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Dave’s departure, America’s burden, Burien’s nativists

Thursday, September 7, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s retirement plans put his 8th District seat up for grabs — Rep. Dave Reichert’s decision to retire from Congress has immediately shifted Washington’s 8th District into one of the most competitive races of the 2018 midterms, according to political analysts.

► From the Stranger — Is Dino Rossi running for Reichert’s seat? — Today, someone registered using an anonymizing website registration service.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon plans to build second, ‘equal’ headquarters outside Seattle — The company on Thursday announced it was seeking to place a second headquarters somewhere in North America. The online retailer said it planned to spend upward of $5 billion on the new corporate campus, and house as many as 50,000 employees there. The public search for a new headquarters will likely spark a bidding war among states and cities eager for a piece of one of America’s fastest-growing companies.

ALSO see coverage in the NY Times, and the Washington Post.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And the hand-wringing politicization of this morning’s Amazon announcement will start in… 3, 2, 1… begin.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Memorial workers to picket over health plan, hospital collections — Service workers at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital plan to picket the Yakima hospital Thursday afternoon in protest of what they say are an untenable employee health plan and aggressive patient billing practices. The group of more than 500 workers, including nursing assistants, dietary staff and housekeeping staff, has been in contract negotiations with Memorial for a year, said SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.

FROM OUR CALENDAR — Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital caregivers (SEIU 1199NW) and community supporters will picket to stand up for affordable care in Yakima on Thursday, Sept. 7. Picketing begins at 2 p.m. outside Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital, 2811 Tieton Dr., with a rally with community supporters at 4 p.m.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Employers in Yakima County scrambling to find workers — Yakima County is seeing some of the lowest — if not the lowest — unemployment rates in recent history. While agriculture has contributed to the lion’s share of jobs, nonagricultural industries have seen robust job growth as well.

► In today’s Columbian — Washougal teachers vote down contractWashougal teachers will return to their classrooms Thursday without a new contract, after a ratification vote on a new pact failed. To ratify the new labor contract, 60 percent of the nearly 200 members of the Washougal Association of Educators would have had to approve it. But the vote, taken Wednesday morning, fell short.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Labor groups unlikely to get OK to distribute ‘democracy vouchers’ in Seattle this fall — That was the upshot of a Seattle Ethics and Elections Committee meeting Wednesday. The chair had several questions about the plan but, also, not enough members attended the meeting for a vote.




► In today’s News Tribune — State sues Trump over plan to end ‘Dreamer’ protections for young immigrants — State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee announced Washington state was joining 14 other states and Washington, D.C. in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Ferguson called the federal government’s decision to end the program “arbitrary and capricious,” adding:

“Put yourself in their shoes — you’re a Dreamer. Our country is going to deport you back to a country you might not even know? Can it be more cruel than that, honestly? As cruel as it is, it is importantly, however, also unlawful. And that’s what this lawsuit is all about.”

► In today’s News Tribune — What’s love got to do with Trump’s DACA repeal? Nothing at all — The Trump administration’s repeal of DACA is bad news for some 17,500 Dreamers around Washington. The good news is that what the president takes away, Congress can give back. Lawmakers must do so without delay.

► From Cosmopolitan — Deporting the Dreamers would be a betrayal of our American values (by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal) — Coming to the U.S. as a young person, settling into adolescence while adjusting to a new country and culture, is a dizzying mix of anxiety and promise. It’s a steep drop-off into unknown territory and a chance to grasp the American dream. I know because I’ve done it… We know what it means to be American: to come with nothing and become something; to help your neighbors and build a community; to show up, every day, against hardship and persist until your dreams are achieved. In their stories, determination, and the lives they build, DACA recipients are as American as it gets.




► From The Hill — State officials plead for bipartisan ObamaCare fix — State insurance officials pleaded with senators on Wednesday to quickly act to stabilize the ObamaCare markets, calling for a multiyear extension of key payments to help fund premiums for low-income customers. Congress must pass a fix by the end of September to shore up the wobbly individual markets, several officials said… Health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wants to find consensus by the end of next week. To sell the fix, he and ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) held a private meeting with senators not on the committee and the witnesses who testified as Wednesday’s hearing… “Congress should enact a federal reinsurance program with a minimum duration of three years,” said Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler, adding that it would “significantly help stabilize the individual health insurance market.”

► From The Hill — Warren co-sponsoring Sanders’s ‘Medicare for All bill’ — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Thursday she is co-sponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All bill,” the latest Democrat to back a signature Sanders campaign issue.




► From HuffPost — Renegotiating NAFTA would be a lot easier, if we knew what we wanted (by Stan Sorscher of SPEEA) — Every country in the world has a manufacturing strategy. China, Japan, Korea, Germany, and Denmark have been very successful with theirs. Ours is notably bad. Outcomes from NAFTA-style deals are, by design, disconnected from our national interests. Most people would happily consider national strategies to rebuild manufacturing… We negotiate trade deals in secret. That is exactly the wrong approach. We should stop and publicly discuss basic questions.

  • Who gets the gains from trade?
  • How can we manage globalization in a way that does as much for workers and the environment it does for global investors?
  • How do we rebuild trust in the way we manage globalization?

► From AFL-CIO Now — NAFTA renegotiation isn’t going so well, and here’s why (by Celeste Drake) — Our number one recommendation was that negotiators should be more transparent, most importantly by making public the rules they’re proposing for the new NAFTA. So far, the U.S. negotiators are failing. There has been no improvement in making the process open to the general public. As working people know, if we are not at the table, we are on the menu.

► From Fox Business — White House steps back from ending Korea trade pact




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump sides with Democrats on fiscal issues, throwing Republican plans into chaos — Trump confounded his party’s leaders when he cut a deal with Democratic congressional leaders on a short-term plan to fund the government and raise its borrowing limit this month. That effectively postpones until December a divisive fight over fiscal matters, including whether to fund construction of Trump’s long-promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

► From The Hill — Trump’s surprise deal shakes up fall agenda — Lawmakers had expected to fight over fiscal issues right up until the end of September, but now the schedule for the month is surprisingly clear. Republicans on Wednesday touted the development as something that would allow them to tackle tax reform — one of Trump’s top legislative priorities — sooner rather than later.

► From The Hill — Trump again claims U.S. is ‘highest taxed nation in the world’ — President Trump in a Wednesday tweet previewing his upcoming trip to North Dakota to discuss taxes again claimed that the U.S. is the highest-taxed nation in the world despite data to the contrary. Data compiled in 2015 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, however, shows the U.S. behind countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France in terms of taxes.

► In the LA Times — Trump said he would turn the GOP into the party ‘of the American worker.’ How’s that going? — Trump has increased troop deployments to Afghanistan and threatened military action against North Korea and Venezuela. He has pressed, though unsuccessfully, for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would increase the number of uninsured by 32 million people and reduce Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars, contrary to his campaign vows. He proposed a budget that would slash government services including housing, transportation and education. Trump has written neither his promised tax-cutting plan nor his trillion-dollar, job-creating infrastructure initiative. For all his talk of tax cuts for the middle class, Trump’s tax pitch last week in Missouri could have been delivered by House Speaker Paul Ryan, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney or any number of traditional Republicans as he called for big breaks for corporations and investors that would be a boon for the nation’s top earners.




► In today’s NY Times — Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful in history, roars across Caribbean — Hurricane Irma struck the northeast Caribbean with terrifying force Wednesday, its battering rain and winds of up to 185 miles per hour leaving a trail of chaos, wreckage and flooding from Barbuda to Puerto Rico, before taking aim at islands farther west and, beyond them, Florida. Already one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Irma could become one of the most destructive as well.

► In today’s NY Times — An enormous, urgent task: Hauling away Harvey’s debris — After the storm, clearing all the mounds of rubbish is a top priority. Experts warn of the task’s complexity, and the need to meet environmental standards.

ALSO at The Stand — Don’t repeat mistakes of Katrina, Sandy (by Jeff Johnson)




► From The Stranger — Trump’s America is 10 miles south of Seattle (by Sydney Brownstone) — The RV in Hugo Garcia’s neighborhood still bears faint traces of spray paint. Someone tried to scrub it clean, but the words left behind a rust-colored stain: “FUCKING MEXICANS” … He hadn’t participated in local activism before this. But seeing the hateful graffiti on the RV and hearing stories about terrified children changed that. Garcia began to realize that the Burien he lived in — the one with more quinceañera shops per capita than Starbucks franchises — maybe wasn’t the one he thought he knew.

For decades before the city’s incorporation, Burien also drew immigrants from Cuautla, Mexico, who helped kick-start the entire region’s Mexican restaurant industry. The school district — 41 percent Latino — is one of the most diverse in the state. And for decades, the city has drawn immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and elsewhere who have launched pupuserias and specialty bakeries. As the city reflects the nation’s shifting demographics, it has also become a tiny microcosm of national politics. Trump’s nativist politics have emboldened local city council candidates who scapegoat undocumented immigrants in an imagined crime wave. At the same time, and for the first time, Latino Burienites are beginning to demand better political representation and are running for office.


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