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Boeing cracks the whip, lame TPP, Obama flips, white nostalgia…

Thursday, June 2, 2016




norwegian-air► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing takes an unusual geopolitcal stand over air service — Boeing is officially frustrated with opposition from the Machinists union and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen to Norwegian Air’s plans to expand flights to and from the U.S. via a subsidiary. Boeing leadership is concerned that the opposition could put future airplane orders at risk. The position of Larsen and the union is “disappointing” and could “have the effect of undermining growth in aerospace jobs here in Washington state,” Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said. “We hope they reconsider their positions and join in growing the aerospace sector.” Boeing typically does not take public positions on political issues. So, measured as the language is, it is dramatic for the aerospace company.

larsen-rickEDITOR’S NOTE — Boeing is saying that jobs, working standards and unions in the aviation industry must be undercut so it can sell more planes.

ALSO sat The Stand:

Deny NAI: We must protect open, fair aviation competition (by Reps. Rick Larsen, Peter DeFazio, and Frank LoBiondo)

It’s time to derail Norwegian Air scheme to undermine good jobs (by Ed Wytkind)

► From Politico — Obama’s bad plane deal (by Richard Trumka and Ed Wytkind) — Norwegian Air Shuttle, the parent airline attempting to launch NAI, likes to pride itself on being a low-cost European airline, but the launch of NAI isn’t an attempt to enter the U.S. market. In fact, Norwegian Air Shuttle already flies into the United States. Instead, the operating model it plans for its Norwegian Air subsidiary takes a page from the unfair trade playbook. NAI will use temporary labor by employing Bangkok-based flight crews under short-term Singaporean or Thai employment contracts. This move will allow Norwegian Air to boost profits by beating down workers’ wages and benefits and gaming trade rules.




TPP-clinton-sanders-trump► In today’s NY Times — TPP supporters pin hopes on lame-duck vote — The cause of free and open trade has not faced such political toxicity in decades, with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders all openly hostile to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade accord in history. But supporters’ seemingly perverse calculation is this: The certainty that Obama’s successor would abandon the agreement gives new impetus for advocates to begin maneuvering toward a vote before 2017.

EDITOR’S NOTE — So Congress might ram through Obama’s TPP in a lame-duck session amid its year-long blockade of his Supreme Court pick because “the next president should decide.” Riiight.




lelli-phil► In today’s News Tribune — Section of SR 509 named for Longshore activist Phil Lelli — Phil Lelli was a Tacoma longshoreman, philanthropist and union activist. Now he’s being commemorated with a section of highway. The Washington State Transportation Commission has adopted a resolution recognizing Lelli by naming a section of state Route 509 in his honor.

ALSO at The Stand — State to name Tacoma highway after ILWU leader Phil Lelli

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — ACLU, lawyers settle ‘debtors’ prison’ lawsuit against Benton County — A settlement was announced nine months after three criminal defendants sued Benton County over the constitutionality of its longstanding practice of jailing people for unpaid fines and court costs.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle University’s dean placed on administrative leave amid student protests — A group of students last month began occupying the office of Jodi Kelly, dean of the school’s Matteo Ricci College. On Wednesday, the sit-in’s 22nd day, she was placed on administrative leave.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Strawberry crop abundant, but people to help with harvest aren’t — More than half of Biringer Farm’s business comes from hiring pickers and selling strawberries on site, at farmers markets and produce stands and to processors. Biringer likes to have a crew of at least 50 pickers, preferably 70. This week, they have a dozen adult pickers in the mornings and 15 to 20 teens who come after school.




carbon-pollution► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington to force state’s biggest carbon polluters to cut emissions — After withdrawing an earlier proposal, Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration is pushing ahead with a revised Clean Air Rule that would cut greenhouse-gas emissions in Washington but give some concessions to industry.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Carbon cap plan would affect Intalco smelter, Ferndale refineries — The rule would initially apply to about two dozen oil refineries, including the BP Cherry Point and Phillips 66 refineries here in Whatcom County, power plants and other facilities that release at least 100,000 metric tons of carbon a year.

► In today’s Daily News — Four Cowlitz County sites affected by updated carbon cap

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Kaiser Aluminum cautiously optimistic about new carbon plan




Obama-pointing► From Bloomberg — Obama proposes expanding Social Security benefits for elderly — President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed expanding Social Security benefits in a politically charged speech to Indiana, completing a dramatic policy reversal five years after he sought a bipartisan deal that would have cut the program.

MORE coverage from Huffington Post and Politico.

► In today’s NY Times — Payday loans’ debt spiral to be curtailed — The payday loan industry, which is vilified for charging exorbitant interest rates on short-term loans that many Americans depend on, could soon be gutted by a set of rules that federal regulators plan to unveil on Thursday.

► From TPM — McConnell declares ‘no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America’ — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dismissed the efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act after it was gutted by 2013 Supreme Court decision. “A lot of this in my view doesn’t have anything to do with anything other than their estimation of what would give them an electoral advantage,” McConnell said, suggesting the efforts were motivated by Democratic partisanship. “It’s not really about knocking down barriers. There are no serious barriers to voting anymore anywhere in America.”


EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear Mitch: Is it a barrier to voting when you’re forced to stand in line for several hours on a work day to do it? Lemme guess, Democrats who point out that this only happens in big cities where people of color live are just seeking an electoral advantage.

► In today’s NY Times — Hustling dollars for public health (editorial) — Public health officials should not face a funding fight every time there is a crisis like Zika.

► In today’s NY Times — The millions who are just getting by (editorial) — In the United States, nearly one-third of adults, about 76 million people, are either “struggling to get by” or “just getting by,” according to the third annual survey of households by the Federal Reserve Board. The Fed policy committee should take the survey to heart when it meets this month to decide whether to raise interest rates. Higher rates are a way to slow an economy that is at risk of overheating — a far-fetched proposition when tens of millions of Americans are barely hanging in there.




walmart-moms► From Huffington Post — Labor groups are taking on Walmart, McDonald’s. But who will fund their fight? — OUR Walmart rattled the world’s largest retailer with attention-grabbing worker strikes. Now it needs to figure out how to survive without UFCW money. The Fight for $15 campaign in fast food may confront the same dilemma some day, should its main patron, SEIU, decide it can no longer afford the investment.

► From The Onion — New Uber update allows users to file lawsuit against company directly in app — In a move designed to streamline the product’s interface and facilitate one of the more common interactions between customers and the ride-sharing service, Uber announces that its newest update includes a “Sue Us” in the main menu.




► From The Hill — Sanders: DNC kept union members off platform drafting committee — Bernie Sanders submitted RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, to be included on the platform drafting committee. But according to Sanders and DeMoro, the Democratic National Committee vetoed the nomination.

► In today’s WSJ — Labor fears partisan defections toward Trump — Labor leaders are nervous about Donald Trump’s appeal to unions’ many white, working-class members, and they are working to head off partisan defections.

trump-donald► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s personal, racially tinged attacks on federal judge alarm legal experts — Donald Trump’s highly personal, racially tinged attacks on a federal judge overseeing a pair of lawsuits against him have set off a wave of alarm among legal experts, who worry that the ­Republican presidential candidate’s vendetta signals a remarkable disregard for judicial independence. That attitude, many argue, could carry constitutional implications if Trump becomes president.

► From TPM — NY Attorney General: Trump University was ‘fraud from beginning to end’ — He says Trump’s defunct for-profit school that charged some students tens of thousands of dollars, broke state law in part by operating as an “illegal, unlicensed university.”

► In today’s Oregonian — Intel CEO cancels Trump fundraiser amid outcry within company




white-nostalgia► From The Atlantic — Trump’s rhetoric of white nostalgia — Donald Trump’s rhetoric about making America great again and bringing back things that have been lost capture the mission of restoration underpinning Trump’s campaign. They touch the pervasive sense of loss among many of his supporters — the belief that the changes molding modern America have marginalized them economically, demographically, and culturally. These words allow him to evoke a hazy earlier time when American life worked better for the overwhelmingly white, heavily blue-collar coalition now drawn to him. And they help explain the visceral connection he has established with those white working-class voters, a connection strong enough to survive a concatenation of controversies that might have exploded any other candidate.

whites-only-signYet if Trump’s mission of restoration has deepened his support, it has also imposed a restrictive boundary around it. The growing groups long eclipsed in American life have no idealized past moment they are longing to restore. A young Hispanic lawyer or middle-aged professional woman might not think they are treated equally today, but few are likely to believe people like them enjoyed more opportunities decades ago. The same is true for other racial and religious minorities, gays, and transgender people. For all of these groups, the past that Trump evokes is one that kept them subordinate, in the shadows, or worse.


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