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Budget near, IAM election, our two-fern president…

Tuesday, March 11, 2014




► In today’s Olympian — Budget negotiators are closing in on agreement, but capital projects may die — Washington lawmakers negotiating terms of a supplemental operating budget say they are getting closer to a deal, and one key lawmaker said a House-Senate agreement needs to come Tuesday if the Legislature is to adjourn on time Thursday. But disagreements could doom a capital construction budget agreement, with budget chairmen saying it is still very possible no capital budget is passed this year.

jayapal-pramila► At Slog — Pramila Jayapal to Run for State Senate in 37th District — Pramila Jayapal, founder of immigrant advocacy organization One America (among many other résumé items), is running for Adam Kline’s state senate seat. Kline is set to retire at the end of the year; Jayapal is currently co-chairing Mayor Ed Murray’s police chief search committee and serves on his minimum wage committee. She’s also a longtime organizer around immigration issues, both here and nationally.

► In today’s News Tribune — State Sen. Tracey Eide won’t run for re-election — A state Senate seat is up for grabs with the announcement Monday that long-serving Democrat Tracey Eide will not run for re-election this fall.

► In today’s News Tribune — Teachers, lawmakers disagree on costs of losing waiver — As state lawmakers consider measures that aim to keep Washington’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the state teachers union is working to convince them that losing the waiver wouldn’t be a big deal.

ericksen-toast► From KPLU — Lobbyist-paid meals legislation appears to die in Senate — It looks like Washington lawmakers may adjourn their 60-day legislative session without addressing the issue of lobbyist-paid entertainment. Free meals for lawmakers became an issue last year after we reported on several state senators who regularly allowed lobbyists to pick up the tab. (Sen. Doug Ericksen, depicted in the photo illustration at right, reportedly accepted the most free meals from lobbyists.)

► At Slog — Rodney Tom whipped up fun new way to cut funding for the homeless — Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom really is an impressive guy; without personally lifting a finger, he can turn an essential bill on low-income housing and homelessness into a “compromise” that only benefits for-profit landlords and doesn’t actually help the homeless.




IAM► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Dates set for IAM election — A group of reform candidates picked up enough nominations in February to force a general election for the top positions at the Machinists union (IAM). The election marks the first time in more than 50 years since the union’s held a contested national election. IAM District Lodge 751 consists of seven local lodges, which will vote on different days in the general election. Local A will vote on April 3, Local C on April 10, Local E on April 2, Local F on April 9, Local 86 on April 10, Local 1123 on April 3, and Local 1951 on April 1.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle sees big gains in public transit ridership — The Seattle area saw big gains in public transit ridership last year, as more people boarded buses, trains and subways nationally than at any time since the 1950s. Also, Washington State Ferries booked more than 22.5 million passenger trips last year, up a little more than 1 percent from 2012.

► From AP — Detainees on hunger strike could be force-fed — Several hunger strikers at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma have said they were questioned and told they would be force-fed if the strike continues. Officials say they won’t do so unless it’s medically necessary and court-ordered.

► In today’s Oregonian — Hanjin Shipping will keep calling on Portland — Hanjin Shipping Co. vessels will continue calling on the Port of Portland despite the company’s dissatisfaction with delays and low productivity at the container terminal.

► In today’s Columbian — Labor history program now set for March 20 — A discussion of Northwest labor history has been rescheduled for March 20 at Vancouver Community Library after it was snowed out in February.




787-outsource► In the International Business Times — Boeing 787: A complete timeline of the Dreamliner’s legacy of failure, after cracks discovered in wings — The worldwide manufacturing process of the 787 has been often controversial and the reason, many industry insiders claim, for the many problems discovered. This was underlined at the Dubai Air Show in 2013 when the CEO of Emirates Airline said that he would prefer that the 777X aircraft, the most recent from Boeing, be built in one location to avoid problems similar to those experienced by the 787.




trade► At Huffington Post — NAFTA report warns of trade deal environmental disasters — A report due to be released Tuesday aims to offer an object lesson to President Barack Obama: Free trade deals have high costs in unintended consequences for the environment, people’s way of life, and local sovereignty. The report by the Sierra Club and other groups in Canada and Mexico, released on the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, summarizes more than 100 nonprofit, government and scholarly studies of NAFTA, and draws a damning picture.

► In The Hill — Dems try to force House vote to extend unemployment benefits — Democrats on Wednesday will file a petition aimed at forcing the House to vote on legislation extending emergency unemployment benefits. The discharge petition will only force a House vote on an unemployment bill if a majority of House members sign it.

► In The Hill — Unions fear a ‘New Deal’ sell-off — Labor unions are going on the attack against a proposal buried deep in President Obama’s budget that they charge is a move to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority.

► In today’s Seattle Times — The bull market and the minimum wage (by Jon Talton) — How can it be that the five-year bull market — the Obama rally, if you will — coincides with a national effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and a robust campaign in Seattle for $15? Many shares on Wall Street are at record highs, yet inequality is at Gilded Age levels. What’s going on? During the Obama rally wages for most Americans have continued their stagnation. Thus, the people who make most of their income from investments have done very well. But those who depend on wages have not.

koch-brothers► In today’s NY Times — The Democrats stand up to the Kochs (editorial) — Democrats have for too long been passive in the face of the vast amounts of corporate money, most of it secret, that are being spent to evict them from office and dismantle their policies. By far the largest voice in many of this year’s political races, for example, has been that of the Koch brothers, who have spent tens of millions of dollars peddling phony stories about the impact of health care reform, all in order to put Republicans in control of the Senate after the November elections.

► At Huffington Post — Cancer patient who blamed Obamacare for ‘unaffordable’ costs, actually saved money — Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, is running Obamacare attack ads featuring a cancer patient who claimed her treatments were “unaffordable” under the new health law. On Monday, The Detroit News reported that the patient will actually save more than $1,000 a year.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Which brings us to…





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