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Climate march change, digital union cards, debating issues…

Tuesday, October 13, 2015





► From the Seattle P-I — Seattle, used to protests, will witness a different kind of climate march on Wednesday — The environment/climate change movement, in Seattle and across the country, has long reflected roots that are upper middle class, outdoorsy, white and academic. The Wednesday afternoon Climate Justice March, part of a nationwide series of demonstrations, has its origins elsewhere.  It marks a coming together of groups that used to be on opposite sides of nuclear plant battles and controversies over car emissions, ranging from the Sierra Club and Climate Solutions to Teamsters Local 117 and United Auto Workers Local 4121.

ALSO at The Stand — Climate march, TPP protest Oct. 14 in Seattle

► In today’s Seattle Times — Parent donates $70,000 to keep teacher, protest school funding — Brian Jones isn’t a politician. He says he’s just a parent who’s angry about public-school money problems. So over the weekend, after hearing that Seattle Public Schools plans to reassign teachers as a result of lower-than-projected enrollment, he donated $70,000 to help keep one teacher in place — and not at his own child’s school.




Digital-Signature► In the P.S. Business Journal — Union working to organize Boeing’s South Carolina workers just got a bump from technology — New NLRB rules allow Boeing employees to digitally sign “authorization cards,” as opposed to the traditional paper cards. These cards are the basis of union elections, and at least 30 percent of eligible workers must sign such cards for an election. The new rules could make it easier for union officials to convince workers to sign the cards, and easier for union organizers to contact workers, especially in rural areas.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Where does Washington rank? It depends — Some state business groups released their latest measure of Washington’s well-being on Monday, and like all such rankings, much depends on what numbers are sliced and diced.




for-profit-colleges► In today’s NY Times — For-profit colleges accused of fraud still receive U.S. funds — The Education Department, despite a crackdown against what it calls “bad actors,” continues to hand over tens of millions of dollars every month to other for-profit schools that have been accused of predatory behavior, substandard practices or illegal activity by its own officials or state attorneys general across the country.

► In today’s NY Times — Latest unease on the right: Paul Ryan is too far left — Far-right media figures, relatively small in number but potent in their influence, have embarked on a furious Internet expedition to cover Rep. Paul D. Ryan in political silt.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The guy who wants to privatize Medicare and Medicaid while slashing food stamps and other programs to assist the poor is too far left? Is this once-proud party really being steered by the braintrust of Matt Drudge, Andrew Breitbart, and other delusional bloggers? Which brings us to…

House-GOP-chairs► In today’s NY Times — The Republicans’ incompetence caucus (by David Brooks) — The House Republican caucus is close to ungovernable these days. How did this situation come about? This was not just the work of the Freedom Caucus or Ted Cruz or one month’s activity. The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals. Basically, the party abandoned traditional conservatism for right-wing radicalism. Republicans came to see themselves as insurgents and revolutionaries, and every revolution tends toward anarchy and ends up devouring its own.




► From Think Progress — Media outlets want you to know Democratic debate will be boring because it will focus on policy — So far, the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has focused on exciting issues like the merits of Carly Fiorina’s face, the height of the new wall between the United States and Mexico, and whether the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust. The Democratic debate scheduled for Tuesday night, meanwhile, is expected focus on issues like climate change, criminal justice reform, and zzzzzzzzzzz… Major media outlets would like you to know that it will probably be a snooze-fest.

► In the NY Times — Clinton criticizes Trump outside his hotel — Hillary Clinton joins Trump International Hotel  workers trying organize a union, “You have a right to safe working conditions, you have a right to a living wage, and you have to say yes to all of that and you have to say no to efforts to prevent you from organizing. And that means saying no to Donald Trump.”




proud-to-be-union► From Salon — There is power in a union: Here’s how we beat inequality & rebalance our economy (by Dorian Warren) — Since fast-food workers first went on strike three years ago, workers have been sounding the call for higher pay and a seat at the table — and their voices just got a lot louder. A poll released last week by the National Employment Law Project shows an overwhelming 72 percent of workers paid less than $15 an hour support unions. The general public isn’t far behind. A recent Gallup poll found that support for unions had surged to 58 percent — an increase of five percentage points in the last year alone… It’s not hard to see why. Millions of Americans today rely on public assistance just to cover basic necessities like food, rent, and clothing for their kids — despite working full-time for some of the most profitable companies in the country. For these workers, joining together in a union is a time-tested path to the middle class. For taxpayers, fair pay and a voice on the job for underpaid workers means that we won’t have to make up the difference when major corporations like McDonald’s shortchange their employees.


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