The Stand

Contempt, who’s the boss, what’s the matter with Kansas…

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Monday, July 14, 2014

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

contempt-child► In the (Everett) Herald — AG office acts to take heat off lawmakers on education funding — State lawmakers know they violated an order of the state Supreme Court earlier this year when they failed to turn in a “complete plan” for fully funding public schools by 2018. But that failure was due to honest political disagreement not “deliberate disobedience” and lawmakers should not be found in contempt nor sanctioned, a state attorney argued in a legal brief filed Friday. Justices are holding a show-cause hearing Sept. 3 to determine whether the state should be found in contempt for violating the court’s order.

 


AEROSPACE

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Moses Lake to be test site for Mitsubishi Aircraft regional jet — Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft will create a flight test center at Moses Lake for its new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), bringing dozens of pilots, engineers and technicians to the Central Washington town.

robot► Today from Boeing — Boeing introduces new method of building 777 fuselages — Boeing announced that it is in the final phases of testing and production readiness of a new method for building 777 fuselages. Known as the Fuselage Automated Upright Build (FAUB), fuselage sections will be built using automated, guided robots that will fasten the panels of the fuselage together, drilling and filling the more than approximately 60,000 fasteners that are today installed by hand. FAUB offers numerous benefits including an improvement in employee safety.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — At London air show, Boeing orders pile up — At the Farnborough Air Show in London on Monday, Boeing’s 737 order announcement machine was kept very busy.

► In today’s NY Times — Boeing optimistic that Export-Import Bank will get funding — The head of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division said on Sunday that he was optimistic that Congress would ultimately agree to reauthorize funding to the Export-Import Bank, which guarantees billions of dollars in loans to foreign buyers of its airplanes.

 


LOCAL

 

► In the Skagit Valley Herald — Farm workers, Sakuma supporters demonstrate on strike anniversary — More than 150 farmworkers and their supporters lined one side of Cook Road on Friday, squaring off in protest with a group of about 30 Sakuma Bros. Farms supporters on the other side in front of the Sakuma Market Stand. The farmworkers’ labor group Familias Unidas por la Justicia organized the march to mark the one-year anniversary of the formation of the farmworkers’ labor group at Sakuma Bros. Farms, and to let people know they still demand a contract.

► In the Oregonian — Longshore union and port operators pick back up labor talks — Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, whose members operate West Coast ports, are back on and were scheduled to continue through the weekend. They had taken a three-day hiatus so the union could focus on negotiations with a group of Northwest grain handlers instead.

► In the Bellingham Herald — Are Whatcom County workers underpaid compared to elsewhere? — On the surface, economic data suggests workers are being paid less in Whatcom County.

► In the News Tribune — For safety’s sake, support fire district levies (editorial) — Four Pierce County fire districts are seeking important levy support on the Aug. 5 ballot. Voters who value prompt and reliable emergency response should respond by approving those measures.

 


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

whos-the-boss► In the Washington Post — A federal agency is about to answer the question: Who do you actually work for? — One of the most fundamental obstacles the American labor movement faces could get torn down in the coming weeks — and it’s terrifying management, in industries from fast-food to manufacturing. Right now, the National Labor Relations Board is weighing the very question of what it means to be an “employer,” and therefore who has to come to the bargaining table when workers organize for better treatment.

► From Newsmax — Obama re-nominates NLRB member voided by courts — President Barack Obama will nominate Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board, the White House said, potentially reigniting a fight with Republicans over the panel’s composition.

spine-l► In the Washington Post — Highway Transportation Fund needs a permanent and simple fix (editorial) — Depressingly if predictably, with another funding crisis looming, members of Congress seem to agree on exploiting an arcane accounting trick called pension smoothing, which could reduce the security of private pensions but would result in more federal revenue over a decade. That decade’s worth of revenue will pay for several months of transportation spending. This budget gimmickry is distasteful for several reasons, starting with the fact that the plan spends money now, over the course of less than a year, that the government will make back over 10 years. The idea is to give Congress more time to sort out a permanent solution to the Highway Trust Fund’s perpetual funding shortfalls. But lawmakers don’t need more time; they need more spine.

► A related story from AP — U.S. records record $71 billion surplus in June — The U.S. government ran a monthly budget surplus in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008.

► At Politico — Another teachers’ union ding for Arne Duncan — The American Federation of Teachers approved a resolution this afternoon calling for Education Secretary Arne Duncan to resign if he does not improve under a plan to be implemented by President Barack Obama.

► In today’s NY Times — Obamacare fails to fail (by Paul Krugman) — The Affordable Care Act has faced nonstop attacks from partisans and right-wing media, with mainstream news also tending to harp on the act’s troubles. Many of the attacks have involved predictions of disaster, none of which have come true. But absence of disaster doesn’t make a compelling headline, and the people who falsely predicted doom just keep coming back with dire new warnings.

ALSO at The Stand — ACA is working and its users are happy (but not the GOP)

 


NATIONAL

 

► From AP — UAW: ‘Consensus’ reached with Volkswagen on union — United Auto Workers leaders say they have reached a “consensus” with Volkswagen and expect the German automaker to recognize the union if they sign up enough workers at a new local for the company’s assembly plant in Tennessee.

► In the Chattanooga Times Free-Press — UAW’s back, and so is our potential (editorial) — When UAW’s new local has enough signers, our VW will become the first unionized foreign auto plant in the South. Not only that, but the new U.S. hybrid union — this works council — will have been pioneered here. Here in the new and improved “Dynamo of Dixie.”

► In today’s NY Times — Kansas’ ruinous tax cuts (editorial) — Kansas’ spectacularly ill-advised income tax cuts of 2012 were among the largest ever enacted by a state. The cuts were arrogantly promoted by Gov. Sam Brownback with the same disproven theory that Republicans have employed for decades: There will be no loss of revenue because of all the economic growth! But the growth didn’t show up… As Kansas has clearly shown, states cannot cut their way to prosperity. They need to use every tool of government to nurture growth, and those tools require money.

Click to see coverage by RWDSU.

Click image to see news coverage by RWDSU.

► In the NY Times — Book store owner takes on a union, shocking a liberal bastion — “I’m an extremely progressive liberal and the best kind,” said Chris Doeblin, the independent bookseller who owns the Book Culture bookstores near Columbia University. But then his workers voted to unionize. On June 24, just hours after the vote, Doeblin announced in an email to staff members that he had fired two employees for joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. By June 26, he had fired three more. So what happens when a bookseller and those he serves, after years of political harmony, fall suddenly and dramatically out of sync? Well, then you’ve got a fight on your hands.

 


TODAY’S MUST-READ

 

► In today’s NY Times — Kansas’ ruinous tax cuts (editorial) — Kansas’ spectacularly ill-advised income tax cuts of 2012 were among the largest ever enacted by a state. The cuts were arrogantly promoted by Gov. Sam Brownback with the same disproven theory that Republicans have employed for decades: There will be no loss of revenue because of all the economic growth! But the growth didn’t show up… As Kansas has clearly shown, states cannot cut their way to prosperity. They need to use every tool of government to nurture growth, and those tools require money.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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