Wednesday, October 5, 2016
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Study: coal terminal won’t damage tribal fishing — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a massive draft environmental study of the proposed $680 million Longview coal terminal that concluded that the project will not impinge on tribal fishing rights, an issue that killed another coal project in Whatcom County in Northwest Washington earlier this year.
► In the Bellingham Herald — Proposed coal port in Longview gets a favorable review from feds — Four months after it rejected a permit for a coal export terminal at Cherry Point, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave a more favorable review to a similar proposal in Longview.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma spending plan includes more cops, firefighters — and no dreaded library cuts — Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax presented to the City Council on Tuesday a balanced budget for the 2017-18 biennium with no major cuts to any departments.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Citizen watchdog calls out Seattle City Council for blurring lines with advocacy groups (by Danny Westneat) — A former Microsoftie turned obsessive Seattle City Council watcher has noticed that City Hall is now letting the activist groups write the laws for them.
► In today’s Seattle Times — King County’s mistake: No paid parental leave for nurses (by Brent Swartz) — I was thrilled to welcome my daughter into the world Sept. 12. But this welcomed event came without the paid family leave that would have allowed me to spend more time with her in those precious first months of her life.
► From AP — Secretary of State Kim Wyman accused of campaign finance violations — Attorney General Bob Ferguson says that the campaign of Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman has violated the state’s campaign finance laws by failing to file disclosure reports on time. Ferguson filed a complaint Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court and is seeking unspecified penalties.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama hails enforcement on trade deals to win support for TPP — The Obama administration has used a flurry of tough-sounding trade enforcement announcements in recent weeks to counter complaints from the left and right that free trade is not fair trade.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear Mr. President:
As Sen. Elizabeth Warren detailed in the report — Broken Promises: Decades of Failure to Enforce Labor Stands in Free-Trade Agreements — a host of labor abuses, from child labor to the outright murder of union organizers, have gone on for decades and continued on your watch with minimal pushback from your administration and previous presidents.
Of the 20 countries the U.S. currently has trade agreements with, 11 have documented reliance on child labor, forced labor or other human rights abuses related to labor. The violations are not confined to exploitation. Since you finalized a labor action plan with the government of Colombia in 2011, 105 union activists have been murdered. You called the Colombian deal “a win-win for workers” at the time. Despite these trade violations, none of these countries has faced significant consequences from the United States government.
We aren’t buying it. Let the next president negotiate a trade agreement that is truly a “win-win,” benefiting not just multinational corporations but also working people both here and abroad. Don’t tarnish your legacy on your way out the door by trying to ram the unpopular, destructive TPP through a lame-duck Congress because you know it doesn’t stand a chance of passage before the election.
An Informed America
► In today’s NY Times — U.S. trade deficit widens in August on higher imports — The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap widened 3 percent to $40.73 billion. Imports hit their highest level since September 2015.
► From Newsweek — How Donald Trump ditched U.S. steel workers in favor of China — Some blue-collar workers believe that, as president, Donald Trump would be ready to fight off U.S. trade adversaries and reinvigorate the country’s manufacturing industries through his commitment to the Rust Belt. What they likely don’t know is that Trump has been stiffing American steel workers on his own construction projects for years, choosing to deprive untold millions of dollars from four key electoral swing states and instead directing it to China — the country whose trade practices have helped decimate the once-powerful industrial center of the United States.
► From The Hill — Pence defends Trump’s tax tactics — Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence defended Donald Trump’s use of tax maneuvers that could have potentially helped him avoid paying federal income taxes for years, saying he “used the tax code just the way it was supposed to be used.”
► From Huffington Post — Pence really doesn’t want to talk about ‘that Mexican thing’ — Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) recalled how Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals” last year. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, protested with a bit of a clumsy line: “Senator, you’ve whipped out that Mexican thing again.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — For more information, check out #ThatMexicanThing.
Wasn’t much to write about in the VP debate…
Actually, there was ONE THING.
— (((Jonathan Mann))) (@songadaymann) October 5, 2016
► In today’s NY Times — Mike Pence’s galling amnesia (editorial) — What made the debate so fascinating was Pence — specifically, the astonishing peace he has made with Trump and his wholehearted readiness to promote a man who should be so offensive to him… Never has he taken Trump to task or taken a stand for “basic human decency.” He seems to have reversed the order of those three adjectives in his identity. “Republican” now comes first and “Christian” last.
► From Huffington Post — VP debate questions on debt, Social Security were really bad — Everybody knows that the the U.S. government’s debt is a horrible, unsustainable dangerous thing and that Social Security is heading straight for fiscal collapse, right? Those were certainly the underlying assumptions of two domestic policy questions that moderator Elaine Quijano asked. They’re not objective facts, however: They are talking points that have been drilled into the American public’s consciousness by a well-funded, decades-long campaign promoting “fiscal responsibility.” It’s been wildly successful at turning a questionable assertion into conventional wisdom.
► From Think Progress — Debate moderator outsourced all of her questions on the economy to a group of fiscal conservatives — 1988 called, it wants its debate topics back. Moderator Elaine Quijano asked a grand total of two question on the economy – and both of those were literally outsourced to a deficit scold organization whose Twitter handle is “@BudgetHawks.”
► From the American Prospect — First and foremost, the Wells Fargo scandal is about workers — Despite the extensive media coverage of the scandal, it’s gone almost entirely unnoticed that the revelations of the bank’s outrageous behavior were in large part a product of a three-year effort led by the union-backed Committee for Better Banks to organize frontline workers across the retail banking sector and to advocate for higher wages, an end to sales quotas, and ultimately, access to a union.
► In today’s NY Times — The movement to end racist voting laws (editorial) — The disenfranchisement of people with criminal records is starting to attract the attention it deserves.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.