Monday, March 21, 2016
► From Oregon Public Broadcasting — GOP politicians planned, participated in key aspects of refuge occupation — On a cold January morning, a posse led by a former Army company commander named Matt Shea rolled into the Harney County Courthouse and wanted to speak to the sheriff. But this wasn’t a group of militants, or outlaws. They were state lawmakers from four western states, including Oregon. Most of them were members of a group called the Coalition of Western States, or COWS. Harney County Judge Steve Grasty and an FBI agent asked the lawmakers not to visit the refuge. Those pleas fell on deaf ears.
ALSO at The Stand — It’s up to GOP to hold Rep. Shea accountable
► From AP — Budget negotiations ongoing in split state Legislature — As lawmakers prepared to enter the second full week of supplemental budget negotiations in an overtime special session, the political gridlock of Congress has felt closer to home for some who follow politics in Washington.
► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Will Seattle law firm hired by legislators get paid for all its work? — Senate Republicans, who launched an “independent” investigation in the DOC’s early release of prisoners, may not wind up paying a Seattle law firm for all the work.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Poorly funded state agencies are discharging people into homelessness (by Mark Putnam, Lainey Sickinger, and Paul Lambros) — We invite the Legislature to re-engage with us in supporting evidence-based solutions that help families and individuals in crisis, and pass a state budget that provides housing and services to help those in need.
► From KOMO News —
► From KUOW — Renton activist released from Mexican prison: ‘We’ll keep fighting’ — She’s expected to return to the Seattle area in the coming days. Her supporters have also planned a rally for next Saturday, March 26, in downtown Seattle. That’s partly to raise awareness for other political prisoners still held in Mexico.
ALSO at The Stand — Nestora Salgado freed from prison after 2½ years
► From KUOW — Hanford contractors defend worksite culture, scrutinize whistleblower — Lawyers for whistleblower Walt Ford argued that his managers played dangerous and unsanitary pranks. Workers were injured. Companies Bechtel and URS argued that managers and workers only played harmless pranks. They also focused on the whistleblower’s personal life and mistakes on the job.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Battalion chief: Snub after Greenwood blast exposes Seattle Fire sexism — Seattle Fire Battalion Chief Tamalyn Nigretto, the incident commander at the Greenwood explosion and Ride the Ducks crash, says the department has gone out its way to hide her, her accomplishments and those of other females in the fire service.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Seattle shipyards flush with work, including repairs to ‘Deadliest Catch’ crabber
► From AP — Hillary Clinton to visit Seattle, Everett Tuesday — Campaign officials say in Everett, she will discuss her plans to support Washington manufacturing and the tens of thousands of workers who depend on the Export-Import Bank. In Seattle, Clinton will attend an organizing event with volunteers, supporters, and caucus captains.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Bernie Sanders rallies thousands at Seattle’s KeyArena — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his message of a “political revolution” to a boisterous rally at Seattle’s KeyArena on Sunday, avoiding mention of Hillary Clinton — his rival in this week’s Democratic caucuses — while trashing Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
► In today’s Columbian — Thousands greet Bernie Sanders inside, outside Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed an overflow crowd at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver before heading inside to speak to the crowd packed in the school gym.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Bernie Sanders calls for ‘political revolution’ at packed Spokane rally — Thousands of people lined up Sunday in hopes of getting into the event. Campaign officials counted nearly 10,000. Only about 1,000 were allowed into the rally. The rest were diverted to overflow rooms, where they watched Sanders on screens.
► From Politico — Democrats to Sanders: Time to wind it down — Nearly a dozen Democratic lawmakers suggested in interviews that Sanders should focus more on stopping Donald Trump and less on why he believes Clinton’s stands on trade, financial regulation and foreign policy would make her a flawed president.
► In the Seattle Times — Airbus plants seeds of a new aerospace cluster in the U.S. — The first American-made Airbus jet built in the new final-assembly plant in Mobile, Ala., is expected to make its maiden flight this week and be delivered to JetBlue soon after. Boeing’s main competitor sees this beachhead in the U.S. as just the beginning.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — As Airbus starts work on second China factory, Boeing remains hush on its China plans — Earlier this month Airbus and Chinese officials jointly celebrated ground-breaking on an A330 completion factory in the Chinese city of Tianjin. With Airbus now building a second plant in China, there’s some pressure on Boeing to match. Meanwhile Boeing has been mum about plans for its own planned China facility, which will complete 737s assembled in Renton.
► From Think Progress — McConnell: No new Supreme Court justice until the NRA approves of the nominee — Asked if Senate Republicans would consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the election if Hillary Clinton prevails, McConnell responded that he “can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association [and] the National Federation of Independent Businesses.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — W… T… F?!
► In today’s NY Times — John Roberts criticized Supreme Court confirmation process, before there was a vacancy — Last month, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. delivered some blunt remarks about the Supreme Court confirmation process. The Senate should ensure that nominees are qualified, he said, and leave politics out of it. The chief justice spoke 10 days before Justice Antonin Scalia died, and he could not have known how timely and telling his comments would turn out to be. They now amount to a stern, if abstract, rebuke to the Republican senators who refuse to hold hearings on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland.
► From Think Progress — Even George Will thinks the GOP’s wall of opposition to Merrick Garland is nuts — Will’s disagreement with the GOP’s just-say-no approach to Garland is especially significant because Will’s own view of the Constitution places him well to the right of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
► From Huffington Post — The Supreme Court and the Republican Coup D’état (by University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone) — It is perfectly understandable that Senate Republicans want the Supreme Court to mirror their views and do their bidding. But that is not a constitutionally legitimate reason for the Senate to refuse to confirm a well-qualified and reasonably moderate nominee. Indeed, it is noteworthy that of the sixteen Supreme Court justices who have been confirmed since 1967, eight of them substantially altered the ideological balance on the Court. It is striking, by the way, that every one of the eight Justices whose confirmations had a substantial impact on the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court in almost half-a-century was nominated by a Republican president, and every one of them moved the Court in a more conservative direction. It is largely for that reason that the Court is more conservative today than at any time in almost a century.
► From New York magazine — The Republican Party must answer for what it did to Kansas and Louisiana — In 2010, the tea-party wave put Sam Brownback into the Sunflower State’s governor’s mansion and Republican majorities in both houses of its legislature. Together, they implemented the conservative movement’s blueprint for Utopia: They passed massive tax breaks for the wealthy and repealed all income taxes on more than 100,000 businesses while cutting and privatizing social services… Like the budget plans of every Republican presidential candidate, Brownback’s “real live experiment” proceeded from the hypothesis that tax cuts for the wealthy are such a boon to economic growth, they actually end up paying for themselves (so long as you kick the undeserving poor out of their welfare hammocks). The Koch-backed Kansas Policy Institute predicted that Brownback’s 2013 tax plan would generate $323 million in new revenue. During its first full year in operation, the plan produced a $688 million loss. Meanwhile, Kansas’s job growth actually trailed that of its neighboring states. Revenue shortfalls have devastated the state’s public sector along with its most vulnerable citizens… Louisiana has replicated these results under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal…
What has happened to these states should be a national story; because we are one election away from it being our national story.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.