Waiting on Uber, voters ♥ I-1433, close private prisons, ‘Endless’ love…

Friday, August 19, 2016




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing to issue 100 layoff notices here Friday — The layoff notices will extend across several divisions, the company confirmed, noting that some of those affected may find other positions at Boeing.

► From The Stranger — Uber drivers face uncertain future as mayor, city council shrink away from unionization law — In recent weeks, city staff have told the Seattle City Council they’re having trouble deciding who should be considered a “qualified driver” and allowed to vote on unionization… Drivers and advocates have filled council chambers during two meetings this month, some demanding “one ride, one vote” and others arguing for a higher threshold. Teamsters Local 117, the union that advocated for the law, believes Uber is advocating for “one ride, one vote” to “dilute the voting pool.” Now, with pushback guaranteed either way, no one in city hall wants to make the decision.

► From KPLU — Union, hotels butt heads over ballot initiative to protect Seattle housekeepers — The Seattle City Council endorsed an initiative slated for the November ballot that was designed to protect hotel workers in the city.  That initiative is opposed by hotel owners who worry the measure goes too far. Initiative 124 is broad, covering employee health care, workplace safety, and how hotels should protect workers from sexual harassment.

► In the Seattle P-I — A higher minimum wage goes down better with homemade ice cream — Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle have repeatedly served as living witness that an employer can pay a decent wage, hold onto employees, make a profit and expand operations.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington voters mixed on initiatives, survey says — Washington voters seem to support doing more to protect seniors from scams, letting a court take guns away from dangerously violent people and raising the minimum wage, a new Elway Poll indicates.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Here are the poll results for the ballot measures upon which the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has taken a position:

●  YES on I-1433 (minimum wage/sick leave) is 57% yes, 31% no, and 12% undecided.
●  NO on I-732 (carbon tax) is 34-37-30.
●  YES on I-735 (supporting repeal of Citizens United) is 43-21-36.
●  YES on I-1501 (protect vulnerable individuals and in-home caregivers) is 74-6-21.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Gubernatorial debate was short on education-funding specifics (editorial) — The most important work Washington’s governor will do next year is lead the charge toward reforming the way the state pays for its public schools. The first debate between Gov. Jay Inslee and his Republican challenger, Bill Bryant, gave the public few clues how either of them would do that.




► In the Washington Post — Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons — The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government. While experts said the directive is significant, privately run federal prisons house only a fraction of the overall population of inmates. The vast majority of the incarcerated in America are housed in state prisons — rather than federal ones — and the Justice directive does not apply to any of those, even the ones that are privately run.

► From The Hill — Sanders, liberals press Obama to expand closure of private prisons — The Justice department’s move the move puts immediate pressure on states, local governments and even other agencies within the Obama administration to get out of the private-prison business. “Today’s announcement from the Justice Department is an important first step,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, senior Democratic on the Judiciary Committee. “But it is not enough.”

► From The Stranger — Department of Justice will stop using private prisons; immigration agents won’t — That means the controversial Northwest Detention Center, a roughly 1,500-bed jail run by the GEO Group in Tacoma, will continue operating for the foreseeable future. Immigrants have launched hunger strikes at the facility in recent years. Rep. Adam Smith has called the conditions inside “shocking.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Social Security retreats from cellphone-based online security — After an outcry from older Americans, as well as a letter from two U.S. senators, the agency backed off its cellphone-based code requirement for access to online “mySocialSecurity” accounts.

► In today’s NY Times — Think your ACA plan will be like employer-sponsored coverage? Think again — Six years into the health law, the reality is that a typical Obamacare plan looks more like Medicaid, only with a high deductible.

► In today’s NY Times — Obamacare hits a bump (by Paul Krugman) — Aetna’s announcement that it would pull out of ACA exchanges doesn’t mean that the reform is about to collapse. But some real problems are cropping up. They’re problems that would be relatively easy to fix in a normal political system, one in which parties can compromise to make government work. But they won’t get resolved if we elect a clueless president. And they’ll be difficult to resolve even with a knowledgeable, competent president if she faces scorched-earth opposition from a hostile Congress.




► From Politico — Paul Manafort resigns from Trump campaign — Manafort, who has come under fire for his ties to pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs, has resigned as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman.

► Today (coincidentally) from AP — Trump advisers waged covert Capitol Hill influence campaign — A firm run by Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s then-ruling political party, although they never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.

► From Huffington Post — Trump’s new campaign CEO failed to properly pay taxes for several years — Steve Bannon, executive chairman of the conservative website Breitbart News, failed to properly pay his taxes for several years in the 1990s.

► In today’s NY Times — We’re winning! (by Timothy Egan) — Millennials are saving us. Yes, Trump is loathed by huge majorities of women, Latinos, blacks, college-educated whites, Catholics, Jews and religious skeptics. But the largest generational cohort of all, those born after 1980, really seems to get what kind of monster the Republican Party has loosed on the land. And they get it with their trademark coolness, the way they considered gay marriage no big deal. Their parents are in a lather of fear over Trump. The kids are — meh, it’ll pass. Of course, they still have to vote.




► In today’s NY times — Judge overturns Uber’s settlement with drivers — A federal judge on Thursday struck down a proposed class-action settlement between Uber and a group of its current and former drivers, potentially continuing a protracted lawsuit that questioned a key tenet of the ride-hailing company’s business. The judge ruled that the April settlement was “not fair, adequate, and reasonable.”

► In today’s NY Times — Secrecy of settlements at Fox News hid bad behavior — These agreements impose silence on sexual harassment victims to protect the company, but this fosters the perception that they are really cover-ups.




► The Entire Staff of The Stand has gone full Joe Biden. Why is yesterday’s release of a new album by Frank Ocean such “a big f–in’ deal,” you ask? Because Ocean has teased us fans with rumors of the follow-up release to his Grammy-winning 2012 debut, “Channel Orange,” every few months since… oh… 2012. The bad news: Slomocean’s new album isn’t really an album. “Endless” is a 45-minute visual album, an extended video that began as a livestream event earlier this month, and it’s only available on Apple Music. But the reviews are already starting to come in. “Brilliantly confounding,” raves The Guardian. “An engaging listen,” proclaims NME. “Spectacular,” acclaims Empty Lighthouse Magazine (?)

And so, although our long wait continues for the actual release of Ocean’s new album “Boys Don’t Cry,” here’s why we’re so geeked out about seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy!


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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