The Stand

Obama’s solution, Olympia’s deal, Alito’s target, Jeb’s advice…

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

 


TRADE

 

► From The Hill — Obama aims to heal Dem wounds — Obama invited all Senate Democrats to the White House for a reception Tuesday evening to schmooze… “The president brought [trade] up. He said, ‘I know we weren’t together on this, but I also want to tell those of you who were on the other side I was listening, and many of the things you said about this trade agreement I’m going to keep in mind as we enter into final negotiations’,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.).

EDITOR’S NOTE — In a related story…

obama-malaysia-problem-solved► From Reuters — U.S. upgrades Malaysia in human trafficking report, sources sayThe United States is upgrading Malaysia from the lowest tier on its list of worst human trafficking centers, U.S. sources said on Wednesday, a move that could smooth the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious U.S.-led free-trade deal with the Southeast Asian nation and 11 other countries.

► From The Hill — Menendez worried Obama will upgrade Malaysia in trafficking report — Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.): “If true, this manipulation of Malaysia’s ranking… would be a perversion of the trafficking list and undermine both the integrity of this important report as well as the very difficult task of confronting states about human trafficking.”

► In today’s NY Times — TPP’s potential impact weighed in Asia, U.S. — One shortcoming of the TPP is that it has only one major consumer market, the United States, while the rest of the trading partners are essentially producers with limited demand for imported goods.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Fast Track was just the beginning… (by Celeste Drake) — In the coming months, the TPP — the biggest trade deal in the history of U.S. trade deals — is going to be finalized, and Congress will have to vote on it. We need to make sure the TPP doesn’t sell out working people here and abroad, give foreign corporations special privileges to sue U.S. taxpayers to recover lost profits or undermine efforts to stop climate change.

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

lets-make-a-deal► From AP — Senate reaches deal on class size initiative, testing bills — After a weeklong standoff that threatened to blow a hole in the state’s two-year operating budget, Senate Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement Wednesday to delay a class-size initiative, which now clears the way for lawmakers to adjourn this year’s record-setting legislative session by as early as the end of the week. The deal includes a separate bill that will delay a requirement for high school students to pass a high school biology exam for this year and 2016.

► In today’s Columbian — Port of Vancouver asks Inslee to prod regulators — Frustration over how long it’s taking to examine a proposal to build the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal reaches a new level of intensity, as the Port of Vancouver urged Gov. Inslee to order state regulators to produce a publicly available timetable and stick to it.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Seattle’s $3.1 billion viaduct project a boon for Longview company — Wayron was awarded the contract as part of State Department of Transportation’s program to support small, minority-owned businesses.

 


SUPREME COURT

 

► In today’s NY Times — With subtle signals, Supreme Court justices are served up the cases they want to hear — Supreme Court justices like to say that they have no agenda. The reality is more complicated. The justices sometimes use their opinions to send messages about the kinds of cases they would like to hear. One such case the court will hear next term, a grave threat to public-sector unions, is a reaction to a 2012 majority opinion from Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. In making a minor adjustment to how public unions must issue notifications about their political spending, Alito digressed to raise questions about the constitutionality of requiring workers who are not members of public unions to pay fees for the unions’ work on their behalf.

► In today’s NY Times — The illusion of a liberal Supreme Court (by Linda Greenhouse) — The court that gutted the Voting Rights Act and hijacked the First Amendment as a deregulatory tool (remember Citizens United?) is, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, the court we have. It’s not the court we might wish we had… The chance that the court’s liberals will be able to deflect a crushing defeat for public employee unions, in another case to be heard in the new term, appears vanishingly small.

 


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

homeland-security-shutdown-ahead► In today’s Washington Post — To avoid a government shutdown in the fall, Congress needs to act now (by E.J. Dionne) — With Europe in turmoil and China confronting a stock market crash, Congress should do all it can to keep our economy steady. Draconian budget cuts and shutdown threats are not only bad politics but also a deeply flawed and irresponsible approach to governing. The time to make a deal is now.

► From The Hill — House narrowly votes to renew No Child Left Behind after drama — The House on Wednesday voted to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind law. Passage fell narrowly along party lines on a vote of 218-213, with 27 Republicans joining all Democrats in opposition to nearly derail it on the floor.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Republican Reps. Reichert, Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers, and Herrera Beutler all voted yes, while all Democrats from the state voted “no.”

 


NATIONAL

 

► In today’s NY Times — The struggle for fairness for transgender workers (editorial) — Americans’ understanding of transgender people has been shaped recently by the riveting, glamorous lives of the former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner and the actress Laverne Cox. The two, though, are far from representative of an economically disadvantaged community that continues to face pervasive employment discrimination, partly as a result of lagging legal protections.

► From Reuters — Wisconsin lawmakers pass state budget, partial repeal of prevailing wage law — Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled State Assembly voted 52-46 to partly repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. It now goes to GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is expected to announce his candidacy for president on Monday.

► From ABC News– Jeb Bush: People need to work longer hours — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush:

My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.

 


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

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