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Funding raises, Pierce Co.’s bacon, Trump turns on the hate…

Tuesday, November 15, 2016





► From WFSE — United, we show lawmakers why our ratified contracts and negotiated pay raises matter — Washington Federation of State Employees members decked out in AFSCME Green t-shirts packed a Senate budget hearing Monday — and the senators got the message that ratified contracts and negotiated pay raises will go a long way to keeping the employees who provide vital social services, public safety, health and other public services.

alliance-jobs-clean-energy_front► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington state alliance to push a reworked carbon-tax proposal — Though Washington voters just rejected a carbon-tax ballot measure, a new campaign to put a price on fossil-fuel emissions already is gearing up for the 2017 legislative session in Olympia. This will be an alternative proposal pitched by an alliance of environmental, social justice and labor groups that would place a modest tax on carbon emissions from oil, coal and natural gas. Unlike the ballot measure turned down by voters, much of this tax money would be invested in clean-energy projects. “We will push it as hard and as far as we can,” said Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “And if the Legislature doesn’t move on it, we will move it back out to the public for a vote.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Benton rebuked for remarks about undocumented immigrants getting driver’s licenses — Bringing echoes of the Trump campaign to Olympia, Washington state Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) called for the state to end the practice of allowing undocumented immigrants living here to have driver’s licenses.

► In today’s News Tribune — If Trump repeals Obamacare, will Washington state foot the bill? — The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cause a flood of low-income people to lose health coverage if it isn’t replaced with something comparable. That could leave the state facing a hefty tab if state legislators decide to replace the federal money that paid for the expansion of Medicaid. The fix could cost the state billions of dollars, said state Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm). “It’s going be to like McCleary,” he said.




step-ceremonial-shoveling► In the Spokesman-Review — Spokane Tribe breaks ground on West Plains casino, plans for 2017 opening — The Spokane Tribe broke ground Wednesday on a long-awaited and controversial casino in Airway Heights, with plans of opening for business within 10 months.

ALSO at The Stand — Spokane Tribe breaks ground on $400M STEP project

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Crowd pushes Spokane City Council on sick-leave policy — The Spokane City Council on Monday stood by their decision made nearly a year ago to enact a requirement that employers provide sick leave to their workers. The revised city law passed by a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Mike Fagan voting no.




► From PubliCola — Minimum wage measure outperforms Clinton in blue Washington — An analysis of this year’s minimum wage/paid sick leave measure shows that while it won in 16 counties across the state (out of 39) scoring a 58.05 to 41.95 win overall, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton only won in 12 counties.

sound-transit-front► In today’s News Tribune — A letter of thanks to King and Snohomish counties for ST3 (by Matt Driscoll) — Last week, overshadowed by the biggest presidential election surprise of a lifetime, the passage of Sound Transit 3 was one of a host of progressive victories in the Evergreen State. Because of it, commuters in Pierce County — or their children — will someday be able to ride light rail from downtown all the way to Seattle and, eventually, Everett. It will take a very long time to lay the tracks, as you might have heard, and it will be very expensive, as may have been pointed out to you, but the other option — delaying the region’s mass transit destiny, yet again — was no option at all. So, I’m writing today to thank you. You saved our transportation bacon.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Where Sound Transit 3 projects could speed up or slow down — Political energy, less red tape or simpler design can speed projects. So can money, say, from the federal government. Disputes about track alignments, inaccurate cost forecasts, elaborate stations or tunnels, or a recession can create delays.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Lynden man charged with hate crime for racist threats against Democrat candidate for House — Skip Edward Saunders, 33, is charged with sending state House candidate Sharlaine LaClair, a member of the Lummi tribe, a stream of racist, homicidal texts.




bannon-steve-l► In today’s NY Times — ‘Turn on the hate:’ Steve Bannon at the White House (editorial) — Anyone holding out hope that Donald Trump would govern as a uniter — that the racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and nativism of his campaign were just poses to pick up votes — should think again… Most Republican officeholders remain silent or are dismissive of fears about Bannon. So, in a little more than two months Bannon, and his toxic ideology, will be sitting down the hall from the Oval Office.

► In the Wall St. Journal — Trump poised to revamp NLRB, lawyers say — The board could begin to roll back the Obama administration’s agenda of expanding employee and union rights, according to employment litigators.

► From Politico — GOP and Trump put deficit on back burner — For eight years, Republicans hammered President Barack Obama for exploding the national debt. But now a GOP-led spending spree is coming, with Donald Trump riding to the White House on trillion-dollar promises and a Republican Congress that looks likely to do his bidding.

nyt-immigration-enforcement► In today’s NY Times — What Trump’s vow to deport up to 3 million immigrants would mean — President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to deport two million to three million immigrants who have committed crimes suggested that he would dramatically step up removals of both people in the U.S. illegally and those with legal status. If carried out, the plan potentially would require raids by a vastly larger federal immigration force to hunt down these immigrants and send them out of the country.

► From CBS News — How would deporting undocumented workers affect the U.S. economy? — It would cost at least $400 billion in new federal spending to handle the exodus, according to research published earlier this year from a free-market think tank. It also measured the economic hit from losing those roughly 11 million workers: a reduction of $1.6 trillion in America’s GDP.

putin-wink► In today’s Washington Post — Trump and Putin speak by phone, say they’ll work together to improve relations — The president-elect spoke admiringly of Putin during the campaign, praising him as a stronger leader than President Obama… The offer of cooperation could also immerse Trump in a deep controversy with the Pentagon, where military and civilian leaders have strongly opposed collaboration with Russia, particularly in Syria. U.S. intelligence officials have also expressed concern, noting that the Kremlin is believed to have been involved with hacking the email accounts of prominent Democrats, in hopes of injecting chaos into the U.S. electoral process and perhaps swaying the outcome of the vote.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Imagine for a moment if a Democrat had just been elected president with the support and active involvement of Russia. He or she would likely be criminally charged, perhaps with treason. But when it’s a Republican and a Republicans control Congress, there won’t even be a hearing. Is this making America great?

Here’s what Russia’s up to these days — Airstrike hits 3rd Syrian hospital in 24 hours — An air campaign by Syria’s military backed by Russia’s air force hit the hospital with rockets, injuring medical staff and patients, including some who had just moved there from a hospital hit in nearby Kafrnaha on Monday.





st-students-protest-trump► In today’s Seattle Times — 5,000 Seattle-area students walk out of class to protest election of Trump — Most high-school students are too young to have voted in last week’s presidential election. But they say the next four years with President-elect Donald Trump will affect them just as much, if not more, than those who could vote last week. They’re not happy about the outcome. And now they’re worried about their future.

► In today’s News Tribune — Students protest Trump at Pierce County high schools — Students from at least three Pierce County high schools walked out of school Monday afternoon to protest the presidential election of Donald Trump and what they say is a dangerous direction that threatens their futures.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meet Trump’s leading choice for Secretary of State…

► From TPM — Giuliani dismisses protesters as ‘goons and thugs’




pay-inequity► In today’s Washington Post — More state, city lawmakers say salary history requirements should be banned — The practice of setting pay based on a worker’s past salary is pervasive across the country. Women’s rights advocates say it is a key contributor to the nation’s yawning gender pay gap because it discriminates against women who earn less than men from the start of their careers. Now city and state lawmakers are attempting to make it more difficult for employers to use salary history in setting employee compensation.

► A related story from The Onion — Area man considers self ally to women unless they threaten his status in literally any way

► In today’s NY Times — The Grace of Gwen Ifill (by Brent Staples) — As a black woman in journalism, Gwen Ifill, who died on Monday at the age of 61, had spent her entire career proving people wrong.




garland-merrickTime has run out on Senate obstruction of the Supreme Court!Sign this online petition urging President Barack Obama to appoint Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. By any reasonable standard, the U.S. Senate has waived its right to “advise and consent” on this nomination. For more information on how and why the president has this authority, read this Washington Post column by Gregory Diskant.


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