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Too damn high, three words for us, Bernie’s advice to Dems

Wednesday, June 14, 2017




► In today’s News Tribune — We’re growing faster than King County — and our rents prove it — These days, people are fleeing Seattle’s sky-high rents, which averaged at $1,901 a month in May, according to real estate data firm RentCafe. Many are landing in Tacoma — and rapidly rising rents are proof. Rents here — now an average $1,117 a month — have landed the Tacoma once again among the top 10 cities in the country for year-over-year rent increases.

ALSO at The Stand — Landlords are taking workers’ pay raises (by Jonathan Rosenblum) — Unions must fight for affordable housing or wage hikes won’t help.

► From The Stranger — 150 Space Needle workers receive ‘warn letter’ on renovations’ impact on employment — A spokesman said the recipients of the letter are employees anticipated to be “impacted” by the upcoming construction, which will include an 8 to 9 month closure of the SkyCity Restaurant, from September to May 2018. The workers reached agreement on a union contract with UNITE HERE in the spring after years of negotiating. Because of this contract, the union says, Space Needle employees are protected from layoffs during the renovations. Union leaders are set to meet with Human Resources sometime next week to bargain for “transition packages,” with a goal of maintaining some level of healthcare benefits during the closure.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle to weigh income tax on wealthy households; here’s how that would work — Seattle residents would pay a 2 percent tax on annual income above $250,000, under a proposal the City Council will begin considering this week. Married residents filing their taxes jointly would pay it on income above $500,000.




► In today’s Columbian — Third special session called likely — Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), a key negotiator on the education funding plan being discussed in Olympia, is a self-described “cup-half-full kind of gal by nature.” She said Tuesday she’s confident the state will not enter shutdown territory. It does seem likely, however, that Washington lawmakers will need a third overtime session to reach a deal on the education funding plan and the budget. Lawmakers have until midnight June 30 to sign an operating budget before facing a partial government shutdown.

► In the (Longview ) Daily News — Inslee to lawmakers: No third special session — Gov. Jay Inslee said he will not call a third special legislative session if the Legislature fails to to forge a budget compromise this month.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — GOP senators continue push to slash Sound Transit car tab fees — Tuesday marked the third time the Senate passed a version of this bill. Each time Democratic senators united in opposition, saying it will undermine the ability of Sound Transit to complete the promised expansion.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Christine Brown announces run for 4th Congressional District seat — Former Tri-Cities television manager and news anchor Christine Brown, a Democrat, plans to run for the seat now held by GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse. She will formally announce her bid today, which is Flag Day.

► In today’s Seattle Times — UW professor got it right on Trump. So why is he being ignored? (by Danny Westneat) — Professor Christopher Parker was one of the few to foresee Donald Trump’s win — and the likely reasons why. Not that people want to hear about it… The story we’ve told ourselves — that working-class whites flocked to Trump due to job worries or free trade or economic populism — is basically wrong, the research papers released this week suggest. “I’ve got three words for you: scared white people,” Parker says. “Every period of racial progress in this country is followed by a period of retrenchment. That’s what the 2016 election was about, and it was plain as it was happening.”




► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington families have a lot to lose if ACA goes away — Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, only 3 percent of Washington’s children are without health insurance. But those gains are jeopardized by proposed cuts in the Trump administration’s budget and plans in Congress to replace the ACA with a new health insurance law. Instead of helping make health insurance more affordable for families, President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans want to help the wealthy pay lower taxes.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump, in zigzag, calls House Republicans’ health bill ‘mean’ — After calling the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act a “great plan” last month, the president told Republican senators on Tuesday that it was too harsh.

EDITOR’S NOTE — From the guy who though this wasn’t mean.

► From The Hill — GOP considers keeping ObamaCare taxes — Republicans are looking to slowly phase out extra federal funds for Medicaid expansion, beef up the new tax credits for buying insurance and add money for opioid abuse treatment — but they’ll have to pay for it to ensure the bill passes muster.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Apparently, the “less mean” plan is to cause 23 million to lose health coverage more slowly, rather than figure out a way to increase and improve coverage.

► In today’s Washington Post — What Republicans are doing while you’re distracted by Sessions and Comey (by Dana Milbank) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invoked “Rule XIV,” a procedure that allows legislation to skip committees and go directly to the floor. McConnell is hoping to rush the health-care bill to a vote before the July 4 recess, and GOP senators working on the Senate legislation aren’t even sharing the specifics with their Republican colleagues… On the very day that Comey testified before the Senate, the House passed legislation largely repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reforms implemented after the 2008 crash.




► Developing story from the Washington Post — Rep. Steve Scalise injured in GOP baseball shooting — A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire Wednesday at an Alexandria park as Republican members of Congress held a morning baseball practice, wounding at least five people including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) The suspected gunman is James T. Hodgkinson III, 66, of Illinois. He was wounded in a shootout with police officers and was taken to an area hospital. The wounded also included two Capitol Police officers and a congressional aide, according to one law enforcement official and witness accounts.

► In today’s Politico — Hill Democrats sue Trump over foreign business ties — President Donald Trump is facing yet another lawsuit over the profits his far-flung business empire brings in from dealings with foreign governments. The latest legal salvo came from nearly 200 Democratic members of the House and Senate, who joined in a suit filed early Wednesday in federal court in Washington.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Every Democratic member of Washington state’s congressional delegation have joined in this suit.

► In today’s NY Times — Jeff Sessions clams up in Congress (editorial) — He defended his previous false testimony and cited privileges and policies that don’t exist.




► In today’s NY Times — How Democrats can stop losing elections (by Sen. Bernie Sanders) — For the sake of our country and the world, the Democratic Party, in a very fundamental way, must change direction. It has got to open its doors wide to working people and young people. It must become less dependent on wealthy contributors, and it must make clear to the working families of this country that, in these difficult times, it is prepared to stand up and fight for their rights. Without hesitation, it must take on the powerful corporate interests that dominate the economic and political life of the country.

While Democrats should appeal to moderate Republicans who are disgusted with the Trump presidency, too many in our party cling to an overly cautious, centrist ideology. The party’s main thrust must be to make politics relevant to those who have given up on democracy and bring millions of new voters into the political process. It must be prepared to take on the right-wing extremist ideology of the Koch brothers and the billionaire class, and fight for an economy and a government that work for all, not just the 1 percent… This is a pivotal moment in American history. If the Democrats are prepared to rally grass-roots America in every state and to stand up to the greed of the billionaire class, the party will stop losing elections. And it will create the kind of country the American people want and deserve.


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

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