WPAS solidarity rally tomorrow, Medicare for all, pleasing Bezos

Wednesday, September 13, 2017




► From OPEIU 8 — Union Solidarity Rally to support striking Welfare & Pension workers — OPEIU Local 8 members who administer health and pension benefits for unions across the Pacific Northwest have been on strike at Welfare and Pension Administration Services for more than three weeks. Show your support for these workers by attending a Union Solidarity Rally from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 14) on the picket lines at 7525 SE 24th St. in Mercer Island. Pickets are active from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until the contract fight is satisfactorily resolved.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns after fifth child sex-abuse allegation — It was a stunning end to a monthslong drama that has seen five men step forward to accuse Murray of sexually abusing them years ago, when they were teenagers… Council President Bruce Harrell will temporarily serve as mayor and will decide within five days whether to take on the role of acting mayor past the Nov. 7 election.




► In today’s Columbian — Webb says state budget fails on McCleary mandate — After initially saying he was “cautiously optimistic” the state operating budget would comply with the Supreme Court’s school funding mandate, the Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent recently wrote that the budget “inadequately addresses the essential principle of the McCleary order — ample funding.”

► In the Olympian — Get smarter on water before it’s gone (editorial) — Unfortunately, Senate Republicans took a $4 billion capital-construction budget hostage until Democrats cave in to their demands to, in effect, overturn the Hirst ruling. That was wrong. But Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake) has negotiated with House Democrats on a possible solution, and she is exploring changes to her proposal, SB 5239, which includes higher well fees. Both Warnick and Democratic Rep. Larry Springer of Kirkland told The Olympian they are getting back to the bargaining table this week.

► From AP — AP, others sue for info from Washington state lawmakers — A coalition of news organizations led by The Associated Press is suing the Washington Legislature over its assertion that state lawmakers are not required to turn over daily schedules, emails, text messages and other materials related to their work.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — End lawmakers’ exemption from public records law (editorial) — State lawmakers ought to be held to the same standard that any other public official or local government is required to meet.




► In today’s Washington Post — Sanders will introduce universal health care, backed by 15 Democrats — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will introduce legislation on Wednesday that would expand Medicare into a universal health insurance program with the backing of at least 15 Democratic senators — a record level of support for an idea that had been relegated to the fringes during the last Democratic presidency. The proposal has no chance of passage in a Republican-run Congress.

► In today’s NY Times — Why we need Medicare for All (by Sen. Bernie Sanders) — This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right? Or do we maintain a system that is enormously expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic, and is designed to maximize profits for big insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, Wall Street and medical equipment suppliers? … Now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the special interests that dominate health care in the United States. Now is the time to extend Medicare to everyone.

► From The Hill — Where Senate Democrats stand on Sanders’ bill

EDITOR’S NOTE — For now, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are not listed as supporting, undecided, or not endorsing in this article. Politico reports that Murray declined to endorse Sanders’ bill, saying she is focused on the Senate health committee’s bipartisan work to stabilize health insurance markets in the near term. Which brings us to…

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Patty Murray is working with Republicans on Obamacare fix — If Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander are successful in reaching a bipartisan health-care agreement, it could show the U.S. that Congress is capable of fixing problems.




► From HuffPost — Labor unions stepping up to fight deportations — Many unions ― particularly those in the low-wage service sector ― have become de facto immigrants rights groups advocating for their members. They also show how much organized labor on the whole has evolved on immigration issues. It wasn’t so long ago that unions generally viewed undocumented workers as competitors who undercut wages.

► From The Hill — Supreme Court lifts restrictions on Trump travel ban — The Supreme Court agreed late Tuesday to lift restrictions on President Trump’s travel ban until further notice, allowing the administration to continue barring most refugees under the ban.

► From Reuters — U.S. top court hands win to Republicans over Texas voting maps — An ideologically divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a win to Republicans in Texas by putting on hold rulings that said electoral districts drawn by state lawmakers discriminated against minority voters. On a 5-4 vote, with the court’s conservatives in the majority and the liberal justices dissenting, the court in a brief order blocked two different lower court decisions that found fault with both congressional districts and state legislative districts drawn by the Republican-controlled state legislature.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And this is how Republicans intend to maintain control: rigging elections and discouraging/disenfranchising certain voters.





► In today’s Washington Post — Middle-class incomes rise, but Census report shows worrying disparities — Median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year. Yet the Census Bureau report also points to the sources of deeper anxieties among U.S. workers. Inequality remains high, with the top fifth of earners taking home more than half of all overall income.

► In the Washington Post — What’s one of America’s most dangerous jobs? It’s not what you think. — They are routinely yelled at, spat at, pummeled, kicked, scratched and even stabbed by the people they’re trying to save. In many states, being a nurse is more dangerous than being a police officer or a prison guard. It’s a profession with a stunning amount of violence. It’s easy to think crime scenes and battlefields when we talk about violent occupations, but the rates of workplace violence in health care and social assistance settings are five to 12 times higher than the estimated rates for workers overall, according to a Government Accountability Office report from last year.




► From The Stranger — Amazon is not your newly cheating lover, Seattle. It’s a massive business with a low-tax agenda. (by Eli Sanders) — Aside from sounding rather desperate and pathetic, this demand from certain civic leaders that we treat Amazon as a potent, insatiable lover who’s straying because of our own character flaws gets the story of the actual relationship totally wrong. It began not with Seattle loudly begging Jeff Bezos to come here so we could satisfy his every economic desire, but with Bezos quietly searching around the country for a low-tax environment that suited the particular purposes of a start-up he had in mind… Rather than understanding that this is just how Amazon rolls, and has been rolling for more than two decades, The Seattle Times takes all of this as yet another sign that Seattle has failed to please its man (Bezos).

Get a grip people. Amazon is not Seattle’s newly cheating lover who needs to be pleased with greater alacrity and skill. Amazon is a massive business with a longstanding, low-tax agenda, and it has in fact been getting very valuable things from the City of Seattle and Washington state for decades. Instead of encouraging civic despair and a renewed race toward the tax-giveaway bottom in response to the HQ2 news, dear civic leaders, how about reminding Amazon that it’s gotten at least as good as it’s given here at HQ1?


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

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