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The Punishers, fast-food strikes, Go Hawks…

Thursday, September 4, 2014





► In today’s Olympian — Court considers whether to hold lawmakers in contempt over education funding — Lawyers on opposing sides of a landmark education funding case agree that state lawmakers have failed to comply with at least one order from the state Supreme Court. What was up for debate Wednesday was what the consequences of that failure should be. The state’s highest court heard arguments Wednesday about whether it should punish lawmakers for their slow progress toward meeting a 2018 deadline to fully fund public education.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Inslee reactivates military alliance to retain defense jobs — Protecting the jobs and economic stimulus from the many military installations in Washington is “a no-brainer,” Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday as he resurrected a coalition of groups from around the state to prepare for any cuts in the nation’s defense budget.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State DOT boss: Ferry operations chief was ‘belligerent’ toward her — State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson formally reprimanded the operations director of state ferries, Steve Rodgers, saying he disrespected her during a phone conversation in June. She described Rodgers as “belligerent, challenging and unprofessional,” adding that Rodgers told her that “unions only have my [Peterson’s] ear,” and that she did not listen to management.




mcmorris-rodgers-L► In today’s Spokesman-review — Congress should reauthorize jobs-maker Ex-Im Bank (editorial) — Reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank should be high, if not first, on the congressional agenda when members return next week. The bank’s charter expires at the end of this month, and killing an institution that supports more than 200,000 jobs – 85,000 in Washington — makes no sense. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been noncommittal on charter renewal, the only member of Washington’s 12-member congressional delegation to do so. But this is not a “maybe” issue for Eastern Washington or the companies and employees who rely on the bank.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing KC-46 tanker exports to Poland possible, could mean a boost for Everett line — Poland is the latest country to issue a request for proposals for four tankers, which, if Boeing wins, could increase sales of the Boeing’s KC-46 tankers.




newhouse-dan► From AP — Hastings endorses Newhouse in congressional race — Retiring U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings on Wednesday endorsed one of the two Republican candidates seeking to succeed him as the congressman from Central Washington. Hastings endorsed former state legislator Dan Newhouse, of Sunnyside, in the November general election over tea party challenger Clint Didier, of Eltopia.

► In today’s NY Times — Voting restrictions are variable in key elections — Republicans have created various new restrictions on voting, which range from more stringent ID requirements to fewer registration opportunities to curbs on early voting, some states with key U.S. Senate elections. A critical election variable is whether the new limits will tilt close races.

► At Politico — Union ads with new twist: Koch ‘sisters’ — Karen and Joyce Koch are actually neither related to one another nor to the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Rather, the Koch “sisters” are the protagonists of a novel, and potentially risky, television and digital advertising campaign launching Thursday morning from the AFL-CIO that casts the Koch brothers, and the Republicans who have benefited from their big political spending, as enemies of the middle class.




ACA-signing► In The Hill — Court to revisit ruling that found some ACA subsidies are illegal — The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to revisit a ruling that struck down the Affordable Care Act subsidies issued through the federal exchange. The announcement of the second hearing is a victory for the Obama administration, which suffered a defeat in late July when a three-judge panel threw out the subsidies, ruling they were not legitimate under the ACA.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Ruling grounds Norwegian’s Air’s ‘rogue’ operation — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday blocked a scheme by Norwegian Air International to fly in and out of U.S. airports while at the same time — through a series of corporate maneuvers — evading Norway’s strong labor and social laws and the airline’s existing collective bargaining relationships with its own workers.

ALSO at The Stand — It’s time to derail Norwegian Air scheme to undermine good jobs (by Ed Wytkind)

► In TPM — GOP losses in 5 states could bring health coverage to a million uninsured — Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has lately been making progress in unlikely places like Wyoming, where Republicans are being slowly swayed by business groups that it is a good financial deal for their state. But the quickest way to bring Medicaid expansion to the 23 states that have declined it so far would be a new state legislature or governor.




USNews-fast-food-strike► From U.S. News & World Report — Fast-food workers strike to supersize their wages — As fast-food workers in 150 cities prepare to demonstrate outside of major chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC on Thursday — the latest protest in a campaign demanding better wages — President Barack Obama has made it clear which side he stands on. “All across the country right now there’s a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity,” Obama said at Milwaukee Laborfest this week. “There is no denying a simple truth: America deserves a raise. Give America a raise.”

► In today’s NY Times — Fast-food workers are arrested during sit-ins — Twenty-one workers demanding a $15-an-hour wage were arrested while conducting a sit-in outside a McDonald’s in Times Square on Thursday morning as the fast-food movement for the first time embraced widespread civil disobedience to escalate its fight.

MORE coverage from the L.A. Times and AP’s photo gallery, which includes arrests in other U.S. cities.

cantor-eric► At TPM — Eric Cantor’s raise is paid for by low-wage workers (by Seth D. Michaels) — Eric Cantor spent his career buttering up wealthy donors, meeting with wealthy lobbyists for powerful industries, and writing policies to their specifications. All along, he knew that at the end of the road he’d have a chance to join the ranks of the people on whose behalf he’s been working (albeit earlier than he expected). Cantor’s new $3.4 million job is a hearty thank-you from the constituents he really cared about. And it’s a strong signal to other politicians of what’s in it for them if they act like Cantor. The fast food workers themselves may as well be frozen beef patties and fryer oil for all it matters to Cantor and politicians like him. That’s why they need to speak out on their own behalf.

► In today’s LA Times — California teachers’ unions appeal ruling on job protections — California’s two largest teachers’ unions hope to reverse a decision by L.A. County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu that threw out the state’s tenure process for grade school teachers. It also stripped instructors of rules that made dismissing them more difficult and expensive than firing other state employees.

► At Huffington Post — This is what it’s like to sit through an anti-union meeting at work — The spiel at an Iron Mountain facility near Atlanta, where the Teamsters were trying to organize truck drivers, wasn’t unlike the anti-union speeches commonly delivered at other companies. What made this meeting different was that a pro-union worker in attendance was surreptitiously recording it… Since posting it online, the Teamsters organizer has obtained a litany of similar recordings from meetings purportedly held at more recognizable companies, including Coca-Cola, Staples and FedEx. Those recordings are posted here.




The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks are affiliates of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, via the NFL Players Association. Tonight they open the 2014-15 NFL season at home against the Green Bay Packers. Go Hawks!


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