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Billionaires v. Wiggins, GOP v. Supremes, email v. Hillary…

Thursday, October 27, 2016




gates-allen-ballmer-vs-wiggins► In today’s News Tribune — Billionaires pour money into state Supreme Court race — The race for Supreme Court Justice between incumbent Charlie Wiggins and his opponent Dave Larson has become a big-money affair in recent weeks, complete with controversial negative advertising funded by Washington billionaires Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer. In October alone, political action committees favoring Wiggins’ opponent reported receiving $900,000 in donations… Allen and Gates were some of the biggest backers of the citizen initiative that created the charter school system in 2012. A 2015 Supreme Court decision struck down charter schools as unconstitutional.

ALSO at The Stand — Support three incumbent state Supreme Court justices — By voting and supporting three labor-endorsed incumbent Justices Charles Wiggins, Mary Yu, and Barbara Madsen, voters can turn away this brazen political attack against the Supreme Court and re-elect justices with a proven record of making sure our constitution and laws are applied fairly for all Washington citizens.

► In today’s Columbian — Sen. Patty Murray promotes paid sick leave in Vancouver — Don Orange, the owner of a Vancouver auto repair shop, is a proponent of the Healthy Families Act that the Democratic senator from Washington is championing. The measure would guarantee workers up to 56 hours or seven days a year of paid sick leave.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article doesn’t even mention that I-1433, which The Columbian’s readers are voting on right now, would allow all workers in Washington to earn paid sick leave. Huh.

► In today’s News Tribune — Ad claims Peloquin mocked jury duty – but omits that she was struck by a car on her way to jury duty — Did a state Senate candidate mock jury duty and say she can’t work with or relate to people who don’t share her ambition? You might get that impression if you don’t know the part about the candidate getting hit by a car, injured and concussed as she crossed a Tacoma street in 2004 — on her way to jury duty.

corporate-campaign-cashEDITOR’S NOTE — Who’s paying for these hit pieces? This story doesn’t say, so we will. It’s from the “Good Government Leadership Council,” which is funded by the “Leadership Council,” which is funded by a who’s who of Washington companies seeking plausible deniability for this garbage, including Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Boeing (via the Aerospace Futures Alliance), Comcast, Delta Dental, Microsoft, Premera Blue Cross, Walgreens, Walmart, Weyerhaeuser, and corporate lobbying groups representing tobacco, prescription drugs, insurance and builders’ interests. Democratic lawmakers: remember this when lobbyists representing these companies come into your offices, hat in hand, asking for what they always ask for. This is what they do.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Providence to pay $351 million in pension settlement with workers — The Renton-based health care system had claimed a church exemption in failing to fully fund the retirement plans for its employees. The settlement affects some 73,00 current and former employees.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing’s struggling 747 jumbo snags a lifeline from UPS order — United Parcel Service announced an order for 14 Boeing 747-8 airplanes, with an estimated price, after discounts, of about $2.6 billion.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Is the choice really between the Port and the Sonics? (by Jon Talton) — When passionate sports fans conflate a step toward building a spec arena with actually having an NBA team, the economy could lose big.




GOP-block-the-vote► In the Washington Post — A growing conflict over voting rights is playing out in Georgia, where the presidential race is tightening — Activists said this month that as many as 100,000 Georgia ­voter-registration applications have not been processed. One of the state’s largest counties offered only one early-voting site, prompting hours-long waits for many people at the polls last week. And the state’s top election official has refused to extend ­voter-registration deadlines in counties hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.

► From The Hill — Trump aide: ‘We have three major voter suppression operations under way’

► In today’s Washington Post — Republican women increasingly fear party is alienating female voters — A growing number of prominent Republican women are worried that as members of their male-dominated party step up to defend Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault, they are causing irreparable damage to the GOP’s deteriorating relationship with female voters.

► In today’s NY Times — Beneath cheers at Trump rallies, dark fears take hold — A new emotion is taking hold among some Trump supporters as they grapple with reports predicting that he will lose the election: a dark fear about what will happen if their candidate is denied the White House. Some worry that they will be forgotten, along with their concerns and frustrations. Others believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict.

EDITOR’S NOTE — We are reminded of this prescient video from The Onion’s archives:




► From Reuters — To applause and boos, Kerry urges Congress to ratify Pacific trade pact — “If we see the TPP rejected, it would be a gigantic self-inflicted wound — a setback to our own interests in the region,” Kerry told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in remarks that drew a smattering of applause and boos.

supreme-court-do-your-job_front► From Huffington Post — This could be the beginning of the end of the Supreme Court as we know it — Some conservatives seem to be warming up to McCain’s controversial suggestion last week that Senate Republicans should dig in their heels and block any and all Supreme Court nominees put forth by a future President Hillary Clinton. “As a matter of constitutional law, the Senate is fully within its powers to let the Supreme Court die out, literally,” writes the Cato Institute.

► From TPM — Cruz hints at willingness to block Clinton’s Supreme Court nominee

► From Huffington Post — Harry Reid warns of ‘constitutional crisis’ if Democrats don’t win back Senate — If Senate Democrats do not win enough seats to control the chamber, it could set up a period of prolonged Supreme Court vacancies.




► From The Hill — Clinton faces new challenges on ObamaCare — Responding to the uproar over Affordable Care Act premium hikes, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday promised: “We’re going to make changes to fix problems like that.” But most, if not all, of her ideas for changing the ACA would have virtually no chance of passing Congress, so long as Republicans control the House and/or Senate.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington health insurance premiums have smaller increases than plans in Idaho or through federal exchange

► In today’s NY Times — Health law tax penalty? I’ll take it, millions say — A lot of healthy people are defying predictions by the Affordable Care Act architects and refusing to enroll, throwing off the math behind the system.




wp-chinese-factory-ohio► In today’s Washington Post — A Chinese billionaire is staking his legacy — and thousands of American jobs — on this factory in Ohio — Cho Tak Wong is in charge of the factory. The billionaire chairman of Fuyao Group, the biggest maker of automotive glass in China, Cho rose from rural poverty by riding the same wave of globalization that devastated Moraine, Ohio. But the next chapter of globalization is already unfolding inside Fuyao’s factory, as the balance of power in the world economy tilts once more. Now it is China that experts fear is losing steam, forcing the country’s wealthy investors and corporations to seek out profits overseas. They are snapping up U.S. businesses at a record rate and employing tens of thousands of U.S. workers.

► From Bloomberg — Uber found an unlikely friend in organized labor — Uber unveiled the Independent Drivers Guild, which Uber funds, in New York this spring in partnership with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The machinists say the IDG represents all 40,000-plus Uber drivers in the city.




clinton-email► From The Curious Civilian — Admit it. The Clinton email controversy bothers you, yet you don’t actually know what the Clinton email controversy is — Hillary Clinton’s emails are the result of a lot of things, but criminality isn’t one of them. The government needs a serious revamping of their communications systems, their transparency, and a clearer grasp of just what workers in 2016 are expecting — and needing — from the tools that help them do such important state business. Let’s be frank, here. America is the number one military superpower in the world. Our national security relies on finding a solution to this critical communications need. That the acting Secretary of State relied on a private server to do her job — and do it better  —  should be scaring the hell out of all of us. But instead of looking at – and fixing — this monumental problem, we’re spending our time trying discredit a woman, who despite what you think about her personally, has actually been an effective and diligent public servant. The Clinton email controversy isn’t about Hillary Clinton. It’s not about classified information. It’s about how we, as Americans, adapt to the changing world. As the pressures of globalism escalate, there’s no better time  —  and no better person than Clinton herself  —  to mount this charge. She needs to do something about our communications problem, and we need to hold her to it.


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