Wednesday, April 12, 2017
► In today’s Seattle Times — Hundreds of immigrant detainees at Tacoma ICE facility on hunger strike — A group of immigration and Latino activists, NWDC Resist, rallied outside the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center for the second night Tuesday while inside they said hundreds of detainees facing deportation have refused to eat.
ALSO at The Stand — Hunger strikers decry conditions at Tacoma detention center
► From Slog — Everything you need to know about the two massive tax marches planned for this weekend — This Saturday, April 15, two marches will wind their way through downtown Seattle: BlackLivesMatter 2.0 and Tax March Seattle, an official sister march to the Tax March movement. Both demonstrations call for Trump to release his tax returns, and both call for the country to adopt more progressive tax structures.
ALSO at The Stand — Demand to see Trump’s returns at Tax March Seattle on Saturday
► In today’s News Tribune — Thousands to protest Trump at Capitol? Maybe not so many, organizers say — Organizers of the march in Olympia, scheduled for Saturday, may have been a little overeager in their first crowd estimate. The protesters want Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
► In today’s News Tribune — Black firefighters group says nepotism, not ban the box, is at fault in Mueller case — A group of black firefighters said they won’t allow Tacoma Fire Department leadership to blame minority applicants and the city’s “ban the box” hiring policy for what happened with Ramsey Mueller, the son of a deputy chief and a probationary firefighter who died of a heroin overdose days after showing up late to work and nearly hitting another vehicle while driving a firetruck.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Columbia Basin College faculty promises not to share immigration status — Faculty members hope a recent resolution from the college’s faculty senate will help ease the fears of students involved in the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, referred to as DACA.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — What could the future hold for affordable health care? Find out at Bellingham forum — “The Future of Affordable Care: Threats and Opportunities” will be the focus of an April 20 forum from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Luke’s Community Health Education, 3333 Squalicum Parkway, in Bellingham.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee visits Western State, talks up gains since last year’s high-profile escape — Western State Hospital has added hundreds of new workers and improved safety measures and treatment. But time is running out for improvements at the psychiatric hospital before a high-stakes review by the federal government.
► From KNKX — Injured rail worker hopeful for new safety rules after 5 years — It’s taken five years, but injured railroad worker Dwight Hauck sees victory at hand. Washington lawmakers are on the verge of requiring new safety standards for private transport companies that shuttle rail crews between trains.
► In today’s Seattle Times — GOP candidate seeks key Eastside legislative seat — Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund announced her candidacy as a Republican for the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond). Manka Dhingra, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecutor’s Office, is running for the seat as a Democrat. This November’s contest in the race will determine which party controls the chamber.
CONGRESSIONAL TOWN HALLS
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Here and in DC, DelBene sees more constituent engagement — U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene (D-1st) fielded questions about health care, investigations of Trump’s ties to the Russian government and the prospect of nuclear war during a town hall meeting Tuesday. A couple of hundred people packed the bleachers at the Glacier Peak High School gym to ask questions.
ALSO at The Stand — Who’s playing hide-and-seek at recess in Washington state? — The Dave Reichert Empty Chair town hall meeting is TONIGHT from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cedar Heights Middle School, 19640 SE 272nd St.
► From NBC News — Rep. Joe Wilson’s ‘you lie’ line used against him at contentious town hall — An angry crowd in South Carolina chanted “you lie” to Rep. Joe Wilson at a town hall Monday, using the Republican Congressman’s own infamous line against him.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump directive will lift hiring freeze, as it asks agencies for cuts — The Trump administration on Wednesday will lift the hiring freeze that it had imposed on the federal work force, even as it directs agencies to submit plans for personnel cuts and other restructuring moves to fit the budget blueprint released by Trump last month.
► From The Hill — Industry assails Trump’s ‘Buy America’ steel plan — President Trump is facing criticism from oil companies, pipeline operators and foreign governments for his proposal to require that domestically produced steel be used in pipelines that are built in the United States.
► From Politico — Sanctuary cities crackdown threatens government shutdown — President Trump’s budget director is urging congressional Republicans to take a hard line against sanctuary cities in a must-pass spending bill, complicating efforts to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month.
► From The Hill — GOP infighting imperils agenda — Three months into the new Congress, some Republicans are fearful that their failure to repeal ObamaCare could spell doom for the rest of President Trump’s legislative agenda. Some Capitol Hill Republicans have envisioned the nightmare scenario for 2017, and it goes like this: No ObamaCare repeal. No tax reform. No trillion-dollar infrastructure package. No border wall. It’s a striking change from the period after Election Day, when GOP leaders vowed that the new unified Republican government would “go big, go bold” and deliver for the American people.
ALSO from The Onion — Jealous Paul Ryan asks legislator with 37% approval rating what his secret is
► In today’s Washington Post — A Republican won in Kansas. But here’s why the GOP is not celebrating. — State Treasurer Ron Estes was buoyed by an 11th-hour intervention from national Republicans. His Democratic opponent came within 7 points of winning one of the most Republican districts in the nation.
► From CNN — Classified docs contradict Nunes surveillance claims, GOP and Dem sources say — After a review of the same intelligence reports brought to light by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal, multiple sources in both parties tell CNN.
► From Fortune — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos withdraws Obama-era student loan protections — The Obama policy memorandums withdrawn by DeVos required that the government’s Federal Student Aid office do more to help borrowers manage or discharge their debt.
ALSO at The Stand — AFT: DeVos moves to reinstate ‘Wild West of student loans’
► From The Onion — America reacts: Gorsuch sworn in as Supreme Court justice — “I still can’t believe Merrick Garland died so suddenly.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — United’s bully boy tactics are no accident (by Jon Talton) — “Serving” customers, herded into tiny seats on overcrowded airliners reminiscent of bus travel, is a much lower priority than sucking every possible penny upwards to further enrich big shareholders. This also explains why they offer “travel vouchers” instead of straight-up cash when trying to deal with an overbooked flight. The security state that pervades airports and works with airlines further degrades passengers ability to protest or decline.
► In today’s NY Times — Fear of flying, for good reason (editorial) — This is an oligopolistic industry that has become increasingly callous toward customers as it rakes in billions in profits thanks to strong demand and low oil prices. As long as the big airlines face neither rigorous competition nor a diligent government watchdog, they will be able to treat customers like chattel and get away with it.
► From The Stranger — Google argues with the Labor Department about their ‘extreme’ gender pay gap — The Department of Labor keeps finding new evidence of “systemic compensation disparities” in their continuing investigation of Google’s workforce gender discrimination practices.
► In today’s NY Times — Executive who steered Uber through scandals joins exodus — Uber has lost a string of top managers in recent months as the ride-hailing company has dealt with scandals over its workplace culture and its executives’ behavior. That exodus is continuing with the exit of Rachel Whetstone, the company’s head of policy and communications.
OH, AND THEN THERE’S THIS…
► From Reuters — North Korea state media warns of nuclear strike if provoked as U.S. warships approach — U.S. President Donald Trump, who has urged China to do more to rein in its impoverished neighbor, said in a Tweet that North Korea was “looking for trouble” and the United States would “solve the problem” with or without China’s help. Tension has escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula, with talk of military action by the United States gaining traction following its strikes last week against Syria and amid concerns the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test. North LKorea’s official state newspapers said: “Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.