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Millennium denied, ACA survives, GOP’s lawless theocratic nutbag

Wednesday, September 27, 2017




► In the (Longview) Daily News — Ecology denies key permit for Millennium coal terminal — In a potentially fatal blow to Millennium Bulk Terminals’ proposed Longview coal export dock, the state Department of Ecology has denied a water quality permit for the project, concluding that it would cause unavoidable harm to the environment. The $680 million terminal would worsen air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources and tribal resources, Ecology said.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Millennium to appeal state move to reject coal exports –Millennium Bulk Terminals said Tuesday it will appeal a decision by the Department of Ecology to reject the water quality permit it needs to build the proposed facility near the city of Longview.

► In today’s News Tribune — Did Sound Transit mislead lawmakers, or was it ‘on the up and up’ about ST3? Hearings underway — A panel of state lawmakers held a two-hour hearing Tuesday on whether Sound Transit deceived legislators about the size and nature of the $54 billion transit package it sent to voters in 2016. The conclusion? To be determined.




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Strike continues at Bellingham Technical College — Classes at Bellingham Technical College remained canceled Wednesday as support staff members continued to strike. BTC officials said faculty members voted to honor a picket line of employees from the school’s striking Bellingham Educational Support Team, which represents classified clerical, technical, instructional and retail support staff. Contract negotiations are ongoing.

► In today’s Seattle Times — In Boeing victory, U.S. Commerce Dept. slaps massive tariff on small jets from Canada’s Bombardier — The U.S. Commerce Department stunned both sides by imposing a tariff of 219 percent on every CSeries airplane that’s sold to a U.S. airline. The ruling is likely to exacerbate already-tense trade relations between the U.S. and Canada.




► In today’s NY Times — McConnell scraps vote on latest ACA health care repeal — Senate Republicans on Tuesday officially abandoned the latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, shelving a showdown vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in their last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Trump and Republican lawmakers. The decision came less than 24 hours after a pivotal senator, Susan Collins (R-Maine), declared her opposition to the repeal proposal, all but ensuring that Republican leaders would be short of the votes they needed.

► From The Onion — Babbling, grinning Mitch McConnell demands EMTs loading him on stretcher vote ‘yes’ on healthcare bill

► From Vox — Obamacare repeal isn’t dead as long as Republicans control Congress (by Satah Kliff) — Already, Republicans are discussing how to overcome procedural hurdles to getting it done with just a simple majority. One aide said they’ve got their eye on a must-pass budget proposal. “It’s not like we couldn’t slip it in anyway,” the aide said.




► In today’s Washington Post — Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts, put off tough decisions — The plan will propose slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and also allow companies to write off investments in things such as equipment. The plan will call for eliminating the estate tax, which wealthy families must pay to transfer assets after someone dies… Trump told a group of Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday that the tax framework could lead the economy to grow more than 6 percent a year, more than double what even his advisers had hoped for and a rate that many economists say is preposterous.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump proposal cuts taxes for companies and individuals — The proposal is an attempt to answer wealthy donors’ demands for lower taxes without being seen by the president’s working-class base as a windfall for the rich.

► From the Tribune News Service — Pence to speak at manufacturer that sent jobs to Mexico in 2009 — The vice president will speak Thursday at a suburban Detroit manufacturing site of auto supplier American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. to promote Trump’s tax reform plans. A bitter, 87-day strike ended in 2008 with workers represented by UAW accepting wage and benefit reductions. The day after the strikers returned to work, the company announced plans to reduce its 3,650-person hourly workforce by some 2,000 within a year. In 2009, American Axle moved production for a major contract from Detroit to Mexico.

► From Think Progress — Supreme Court set to hear case that could end partisan gerrymanderingGill v. Whitford asks the justices to hold that partisan gerrymanders violate the Constitution — a conclusion the Supreme Court has never really doubted — and, more importantly, to hold that the judiciary should actually do something about them.

► In today’s Washington Post — After Alabama, GOP anti-establishment wing declares all-out war in 2018 — The stunning defeat of President Trump’s chosen Senate candidate in Alabama on Tuesday amounted to a political lightning strike — setting the stage for a worsening Republican civil war that could have profound effects on next year’s midterm elections and undermine Trump’s clout with his core voters. The GOP primary victory by conservative firebrand radical Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange could also produce a stampede of Republican retirements in the coming months and an energized swarm of challengers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Apparently, the media considers a white conservative radical to be a “firebrand,” which means “a person who is passionate about a particular cause.” Roy Moore thinks 9/11 was punishment for “godlessness,” calls Islam a “false religion” and said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress because he’s a Muslim. Moore has been removed from office (twice) for violating ethics standards and the law, including ordering Alabama judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He’s not a “firebrand.” He’s a lawless theocratic nutbag. And now he’s a Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.

► In today’s Washington Post — Luther who? Trump deletes tweets backing losing candidate in Alabama

► In today’s Washington Post — Roy Moore wins. The country loses. (by Stephen Stromberg) — No one should be happy about what occurred Tuesday night. Roy Moore stands for anarchy, disorder, disunity and conflict. His platform just got higher, and his power more considerable. Every minute he is in a position of national prominence, the country loses.




► From AP — ‘Nothing, nothing.’ Aid lags in hurricane-torn Puerto Rico — Residents say they have not seen anyone from the Puerto Rican government, much less the Federal Emergency Management Agency, since the storm tore up the island Sept. 20.

► From Vox — What every American needs to know about Puerto Rico’s hurricane disaster — There’s still no power on the island, with the exception of a few generators powering only the highest-priority buildings like hospitals. That means in many places there’s no water to drink or bathe in or to flush toilets. There’s limited food, fuel, and cell service, and it’s taken several days for reporters and rescue workers to reach remote towns and villages. “Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Monday.

► From Reuters — U.S. denies request for Puerto Rico shipping waiver — The Trump administration on Tuesday denied a request to waive Jones Act shipping restrictions to help get fuel and supplies to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

► In today’s Seattle Times — New rules: Some protests are more equal than others (by Danny Westneat) — If you take a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” you are so disrespectful to the country that you are a “son of a b—-.” But if you march through the streets with the Confederate battle flag, an actual symbol of secession, you might be “very fine people.” Seriously, there’s no greater symbolic snub of the American flag than waving around the Rebel flag. That goes beyond being disappointed in America — that’s saying you don’t even believe in America. At least this America. That gets a presidential shrug and days of equivocating. While the football players get days of insults and calls for them to be fired.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Equifax CEO steps down after data breach; still likely to get $18M retirement package — Richard Smith, 57, who made almost $15 million in salary, bonuses and stock last year, would also be able to stay on the company’s health plan for life.




► From @SenWarren — @SenateGOP hope you won’t notice when they vote to take away your legal right to take big banks to court. — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke in support of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules that gives consumers who have been cheated the ability to hold their banks accountable. The CFPB’s forced arbitration rule, which prevents banks and other financial firms from forcing customers to give up their rights to join class action suits, may be repealed by Senate Republicans as soon as today.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The House already passed this, and Washington’s Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert all voted “yes.” No one wants this change except lobbyists for Wall Street banks and companies like Equifax (see above). If you want to understand how this screws you over, watch this.


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