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Capital at the Capitol, Mitch’s failure, Rickles on Reegan…

Friday, April 7, 2017




► In today’s News Tribune — House Democrats want a capital gains tax to raise money for their budget plan. Is it even legal? — The House’s capital gains measure would tax money made on the sale of stocks, bonds, certain property and other high-end financial assets at a 7 percent rate. That comes with limitations. Only people who report more than $25,000 in capital gains — $50,000 for couples — on their federal taxes would be subject to the tax. The proposal would exempt retirement accounts, and the sale of single-family homes, farm land, timber and much livestock. Democrats who control the House are convinced it’s a permissible excise tax. Republicans contend such a tax is not only unreliable, but unconstitutional. The Freedom Foundation think tank delivered a note to Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday saying the organization will “promptly” file a suit to overturn a capital gains tax should one pass the Legislature.

ALSO at The Stand — Rival state budgets demonstrate party values — The conversation (on how to pay for McCleary-required K-12 investments) must start with Washington state’s dubious distinction of having the most regressive tax system, by far, in the nation. People here who earn the least money are forced to pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes than any other state in America, while our state’s wealthiest pay less.

► In today’s Columbian — I-5 Bridge bill finds support in Olympia — A measure addressing the region’s most divisive topic — how to replace the 100-year-old Interstate 5 Bridge — passed the Statehouse in Olympia on Thursday, clearing the pathway for it to land on the governor’s desk.

► In today’s News Tribune — He tried to defraud the state, but the interpreter caught him — An Auburn man used two different names to make workers’ compensation claims. Unfortunately for him, the same state interpreter worked with him for both claims.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Lawsuit alleges Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused troubled teen in 1980s — A new lawsuit accuses Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of child sexual abuse decades ago. Two other men have told The Seattle Times they, too, were abused by Murray as teenagers in the 1980s. The mayor vigorously denies all the accusations.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing deliveries fall to lowest level in three years — Boeing said Thursday it made 169 deliveries during January, February and March of this year. The biggest factor was a drop in the number of its 737 Next Generation passenger jet deliveries as Boeing workers focused on ramping up production of the narrow-body passenger jet’s successor, the 737 Max.

ALSO at The Stand — Why are we paying Boeing to send jobs away? (by John Burbank)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Tacoma’s News Tribune to cut jobs as top editor quits — Washington’s second largest newspaper is preparing for job cuts in the newsroom. Its top editor, Karen Peterson, is leaving as well.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Proposals could help Social Security and Trump (editorial) — Joined by four Washington state Democrats, a proposal by Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut) would keep the current cap, which does increase based on average wage increases, but would lift the cap for incomes over $400,000. The proposal also seeks a gradual increase in the payroll tax paid by workers and employers, now 6.2 percent for each, increasing it to 7.4 percent by 2042. These reforms would keep the system solvent for the rest of the century and would expand benefits, including an immediate 2 percent increase for monthly Social Security payments and a new higher minimum benefit…

President Trump knows he rode a populist wave into office. That wave is now an ebb tide. With approval ratings near 40 percent, Trump could use the positive news that working with Democrats to preserve and expand Social Security would deliver. And we could use a Social Security system that remains healthy for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.




► From The Hill — Senate goes ‘nuclear’ to advance Trump Supreme Court pick — The Senate voted Thursday to move forward with Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination after Republicans took a historic step that lowers the vote threshold for high court nominees to a simple majority. Senators voted 55-45 to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination, setting up a final confirmation vote for Friday.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell voted “no.” Here is AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s statement on the vote:

“Sen. Mitch McConnell’s rule change is a failure of leadership that stems from a refusal to acknowledge a flawed candidate. The problem isn’t Senate rules; it’s the nominee. Judge Gorsuch is outside the legal mainstream and has a record of decisions that put corporations above the rights and protections of regular people. Any successful nominee to our nation’s highest court should be able to garner broad bipartisan support. Judge Gorsuch is not that nominee. Sen. McConnell’s decision to force Judge Gorsuch through will further skew the court in favor of corporate interests and against working men and women.”

► From The Hill — GOP leaving town with little to crow about — They return home having to explain to their constituents why they weren’t able to repeal and replace ObamaCare and how they can possibly unite around the rest of their agenda.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Or will they? Indications are that they will continue to refuse invitations to town hall meetings with their constituents. Here’s what we know:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers has declined an invitation to attend a constituent-led town hall in Spokane, so organizers will have it without her from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20 at Moran Prairie Library, 6004 S. Regal St. Details here.

Dave Reichert has declined an invitation to attend a Town Hall meeting in Covington, so organizers will have an Dave Reichert Empty Chair town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 at Cedar Heights Middle School, 19640 SE 272nd St. Details here.

Jaime Herrera Beutler has no public appearances scheduled. UPDATE: She is hosting a telephone town hall at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. To participate call 1-877-229-8493 and enter 116365.

Dan Newhouse has scheduled a “listening session” in Moses Lake from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 at the Moses Lake Civic Center Auditorium, 401 S. Balsam St., and plans to schedule two more in Yakima County (April 13) and Okanogan County (April 20). Attendance is restricted to 4th CD constituents and IDs will be required for admittance. Pre-registration is recommended, although it does not guarantee admission.

Democrats from Washington have multiple events scheduled to meet with constituents. Visitt heir websites for more information.

► In the St. Louis P-D — OSHA delays silica dust safety rule for three months — The new crystalline silica standard was to have become effective on June 23, but OSHA said it was delaying the rule until Sept. 23. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sharply criticized the delay.




► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. hiring slowed in March as employers added only 98,000 jobs — The momentum in the U.S. labor market flagged in March, new government data showed Friday, with the private sector and the government adding only 98,000 jobs. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 175,000 jobs to be added in the month.

► From The Nation — U.S. Women’s Soccer just scored a big win — It’s a remarkable — and remarkably unexpected — thing to write, but female athletes are now leading both the labor movement and the women’s movement for pay equity. It’s happening before our eyes, and it’s worth noting even if you’ve never kicked a soccer ball or hit a puck. First, just last week, we had the staggering victory of the US women’s national hockey team, who went on strike before the World Championships and won a series of demands, including salary raises so that they are now paid like the full-time athletes they are. Now comes news that the US women’s national soccer team has, at long last, following public campaigns, lawsuits, and the outspoken expression of their most prominent players, secured a five-year labor deal with USA Soccer.

► From AP — Dog attacks on mail carriers hit 6,755 as online sales boom — Booming online retail sales are good news for the U.S. Postal Service, but its carriers are incurring a cost: more dog bites. Dog attacks on postal workers rose last year to 6,755, up 206 from the previous year and the highest in three decades.

► From Huffington Post — California lawmakers approve gas tax to pay for $52 billion infrastructure plan — The measure will increase the excise tax on gasoline by 12 cents per gallon from the current $0.28 and on diesel fuel by 20 cents per gallon, among other fees, over 10 years. The money will be used for repairs to roads and bridges as well as for anti-congestion projects.




► This week we depart from our usual music video because comedy legend Don Rickles, 90, passed away yesterday. Jimmy Kimmel’s tearful tribute to his friend, whom he calls “the greatest talk show guest of all time,” is a must-see. But The Entire Staff of The Stand prefers to remember Rickles as he was… irreverent and hilarious. Enjoy, as he tells then-Governor Ronald Reagan (“or Reegan, or whatever you call yourself”), “Black, white, Jew, gentile, we’re all working for one cause: to figure out how you became governor.”


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

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