‘No possible justification,’ Hanford moves, Dems’ TPP opportunity…

Friday, July 8, 2016




► From AP — Five officers dead, 7 hurt in Dallas shootings at police protest — Gunmen shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven others during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states, authorities said. Thursday’s bloodshed, which unfolded just a few blocks from where President John F. Kennedy was slain in 1963, also evoked the trauma of the nation’s tumultuous civil rights era.

► From AP — Obama says America is horrified over Dallas attack — President Obama said Friday that America is “horrified” by the shooting of police officers in Dallas. “There’s no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”

► At AFL-CIO Now — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the two African-American men who were shot by police within 24 hours of each other… Labor cannot and will not sit on the sidelines when it comes to racial justice. It is not enough to simply say, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.”

► From Workday Minnesota — AFL-CIO, Teamsters mourn shooting death of Philando Castile — Castile was a member of Teamsters Local 320 since 2002 and worked as a nutrition services supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul.




► In today’s Olympian — I-1515 won’t be on November ballot — An effort to ask Washington voters about restricting which bathrooms and locker rooms transgender people can use has fallen short. Supporters of Initiative 1515 did not collect the 246,372 registered voters’ signatures it needed to qualify for the election.

ALSO at The Stand:

Labor Neighbor walks July 16, new endorsements, I-1515 fails (today)

WSLC fights bills discriminating against transgender people (Jan. 28, 2016)

► From KPLU — How a fight between SEIU 775 and a conservative think tank led to an initiative on identity theft — SEIU 775 represents individual providers who get paid through Medicaid to take care of the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes. The right-wing Freedom Foundation has been trying to get a list of those providers from the state to be able to contact them and let them know they don’t have to pay union dues. SEIU 775 has been fighting the Freedom Foundation in court over this issue and now the union is trying to use I-1501 to change the public records law.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford contractor counters on union chemical vapor demands — The Hanford tank farm contractor is asking unions to approve making nights and weekend work the standard shifts at the site’s tank farms. But it will not agree to mandating that workers wear supplied air respirators for routine work activities in the double-shell tank farms, where the contractor believes the risk of chemical vapors is low. HAMTC, an umbrella group for 15 unions with workers at Hanford, had demanded that any work that could cause the release of chemical vapors be done only on evening, night or weekend shifts, when fewer workers are on site, and that air respirators be required for any work within the Hanford tank farms. If HAMTC agrees to make Hanford night and weekend work standard, employees would not receive premium pay of one and a half times or double for the shifts.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford vit plant planning layoffs, new hiring — Bechtel National, the Hanford vitrification plant operator, will lay off about 45 employees in the coming months. At the same time, the Department of Energy contractor is continuing to fill about 300 new positions this year. The change comes as construction on some of the plant’s buildings nears completion and emphasis there shifts to start up and commissioning, requiring workers with different skills.




► From The American Prospect — Why the Democrats need to sink the TPP (by Harold Meyerson) — Of all the misfortunes that may befall Hillary Clinton and the Democrats at their upcoming convention, the one they have most reason to fear is a platform fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But on the TPP — an issue on which Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were presumably in accord — the motion to oppose the deal (in the Democratic Party platform) failed to pass, even though most of the members who rejected the motion oppose the TPP itself. The reason they rejected the motion was deference to the TPP’s primary sponsor — President Obama, who hopes Congress will ratify the measure during its post-election session… Obama clearly views the TPP, if ratified, as part of his legacy. But his broader legacy stands or falls on the outcome of November’s election, which, should Trump prevail, would ensure a reversal of all of Obama’s good work on health care, immigration and worker rights.

ALSO at The Stand — Talib Kweli to perform Aug. 19 in Seattle for Rock Against the TPP — Get your free ticket today!




► From The Hill — House passes legislation blocking Boeing sale to Iran Air — The House on Thursday evening passed Republican-led legislation to block Boeing’s planned sale of aircraft to Iran — a move that was not heavily contested by Democrats despite the Obama administration’s support for the sale. The House passed legislation 239-185, that contained two amendments by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) to block sales by Boeing and Airbus aircraft to Iran. Boeing announced last month that it intended to sell 80 commercial aircraft to Iran Air for $17.6 billion, and lease another 29 aircraft, bringing the potential deal to $25 billion.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The amendments passed by voice vote. On the underlying bill, all of Washington state’s Republicans voted “yes,” and all Democrats from the state voted “no.”

► In today’s NY Times — Peacemaking goes awry as Trump lashes out at GOP senators — A peacemaking summit meeting between Republican lawmakers and their renegade presidential nominee, Donald Trump, descended on Thursday into an extraordinary series of acrid exchanges, punctuated by Trump’s threatening one Republican senator and deriding another as a “loser.”

► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — All the nominee’s enablers (by Paul Krugman) — This is the story of how America ended up with someone like Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee and possible next president. It’s all about the enablers, and the enablers of the enablers… To put it bluntly, the modern Republican Party is in essence a machine designed to deliver high after-tax incomes to the 1 percent. Look at Speaker Paul Ryan: Has he ever shown any willingness, for any reason, to make the rich pay so much as a dime more in taxes? Comforting the very comfortable is what it’s all about. But not many voters are interested in that goal. So the party has prospered politically by harnessing its fortunes to racial hostility, which it has not-so-discreetly encouraged for decades.




► In today’s NY Times — Jobs roar back with gain of 287,000 in June, easing worry — With the Republican and Democratic national conventions just weeks away, the government reported on Friday that employers added 287,000 workers in June, a vigorous rebound as the presidential nominees get ready to present their economic visions.

► From BuzzFeed — Minimum wage increases likely up for vote in Washington, Arizona — On Thursday, an advocacy group in Arizona prepared to submit more than 250,000 signatures to the state secretary of state’s office to put a state minimum wage increase on the November ballot. A day earlier, a group in Washington state handed in its signatures.

ALSO at The Stand — Over 360,000 signatures submitted for I-1433

► In today’s Washington Post — Since 1980, spending on prisons has grown three times as much as spending on public education — The analysis comes amid growing bipartisan agreement about the need for criminal justice reform, and argues that taxpayers and public safety would be better served by redirecting investments from incarceration to public schools.




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