Wednesday, August 23, 2017
► From The Stranger — Seattle Public Schools officials ‘deeply troubled’ by Legislature’s education funding plan — Seattle Public Schools officials announced Monday afternoon that they plan to file a legal brief in the Washington State Supreme Court this week outlining “substantial flaws” in the education funding plan included in the state legislature’s state budget… Although that funding would cost Seattle homeowners’ an additional $400 per year in property taxes, that money wouldn’t benefit local schools. Instead, revenue would be distributed across less densely populated areas across Washington and “undercut Seattle’s ability to raise local funds to pay for the needs of SPS students,” SPS officials wrote in their statement.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Millennium gets permit after appeals deadline passes unchallenged — Cowlitz County officials say the time has passed to file formal challenges of a massive environmental study of the Longview coal terminal. The 11,000-page environmental impact statement written by the state and county drew a record number of public comments from both sides of the coal debate. But, in a big surprise, the county said a deadline for appealing the EIS expired quietly Friday afternoon with no formal challenges from either side.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Hiring adds nearly 2,100 new jobs to Spokane metro area in July — Local employers continued to hire in July, adding nearly 2,100 positions in the Spokane metro area. The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for the metro area encompassing Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties during July. Unemployment for the metro area was 5 percent in June and 6.4 percent in July 2016.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Remember back in 2016, when the corporate-backed Washington Research Council warned us that if the I-1433 minimum wage increase was approved,”businesses in cities along the state’s borders may be particularly affected. In Idaho, the minimum wage is just $7.25.” Good times. Good times.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Speaker Ryan, don’t hurt Boeing workers (editorial) — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s visit to Boeing in Everett on Thursday is standard political theater: photo-ops and an infomercial for his whopper tax-cut plan. But since he’s come all the way out West, he should not just sell. He should listen, and answer why he has allowed the starving of a vital government tool that benefits Boeing — the Export-Import Bank.
► And speaking of Paul’s plan, from HuffPost — Tax reform could help the working class. Republicans don’t seem interested. (by Arthur Delaney) — The tax code offers powerful tool for boosting wages, which Republicans and Democrats have expanded in the past. But this year, Republicans just want to repeal taxes on large inheritances, cut the number of tax brackets, and reduce tax rates for businesses.
► From Politico — Ryan faces heat back home in Wisconsin — While the town hall was carefully choreographed, packed with about 300 well-behaved attendees, interviews with constituents who have voted for Ryan showed many were disquieted by the GOP’s failure to deliver on key campaign promises. Ryan blamed the Senate, as he’s done before.
► From Fox Business — U.S. bid to exit NAFTA arbitration panels draws ire from businesses — U.S. trade officials are putting together a proposal to let the U.S. withdraw from the investor-state dispute settlement system at the heart of the NAFTA, upsetting big American companies that say the system protects their investments overseas. ISDS is a form of international arbitration in which corporations can sue governments for damages if they believe governmental decisions improperly diminish the value of their foreign investments. The arbitration panels, which operate as an alternative to domestic court systems, have been widely criticized by labor and environmental groups and conservative nationalists as giving corporations — and only corporations — a way to circumvent domestic laws and regulations.
ALSO at The Stand:
No more trickle-down ‘free trade’ deals (by Leo W. Gerard)
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump threatens shutdown, suggests controversial pardon at Arizona rally — President Trump on Tuesday threatened to shut down the government over border wall funding, said the North American Free Trade Agreement is likely to be terminated and signaled that he was prepared to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is anathema to the Latino community.
► In today’s NY Times — At Arizona rally, Trump blames media for country’s deepening divisions — President Trump, stung by days of criticism that he sowed racial division after deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., accused the news media of misrepresenting what he insisted was his prompt, unequivocal condemnation of bigotry and hatred.
► In the Washington Post — The strange story of that ‘Blacks for Trump’ guy standing behind POTUS at his Phoenix rally — He’s a radical fringe activist from Miami once belonged to a violent black supremacist religious cult, and he runs a handful of amateur, unintelligible conspiracy websites. He has called Barack Obama “The Beast” and Hillary Clinton a Ku Klux Klan member. Oprah Winfrey, he says, is the devil.
EDITOR’S NOTE — “Look at my African American over here!”
► In today’s Washington Post — As Trump ranted and rambled in Phoenix, his crowd slowly thinned (by Jenna Johnson) — In a speech that would drag on for 75 minutes, the president launched into one angry rant after another.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump-McConnell feud is so bad they are not speaking — The relationship between President Trump and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is disintegrating, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration.
► From Int’l Politics & Society — “The economy isn’t working for workers” — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “After so much economic pain, along comes a candidate like Donald Trump who makes outrageous promises, provides hope sometimes when there is no hope financially, and is able to tap into that pain. Our approach to this has been to call his promises like we see them. Every day we tell our members: this is what he promised, this is what he has done, this is how it affects you and your family and your economic security and your retirement.”
► In the Detroit News — Nissan union vote was influenced — (by Gary Casteel) — Nissan employees courageously fought for a local union and came within a few hundred votes of achieving their dream. All of us were disappointed by the outcome in Canton, but we weren’t surprised. Despite Ghosn’s testimony that Nissan was neutral on the question of a union, the company waged an anti-union campaign unlike any I’ve seen.
► From Rolling Stone — Why Trump can’t quit the alt-right (by Matt Taibbi) — For a normal politician, the calculus is simple: Don’t hug Nazis. It’s on page one of Presidenting for Dummies. But Trump’s narcissism is so malignant that it alters basic equations. The president seemed paralyzed by the fact that some of the Charlottesville protesters wore MAGA hats, an indemnifying variable in Trump-math: “They like me, therefore they are me. And me can’t be all bad – even if me is a Nazi.” White-supremacist nitwits of the type that came to Charlottesville may be the only thing Trump has left resembling a base of support. Similar to his financial empire, every other part of his political coalition was either borrowed, temporary, inherited or acquired by fraud. And the notes are all coming due.
Trump has shown, once again, that his power to bring out the worst in people is limitless. And we should know by now that he’s never finished, never beaten. Historically, he’s most dangerous when he’s at his lowest. And he’s never been lower than now.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.