. Those are among the hundreds of programs and services which would be halted or scaled back.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Lawmakers say deal on budget close — “We are going to finish on Sunday,” Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom (D-Medina) predicted. House leaders were less specific about when a deal could be reached, but Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) said a morning of what he called shuttle diplomacy had produced “a good exchange of offers.”

► In the Yakima H-R — Wait no longer and get budget deal approved (editorial) — Republicans appear willing to drop some of their policy changes, such as workers compensation reform… they shouldn’t stand in the way of a budget agreement at this late juncture.

school-cuts► In today’s Olympian — Lawmakers have but one choice on education funding (editorial) — A state budget that doesn’t provide at least $1.4 billion in new K-12 education funding likely will draw attention from the Supreme Court. And that could set up a unique conflict between branches of state government. But it’s difficult to see how legislators will meet the requirements of McCleary by 2018 without new tax revenue as proposed in the House budget. This week’s revenue forecast providing an extra $320 million is a drop in the bucket when more than $4 billion is needed. No amount of economic improvement over the next several years will fill that gigantic gap.

benton-don-signs-up► In today’s Columbian — Sen. Benton files complaint against colleague Sen. Rivers — Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) says Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) shouted at him on April 19 on the floor of the Senate in what he calls “an uncontrollable tirade” and again during a June caucus meeting. Rivers said she hasn’t seen the complaint, but responded: “I will stand my ground against anyone who attempts to bully, intimidate or threaten me.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Tuition hikes squeeze middle-class students — The state’s middle-class college students, whose families make too much money for them to qualify for financial aid, say they’re increasingly feeling the squeeze from years of double-digit tuition increases.




Belshaw-strike-front► In the Auburn Reporter — Machinist strike lingers at Auburn’s Belshaw Adamatic — Striking employees of Auburn’s Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group received a show of solidarity from their International Association of Machinist union-mates on Tuesday. The Belshaw employees have been walking the picket line since March 24, when 63 members of IAW Local 79 voted unanimously to strike. Belshaw Adamatic manufactures bakery equipment for wholesale and retail bakeries, specializing in donut fryers.

ALSO at The Stand — Support Belshaw strikers in Auburn (June13) — Help striking Belshaw workers win their fight for justice by sending a message to Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group. Click here to tell them to stop their unfair treatment of Local 79 members and negotiate a fair agreement.




Boehner-House-GOP► In today’s NY Times — Collision over House farm bill (editorial) — The House’s rejection of the farm bill by a 195 to 234 vote on Thursday was a stunning defeat for Speaker John Boehner, who supported the legislation and brought it to the House floor for a vote. He was unable to win support from 62 Republicans on the party’s conservative fringe, who cast no votes because they believed the $20.5 billion cut in the food stamps program did not go deep enough.

► At AFL-CIO Now — House extremists: Starve the poor — If anyone still has questions about just exactly how much extremist House Republicans loathe low-income families, they got answers last night when the U.S. House voted down its agriculture spending bill in a 195 to 234 vote.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Ag groups concerned as farm bill defeated — Central Washington agriculture groups expressed disappointment — and frustration — over Thursday’s failure of the 2013 farm bill in the House of Representatives. U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings issued a statement blaming Democrats, saying the minority opposed the bill because it “reformed” food stamps. (Our quotes.)




► At Huffington Post — Paid sick leave supported by most Americans, poll finds — Seventy-four percent of Americans said that employers should be required to offer paid sick leave, while 18 said they shouldn’t be required to do so, the poll found. Another 9% said they weren’t sure. Unlike in most other developed countries, there is no federal law in the U.S. mandating that employers let workers accrue paid sick leave, although such laws have surfaced on the state and local level in recent years.

ALSO sat The Stand — Tacoma paid sick days campaign kicks off

old-at-walmart► At AFL-CIO Now — Retirement savings in U.S. face staggering deficit — America’s families are between $6.8 trillion and $14 trillion short of recommended retirement savings targets, says a new report. It finds the typical American family has only a few thousand dollars saved for retirement. Some 80% of working families have retirement savings totaling less than their annual income. the reports author concludes: “Our findings confirm that the American Dream of retiring comfortably after a lifetime of work will be impossible for many. ”

► In today’s NY Times — Profits without production (by Paul Krugman) — Whether corporations like Apple deserve their privileged status or not, the economy is affected, and not in a good way, when profits increasingly reflect market power rather than production.




lumbergh► In today’s NY Times — Checking out (By Timothy Egan) — Sad to say, there are two great tragedies in professional life: not having a job, and having a job you hate. So, what to do? For starters, companies that have been sitting on record piles of cash could start spreading it around with their employees, which would have the immediate benefit of letting them know they were wanted. You hear the evangelists for low-pay states, people like Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, preaching the virtues of the corporate free ride and the perils of raising the minimum wage. But the unemployment rate in Washington State, which has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $9.19 an hour, is well below the national average. In the Seattle area, it just dipped to 4.7%, a level some economists call “full employment.”

What the Gallup survey makes clear is that the easiest way to make life better in the workplace is the simplest: all those unctuous, self-important, clueless bosses out there could notice the toiling subordinate who’s been taking up space for many years. Fake it, if you have to, just to see what it feels like.




► Last week we shared a performance by America on Burt Sugarman’s “The Midnight Special,” a TV show that aired late Friday nights in the 1970s. Bands would actually perform their hits live on the show rather than lip-synch, as was standard practice back in the day. Well, here’s another clip from that program. The Entire Staff of The Stand presents Seattle’s own Heart performing “Crazy On You” and featuring a terrific extended guitar intro by Nancy Wilson. Enjoy!


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