Wednesday, November 27, 2013
► In today’s Seattle Times — $15 minimum wage passes in SeaTac, but recount coming — As supporters of a $15 minimum wage for workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport declared victory Tuesday, opponents made clear the fight is far from over. Common Sense SeaTac, a business-backed political committee opposed to SeaTac Proposition 1’s $15 minimum wage, said it will ask for a recount by hand to ensure “the most accurate possible” results.
ALSO at The Stand — Labor urges Port of Seattle not to join suit against SeaTac Prop 1
► In today’s (Aberdeen) Daily World — County approves raises for Teamsters union — Support staff workers in the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office will see raises giving them an extra $4,000 a year on the low end or about $7,000 on the high end of their experience under a new contract approved Nov. 18 by the county commissioners.
► In today’s News Tribune — Food stamp cuts put extra stress on food banks over holidays — With rising food prices, stagnant wages and cuts to benefit programs, the number of people who rely on food banks and soup kitchens is on the rise.
► In today’s Olympian — Public supports Boeing tax breaks (editorial) — The large percentage — 66 percent — of polled respondents who support the state Legislature’s special session measure to give Boeing $8.7 billion in tax breaks reflects the aerospace company’s high regard and long history in the Northwest. We hope Boeing factors that public support into their decision-making process.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Olympia hearing: Public criticizes Catholic hospital mergers — Members of the public voiced their opposition at a hearing Tuesday to the recent wave of Catholic and secular hospital mergers and affiliations, calling for greater transparency on hospital services and changes that occur as a result of the partnerships.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
► In The Hill — Broken public option promise complicates insurance cancellation issue — The implications of the Affordable Care Act promise that Americans could keep their preexisting health insurance would not be so troubling had another promise been kept. On September 9, 2009, addressing a joint session of Congress, President Obama pledged, “I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.” Yet the promise of a public option to compete with commercial insurance was quickly abandoned.
► In The Hill — AFL-CIO backs immigration fasters — The AFL-CIO announced Wednesday that it was backing activists fasting in protest for immigration reform. The fasters have called for events to be held across the country next week in support of immigration reform.
► In The Hill — Obama feels heat on deportations as frustration from allies mounts — The charged subject of deportations has moved to the center of the immigration debate as President Obama has come under growing pressure from allies to review his administration’s policy.
► In today’s NY Times — Pressure and passivity on immigration reform (editorial) — President Obama and Congress fail to act on passing reform, and the suffering of families continues.
► From McClatchy — Employees plan protests at 1,500 Walmart stores on Black Friday — As part of their effort to win a $10-an-hour minimum wage, Walmart employees plan to disrupt operations at 1,500 of the company’s stores on Black Friday, hitting the retail giant in the pocketbook on the biggest shopping day of the year.
ALSO at The Stand — Black Friday protests at Walmarts across U.S. — OUR Walmart invites all union members and community supporters in the Puget Sound area to attend the Black Friday protest starting at 10 a.m. at the Factoria Mall Walmart, 12620 SE 41st Pl. in Bellevue. There will be other actions around Washington and the rest of the country. Click here to find a different Black Friday protest near you!
► From Newsmax — Pope Francis rips ‘trickle down economics’ — Pope Francis on Tuesday harshly criticized “trickle-down” economics and an unfettered free market, saying a socioeconomic system that leaves the poor with no means to support themselves is a grave sin. He wrote: “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power… Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
► In today’s NY Times — New rules would rein in nonprofits’ political role — The Obama administration on Tuesday moved to curb political activity by tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, with potentially major ramifications for some of the biggest and most secretive spenders in American politics.
► From AP — Wisconsin officials decide to move ahead with union elections — Wisconsin officials decided to move ahead with annual “recertification” elections that will allow school workers to decide if their unions should retain the last shred of negotiating power Republican Gov. Scott Walker left them.
► From Biz Journals — D.C. council committee passes minimum wage increase — The minimum wage in the District would increase to $11.50 per hour by 2016 under a bill approved by a D.C. Council committee Monday afternoon. The bill is expected to reach the full D.C. Council on Dec. 3.
► In today’s NY Times — The war on Thanksgiving (editorial) — Consumerism has encroached on the day itself, with retailers opening even earlier than in past years to get a bigger jump on Black Friday and forcing their employees to work on the holiday.
► From earlier this month in Rolling Stone — How Republicans rig the game — As the nation recovers from the Republican shutdown of government, the question Americans should be asking is not “Why did the GOP do that to us?” but “Why were they even relevant in the first place?” So dramatically have the demographic and electoral tides in this country turned against the Republican Party that, in a representative democracy worthy of the designation, the Grand Old Party should be watching from the sidelines and licking its wounds. Not only did Barack Obama win a second term in an electoral landslide in 2012, but he is also just the fourth president in a century to have won two elections with more than 50 percent of the popular vote. What’s more, the party controls 55 seats in the Senate, and Democratic candidates for the House received well over a million more votes than their Republican counterparts in the election last year. And yet, John Boehner still wields the gavel in the House and Republican resistance remains a defining force in the Senate, frustrating Obama’s ambitious agenda.
How is this possible? National Republicans have waged an unrelenting campaign to exploit every weakness and anachronism in our electoral system. Through a combination of hyperpartisan redistricting of the House, unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate and racist voter suppression in the states, today’s GOP has locked in political power that it could never have secured on a level playing field.
► Let us give thanks today, on what would have been his 71st birthday, for Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix, the greatest rock guitarist who ever lived…
The Entire Staff of The Stand™ will be taking the rest of the week off for the holidays. We’ll be back on Monday, Dec. 2.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.