Thursday, June 30, 2016
► In today’s Washington Post — Obama and Sanders battle over TPP and the Democratic platform — Sanders reportedly used his post-primary meeting with the president to say he would push for the party to officially oppose the TPP. The president said he would not allow it. And since then, the White House has leaned on key Democrats to make sure that the platform did not include a rebuke. That became clear last weekend in St. Louis, when the platform drafting committee — which includes just five Sanders appointees — shot down a TPP plank. The president personally spoke to the drafting committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and the White House did more outreach to make sure that Clinton appointees who might otherwise oppose TPP did not write that into the platform.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Remember 2007?
► In today’s NY Times — Trump has long benefited from the trade policies he now scorns — Donald Trump has a long history as a businessman, in which he has been heavily — and proudly — reliant on foreign labor in the name of putting profits, rather than America, first. From cheap neckties to television sets, Trump has benefited from some of the trade practices he now scorns.
► From the AFL-CIO — Donald Trump is a complete fraud on trade
► In today’s Seattle Times — Judge orders Tim Eyman to release financial records to Attorney General — The order comes after state Attorney General Bob Ferguson earlier this month accused the anti-tax activist of withholding documents sought by subpoena in an investigation into alleged campaign-disclosure violations.
► From KPLU — Think tank says Oregon corporations’ share of tax burden is declining — The Oregon Center for Public Policy has found that Oregon corporations today are paying a smaller portion of the state’s income and property taxes than they did 40 years ago. The report comes as Oregonians prepare to vote this fall on an initiative that would increase taxes on large corporations.
► From The Hill — Top Democrat wants Obama to block Boeing’s deal with Iran — Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) wants the Obama administration to quash Boeing’s planned sale of aircraft to Iran, and block future sales, saying it is “virtually certain” they would be used for nefarious purposes, such as ferrying arms to the Syrian regime.
► From NBC News — Organized labor launches first salvo in fight for Senate — The AFL-CIO is making its first foray into 2016 Senate races Thursday with a six-figure digital ad buy in six key races — Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida and Wisconsin — each of which have competitive Senate races.
► In today’s NY Times — Contract for United Airlines flight attendants would truly unite them — United and leaders of the Association of Flight Attendants have agreed to a new labor contract that will unify the cabin crews for the first time since United’s merger with Continental Airlines more than five years ago. The deal, which still requires a vote by the union’s full membership, would also raise United flight attendants’ pay to a level that the union claims is the highest in the industry.
► In the Wall St. Journal — Teachers union and hedge funds war over pension billions — Dozens of hedge-fund managers have poured millions of dollars into promoting charter schools and into groups that want to revamp pension plans for government workers, including teachers. AFT President Randi Weingarten sees some of the proposals, in particular the pension issue, as an attack on teachers. She also has influence over more than $1 trillion in public-teacher pension plans, many of which traditionally invest in hedge funds. It is a recipe for a battle for the ages.
► From Reuters — Public employees paying more into U.S. pensions, uptrend seen extending — After years of steady inflows, the rate for retirement contributions by public pension employees has increased and is expected to continue rising, an effect difficult to produce but helped along by the impact of regulatory reforms, analysts say.
► From The Atlantic — A strong middle class doesn’t just happen naturally — María Teresa Kumar, the founding president and CEO of Voto Latino says the strong middle class of the 20th century “was a choice. It was a policy choice; it was an American choice.” She argued that government policies following the two world wars — the G.I. Bill, investments in infrastructure and education, the establishment of Social Security — made the middle class. It’s true, she noted, that “Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, and African Americans were excluded from that,” but the fact that the government did it, and that it worked, stands as proof of what is possible — and what kind of investment is required. The question now is whether the country will pull together and do that for a new generation of Americans — one, she emphasized, that is less white. How the country answers that question will reveal much about its character, and will determine the future of millions.
► Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, “The Wizard of Woo,” died last Friday at his home in Everson, Wash., at the age of 72. As his obituary noted, “Worrell was among the first musicians to use a Moog synthesizer and his mastery brought comparisons to Jimi Hendrix’s innovations on guitar.” The Entire Staff of The Stand will always remember him for his stint touring with the Talking Heads. Here they are performing in what, for our money, is the best concert movie ever made, Stop Making Sense. R.I.P., Mr. Worrell.
We’re off Friday for the long holiday weekend. See you next Tuesday.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.