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Boeing’s risk-averse customers, advice for poorly paid, Wall Street rules…

Wednesday, November 20, 2013




► In the Seattle Times — Big 777X buyers tell Boeing: Don’t repeat 787 outsourcing mistakes — The Middle Eastern airline executives who just ordered a couple hundred 777X jets from Boeing have some advice for the company: Build it in one place, in your own facilities, and don’t rely on a complex international outsourcing system for major pieces like you did with the much-delayed 787. Emirates CEO Tim Clark, now the plane’s biggest customer, told the Wall Street Journal: “All we said to [Boeing] was, ‘Please don’t do to 777X what you did to the [787]…  Don’t do that to us’.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ignoring the obvious business case for building the 777X in Washington state and choosing another state for its cheaper (though inexperienced) workforce — or its anti-union laws — is the same kind of build-it-on-the-cheap, ideological thinking that led to the 787 debacle. If Boeing wants to assure its customers that it will not embark on another risky 787-like scheme and that it will deliver a quality product on time, Washington is the only rational choice for the 777X.

mcnerney► At Leeham News — WSJ: Emirates urges 777X be built in U.S. — Aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton: “There is broad consensus that Boeing’s Everett plant is the best place to build the 777X, given its experienced workforce, a mature factory and the continuing challenges of the Charleston 787 plant. But Boeing CEO Jim McNerney’s antipathy toward the IAM specifically and the Washington State business climate generally are “wild cards,” a source familiar with the dynamics tells us.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s hard to believe that one man’s personal antipathy toward his employees’ union or his uninformed impressions of our state’s business climate could guide this company’s multibillion-dollar decision against the consensus business case for building the 777X in Washington. That can’t be true, can it? If so, Boeing customers have good reason to fear for the 777X reliability and production timeline.

It also makes one wonder whether our state’s ongoing politicization of Boeing production decisions and continuous denigration of Washington’s business climate by business lobbying groups in this state might be counterproductive. “We suck” might help sell right-wing policies in Olympia, but it likely has consequences outside that town’s marble confines.

► From CNBC — Boeing exec: 777X will be built ‘where it makes the most sense’ — Boeing International President Shephard Hill said the company would build the 777 “where it makes most sense.”

Honestly, we’re looking within the United States at this point because of the large infrastructure we have there. But again, with the mandate to do it on time, to do it in a quality way, that will drive the decision.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Other states salivating for Boeing 777X feast — Officials in Alabama, California, Kansas, South Carolina and Utah said Tuesday their states have talked with the company about a new airplane-assembly plant, while a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee said Washington’s efforts have never stopped.




► In today’s Olympian — Senate plan bodes well for transportation package (editorial) — State Republicans have been as tax adverse lately as their federal brethren, so when they talk about an 11.5 cent increase in the state’s gas taxes over three years to raise $12.3 billion, it’s a strong indication that a deal lays within the 2014 Legislature’s grasp. The time is ripe. We urge both parties to seize this opportunity, and show Congress how Washingtonians can work together for the common good.

► At PubliCola — Race to replace Rep. Pedersen shapes up — The candidates include: Brady Walkinshaw, a gay, half-Latino Capitol Hill resident; 43rd District chairman Scott Forbes; and Cristina Gonzalez, who served on the city’s Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee.

► In today’s Olympian — GOP to seat 3 candidates for Angel’s House seat —  The appointment won’t change the political makeup of the House, which is controlled by Democrats by a 55-to-43 margin. By law, someone from Angel’s party — Republican — must be appointed to replace her.




► From AP — SeaTac $15 minimum wage measure holds slim lead — Tuesday’s vote drop showed that Proposition 1 has a 52-vote lead. That’s a three vote increase from the previous day. Supporters of the proposal say they expect the opposition to ask for a recount. Under election laws, the group that requests a recount must pay for it.

yhr-yakima-teachers-contract► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima teachers want smaller classrooms part of union contract — Yakima public school teachers — protesting politely — told the school board Tuesday night that reducing class size is key to successfully negotiating a new contract, which teachers have been working without since August.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Longview teachers, district reach tentative deal — Both sides refused to discuss details of the deal. They were at loggerheads over class sizes after the previous round of contract talks nearly three weeks ago.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma admits faults in union negotiations — Tacoma City Council issued a mea culpa Tuesday night in the city’s dealings with one of its labor unions. The state recently ruled that the city engaged in “unfair labor practices” in negotiations with a union (IBEW 483) that represents more than two dozen employees of Click, the city-owned cable network.

► In today’s News Tribune — Pierce Transit budget turns around, outlook bright for 6 years — Months after threats of bus service being slashed and drivers laid off, Pierce Transit now says it plans to expand hours next year and that it can sustain that higher level of public transportation through 2019.

► At Crosscut — Kshama Sawant & Seattle’s corporate inequality pushback (by Pramila Jayapal) — Kshama Sawant’s $15 minimum wage platform and demand that we address Seattle’s growing inequality reflected the urgency felt by working people of all races across the city. We see clearly that the rising tide is lifting all the yachts — not all the boats.

► At Slog — Shorter Seattle Times editorial: ‘We hate unions!’ (by Goldy) — I could easily spend 1,000 words thoroughly fisking the Times’ (latest) stunningly unselfconscious piece of anti-labor bullshit, but instead I’ll just resort to a handful of bullet points. I mean, why put any more effort into this than they did?




► At Huffington Post — No one died at The phony crisis of Obamacare (by Dean Baker) — The media have worked themselves into a frenzy as news outlets trumpet the impending doom of Obamacare. The New York Times put forward its entry for best in show: a front-page news article comparing the problems with the website with President Bush’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina. This is clearly the silly season in Washington.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Idaho should reconsider Medicaid expansion (editorial) — A broad-based business organization has made a compelling pro-commerce, low-tax argument for Idaho to accept the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now the state’s political leaders need to revisit a decision that hurt a variety of its own citizens.




mcdonalds-help-me► At Think Progress — McDonald’s to underpaid employees: Sell your Christmas presents for cash, break food into pieces to keep you full — McDonald’s McResource Line, a dedicated website run by the world’s largest fast-food chain to provide its 1.8 million employees with financial and health-related tips, offers helpful holiday tips that include: “Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.” Elsewhere on the site, McDonald’s encourages its employees to break apart food when they eat meals, as “breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.” And if they are struggling to stock their shelves with food in the first place, the company offers assistance for workers applying for food stamps.

► On last night’s Colbert Report — “Some critics out there say Walmart isn’t doing enough, but they’re wrong, because Walmart isn’t doing anything. These bins are for Walmart employees to donate to other employees. And where can Walmart’s low wage workers find cheap food to donate? Walmart.”




► At In These Times — Volkswagen isn’t fighting unionization — but leaked documents show right-wing groups are — In the absence of any overt anti-union offensive by Volkswagen, conservative political operatives worried about the UAW getting a foothold in the South have stepped into the fray. Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform appears to be pumping hundred of thousands of dollars into media and grassroots organizing in an effort to stop the union drive.

boehner-john-2► In today’s Washington Post — John Boehner must act on immigration now (editorial) — The Republican House Speaker, who pledged to press ahead with immigration reform a year ago following Mitt Romney’s dismal performance with Latino voters, now says the House will not negotiate with Democrats on the basis of the sweeping reform bill passed by the Senate in June with bipartisan support. Translation: Don’t hold your breath for immigration reform this year, and don’t get your hopes high for next year, either.

► At AFL-CIO Now — CEOs: ‘Retirement security is great for me, but not for you’ — A new report from the Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies shows that two groups of corporate CEOs pushing for cuts to Social Security benefits, such as the “chained” CPI, personally have massive retirement plans.

► At Politico — Rep. Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession — The Florida Republican is a former former radio talk-show host (and Fox News regular).

EDITOR’S NOTE — This is only newsworthy to the extent that Radel joined fellow House Republicans in voting to require recipients of food stamps to pass drug tests. Perhaps members of Congress should be required to pass drug tests before voting to pass laws and stuff like that.

► In today’s NY Times — Senator offers overhaul of tax code — Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, on Tuesday released a long-awaited plan to overhaul the tax code for multinational corporations, trying to jump-start an effort to stem the flow of jobs and money abroad.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Cynical about Baucus’s plan? You’ve been given good reason…




► At Upworthy — Something really insane just happened in Congress and you probably haven’t heard a word about it — Young bearded guy (whose informed is sourced): “Your House of Representatives just passed a bill designed to roll back protections put in place after the last financial crisis that was literally written by lobbyists for the people who caused the last financial crisis. This bill was passed by a bipartisan group… and all of them depend on Wall Street to fund their campaigns.” This young bearded guy aims to start an anti-corruption movement to try to do something about it. (Click here to support his cause or to watch Part 2 of this video.)

EDITOR’S NOTE — Unfortunately — again — three Democratic congressmen from Washington state, Reps. Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larsen, all joined Republicans in voting to approve this Citigroup-written legislation. Lovely.


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