TPP teach-in, end private prisons, how to deliver a baby at work…

Monday, August 22, 2016




► From KING 5 — Musicians ‘Rock Against the TPP’ trade deal in Seattle — The “Rock Against the TPP” tour arrived in Seattle Friday with a lineup of musicians eager to spread awareness about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and what they say are its worrying impacts on U.S. consumers. “It’s a corporate power grab, it’s not a trade deal,” said Evan Greer, lead organizer for the tour.

ALSO at The Stand — ‘Rock Against the TPP’ teach-in explains dangers of trade pact (video)

► From CrossCut — Activists mount last stand against TPP trade agreement — The sing-song cadence of activist chants insinuate like a jingle. At the Showbox in Sodo on Friday, it was “hell no, TPP!” chanted to a beat, referring to the TPP. It was “no more NAFTAs!” a cry echoed by young people, many born after implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement… A time squeeze has ratcheted up the volume and urgency for opponents of TPP, which include many environmental groups. Both sides predict that Obama will elbow for its passage during the fall lame-duck session of Congress, saving his potential presidential successors (both of whom have said they oppose the deal) from having it on their plate.

► In today’s NY Times — Obama prepares one last push for TPP — Although the administration’s push will begin in September, no vote on the accord will occur before the election. Just as the White House and congressional Republican leaders mostly agree on the economic benefits of trade, they have parallel political interests in delaying debate. Yet the administration does not plan to be silent or forfeit hopes for a postelection vote.




► From WFSE — UW manager ‘to transition’ to other post in wake of union’s no-confidence vote — The University of Washington director of facilities management and construction has been removed from that post just 12 days after the Seattle Times uncovered $1 billion in deferred building maintenance. In April, 70 percent of WFSE Local 1488 members signed a no-confidence letter against him.

► From the Public News Service — Washington home-healthcare providers negotiate a raise — In the latest round of contract negotiations, Washington state agreed to the biggest pay raise yet for in-home healthcare providers. By the end of their contract in 2019, the average wage for caregivers paid by the state will top $16 an hour.




► Today from AP — Federal judge temporarily blocks Obama’s transgender bathroom rules — The decision, which applies to schools nationwide, comes after Texas and 12 other states challenged the Obama directive as unconstitutional last week.

► In the Seattle Times — Obama must sever government contracting with private prisons (editorial) — The Obama administration’s decision to phase out private prisons for criminal defendants is both overdue and inadequate. Justice should not be a profit center. A handful of private-prison contractors in the $7 billion to $8 billion prison industry padded their profit margins by shorting staff and humane services, as illustrated by Shane Bauer’s gripping and grim inside-the-walls, four-month reporting project recently published by Mother Jones.

► In the NY Times — First step in shutting private prisons — The Justice Department’s decision to phase out private prison contracts should be the beginning of the end of a shameful industry.

► From The Hill — Appeals court upholds NLRB actions in labor dispute — The nation’s second most powerful court on Friday sided with the NLRB in a case challenging actions the board took against a company that tried to keep employees from joining a union.

► From The Hill — How Obamacare is splitting in two — There’s the one in coastal and northern areas, where the marketplaces include multiple insurers and plans. And there’s the one in southern and rural areas, where there is often little competition, a situation that can lead to higher premiums.

► From The Hill — ObamaCare is the last chance for private health insurance (by Patrick Tomlinson) — I am a conservative. Which is why I support the ACA and want to see it succeed… The longer you oppose it, the longer GOP statehouses try to deliberately sabotage it by refusing to set up state health insurance exchanges and refuse federal money for Medicaid expansion, and the more the corporate giants find ways not to insure the most vulnerable among us, the faster they put themselves out of business. If the ACA isn’t allowed to work, the day is fast approaching when average, everyday Americans band together and demand what nearly every other industrialized, first-world nation on Earth already provides for their citizens; universal, single-payer healthcare.




► From AFL-CIO Now — Working people help out flood victims. You can, too. — Devastating floods in Louisiana have damaged an estimated 40,000 homes across 20 parishes. As of Thursday, 4,000 people were still being housed in area shelters. As always, union members were the first responders on the ground and will be heavily involved in recovery efforts. National Nurses United has a rundown of how you can help out, from giving food or financial donations to volunteering. Check out its resources.

► In the Washington Post — The wealthy have nearly healed from recession. The poor haven’t even started. — The Great Recession and the subsequent recovery from it have deepened the wedge between the very wealthy and everyone else in America, plunging the poor deeper into debt and wiping out two-fifths of the wealth held by families in the heart of the middle class. The wealthiest Americans, meanwhile, appear close to regaining all their losses over the same period, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office.

► In today’s NY Times — Condemnation of charter schools exposes a rift over students — The nation’s oldest and newest black civil rights organizations are calling for a moratorium on charter schools. Their demands, and the outcry that has ensued, expose a divide among blacks that goes well beyond the now-familiar complaints about charters’ diverting money and attention from traditional public schools.

► From Funny or Die — Paid maternity leave isn’t legally guaranteed in the USA, so here’s How to deliver a baby at work.



► From Bloomberg — Unions, Ledbetter warn of Supreme Court implications of election — Donald Trump’s power to nominate Supreme Court justices if elected to the White House is a threat to women workers, equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter and two union officials said.




► From Vox — How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America — For the most part, over the past half-century liberals have been playing defense as an organized and well-planned movement of conservatives has limited the scope of rights trumpeted by liberals, expanded the power of the state in criminal justice, and issued more business-friendly rulings on campaign finance and regulatory issues. And in more recent years, it’s gutted the Voting Rights Act, struck down limits on campaign donations by corporations, strangled Medicaid expansion in the crib, and for the first time in American history declared an individual right to own guns. All that could be about to change. The unfilled vacancy of Antonin Scalia’s seat combined with a Hillary Clinton victory in November could set the court on a new course.


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

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