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Dump Fast Track, D.C.’s revolving door, Walmart coercion…

Wednesday, June 10, 2015




boehner-friday-news-dump► From Politico — GOP aims for Friday vote on Fast Track, but snag remains — Republican leaders are intent on scheduling the vote at the moment they believe they have the votes locked up — ideally by Friday, to spare supportive lawmakers the possibility of another weekend of attacks by trade foes back in their districts. TAA emerged as a last-minute sticking point. Pelosi privately pressed Boehner to drop a proposal (by Rep. Dave Reichert), already passed by the Senate, that would prolong a cap on Medicare spending to pay for TAA. But late Tuesday night, the two sides appeared to be in agreement that the measure will now be offset by increasing penalties on companies that file incorrect 1099 tax returns, and by stepping up enforcement of fraudulent higher-education tax credit claims.

ALSO at The Stand:

Will Washington state’s delegation put Fast Track over the top?

McDermott, Larsen oppose Reichert’s Medicare cuts; will others?

► From The Hill — Fast-track holdouts in House play ‘let’s make a deal’ — Last-second bargains have a long history in tight trade votes, and longtime antagonists in Washington’s trade wars say they’d be surprised if some deals aren’t made on the floor, maybe even while the final votes are being cast.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “Will do, Mr. McNerney, sir. Will do.




lj-nestora-prison-wave► From Mexico Voices — Nestora Salgado suspends hunger strike — On Friday, June 5, Nestora suspended her hunger strike after six Community Police members were moved from prisons in distant areas of Guerrero state to a local jail near their homes. Nestora, however, remains ready to resume her hunger strike if she is not freed. (At right: Nestora Salgado, managed to peek through a window of the medical tower of Tepepan women’s prison to thank her family and citizens staging a protest in favor of liberty. The naturalized U.S. citizen and resident of Renton is a leader of a legal indigenous community defense force in her hometown of Olinalá, Guerrero, and has been imprisoned for nearly 20 months in Mexico on false charges.)

► In the Peninsula Daily News — West End’s last production lumber mill to close when Allen Logging Co. ends its 60-year runAllen Logging Co., the last production lumber mill on the North Olympic Peninsula’s West End, expects to cease operating by mid-July. The closure will idle 45 workers, including drivers, millwrights, mechanics and log yard laborers.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Oil-drilling rig will create jobs, but not so many year-round ones — The Port said mooring Shell Oil’s rigs at Terminal 5 would create several hundred jobs. But nearly half involve Shell workers who will head to Alaska or people already working for Shell, the local contractor or the Port.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Jesse Jackson to press for more inclusion in Amazon workplace — The civil-rights leader will address the online retail giant’s annual meeting Wednesday, pushing the company to improve its hiring of women and minorities.

► From Bookings — The hottest 15 metros for advanced industries — Seattle ranks No. 2.




► In today’s Olympian — Teachers rally for smaller class sizes on Capitol Campus — Teachers and parents gathered Tuesday afternoon at the sundial on the Capitol Campus as part of a week of planned demonstrations on state education funding issues.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Section of U.S. 195 splits as Spokane sees record heat — The heat wave shattering temperature records across Eastern Washington was so intense that it caused a stretch of U.S. Highway 195 to rupture Monday.




repeal-sequestration-washington► From Huffington Post — Top Dem warns GOP to deal now or risk another government shutdown — The Senate Democrat who cut the last budget deal to avoid the full impact of sequestration is warning Republicans they risk a government shutdown unless they craft a similar agreement soon. In a speech today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will call on any deal to relieve the forthcoming spending cuts to follow four guidelines. Reflecting the extremely low bar that Congress has set for itself, the first of those guidelines is that the deal can be small in nature.

► From AP — Clinton, Democrats meeting labor leaders on 2016 bids — Hillary Rodham Clinton and her Democratic presidential rivals are holding private meetings with labor leaders in hopes of landing union endorsements that would bring organizational muscle and money to their 2016 campaigns.

► In today’s News Tribune — Warning came too late for millions of hacked workers (editorial) — The government’s technological infrastructure apparently is as badly out of date as the nation’s physical infrastructure.

► From Gawker — Making banks safer will make banks less safe, warns evil plutocrat — Steven Schwarzman, the private equity billionaire and human PR disaster who once compared raising taxes on the rich to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, has some thoughts on how to prevent the next financial crisis. What would you guess they are? If you guessed “reverse any regulations put in place to make the banking system safer after the last financial crisis,” then my friend, you are one savvy reader of




► From Bloomberg — Some for-profit hospitals charging 10 times as much as Medicare rates — Community Health Systems Inc. and HCA Holdings Inc. accounted for about half of the 50 hospitals with list prices higher than anywhere else in the U.S., when compared with what they’re allowed under Medicare.

► In the Washington Post — Why labor groups genuinely believe they can unionize McDonald’s one day — SEIU is building the kind of worker power that it thinks will force fast food chains to the bargaining table of their own accord.

corporate-revolving-door► A related story from Politico — Obama’s damage control team goes corporate — From the Golden Arches and beyond, corporations have been gobbling up former Obama White House advisers. Robert Gibbs on Tuesday became just the latest alumnus to take his talents to the private sector, with McDonald’s announcing that the former press secretary and senior campaign adviser will head the fast-food giant’s global communications. Other Obama advisers’ destinations: Amazon, Uber, Citibank…

► From In These Times — Applebee’s is trying to limit workers’ ability to sue the company when their wages are stolen — A legal fight led by the restaurant chain Applebee’s against the NLRB is aiming to further limit workers’ ability to sue the company over disputes on the job.

walmart-moms► In today’s Seattle Times — More of us are working part-time, whether we want to or not (by Jon Talton) — Some of the structural causes include more service-sector jobs, many of which are part-time, as well as the desire of employers to both benefit from maximum flexibility in the workforce and save in the cost of full-time benefits. I frequently talk to people who are holding down two part-time jobs to pay the bills when they would rather have one “real job.” Part-time work tends to pay less, too. Thus we have another driver behind rising inequality, stagnant-to-falling wages for many, and declining household wealth.




walmart-angry-face► From The Atlantic — How Walmart persuades its workers not to unionize — One former Walmart store manager tells the story that after discovering a pro-union flyer in his store’s men’s room, he informed company headquarters and within 24 hours, an anti-union SWAT team flew to his store in a corporate jet. And when the meat department of a Walmart store in Texas became the retailer’s only operation in the United States to unionize, back in 2000, Walmart announced plans two weeks later to use prepackaged meat and eliminate butchers at that store and 179 others. With 1.3 million U.S. employees — more than the population of Vermont and Wyoming combined — Walmart is by far the nation’s largest private-sector employer.  It’s also one of the nation’s most aggressive anti-union companies, with a long history of trying to squelch unionization efforts. “People are scared to vote for a union because they’re scared their store will be closed,” said Barbara Gertz, an overnight Walmart stocker in Denver.


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