Tuesday, October 1, 2013
GOVERNMENT HELD HOSTAGE
TODAY at The Stand — Republicans shut down U.S. government — This article includes today’s national news coverage of the federal government shutdown. Here’s the local coverage from around Washington state:
► In today’s Seattle Times — Local workers face furloughs — It was a cliffhanger — and an avoidable crisis — weeks in the offing. But the reality of a government shutdown truly sank in Monday for thousands of federal workers in Washington state and around the nation facing the loss of paychecks.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford cleanup work to continue — The Department of Energy will continue to operate for a short time during the shutdown and a lapse in congressional appropriations, DOE said in a prepared statement. The amount of time will vary by program. Contractor and DOE workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation have been told to report to work as usual today, but little information was released Monday about Hanford plans.
► In today’s News Tribune — Troops will get paid, but many others won’t — A looming government shutdown had military and veterans offices in the South Sound scrambling Monday to figure out how to keep essential services running without a clear idea of when Congress might restore their funding.
► In today’s News Tribune — South Sound’s congressional delegation weighs in on shutdown — Includes statements from Sen. Patty Murray and Reps. Denny Heck, Adam Smith and Derek Kilmer.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Eroding faith in politics (editorial) — The madness of a government shutdown has a corrosive effect, not only on markets and morale, but also on young people who otherwise would gravitate to public life. That’s the intangible fallout, the post-traumatic slow burn. Paralysis in D.C. discourages the best and motivates the worst.
► And today’s MUST-READ in the Seattle Times — House Republicans embrace economic chaos (by Editorial Writer Lance Dickie) — Give Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives credit for an extraordinary achievement. They have united Americans across party lines in full and complete contempt for the GOP and its economic suicide mission. Shutting down government, and restarting government, wastes billions of dollars, but these so-called fiscal conservatives could not care less. They are playing to a miniscule audience in their cloistered, gerrymandered districts, so they play mindless parliamentary games without any thought of the consequences. Futile attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, have not and will not go anywhere. Indeed, Obamacare will be sustained by millions of Americans grateful for the opportunity to have access to a doctor. .. The United States was shoved to the edge of an abyss by GOP zealots out of touch with the best interests of America. They are selfish, self-absorbed politicians who are only worried about themselves.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
► Via Upworthy — The simplest explanation of Obamacare. Ever.
► In today’s LA Times — Full steam ahead for Obama health care law — Three and a half years after President Obama signed his landmark healthcare law, his administration made its final preparations Monday to begin enrolling millions of Americans in health insurance amid persistent anxiety over possible technical problems and intense opposition from Republican critics.
► From AP — Washington state health exchange ready to launch — Officials launching Washington state’s new health insurance exchange have said they aren’t concerned that computer glitches, bad weather or even debates in Washington, D.C., over a possible government shutdown will stop people from signing up for health insurance when the marketplace debuts on Tuesday.
► In today’s Washington Post — What the GOP has missed on Obamacare (by Charles Lane) — If all the GOP cared about was hurting Democrats, Republicans might support the health-care law — because it threatens a core Democratic Party constituency: organized labor. Obamacare undermines (labor’s traditional focus on negotiating health benefits) and, therefore, labor’s already diminished power to attract and maintain members, whose dues fill the campaign treasuries upon which many Democratic politicians depend.
► In the New Yorker — Boehner advises Americans to delay getting cancer for a year — “We’re involved in a high-stakes fight over our freedom from centralized government control of our lives,” said the House Speaker. “You can do your part by delaying getting cancer.” He added that heart disease, emphysema, and diabetes were among a laundry list of conditions that would be “patriotic to avoid for a year.”
► In today’s Olympian — State minimum wage to go up 13 cents — Washington state’s minimum wage, which is already the highest in the country, is set to increase 13 cents to $9.32 per hour on Jan. 1, 2014. The minimum wage is adjusted every year to reflect changes to the consumer price index during a yearlong period that ends Aug. 31.
► At Crosscut — Legislators are hearing it from the public on transportation — A legislative listening tour so far has shown overwhelming support for a Washington transportation package, although the details of what people want most vary widely.
ALSO at The Stand — Citizens to state legislators: Keep Washington rolling! — The next forum is TONIGHT in Spokane from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Central Valley High School theater, 821 S. Sullivan Road.
► In today’s Seattle Times — School-funding plaintiffs ask court to consider sanctioning state — The state Supreme Court should, at minimum, sternly warn state legislators that they will face sanctions if they don’t ramp up public school funding more rapidly than they did this year, the plaintiffs in the successful school-funding lawsuit said today.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State Democratic Party chairman to step down — The Washington State Democratic Party will be in search of a new leader soon, as chairman Dwight Pelz says he’s stepping down from the post he’s held since 2006.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee picks panel to make pitch for 777X jobs — Gov. Jay Inslee is enlisting a dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the state’s effort to convince the Boeing Co. to design and build the next generation of the popular and profitable 777, dubbed the 777X, in Washington.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — ‘Drip, drip, drip:’ More Boeing 787 squawks — Two years after it entered service, problems and complaints about the 787 continued to trickle in last week from Norway, Poland and elsewhere. Like many newsworthy 787 headaches since the plane entered commercial service, these problems were not exactly Boeing’s fault. Components from the supply chain are to blame in many cases. So maybe not always Boeing’s fault. But Boeing is responsible. Says AirInsight:
The drip-drip-drip of 787-related issues have clearly worn relations between Boeing and its customers. … Once again Boeing’s 787 is attracting negative attention for its 95 percent dispatch reliability, which is well below the 99 percent airlines want and need, and well below that of other Boeing products, which are consistently among industry leaders.
► At Salon — Wall Street goes after public pensions — Lips are smacking on Wall Street. Today’s tasty treat? The pensions of hard-working people across America. Financial hustlers have been working overtime to convince the population that we are in the midst of an “unfunded liability crisis” in which states and cities can no longer afford to pay pensions to public workers. Here’s the truth: Wall Street predators have had their hands in the pension cookie jar for decades, and now they’re poised to gobble up the retirements of teachers and firefighters in yet another orgy of greed.
► In today’s NY Times — The dishonesty of Voter ID laws (editorial) — North Carolina and Texas represent only one front in the continuing battle to protect voting rights. Twenty years after Congress passed the “motor voter” law to make it easier for Americans to register to vote, numerous states keep trying to make it harder, relying on vague and dubious claims of voter fraud to push through misguided and harmful legislation.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.