Tuesday, February 28, 2017
► In the Charleston P-C — Analysts predicts all Dreamliners will be built in North Charleston within a decade — While Boeing Co. says it will wait to decide whether to increase production of its 787 Dreamliner, analysts are predicting slow sales of the twin-aisle plane eventually will force a production cut — ultimately leading the aerospace giant to move all final assembly to the North Charleston campus in the next decade.
ALSO at The Stand — Boeing spent our tax breaks investing in other states, nations (by John Burbank)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee now ‘more concerned’ after meeting with Trump on health care, immigration — Gov. Jay Inslee says he walked away from his first in-person encounter with President Donald Trump feeling even grimmer about the new administration’s plans for health care and immigration.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Senate bills take aim at minimum wage law — All three Republican bills provide exemptions that would reduce the minimum wage employers, including nonprofits and those outside the Seattle area, would have to pay.
EDITOR’S NOTE — We are going to give The Yakima Herald-Republic the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are planning a follow-up story that attempts to identify/quote a single source who opposes these bills. You know, like maybe a minimum wage worker who got a raise this year?
ALSO at The Stand — Republican bills would exempt Initiative 1433 to death — Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner’s SB 5530 would immediately cut the $11 minimum wage back to $9.53 per hour and deny workers the opportunity to earn paid sick leave in every county except King County. It would be as if I-1433 was never approved in the rest of Washington. (Fun fact: even if you threw out every vote cast in King County, I-1433 still passed.)
► In today’s News Tribune — Why Republican lawmakers are pushing for votes on Democratic governor’s tax raises — The GOP is hoping to make Democrats vote on taxes to see how much support they have. Democratic leadership says the vote is pointless since a plan for how to spend the money isn’t in place.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Legislature must give the public a chance to weigh in on K-12 funding (editorial) — It’s a concern that last Friday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee declined to provide a standard public hearing on key education-funding bills. Punting the bills was a tactical maneuver by the committee chair, Sen. John Braun (R-Centralia). The value of such maneuvers can be hard to see in the real world outside the Capitol. Elsewhere in Washington, there’s widespread concern that partisan politicking is why it’s taking so long to solve this crisis.
WHO F—ING CARES?
► In today’s Columbian — Benton blasts revival of I-5 Bridge talks — Former state Sen. Don Benton, the combative Republican legislator who led the battle to kill the Columbia River Crossing project, is continuing to fight against renewed interest in Olympia to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Coalition wants to ‘Trump-proof’ Seattle with income tax — The Transit Riders Union, Economic Opportunity Institute, the M.L. King County Labor Council, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, Seattle Education Association, and other local organizations are launching a campaign called “Trump Proof Seattle” to start a city income tax on wealthy households. But the campaign is also an attempt to test whether an income tax can be allowed under Washington state’s constitution.
► In the PSBJ — T-Mobile boosts key exec’s pay ahead of expected merger talks — T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert got a raise in salary and incentives to hike his total compensation to nearly $10 million. Sievert will likely play a large role in T-Mobile’s expected merger negotiations.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And what happens when companies merge? Layoffs.
► In today’s News Tribune — New report shines a light on Pierce County’s gender wage gap (by Matt Driscoll) — A recently released status report from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation revealed an income disparity gap for women, at every education level, and an under-representation of women in leadership positions. So what now?
► From Huffington Post — House Republicans are helping Donald Trump keep his tax returns secret — Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) on Monday proposed a resolution to invoke an obscure law allowing the Internal Revenue Service to turn over the president’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee for review. But the House voted 229-185, almost exclusively on party lines, to reject the effort. Trump is the first president in modern history to not release his federal tax returns. He blamed the decision on an IRS audit, even though the bureau has said it’s fine for him to release them anyway. Trump has also said that Americans don’t care about his taxes, a statement that polls have repeatedly disproven. A White House petition demanding that the returns be made public has received over 1 million signatures. Democrats have said that the president’s tax returns could help clear up his relationship with Russia following reports that the country meddled in the U.S. election to help Trump win.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert all voted to keep Trump’s tax returns secret. Defending his prior and latest protection of Trump’s returns, Reichert regurgitated a colleagues “slippery slope” excuse that has been thoroughly debunked. A day will come when these four Republicans will have to explain why they offered cover to a president who not only paid no taxes but potentially hid his illegal — perhaps even treasonous — actions.
► From The Hill — Trump facing pressure to roll back Obama labor policies — President Trump is facing pressure to roll back union-friendly policy changes made by the Obama-era NLRB. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Workforce Freedom Initiative” published a report Monday that raises concerns about the “worst” NLRB policies issued during the Obama administration, including holding companies accountable for labor violations committed by their partners, speeding up union elections, and allowing small groups of workers to organize multiple unions inside a single company.
► From TPM — Are Republicans ready to charge ahead on Obamacare repeal? — The movement to repeal the Affordable Care Act appears to be approaching a do-or-die moment for Republicans, as the clock ticks on dismantling Obamacare in time to also tackle tax reform before Congress’s summer recess.
► From The Hill — Trump: ‘Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated’ — President Trump said Monday that “nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated,” as Republicans have been slow to unite around a replacement plan for ObamaCare. “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” he said.
► From The Hill — Washington gov: GOP in ‘head-on collision with reality’ over Obamacare — Republican lawmakers are beginning to grapple with the difficult reality of reforming healthcare, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Tuesday, describing the current situation as “confusion wrapped around chaos.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump touts spending plan, but promise to leave
entitlements Social Security and Medicare alone puts GOP in a quandary — President Trump is preparing a budget that would fulfill some of his top campaign promises by boosting military spending while cutting domestic programs. But his reluctance to embrace cuts to entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare could lead to sharp tensions with Republicans in Congress who have long argued that the programs must be overhauled to ensure the government’s fiscal health.
► From CNN — Trump: We have to start winning wars again
► In today’s NY Times — A blank check won’t make the U.S. more secure (editorial) — President Trump’s spending plan would harm millions of Americans while shoveling more profits to military contractors.
► In today’s Washington Post — Nothing like a huuuge military buildup to calm fears of authoritarianism (by Tom Toles)
► From The Hill — Justice Dept pulls out of Texas voter ID case — The Justice Department has revoked a brief filed in federal district court opposing a Texas law requiring voters to show identification at the polls. Observers are calling it the first concrete step Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken to reverse the Obama administration’s position in voting rights cases.
► From The Hill — Corporate world at war over GOP’s border tax — On one side are large exporters, such as Boeing and General Electric, and pharmaceutical companies, such as Merck and Pfizer, that back the tax proposal. On the opposite side are retail giants like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy. Each side has formed a coalition to push its stance.
► In today’s NY Times — Finally, a retirement plan for job-hopping millennials — Maryland will offer savings account for those not covered by a typical pension or 401(k) at a small business.
EDITOR’S NOTE — But, as Daily Kos reports, Republicans in Congress don’t like the state efforts to create retirement options, and as more states create them, are targeting them for elimination. Why? Because these plans limit the amount of savings lost to fees and commissions. Wall Street no likey. So Republicans no likey.
► From the Christian Science Monitor — Bernie Sanders calls for ‘total transformation’ of Democratic Party — “We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad,” Sanders said.
► In today’s Washington Post — Hundreds allege sex harassment, discrimination at Kay and Jared jewelry company — Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate behind Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers, claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination.
► From CBS News — Jewish centers cope with bomb threats, officials plan headstone repairs — Jewish centers and schools across the nation coped with another wave of bomb threats Monday as officials in Philadelphia made plans to repair and restore hundreds of vandalized headstones at a Jewish cemetery.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Bomb threat evacuates Mercer Island Jewish community center
► In the USA Today — Feds won’t say where 55 Miss. migrants have been taken — Two days after more than 50 people were detained in multiple federal immigration raids at Mississippi restaurants, the charges against them are not known, their locations have not been disclosed and their futures are uncertain.
► In today’s Washington Post — Suspect in Kansas shooting apparently thought two Indian men were Iranians — One man who was killed and one who was injured were actually Indian nationals who received master’s degrees in the United States.
► In today’s NY Times — Who belongs in Trump’s America? (editorial) — The murder of an immigrant and other hate crimes have created a fearful atmosphere.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.