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Teacher of the year, trickle-down Trump, what the flag stands for

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


NOTE TO READERS: The Entire Staff of The Stand will be on vacation for the remainder of the week. (Union YES!) The next news update will be Tuesday, Oct. 17.



► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane educator for refugees and immigrants named Washington state teacher of the year — When the 19-year-old Iraqi refugee walked into a Ferris High School classroom in 2012, he knew no one and couldn’t speak the language. The few English words and phrases he dimly remembered from his truncated education were essentially useless. The man had fled Iraq, on his own, and only recently resettled in Spokane. Luckily for Hussein Alkhazraji, the class he walked into was taught by Mandy Manning. “She made me feel like I was home,” he said.  Now, five years later, Alkhazraji is a stylist at Studio 1. He writes and performs music, in English. And he’s confident and secure in his new home, he said. “It literally changed my life. I’m pretty successful right now,” Alkhazraji said, in nearly accentless English. “I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for Mandy.”




► In today’s Seattle Times — State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sues to block Trump’s rules over contraception access — The lawsuit alleges Trump’s new rules violate equal-protection guarantees and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom by allowing companies to use religious beliefs as a right to deny woman a federally entitled health benefit.

► In the Seattle Times — Subsidy arms race for Amazon? We of all people should know how this turns out (by Danny Westneat) — San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo details why these corporate megadeals are for suckers. The tax cuts are guaranteed, while the jobs usually aren’t (hello, Boeing). The taxes are just a “cherry-on-top rounding error” for the corporation, but they shift the tax burden to others while pinching the very government services that companies say they most want, such as education… Seattle isn’t great because we poached behemoths from somewhere else. They grew here organically. We fueled them, every bit as much as vice versa. Seattle won the Amazon lottery already. Now we should have the confidence to know that it’s the next Amazon — the one we don’t know about yet — that is where the real action is.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — NAFTA 2.0: Take action to make it work for working people

► From the Capital Press — Fazio, WAFLA sued for sexual harassment, discrimination — The farm labor association WAFLA, the largest supplier of H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers in the Northwest, and its director are accused in a lawsuit of sexual harassment and discrimination. A lawsuit pending in federal court alleges sexual harassment, racist remarks and discriminatory behavior by WAFLA Director Dan Fazio.

► From L&I — L&I fines Agri Aide $105,000 for violating conditions in hiring ag workers — The violation issued to Agri Aide Inc. of Othello is the largest L&I fine ever against a farm labor contractor. The penalty is based on the firm’s history of repeated violations. As a farm labor contractor, Agri Aide is one of about 250 firms across the state that hires, organizes, and transports workers to farms. Under law, contractors must provide each worker written notice about pay, housing, safety requirements, and other conditions.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Trump’s tax reform: An overview

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers says GOP tax plan is a ‘must,’ but critics warn of rising deficits — Sweeping changes to the federal tax system, pitched by Republicans as a way to spur the economy and simplify the demands on filers, must be passed by this Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said. But critics argue the framework mostly benefits the wealthy and likely would increase the country’s swelling debt.

► In the Washington Post — The Trump administration’s tax plan is an atrocity (by former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers) — The Trump administration’s tax plan is not a plan. It is a melange of ideas put forth without precision or arithmetic. It is not clear enough to permit the kind of careful quantitative analysis of its expected budget costs, economic effects and distributional implications that precedes such legislation in a serious country. We know enough to say that a tax-reform plan along the lines of the administration’s sketch would not substantially increase economic growth, would blow out the budget deficit and would make the United States an even more unequal place.




► From HuffPost — Trump has a new plan to undermine Obamacare and it doesn’t need Congress — President Donald Trump has already done a lot to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, whether it’s slashing the program’s advertising budget or threatening to cut off some payments that insurers need to cover their costs. Now Trump is thinking about using his executive authority to do something that could be even more damaging to the law ― and, arguably, more threatening to people who depend on it for coverage.




► From AP — AP-NORC Poll: Most don’t want young immigrants deported — Just 1 in 5 Americans want to deport young immigrants brought to the United States as children and now here illegally, the focus of a politically fraught debate between the White House and Congress. Americans also have largely negative opinions about President Trump’s signature immigration pledge to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

► in today’s Yakima H-R — Sen. Patty Murray vows to fight for Dreamers — President Donald Trump’s demands for hard-line immigration policies in exchange for shielding young immigrants from deportation are frustrating local advocates and have renewed promises of a fight from one of the state’s senior congressional members. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said she and others in Congress are renewing promises to fight for the Dreamers and their families.

► From The Hill — US Chamber of Commerce calls Trump’s NAFTA proposals ‘highly dangerous’ — The powerful business group’s specific concerns include a call for increased U.S. domestic content in autos, a sunset clause that would terminate the deal after five years unless all three nations agree to renew the pact, and reworking the dispute settlement system between the nations. The the Chamber’s response drew ire from a labor union and a Democratic lawmaker. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the U.S. Chamber’s “negative reaction to even discussing creative trade solutions reveals a lot about how much corporate CEOs benefit under the NAFTA status quo.”


► In today’s Washington Post — Trump never had a good relationship with Latino voters. It’s only getting worse. — Newly proposed hard-line immigration measures and other actions could undercut GOP candidates and further tarnish the party’s brand, some in the party said.

► In today’s NY Times — EPA says it will repeal key Obama-era climate plan — The rollback of the Clean Power Plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, sets up a bitter fight over United States climate policy.




► From Forbes — United Airlines, unions fly through sham attacks on labor to help out in Puerto Rico — Last week a United Boeing 777-300 flew from Newark to San Juan, carrying the assistance that Puerto Rico needs most after Hurricane Maria. Not just supplies, but 300 workers from 20 unions, all willing to work free to help the island rebuild. Most volunteered to spend two weeks sleeping on cots in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum and working all day – clearing roads, caring for patients, delivering supplies and restoring power and communications. Ironically, the flight came at a time when politicians including President Trump and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have been attacking the Jones Act, which requires that goods transported between U.S. ports be carried on ships built in the U.S, with U.S. owners and U.S. crews.

PREVIOUSLY in The Stand — Jones Act isn’t the problem in Puerto Rico

► From The Nation — This university suggested international students could be reported to ICE if they unionized — In response to a mounting graduate-student unionization campaign, Washington University in St. Louis Provost Holden Thorp implies the university would be legally bound to call ICE if international students went on strike.

► From Reuters — NFLPA’s Smith: ‘No player is disrespecting our country or our flag’ — NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith released a statement regarding players protesting during the national anthem, saying “no player is disrespecting our country or our flag.” Smith’s statement comes following Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ comments on Sunday that his players must stand for the anthem or else they would not play. Said Smith:

“Last week both the Commissioner and the Chair of the NFL Management Council John Mara were clear when they assured our union leaders, in the presence of other owners, that they would respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution. I look forward to the day when everyone in Management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what that Flag stands for: ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ instead of some of them just talking about standing. We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.”


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