Monday, June 13, 2016
► In today’s Orlando Sentinel — We are united to heal from shooting (editorial) — Orlando now tragically sits atop a list of infamy, sharing the sorrow of Virginia Tech, Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo. We will not — we must not — let Sunday’s heinous act of brutality and cowardice define our community… Let our community define itself by our unequivocal response: United.
► In today’s Washington Post — Will Orlando drive us from our corners? (by E.J. Dionne) — We gain nothing by arguing about which form of moral revulsion is superior or more appropriate. We set ourselves back by responding to an act of violence against Americans who are gay by turning on Americans who are Muslim. The only appropriate response to Orlando is solidarity harnessed to intelligent determination.
► From the Public News Service — Washington state economy ranked 2nd best in nation — High-tech firms and exports have rocketed Washington state’s economy to the top of the nation. According to a survey by the website WalletHub, Washington has the second best economy in the country.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, the state’s business lobbyists continue to beat a dead horse with their “Washington sucks” proclamations, scouring the Internet to look for bad news/analysis to back up their complaints about state laws to protect the interests of the people.
► In today’s News Tribune — What would Eyman’s latest initiative do to transit? It’s not good (by Matt Driscoll) — Even if Tim Eyman’s not anti-transit, as he insists, his “We Love Our Cars” initiative — and what it would accomplish — can be interpreted no other way.
► From PubliCola — GOP State Senator rejects parent’s suggestion to close tax breaks, consider capital gains to fund education — At Thursday’s bipartisan Joint Education Funding Task Force meeting, a parent had two specific suggestions for the committee: a capital gains tax and closing the 600 tax breaks that are worth about $300 billion. State Sen. Ann Rivers (R-Vancouver), who specifically asked people making public comments to offer solutions, went on to dismiss the suggestions as mere “talking points…that make us feel good.”
► In the Seattle Times — Backlash after schools chief Randy Dorn asks Latino student, ‘Are you legal?’ — State Superintendent Randy Dorn caused a backlash after he questioned a Raisbeck Aviation High School student about his immigration status, asking “are you legal or illegal?” at a school visit Thursday.
► In Saturday’s Skagit Valley Herald — Sakuma Bros. Farms gives farmworkers rate increase — Sakuma Bros. Farms increased farmworkers’ per-pound rates for strawberries after Thursday’s walkout, but some workers are calling for more. Workers are now earning 28 cents per pound — a 4-cent raise. But according to a news release from Familias Unidas por la Justicia, a labor group representing the workers, a group of workers is continuing the walkout, asking for another 4-cent increase and the opportunity to negotiate a union contract.
ALSO at The Stand — Sakuma berry pickers walk over low pay (June 10)
► In Boise Weekly — Dying to Work: Trench collapse, manure pit drowning among OSHA’s top Idaho probes — In addition to triggering a federal investigation, the Hazelton manure pit drowning also drew the attention of the United Farm Workers of America. “After his truck submerged into the manure pit, that man’s body lay in there until the next day,” said Indira Trejo, UFW Global Impact coordinator. “That quickly came on our radar because, in February of 2015, another dairy worker drowned in a manure pit at the Riverview Ranch Dairy in Mabton, Wash.”
ALSO at The Stand — Another worker drowns in manure pit (March 16, 2016)
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Expedia CEO’s $94.6M paycheck has some serious buying power — Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is the highest paid CEO not only among Washington’s publicly traded companies, but also among all publicly traded companies in the U.S.
► In the Seattle Times — State would lose if we turn against trade (by Jon Talton) — Washington has been a net beneficiary under the old trade paradigm. But it and other export-dependent states such as California face new and uncharted terrain ahead if the United States decides the losers from trade outnumber the winners.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Once again, The Seattle Times — even Jon Talton (one of our favorite local columnists) — suggests opposition to the TPP is the same as opposition to trade. Nobody is “turning against trade.” We don’t know anybody on either side of the TPP debate who opposes trade.
The central question that the Times has conspicuously failed to answer: Why would the defeat and renegotiation of the TPP to protect the interests of workers, consumers and the environment be bad news for trade in Washington state? Using very optimistic assumptions, the International Trade Commission estimates the TPP would increase GDP by a mere 0.15 percent after 15 years, a number too small to measure. If the TPP doesn’t pass, Washington continues to be a trade-dependent state and an export leader, just like it is today.
And there is every reason to believe that under a fairer renegotiated TPP — one that addresses omissions like currency manipulation, slavery, and climate change, to name a few — Washington state would benefit much more. Fair trade policies are pro-Washington and pro-trade!
► From The National — The TPP will hurt farmers, make seed companies richer — While many have scrutinized its potential for offshoring jobs, lowering wages, and raising drug prices, few have paid attention to the TPP’s impact on the sector Biotechnology Industry Organization prioritized above any other: agricultural biotechnology. Experts have called the TPP a “big win” for the biotech seed industry, and many warn that the trade deal will further enrich seed companies at the expense of farmers’ rights.
► From The Hill — Appeals court upholds labor union election rule — A federal court of appeals on Friday upheld the NLRB’s rule to speed up union elections. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that the NLRB did not exceed its statutory authority under the National Labor Relations Act in issuing the rule, which allows employees to take a vote on union representation as soon as 11 days after a petition for representation is filed.
► From The Hill — GOP seeks to block Labor Dept. ‘persuader rule’ — Republicans are trying to block the Labor Department’s “persuader rule,” finalized in March, which requires employers to report any actions, conduct or communications that are undertaken to — explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly — counter workers’ union organizing efforts.
► In today’s NY Times — Sanders refuses to concede nomination to Clinton — In recent days, Sanders appeared to acknowledge the odds against him, and began speaking less about beating Clinton and more about working to defeat Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
► From Politico — Sanders to meet with Clinton on Tuesday — Bernie Sanders will meet with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night to press her on her policy positions and decide whether he can support her, Sanders said Sunday.
► In today’s NY Times — Laid-off Americans, required to zip lips on way out the door, grow bolder — American corporations are under new scrutiny from federal lawmakers after well-publicized episodes in which the companies laid off American workers and gave the jobs to foreigners on temporary visas. But while corporate executives have been outspoken in defending their labor practices before Congress and the public, the American workers who lost jobs to global outsourcing companies have been largely silent. Until recently. Now some of the workers who were displaced are starting to speak out, despite severance agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.