Tuesday, January 31, 2017
► In today’s News Tribune — Republicans regain control of the state Senate as lawmaker is replaced — Five Eastern Washington counties have picked Republican state Rep. Shelly Short to replace Brian Dansel, a Republican who left the Senate for a job in the federal government. A Republican-led coalition (24 Republicans plus “Democrat” Tim Sheldon of Potlatch) normally has a narrow 25-24 majority in the chamber.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Young is the prime sponsor of a bill to force laid-off workers to perform community service in order to receive unemployment benefits, and co-sponsor of a bill (prime sponsored by fellow right-wing extremist Rep. Matt Shea) to make Washington a “right-to-work” (for less) state.
► In today’s Olympian — Providence St. Peter Hospital workers to hold picket and rally — Employees at Providence St. Peter Hospital who have been working under an expired contract plan to hit the picket line from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The “Stand with St. Pete’s Caregivers” event is being hosted by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at the hospital at 413 Lilly Road NE in Olympia. It is open to the public, and will include a rally that begins at 5 p.m. SEIU represents nearly 500 workers at the hospital, including licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, cooks and housekeepers.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Radioactive spread at Hanford briefly halts demolition — Demolition of Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant halted Monday after a spread of radioactive contamination outside the plant Friday afternoon.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
► In today’s NY Times — Trump fires acting Attorney General who defied him — President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday night, removing her as the nation’s top law enforcement officer after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries. In an escalating crisis for his 10-day-old administration, the president declared in a statement that Sally Q. Yates had betrayed the administration by announcing that Justice Department lawyers would not defend Trump’s order against legal challenges.
► From Yahoo News — Six people who were trapped by Trump’s travel ban — As the new ban on people entering from certain Muslim countries took effect at airports across the country, details replaced generalized accusations. Now refugees, guest workers and green card holders acquired faces and names. Now they were doctors, industrial engineers, young adults orphaned by Taliban bombs, elderly parents of American citizens, widowed mothers of American soldiers, interpreters who had risked their lives for American troops.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — He got his green card last week, but now might not be able to see his parents for years
► In today’s News Tribune — Washington stands against Trump’s border bigotry (editorial) — Donald Trump has never been one to speak softly, but he’s pleased to carry the proverbial big stick. Now he’s swinging it wildly, kneecapping some of the world’s most desperate people. His executive order against refugees and other immigrants from select Muslim-majority countries must not be tolerated.
► In today’s Seattle Times — A morally bankrupt, inept executive order on immigration (editorial) — President Trump’s executive order on immigration revealed an unacceptable level of ignorance and incompetence.
► In today’s Columbian — Ban harmful, dangerous (editorial)
LOCAL COVERAGE of continuing protests/actions at Sea-Tac Airport, the Peace Arch in Blaine, the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Google workers walking out of their Seattle and Kirkland offices, and students at UW-Tacoma.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Speaker defends Trump order amid GOP concerns — House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday defended President Donald Trump’s divisive executive order on refugees and immigration, arguing that while the rollout was bumpy, the policy is consistent with Republican principles.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
ALSO at The Stand — Affordable Care Act is not dead yet — keep up the fight (by Rep. Rick Larsen)
► From Politico — Republican split on Obamacare strategy evident during private meeting — Congressional Republicans during a private meeting Thursday morning agonized over how best to repeal and replace Obamacare, a discussion that highlighted the vast divisions among the GOP rank-in-file, according to an audio recording of the session received by Politico.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington state residents: visit HealthPlanFinder.org.
ALSO at the Stand — Federal hiring freeze is killing jobs, hurting vets
► BREAKING from The Hill — Dems boycott confirmation votes for Trump nominees — Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two President Trump’s more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department.
► From KNKX — White House says Obama’s order on LGBTQ rights will stay in effect — An executive order protecting gays and lesbians who work for federal contractors “will remain intact” at President Trump’s direction, the White House says. The move could allay concerns that Trump might end recently adopted protections against an anti-LGBTQ workplace.
► From AP — Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election.
► In today’s Huffington Post — The Huffington Post ratifies union contract — The Huffington Post ratified its first union contract Monday, becoming the largest digital news site to collectively bargain amid a series of newsroom organizing drives.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.