Tuesday, August 9, 2016
► If you read nothing else today, read this from Rolling Stone — A Republican Workers’ Party? (by Matt Taibbi) — People have been conscious of the defection of working-class voters to the Republican Party for years, but this has always been dismissed as the consequence of skillful propaganda… that the white working class has been hoodwinked into going against its own economic interests thanks to cynical/backward appeals to race, religion and culture. But that isn’t the whole story, as some leading Democrats are beginning to realize. Joe Biden recently admitted that “the Democratic Party over all hasn’t spoken enough to [working-class voters],” the “ordinary people busting their necks.”
Biden’s admission is a massive understatement. If we’re going to be honest about what’s happened in the last 30 or 40 years, the new iteration of the Democratic Party has embraced hocus-pocus neoliberal theory that is not much different from trickle-down economics. The Democratic Party leaders have been fervent believers in the globalization religion since the late Eighties, when the braintrust at the Democratic Leadership Council made a calculated decision to transform the party from one that depended largely on unions for financial and logistical support to one that embraced corporate objectives, in particular free trade… Some suggest that, at this point, nothing at all can be done about the vast inequities and injustices of globalization. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t. But to deny that something needs to be done, and to ask American voters to keep having faith in this “we’ll all see gains in the end” fairytale that so far has very conspicuously only delivered gains to a tiny group of very wealthy people in this country, will do nothing but drive more workers into the Trump tent. And maybe the next strongman those voters pick to lead them out of the wilderness won’t be quite as huge an idiot, or as suicidal a campaigner, as Trump. Sooner or later, failing to deal with these questions is going to come back and bite all of us.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle officials propose sweeping law to protect workers from erratic schedules — Large retailers, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and some full-service restaurants would be subject to a new scheduling law being considered by the city of Seattle to help retail and food-service workers who say they suffer from erratic work schedules. Says Mayor Ed Murray: “Seattle will once again lead the conversation on how to respond to inequality by proposing new, innovative policy solutions that help workers and employers create healthier and more equitable workplaces.”
ALSO at The Stand — Seattle council hears secure scheduling policy
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Once-secret documents helping lawyers argue for sick nuclear workers — Lawyers are using once-classified government documents to argue that potentially thousands of sick nuclear weapons workers and their families should be eligible for federal benefits.
► In today’s Columbian — C-Tran to decline $310,000 grant — C-Tran is declining a $310,000 federal grant for a new surveillance system because the transit agency can’t find a vendor that meets the grant’s American-made requirements.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Machinists to hold classic car show (brief) — The Bill Baker Memorial Steel & Wheel SuperShow for classic cars, hot rods and custom motorcycles is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Machinists Union District Lodge 751‘s Everett Union Hall, 8729 Airport Road.
► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘Trump money’? State Dems seize on Jewelry Exchange CEO’s support of Bill Bryant — Over the years, Jewelry Exchange CEO Bill Doddridge has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates and causes, mostly in California but also recently to Donald Trump. Now he hopes to help Republican Bill Bryant beat Gov. Jay Inslee in Washington state.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Some ‘co-hosts’ disavow involvement in Trump fundraiser in Seattle — At least three business executives listed as co-hosts of an upcoming Seattle fundraiser for Donald Trump are now disavowing involvement with the event.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — 1st District Sen. Luis Moscoso concedes to Guy Palumbo — Snohomish County fire commissioner Guy Palumbo has beaten three-term Democratic state Rep. Luis Moscoso to advance to the general election in the race for a seat in the state Senate.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Purcell leading Rossetti after latest count
► From Think Progress — Why are unions bankrolling candidates who hate them? — At least 31 union PACs have contributed a total of more than $534,000 to 82 members – all Republicans – who signed on as supporters of the National Right-to-Work Act in the 113th Congress. The Air Line Pilots Association has given the most out of any union to NRWA supporters in Congress, contributing at least $164,500 in PAC money this election cycle. Collectively, ALPA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and the American Maritime Officers have contributed nearly 60 percent of the union money received by these anti-labor incumbents. The donations have done little to change the mind of these recipients; the vast majority of the NRWA backers from the 113th Congress who have received union money this cycle still signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors in the current 114th Congress.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s losing economic game plan (editorial) — Trump said on Monday that he wanted to usher in “economic renewal,” but most of his proposals would hurt the economy, rack up huge deficits, accelerate climate change and leave the country isolated from the world.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s economic plan ignores the Americans he claims to speak for (editorial) — On taxes, Trump reverted to GOP orthodoxy, offering cuts for upper-income Americans as a growth elixir. He would lower the top rate on business income to 15 percent. There was, in short, little in the way of tangible benefit for the downscale Americans for whom Trump claims to speak.
► In today’s NY Times — 50 GOP officials warn Trump would put national security ‘at risk’ — Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” Trump, the officials warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Brazilian beef decision highlights power struggles behind trade pacts (by Sue Lani Madsen) — The non-headline making announcement tips the scales for me against the proposed TPP agreement… Who benefits from tanking cattle prices? Not the ranchers. A flood of cheap imports lets the packers and processors drive down prices paid for higher-quality American beef cattle. No one benefits from breaking local producers and losing control of our food supply.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Congress must stop stalling on Zika funding (editorial) — After U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) worked with her Republican colleagues in the Senate to hammer out a compromise in May on funding for Zika research and response, Republican members of the House of Representatives in late June stepped in with its usual shenanigans.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Affordable Care Act: Progress and pitfalls nationally and in Yakima Valley — Even as the ACA remains a political flash point, new research shows it is dramatically improving poor patients’ access to medical care in states that have used the law to expand their Medicaid safety net, including Washington. After just two years of expanded coverage, patients in expansion states are going to the doctor more frequently and having less trouble paying for it.
► In today’s NY Times — Think tank scholar or corporate consultant? It depends on the day — An examination of 75 think tanks found an array of researchers who had simultaneously worked as registered lobbyists, members of corporate boards or outside consultants in litigation and regulatory disputes, with only intermittent disclosure of their dual roles. With their expertise and authority, think tank scholars offer themselves as independent arbiters, playing a vital role in Washington’s political economy. Their imprimatur helps shape government decisions that can be lucrative to corporations.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Also see Part 1 of this excellent series: Researchers or corporate allies? Think tanks blur the line
► MUST-READ from Glamour — ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ (by President Barack Obama) — As a parent, helping your kids to rise above these constraints is a constant learning process. Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race — or when they notice that happening to someone else. It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.
► From the American Prospect — The emerging paid family leave gap — While American workers’ access to paid family leave remains abysmally low across the board, it’s far more common in the lucrative tech and finance industries and in the liberal coastal states that mandate such policies. But those who are working blue-collar jobs or in the South are far less likely to have access to paid time off to care for newborns or sick loved ones.
► From AP — Poll: Young Americans overwhelmingly favor LGBT rights — Young people in America overwhelmingly support LGBT rights when it comes to policies on employment, health care and adoption, according to a new survey.
► ICYMI, from Last Week Tonight — John Oliver skewers corporate newspapers’ revenue-driven “digital first” focus. Washington state has been a clear example of the dramatic — and dangerous — cuts in legislative reporting that Oliver describes. Make sure you watch through to the excellent “Spotlight” satire at the end.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.