Friday, August 8, 2014
► In today’s News Tribune — Supreme Court strikes down ‘psychiatric boarding’ of mentally ill — Victory for patients, loss for the state: a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court ruling finds that parking mentally ill people in emergency rooms without treatment is unlawful.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ruling that bans ‘psychiatric boarding’ has health officials scrambling — Given how common the practice is, many wonder what will become of the patients after Thursday’s ruling. Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina), chair of the State House Appropriations Committee, said the state will have to respond sooner than the Legislature can act. He said the state must open new beds at Western and Eastern State hospitals, but should also try to add less-expensive beds at community treatment facilities. Hunter said it could cost tens of millions of dollars to solve the problem.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Finally, an end to ‘boarding’ of psychiatric patients (editorial) — The state Supreme Court’s ruling puts an end to psychiatric boarding, and spotlights the need for a more coherent mental-health system.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Ruling puts onus on lawmakers to fund ‘warehousing’ mentally ill (editorial) — So now what? Release seriously unstable people to the streets? It’s a question officials will have to answer fast because the court ruled that a lack of money from the Legislature is no excuse for boarding.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Ensuring community health (editorial) — Thursday’s ruling on “psychiatric boarding” could be the mental-health equivalent of the McCleary decision, requiring an infusion of state funding. Good. It’s as compelling a need as it is a responsibility.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Health care fix allows consumers to make direct payments — People having trouble using the insurance they purchased through the Washington health exchange because of billing problems can now pay their insurance company directly, thanks to an agreement worked out by the governor and the state insurance commissioner.
► In today’s Oregonian — United Grain argues with feds about whether inspectors can safely pass pickets — United Grain is one of the local grain handlers negotiating intermittently with members of the ILWU over a contract for workers at the terminal. The company has locked out members of the union, who have set up pickets outside United Grain’s gate. In the meantime, as United seeks to pass grain through its terminal, inspectors are refusing to cross the picket line, citing safety concerns.
Dear United Grain:
End the lockout! Problem solved. You’re welcome.
Sincerely, The Entire Staff of The Stand
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Hundreds of workers will be laid off as waterfront businesses close for construction — Fifteen businesses on Piers 54, 55, 56 and part of 57 will close down for nine months during the construction of the Elliott Bay Seawall. The city has provided those businesses $15 million to compensate them for the money lost due to the closure. That compensation won’t help the hundreds of workers who will be laid off for the winter. The Employment Security Division starting sending out notices this week about workers who will lose their jobs as a result of the construction.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing says July brought most orders ever for any month — After a record month for orders, Boeing leads Airbus in both orders and deliveries for the year, with an especially big advantage in sales of the more costly widebody jets.
► In today’s News Tribune — Local leaders say Army needs to know JBLM cuts would be devastating — South Sound leaders want people to send letters to the U.S. Army Environmental Command in hopes it will help prevent the loss of more than 10,000 active-duty military positions on base.
► In today’s Seattle Times — 1st District: Celis moves into 2nd place in primary tally — Republican Pedro Celis pushed into second place Thursday in the 1st Congressional District primary, making it more likely that GOP leaders will get the matchup they desired against Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene.
► In today’s News Tribune — Sen. Tim Sheldon survives primary as Couture concedes in costly 35th district race — No. 2 finish for conservative Democrat Sheldon sets up Nov. 4 battle with Democrat Irene Bowling of Bremerton in the 35th district.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — 14th Legislative District write-in challenger close to making ballot — Conservative Republican and write-in candidate Michael “Scott” Brumback is in contention to make the November ballot against state Rep. Norm Johnson (R-Yakima).
► From AP — Northwest consumers spending more freely — Washingtonians spent more overall than many of their counterparts in the nation in 2012, the latest year for which figures are available. The Evergreen State ranked among the top 10 states for total personal expenditures.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington’s strong ‘consumer’ economy (by Jon Talton) — The shorthand for why all this matters is that some 70 percent of the economy is consumer spending. The trouble is that since the mid-1970s, most wages have either stagnated or actually fallen. Adjusted for inflation, the typical household was one-third poorer in 2013 than in 2003. Unemployment and long-term joblessness remain a crisis. Americans have taken on greater debt to continue as consumers. Yet as all these forces strain against their limits, they become a big impediment to growth and the financial health of families and individuals.
► In today’s NY Times — Inequality is a drag (by Paul Krugman) — Being nice to the wealthy and cruel to the poor is not, it turns out, the key to economic growth. On the contrary, making our economy fairer would also make it richer. Goodbye, trickle-down; hello, trickle-up.
► In today’s Washington Post — Nation’s largest small-business group faces fresh skepticism over new link to ALEC — The National Federation of Independent Business, an advocacy group in Washington, calls itself the voice of small business as well as a nonpartisan, nonprofit association. Liberal groups have long scoffed at both descriptions, citing the group’s largely one-sided lobbying record and its roster of financial backers. Now, they appear to have found fresh ammunition in their attacks on the organization, courtesy of the a new tie between the NFIB and ALEC, a decidedly right-leaning advocacy group.
FROM THE ARCHIVES of The Stand — ‘Small’ NFIB gets its big bucks from GOP funders (Sept. 27, 2012) — The National Federation of Independent Business promotes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan organization” that is “the leading small business association representing small and independent business.” For a business group so focused on “small” it says it twice, the NFIB reportedly gets a lot of its funding from the biggest names in Republican politics, including Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. As for the “independent” part, the NFIB’s political and legislative agendas at both the national and Washington state levels align closely with the Republican Party and big — not small — corporate interests.
► In The Hill — When will the U.S. catch up to the rest of the world on paid family leave? (by Michelle Woo) — The United States is the only high-income country in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid family and medical leave. The International Labour Organization recently reviewed paid parental leave laws in 185 nations, and the United States stood out as one of just three — along with Papua New Guinea and Oman — that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave.
► From KPLU — Sen. Patty Murray calls for bigger tax credit for child care — Murray’s plan would bump up the child care tax credit to about $1,600 from the current $600 for one child. It would also make it possible for low-income parents who don’t owe any taxes to get a refund for some of their child care costs.
► In the Atlanta J-C — For corporations, patriotism a foreign concept (by Jay Bookman) — Money knows no country, and neither do those enlisted in the service of money. Take a look at the chart above, courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It displays the immense growth of corporate AFTER-TAX profits since 1970, and particularly since 2000. Let me stress it again: These are AFTER-TAX profits. Poor, poor corporate America. It just breaks your heart to see them struggle like that, doesn’t it?
► Happy birthday, guitarist Chris Foreman of one of the Entire Staff of The Stand’s favorite bands from our formative years: Madness! When this ska-revival band known for its “nutty sound” released its second album, Absolutely, it got a scathing one-of-five-stars review in Rolling Stone, which dismissed the band as “a clunky, clowning, all-white outfit from London.” (But then, they didn’t like The Specials either.) Madness was wildly popular in England though, and briefly in America a few years later, thanks to the single “Our House.” And not all music critics agreed with those elitist music snobs at Rolling Stone. AllMusic notes that the following song from Absolutely “slides by so smoothly it’s possible to not realize what an expertly crafted piece of pop it is.” We agree and hope you do, too.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.