Tuesday, March 7, 2017
► From NBC News — ‘A Day Without A Woman’ boycott planned for Wednesday — The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington are calling for a general strike in which women take a day off for “A Day Without A Woman” boycott. Wednesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day and boycott organizers are calling for a one-day strike around the world to spotlight the indispensable role women play in society, they said in a statement.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In Seattle, there will be an International Women’s Day March and Rally on Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Westlake Park (4th & Pine). Get details.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle taxes among nation’s kindest to the rich — and harshest to the poor — Seattleites seem to find it hard to turn down new taxes. One reason could be that the tax burden for Seattle residents is lower than in most places in the country — if you’re middle class or wealthy.
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver students march for immigrants, minorities — A vocal crowd of more than 100 students walked out of Vancouver school district campuses on Monday, marching down Fourth Plain Boulevard and through downtown Vancouver to demonstrate in solidarity with minority students and immigrants.
► In today’s PSBJ — Former state lawmaker, congressional candidate Brady Walkinshaw named Grist CEO (subscription req’d) — Former state representative and congressional candidate Brady Walkinshaw on Tuesday was named CEO of Seattle-based media nonprofit Grist. The 35-person news organization covers climate, sustainability and social justice on a national level.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers press Sound Transit to change course on car tabs — State senators on Monday vented their frustration with Sound Transit’s soaring car tab fees in an hour-long legislative hearing, demanding the transit authority stop using the current formula for valuing vehicles.
ALSO at The Stand — Transportation coalition decries Senate’s possible ST3 delays — Business and labor group urges the Legislature to collaborate, not undermine the voters.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Voters knew approving ST3 would bring tax increases (editorial) — As everyone is reminded nearly every day now, elections have consequences. It’s condescending to assume that voters didn’t understand the tax increases they were being asked to approve. They weighed the costs and benefits and made their choice as a region. Lawmakers should honor that decision.
► From The Stranger — During debate over voting rights, state Republicans claim there’s no such thing as voter disenfranchisement — The point of a state Voting Rights Act would be to give Washington residents a local path to challenge those types of voting systems, instead of having to rely on lengthy and expensive federal cases under the federal Voting Rights Act. But some Republicans doubt there’s much of a problem to be fixed at all.
► In today’s Columbian — House bill backing I-5 Bridge replacement wins approval — Southwest Washington lawmakers are determined to prove to their counterparts in Oregon that they are ready to revive conversations about a replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge.
► From Senate Democrats — Nelson: ‘There are 24 Democrats ready to pass the levy cliff. We need one Republican to join us’ — Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson: “Rather than let a vote happen, rather than see if there is one single Republican out there ready to pass this bill which impacts kids in every corner of our state, Republican leadership decided instead to adjourn.”
► In today’s Olympian — ‘You’re lying!’ What it looks like when political negotiations break down in Olympia — For a few hours Monday, it looked as if Republicans and Democrats might agree on a plan to let school districts keep collecting the same amount in local property taxes, delaying a deadline that districts say forces them to plan for cuts in 2018. Things didn’t end up happening that way.
MUSLIM BAN LITE
► From AFP — Trump signs revised travel ban, exempts Iraqis — President Donald Trump signed a revised ban on refugees and on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations Monday, scaling back the order to exempt Iraqis and permanent U.S. residents. With his first attempt frozen by federal courts, Trump signed a second order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and halting new visas for travelers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.
► From AP — Washington state mulling further travel ban challenge — President Donald Trump’s new travel ban is more legally palatable than the old one, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday, but it still poses concerns and could prompt further court challenges from the state.
► In today’s NY Times — Muslim Ban Lite (editorial) — By revising the ban, the administration has acknowledged it fumbled on a major campaign promise. But the result is still pernicious.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT LITE
► In today’s NY Times — House Republicans unveil plan to replace Obamacare — House Republicans unveiled on Monday their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, scrapping the mandate for most Americans to have health insurance in favor of a new system of tax credits to induce people to buy insurance on the open market.
► In today’s NY Times — The parts of Obamacare Republicans will keep, change or discard — Among other changes… it would let states keep Medicaid expansion and allows states that did so to continue getting federal funding as they would have under the ACA, but only until 2020. Federal funding for people who become newly eligible starting in 2020 or who leave the program and come back, however, would be reduced.
► From TPM — Five points on how to assess the GOP plan — 1. Coverage numbers will likely go down under the Republican plan. 2. Republicans will reduce government spending on health care by shifting the burden of the costs to states (Medicaid) and consumers (private market). 3. The changes to Medicaid will put states in a tough spot. 4. Coverage of pre-existing conditions is a question mark. 5. Raising revenue has become a vexing problem for Republicans.
► In today’s Washington Post — House leaders brace for the task ahead: selling ‘Obamacare Lite’ — A day after House leaders released a plan to supplant the Affordable Care Act, those same leaders braced for the task ahead: to forestall an outright revolt among conservative Republicans, who already showed signs of agitation late Monday.
► From Politico — Chaffetz: Americans should forego new iPhone to afford healthcare — House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Monday that the healthcare plan rolled out Monday by House Republicans will offer Americans at all income levels the opportunity to afford healthcare. They just might have to sacrifice buying their next cell phone to do so.
► In the Columbian — Trumping Obamacare: Affordable Care Act reform (special report) — Nearly 114,000 Clark County residents are enrolled, but many voters remain dissatisfied. Leaders at the federal and state level are divided, but nonetheless reform seems likely. We look at the act, and how its repeal or redesign could affect our community.
► In today’s NY Times — Building trade walls — President Trump’s advisers and allies are considering sweeping aside decades of policy and rethinking how the United States looks at trade with every country. Essentially, after years of criticizing China and much of Europe for the way they handle imports and exports, these officials want to copy them. This approach could result in higher barriers to imports that would end America’s decades-long status as the world’s most open large economy. This could lead to slightly higher prices in the United States for everything from Chilean grapes to iPhones to gasoline. But it could also provide a boost to companies and workers who make things in the United States and sell them abroad.
► In today’s PSBJ — Washington state mayors join senators opposing air traffic control privatization (subscription req’d) — Two leading U.S. Senators are voicing bipartisan opposition to privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system. They’re joined by four mayors from cities across Washington state and two Pacific Northwest congressman who expressed concerns about the privatization proposal.
► From Huffington Post — Donald Trump will decide whether you get overtime pay — Katie Donley is one of millions of Americans whose pay or workload may have changed for good due to the overtime rules. But the reforms are now tied up in court and face a dim future under Trump, whose administration is rapidly peeling back regulations on corporations.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s claim that immigrants cost taxpayers ‘many billions of dollars a year’ (three Pinocchios) — The president took one line out of a 500-page report, and totally skewed the intricate findings.
ALSO at The Stand — Undocumented immigrants pay billions in taxes each year
► From AFL-CIO Now — Historic march signals to Nissan to do better, right racist wrongs — On Saturday, more than 5,000 auto assemblers, handlers and servicers marched with their families and supporters in Canton, Mississippi, to demand Nissan respect their employees’ desire to come together in union. Nissan refuses to allow the people who work for them to have a seat at the table to voice their concerns and gain a better workplace.
► From The Guardian — Pro-union rally in Mississippi unites workers with community: ‘We are ready’ — They came in school buses, hot rods, church vans and motorcycles… a delegation of a dozen Nissan workers even came from Brazil, to support UAW activists who have faced illegal retaliation in a 13-year struggle to unionize Nissan’s 5,000 workers in Mississippi.
► From Civic Skunk Works — Yes, retail is dying. No, it’s not because of the minimum wage. (by Paul Constant) — Here in Seattle, we’ve learned that low wages do nothing but create a race to the bottom. The truth is that when retail stores in malls pay their employees higher wages, those employees are very likely to spend more money in those malls: they’ll eat lunch in the food court, rather than brown-bagging it. They’ll buy their coffee rather than bringing in a thermos. They’ll pick up that book or shirt that they’ve had an eye on. But if those same employees, at $7.25 an hour, are worried about making rent, or even paying for gas to drive to their next shift, they’re not going to spend any of that money where they work, especially at Christmas… Until big retailers realize this — until they acknowledge that their employees are the greatest investment they’ll ever make, that customers want to shop in a place that doesn’t look like everywhere else, and that people visit stores and restaurants for unique experiences — I expect retail sales to continue to plummet. And I expect CEOs and reporters to continue to wrongly blame minimum-wage employees for dragging them down, when in fact those employees are actually the key to their successful future.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.