Tuesday, October 20, 2015
► In today’s News Tribune — Half-truths abound in ads running in 30th District race — Two TV ads paid for by Enterprise Washington, a pro-business group, say that Carol Gregory supports a state income tax. Gregory refutes that, and has sent out her own mailers stating: “Let me be clear. I do not support a state income tax.”
ALSO at The Stand — Big business targets Carol Gregory with dishonest political attacks — Here are some of the “pro-business” funders of Enterprise Washington’s dishonest campaign to unseat Rep. Gregory: Boeing, Walmart, Georgia-Pacific (Koch Industries), Alaska Air, Altria (tobacco), AGC, AT&T, Chevron, Comcast, Puget Sound Energy, Kroger, Liberty Mutual, Cowles-Spokesman Review, T-Mobile… well, just check out the whole sorry list here.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Poll: Support for Tim Eyman’s tax initiative slipping — While support has slipped, the fate of I-1366 will come down to voter turnout and “late deciders,” pollster H. Stuart Elway said. About 16 percent of those polled hadn’t made up their mind.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC urges rejection of Tim Eyman’s I-1366
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Montana, Wyoming delegation visits Longview coal dock — Two competing messages clashed in Longview on Monday: One said a proposed $643 million coal terminal is a way to inject 135 family-wage jobs into a struggling local economy and reduce Asian reliance on “dirty coal.” Another warned the coal terminal is a risky project that would clog rail traffic, introduce new health hazards and worsen climate change. Amid protests, a bipartisan delegation of legislators from Montana, Wyoming and Washington toured the Longview coal plant Monday to make a plea for the project’s completion.
ALSO at The Stand — Hard-earned trust for proposed port should pay off
► In today’s News Tribune — $87,000 in fines linked to Bonney Lake overpass that killed family — The state Department of Labor and Industries on Monday issued fines totaling nearly $87,000 against several contractors that worked on a Bonney Lake overpass project where a family of three was killed in April.
ALSO at The Stand — Reduced $2,200 fine against dairy spurs outrage
► In today’s NY Time — Amazon still pretty angry about that New York Times story — Two months after the New York Times published a brutal portrayal of a Hobbesian workplace at Amazon, the company is still fighting back.
► In today’s News Tribune — Safety must be top priority at Western State Hospital (editorial) — If officials at the DSHS’s mental health division are right, there’s something of a Catch-22 going on at Western State Hospital in Lakewood. The federal government is threatening to cut off almost $16 million in federal funds because inspectors found conditions that pose a danger to patients. So lose the federal funding and it becomes even harder to provide a safe environment for patients. Staff, too, would be more at danger with a big funding cut as that would likely translate into fewer workers to handle patients at the 800-bed facility.
► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Jim Moeller is running for Lt. Governor — State Rep. Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver), one of the more liberal Democrats in the House, will give up the seat he’s held for more than a decade to run for lieutenant governor.
► From Politico — Orrin Hatch holds cards on trade deal — No one fought harder to give President Obama “fast track” trade promotion authority for the TPP than Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch. Now, no lawmaker may be more disappointed with the result — or better positioned to torpedo the deal if he chooses to oppose it.
► From The Hill — Republicans votes scarce in House on debt-ceiling hike — Lame-duck Speaker John Boehner needs to win 30 Republican votes to lift the government’s borrowing limit, even if the entire House Democratic Caucus votes with him. Boehner was only able to pull 28 votes the last time the House approved a clean debt-ceiling increase — and one-third of those lawmakers have since left Congress.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Last time, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jaime Herrera Beutler were the only members of Congress from Washington state who voted against raising the debt ceiling. Not coincidentally, Shutdown Cathy and Jaime are also the only U.S. Representatives from this state who sided with the radical-right House Freedom Caucus by refusing to sign the discharge petition forcing a vote on the Ex-Im Bank.
► From The Hill — Bid launched to bring Ex-Im bill to Senate floor — The Senate on Monday started the fast-track process on a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, after its charter expired earlier this year. The procedural maneuvers in the Senate come after a group of House Republicans joined with Democrats to file a discharge petition to force a vote on reauthorizing the bank, which could happen this month.
► In today’s NY Times — Congress prepares to vote on defunding so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ — The Senate is scheduled on Tuesday to vote on whether to take up a measure that would deny federal law enforcement funds to so-called sanctuary cities — hundreds of communities where the authorities don’t automatically seek deportation of undocumented immigrants who come to their attention.
► In the NY Times — The great ‘sanctuary city’ slander (editorial) — These laws are a false fix for a concocted problem. They are based on the lie, now infecting the Republican presidential campaign, that all unauthorized immigrants are dangerous criminals who must be subdued by extraordinary means.
► In today’s NY Times — Many low-income workers say ‘no’ to health insurance — The ACA’s employer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 full-time workers to offer most of their employees insurance or face financial penalties, was one of the law’s most controversial provisions. But 10 months after the first phase of it took effect, covering companies with 100 or more workers, many business owners say they are finding very few employees willing to buy the health insurance that they are now compelled to offer. The trend is especially pronounced among smaller and midsize businesses in fields filled with low-wage hourly workers, like restaurants, retailing and hospitality.
► In today’s NY Times — A new attack on health care reform (editorial) — Republicans and other critics have been trying for four years to destroy health care reform. Now they are after smaller game, the nonprofit plans known as health insurance cooperatives.
► From TPM — Cosmic irony: States that didn’t expand Medicaid paying more for the program — A new Kaiser Family Foundation report released last week suggests that the Republican-controlled non-expansion states are seeing their share of Medicaid costs rise more sharply than expansion states.
► From NPR — Survey: half of all food workers go to work sick because they have to — Flu season is here. And when the flu strikes, the luckier victims may call in sick without getting punished or losing pay. But many American workers, including those who handle our food, aren’t so fortunate. Fifty-one percent of food workers — who do everything from grow and process food to cook and serve it — said they “always” or “frequently” go to work when they’re sick, according to the results of a survey released Monday. An additional 38 percent said they go to work sick “sometimes.”
► In the NY Times — Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party prevail with stunning rout in Canada — The nine-year reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party came to a sudden and stunning end on Monday night at the hands of Justin Trudeau, the young leader of the Liberal Party.
► From The Onion — The pros and cons of freelance employment — PROS: Freedom from corporate bullshit like dress codes and health insurance; Able to set own work/searching-for-work balance… CONS: Federal workplace discrimination laws do not apply when someone takes your seat at coffee shop; Completely unsustainable…
► From Vox — Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble. (by Matthew Yglesias) — The Democratic Party is in much greater peril than its leaders or supporters recognize, and it has no plan to save itself. Yes, Barack Obama is taking a victory lap in his seventh year in office. Yes, Republicans can’t find a credible candidate to so much as run for speaker of the House. Yes, the GOP presidential field is led by a megalomaniacal reality TV star. All this is true — but rather than lay the foundation for enduring Democratic success, all it’s done is breed a wrongheaded atmosphere of complacence… There are also thousands of critically important offices all the way down the ballot. And the vast majority — 70 percent of state legislatures, more than 60 percent of governors, 55 percent of attorneys general and secretaries of state — are in Republicans hands. And, of course, Republicans control both chambers of Congress. Not only have Republicans won most elections, but they have a perfectly reasonable plan for trying to recapture the White House. But Democrats have nothing at all in the works to redress their crippling weakness down the ballot. Democrats aren’t even talking about how to improve on their weak points, because by and large they don’t even admit that they exist.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.