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Inslee acts, Boehner skips, Walker derails…

Wednesday, July 29, 2015




inslee-14-state-of-state► In today’s Olympian — Bypassing Legislature, Inslee turns to executive action on climate change — Gov. Jay Inslee told his administration to develop a cap on emissions of greenhouse gases so Washington can meet its commitment to cut 1990-level emissions in half by 2050. But he opted against pursuing a clean fuel standard because that would have triggered a Republican-sponsored “poison pill” jeopardizing mass-transit funding.

► In today’s Olympian — Inslee’s victory lap after 176-day ride (editorial) — When it’s all said and done, state government policy is moving broadly in the direction the Democrat mapped before session. Overall, Democrats steered both the size of the state budget and what it spends money on… In the end, the state’s going to be in better shape than it has been. Inslee earned a victory lap, but he needs to stay both upbeat and aggressive in pursuing the goals he didn’t achieve in the last session — tax reform and real action on climate change. Both are urgently needed.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Teachers ask Pasco School Board for improved curriculum — The current contract expires Aug. 31. Teachers have a union meeting scheduled Aug. 12 and are considering their first strike since 1978. The union represents more than 1,000 people. The district says teachers are asking for an 11% pay increase, while teachers say much of the $15 million in new money they are looking for over the next year is for improved curriculum.




boehner-golfing► From The Hill — McConnell signals Senate will pick up House highway bill — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday signaled the Senate will take up the House’s three-month highway bill. House Republicans earlier on Tuesday said they would pass the short-term extension and then leave Washington for the August recess on Wednesday.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Trumka calls on Congress to cancel early recess — AFL-CIO president: “Speaker Boehner is once again showing a complete disregard for the priorities of working people. Every member of Congress should remain in Washington until the job of passing a long-term highway bill is done.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Get highway, Ex-Im Bank bills done (editorial) — Rep. Rick Larsen and others in the House have proposed the Grow America Act, which would inject $478 billion into the federal Highway Trust Fund. That scale of investment is necessary and it is likely to require an increase in the federal gas tax of about 8 to 10 cents a gallon. It’s time for Congress to have that debate.




► From Politico — GOP Congress faces fall from hell — Lawmakers have teed up a hellish final few months of 2015, as a series of high-stakes deadlines looms on everything from keeping the government open to doling out money for roads and then, for good measure, raising the federal government’s borrowing limit. It promises to be a major test of the Republican Party’s ability to govern as the GOP prepares to ask voters to continue one-party control of Congress.

► From Bloomberg — Goldman-busting Senate Committee shifts away from Wall Street probes — A U.S. Senate investigative subcommittee, which has used its power for more than a decade to scrutinize corporations and financial institutions for wrongdoing, is shifting its focus to keeping tabs on the government.




retirement-crisis► From Roll Call — Retirement in America: Navigating the Perfect Storm (by Sen. Patty Murray and Thomas Perez) — Retirement security goes to the heart of what it means to be middle class in America. Our middle class is only truly strong when hard work is rewarded, even after your working years are over. That principle inspired President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign the Social Security Act 80 years ago this summer. It was the idea animating President Lyndon B. Johnson’s push to create Medicare 50 years ago this month. Now it is our turn to meet the retirement challenges of a new generation, to give people the tools to chart a successful course through that perfect storm.

ALSO at The Stand:

ARA sets Medicare 50th birthday event for July 30 in Spokane

Celebrate Medicare, Social Security success Aug. 8 in Seattle

► In the NY Times — Zombies against Medicare (by Paul Krugman) — The program has provided a huge improvement in financial security for seniors and their families, and in many cases it has literally been a lifesaver as well. But the right has never abandoned its dream of killing the program. So it’s really no surprise that Jeb Bush recently declared that while he wants to let those already on Medicare keep their benefits, “We need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others.”




walker-scott-philly► At — Scott Walker visits Pat’s and Geno’s amid protests, bad cheesesteak orders — When Walker showed up, he cut his way into the line at Geno’s, upsetting some members of the lunch crowd. Then he ordered his steak with American cheese and no onions. For many Philadelphians, that’s strike No. 2. Then, he left his trash on a table, apparently expecting a member of the wait staff (which does not exist) to clean it up.

► From The Hill — Christie to Colorado (and Washington): Pot party ends with me — “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” he said. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”




support-adjuncts-sign► From In These Times — Why my fellow adjuncts and I decided to form a union at out community college (by Luke Niebler) — After years of organizing at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, we have won our union election, and hopefully I can get back to worrying more about lesson plans than my financial stability. On July 14, 86% of my colleagues voted to form a union with the AFT, effectively unionizing over 800 instructors across CCAC’s four campuses. And while this is only the first step before we head to the bargaining table, it represents a huge victory for academic labor and contingent faculty.


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