Women march, GOP on repeat, insurers profit…

Monday, January 23, 2017





► In the Seattle Times — Record Seattle crowd asserts women’s rights: ‘Trump has galvanized everybody’ — The organizers originally thought 50,000 people would show up Saturday to the Womxn’s March on Seattle to demonstrate their opposition to the country’s newly sworn-in president. In the end, it was at least double that, with marchers forming a three-mile-long line in what is believed to be the largest political march in Seattle history. The mood was both exuberant and defiant. Marchers wove together themes of civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and human rights.

MORE local coverage of women’s marches in Bellingham (“thousands” of marchers), Longview (200), Mount Vernon (several hundred), Olympia (10,000), Spokane (8,000), Tri-Cities (1,000), Vancouver (150), Wenatchee (2,000), Yakima (1,000), and Portland, Ore. (100,000).

ALSO TODAY at The Stand:

Two faces of democracy and a litmus test (by Jeff Johnson)

Together, we made history. What’s next? (by Lynne Dodson)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Participants in Seattle women’s march say next step is political action

► In the Washington Post — Women’s marches: More than one million protesters vow to resist President Trump — What started as a Facebook post by a Hawaii retiree became an unprecedented international rebuke of a new president that packed cities large and small — from London to Los Angeles, Paris to Park City, Utah, Miami to Melbourne, Australia. The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said Saturday that as many as half a million people participated.

MORE national coverage of women’s marches in Chicago (250,000), Los Angeles (several hundred thousand), and New York City (400,000).

► From Vox — Women’s Marches may have been the largest demonstration in U.S. history — Crowd estimates from Women’s Marches on Saturday are still trickling in, but political scientists say they think we may have just witnessed the largest day of demonstrations in American history. According to data collected by two university professors, marches held in more than 500 U.S. cities were attended by at least 3.3 million people.

► From The Onion — Mike Pence disappointed in the 200,000 husbands and fathers who permitted women to attend march — “I can’t tell you how let down I feel by the heads of these households who did not simply give their wives and daughters a firm, decisive ‘no’ when they asked to participate in today’s demonstration,” said the vice president.




► In the P.S. Business Journal — Seattle’s nation-leading crane count is growing again (subscription required) — Seattle’s skyline again leads the nation in the latest survey of construction cranes in the central business district. Seattle’s tower crane count grew to 62 in the last half of 2016, up from 58 tallied earlier that year.

► In the Skagit Valley News — Tesoro refinery fined $325,000 for Clean Air Act violations — The Tesoro Anacortes Refinery paid the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $325,000 in late 2016 for violating the Clean Air Act. The fine is one of several the refinery has faced for state and federal environmental violations in recent years.

► In the Yakima H-R — Boise Cascade Mill site in Yakima may get new life — Environmental hazards and a high cost to rehabilitate the facility, along with various other reasons, have stood in the way of the site seeing new life. But there may be a resolution in sight for the former lumber mill and log yard, which once employed more than 250.




► In the Olympian — Lawmakers suspended the class-size reducing Initiative 1351. Now some want to bring it back. — To balance the state budget two years ago, state lawmakers suspended most of a voter-approved initiative to lower class sizes. Now, Democrats in Olympia are talking about bringing back Initiative 1351 — or at least parts of it.

► In the Spokesman-Review — Whose business is it when GOP lawmakers will have a school funding plan? All of ours. (by Jim Camden) — Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler made it very clear Republicans are tired of being asked when they will have such a plan to provide the state’s public school children with a better education… It is the business of the general public, and reporters, for lawmakers to come up with a plan to improve public schools. In the face of recent missed deadlines to come up with at least some framework for said plan by the start of the session, it’s the business of the public and reporters to ask when this might happen, and if they get vague answers, to ask again. And again. Even if we’re still asking in April.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Invest in schools and give every child a chance to succeed (by Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year) — Members of the Legislature don’t have to love the governor’s budget — I myself have been critical of him in the past — but people who disagree with his budget must offer meaningful alternatives and not just say “no.” We need for them to offer something besides partisan opposition and budget gimmickry.

► In the Olympian — Climb in trooper salaries reducing officer shortage, State Patrol says — The Washington State Patrol is not ready to call its shortage of troopers over. But the patrol has a historically large class of 55 cadets in training to become troopers in April. And what once was a flood of troopers retiring or jumping ship to local police departments for higher salaries has shrunk as of late.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Ferry ridership continues to rise — Washington State Ferry ridership rose for the fourth straight year, topping 24.2 million in 2016. The increase was 1.3 percent more than 2015.




► MUST-READ in today’s (Everett) Herald — Health insurers getting away with greed (editorial) — Before the dismantling is done, let’s review, for the record, as established by reputable organizations and journalists, this fundamental truth: Obamacare is not responsible for the ongoing rising costs for insurance, despite what many insurance companies claim. (Except in the sense it allows companies to profit on the basic health care package Americans must buy.) Insurance companies have reaped record-breaking profits year after year, and continue to do so, according to And the fact that the biggest insurance companies, with their hugely influential, moneyed lobbyists, are deeply involved in the Medicare and Medicaid programs means decades of profits ahead. The insurance companies that bowed out of Obamacare were not losing money; they just might not have been making as much money as they like.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump injects uncertainty into fragile health insurance markets — President Trump’s executive order, signed hours after he was sworn in, roiled the already unstable Affordable Care Act marketplaces and could affect how many people enroll in plans and what benefits insurers must offer. A longtime critic of the health law called the order a “bomb” that signals it will be a “disorderly transition” to a replacement plan.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s health plan would convert Medicaid to block grants, aide says — President Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will propose giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant to provide health care to low-income people on Medicaid, a top adviser said. A block grant would be a radical change. Since its creation in 1965, Medicaid has been an open-ended benefit.

► From The Hill — GOP senators introducing ObamaCare replacement plan Monday — GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Bill Cassidy (La.) are planning to offer an ObamaCare replacement proposal, based on a 2015 proposal and give states more flexibility. She added that it would allow states to keep the Affordable Care Act if they like it or go an “alternative route” with funding previously earmarked for the ACA.

► In the News Tribune — Murray, Cantwell ‘no’ votes tough pill to swallow (editorial) — Washington’s two U.S. senators, Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted to defeat a budget amendment that aimed to make it easier — and legal — to import inexpensive pharmaceuticals from Canada. As evidence of the idea’s broad appeal, consider the 46 senators who voted in support, an unusual alliance that included Independent Bernie Sanders and Republicans Ted Cruz and John McCain… The amendment vote was nonbinding and largely symbolic. But the explosive reaction on Murray’s Facebook page underscores how pharmaceutical company price-gouging has tapped a deep well of disgust, and people are sick of waiting for solutions.




► From The Hill — Trump to sign executive order to withdraw from TPP — President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Monday announcing his plan to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and instead start individual trade negotiations with the countries in the partnership.

► In today’s Wall St. Journal — Trump promises ‘very major’ border tax on outsourcing companies — President Donald Trump said Monday that the U.S. will impose a “very major” border tax on companies that move overseas as he sharpens his focus on recasting America’s international trade relations.

► From Huffington Post — After promising to release his tax returns, Trump aide says he won’t because ‘people didn’t care’

EDITOR’S NOTE — Sign the petition for Trump to release his tax returns. In just 48 hours, it has more than 260,000 signatures, far exceeding the 100,000-within-30-days threshold supposedly necessary for a response from the White House.

► From Huffington Post — WikiLeaks issues call for Trump’s secret tax returns

► From Bloomberg — Trump aide says press secretary presented ‘alternative facts’ — On Saturday, his first full day in office, President Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer both made easily disproved claims.




► From NHPR — N.H. Senate votes 12-11 to adopt ‘right-to-work’ — The debate of right-to-work was a essentials a formality in the GOP-controlled senate, but lawmakers still took two hours to air long-familiar arguments about what the law would mean for NH.


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

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