Wednesday, May 17, 2017
COUNTDOWN TO IMPEACHMENT
► In today’s NY Times — Comey memo says Trump asked him to end Flynn investigation — The documentation of Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between Trump’s associates and Russia.
► From AP — FBI chief’s unceremonious ouster boomerangs on president — In dismissing Comey last week, Trump created the very real possibility that a respected law enforcement official known for an outspoken nature and willingness to buck political convention could resurface in public.
► In today’s NY Times — Tempers flare, confusion swirls at rattled White House — The president’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, has left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, and he has turned against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — describing them in a fury as “incompetent.”
► In today’s NY Times — Did Trump obstruct justice? (editorial) — Taken together with the news of Comey’s memo and reports that Trump had tried to extract a loyalty pledge from him after learning about the Flynn investigation, it is hard not to see the outlines of an attempt by Trump to quash a criminal investigation that could reach into the highest levels of his campaign and administration.
► From The Hill — First Republican raises impeachment for Trump — Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Wednesday said reports that Trump pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation would merit impeachment if true, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to broach the idea.
Dear Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse and Dave Reichert,
Are we there yet?
The Entire Staff of The Stand
► From The Onion — Firebrand Sen. McCain demands immediate investigation into why he is remaining complicit — “Frankly, we need an independent counsel to look into why I continue to do absolutely nothing in the face of mounting evidence against this reckless, unethical, and potentially compromised White House,” said McCain, passionately arguing that his disturbing pattern of inaction in regards to the Trump administration raises “deeply troubling questions” about his own motivations.
► In today’s Olympian — State budget requires bipartisan compromise (by Rep. Beth Doglio) — Normally this late in the session, both sides would be getting close to a budget compromise after weeks of negotiations. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen twice before, Senate Republicans are once again refusing to come to the table to talk. So we wait, now likely heading into a second special session, pushing additional costs onto taxpayers that could have easily been avoided. It doesn’t have to be this way… There is no reason why the operating budget cannot follow a similar path (to the bipartisan transportation and capital budgets). It just takes a willingness on the part of the Republicans to meet us halfway. That’s how compromise works, and that’s how problems are solved.
► From AP — Washington becomes latest state to seek federal ID compliance — “This will help to ease problems at border crossings, airports, federal courthouses, and military bases where REAL ID compliant documents are required,” Gov. Jay Inslee said before he signed the bill, adding that it ensures the “convenience and security of our citizens.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing delivers first 737 MAX, with more than 3,700 to go — Less than a week after a potential manufacturing flaw in a batch of about 30 engines grounded Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet, the FAA cleared Boeing to fly the MAX with the engines that weren’t affected. The jet maker’s first delivery went to Malindo Air, part of Indonesia’s Lion Air.
► From Politico — Bipartisan health care talks pick up steam in Senate — Bipartisan talks to repair Obamacare are gaining traction among a group of Senate moderates, threatening to disrupt strategies from both parties’ leaders to keep members in line.
► From AFGE — FAA employee, manager groups unite to oppose privatizing air traffic control — AFGE is one of seven organizations representing FAA’s rank-and-file employees and managers that sent a joint letter to leaders from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in opposition to privatization. “Quite simply, overhauling the entire aviation system by removing air traffic control from federal oversight and funding will be a serious setback for its development and growth,” the letter states. “Our air traffic control system is a national public asset and we strongly believe it should remain in the public trust.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Don Blankenship asked Trump to oppose legislation for harsher punishment for coal mine supervisors — The former coal company executive who was sent to federal prison last year for his role in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia has urged President Trump not to consider legislation that would permit harsher punishment for coal mine supervisors who violate health and safety protocols.
► From AP — Ford to cut 1,400 jobs in North America, Asia — Ford is cutting jobs this year in an effort to boost profits. The company will offer voluntary early retirement and separation packages to around 10 percent of its non-factory workers in departments like sales, marketing and human resources. Ford believes it will meet its targets by voluntary means and doesn’t expect involuntary layoffs, a spokesman said.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.