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SS Steiner strike, Sinclair silent, Murray scores, no sense of decency

Wednesday, October 25, 2017




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Striking S.S. Steiner workers in Yakima say their rights are on the line — For more than a month, about two dozen workers from S.S. Steiner’s pellet and warehouse departments have been picketing outside the company’s Yakima facility… To those not familiar with the process, the dispute may appear to be a quibble over contract language. But for the workers, Teamsters 760 officials and other union advocates, S.S. Steiner’s request is a hard stab at workers’ rights and the ability to speak up on working conditions. “They’re just trying to weaken the union; It’s a union-busting tactic,” said Leonard Crouch, Teamsters 760’s secretary-treasurer. “It’s a death of a thousand cuts.”

ALSO at The Stand — Support S.S. Steiner hops strikers in Yakima (by Paul Parmley)

► From Crosscut — Sinclair won’t guarantee jobs for KOMO staff — If Sinclair Broadcast Group gets its way and completes a merger between KOMO News and Q13 FOX, the local news media giant won’t guarantee employment for KOMO’s 23 photojournalists. As part of ongoing contract negotiations with the KOMO photojournalist union, IATSE 600, Sinclair on Monday rejected demands for a guarantee that the proposed merger would not result in layoffs of union employees at the ABC-affiliate, according to union representative Dave Twedell. As a result, Twedell said Monday he will urge photojournalists to vote “no” on a contract when they are scheduled to meet on Saturday.

ALSO at The Stand — Did Sinclair buy KOMO to shut it down? (by Dave Twedell)

► From AP — Boeing beats Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings forecast — Boeing posted better-than-expected, third-quarter net income of $1.85 billion and raised its outlook for the year. Shares of Boeing Co. are up more than 90 percent in the past 12 months and more than 70 percent this year.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Whatcom is experiencing job growth in industries that tend to pay higher wage — Whatcom County’s unemployment rate has drifted downward to a level not seen in a decade.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Cowlitz employment still hitting record levels

► From The Stranger — Seattle/King County’s massive, 4-day free health and dental clinic launches this Thursday — For the fourth year in a row, the Seattle/King County Clinic will repurpose KeyArena into something that in looks and scale resembles an emergency response after a natural disaster. But as former Stranger art critic Jen Graves once put it, the disaster is wholly unnatural: “This time, the disaster is the American health care system,’ she wrote.




► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Millennium sues Ecology, fights state permit denialWith the future of the Longview coal dock at stake, Millennium Bulk Terminals is suing the state Department of Ecology and arguing that the state agency unfairly and illegally denied a key permit for the project last month.

► From WEA — Washington Supreme Court hears latest McCleary school funding arguments — In the latest hearing related to the McCleary school funding case, a state attorney admitted the state will miss the Sept. 1, 2018 deadline for amply funding basic education. The same attorney also argued that despite missing the upcoming deadline, the state is in compliance with the Washington Supreme Court’s original McCleary ruling from five years ago. Educators at the hearing expressed frustration with the state’s ongoing delays.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Is McCleary plan enough? Justices appear frustrated — Washington’s Supreme Court justices on Tuesday weighed whether lawmakers have done enough to fulfill the court’s landmark school-funding ruling, known as the McCleary decision.

► From The Hill — Harassment, then helplessness, in state capitals — For women in state legislatures across the country who routinely experience what they call a pervasive culture of sexual harassment, assault and retaliation, there is often little or no recourse.




► TODAY from the Congressional Budget Office — Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 — CBO and the JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce the deficit by $3.8 billion over the 2018–2027 period without substantially changing the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.

► From Medium — May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears (by Sen. Patty Murray) — Since Lamar Alexander and I rolled out our bipartisan health care bill and I’ve seen Republicans grapple with whether or not to support it, I’ve been reminded of that great quote from Nelson Mandela: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Many Republicans have spent years making decisions based on fears, not hopes. Fear of the Tea Party challenging them in a primary. Fear of President Trump attacking them on Twitter. Fear of being attacked for working on anything that President Obama had a hand in building — even if it was to improve it. And I could go on. But I am hoping that there are enough Republicans who are willing to turn the page on those fears, and start making choices based on their hopes. Because this is what I hear from my constituents, and I am confident that it’s what Republicans hear from theirs.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Congress must stabilize health insurance (editorial) — The Murray-Alexander deal would extend CSR payments for another two years while providing states more flexibility. It helps nobody to undermine the current market with no immediate replacement in sight. Scoring political points at the expense of health care coverage should be off the table.

► From The Hill — Groups in scramble to delay ACA taxes — The medical device and insurance industries are fighting to stop Affordable Care Act taxes from taking effect now that it’s clear the law will remain on the books next year.




► In today’s Washington Post — ‘Dangerous,’ ‘utterly untruthful’: Retiring GOP senators sound alarm on Trump — In an extraordinary breach, Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee questioned the president’s fitness for office and warned that his actions presented a danger to the nation, remarks that escalated a civil war roiling the party ahead of the 2018 midterms.

ALSO at The Stand — GOP senator: Trump is ‘reckless, dangerous’ — Sen. Flake: “Politics can make us silent when we should speak and silence can equal complicity. I have children and grandchildren to answer to. And so, I will not be complicit or silent.”

► In today’s Washington Post — Enough (by Sen. Jeff Flake) — As I contemplate the Trump presidency, I cannot help but think of Joseph Welch. During the Army-McCarthy hearings, Welch asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy for his attention and told him to listen with both ears: “Until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness.” And then, in words that today echo from his time to ours, Welch delivered the coup de grace: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The answer is “no.” No sense of decency…

► From The Hill — Trump mocks Flake, mentions ‘standing ovation’ for third time

► From Politico — Poll: Voters see Trump as reckless, not honest — Reckless. Thin-skinned. Not honest. Not compassionate. Not stable. Those aren’t just the extraordinary, harsh judgments of President Donald Trump by two retiring, Republican senators on Tuesday — they are also shared by majorities of voters in a new poll.

► In today’s NY Times — Another Republican call to arms, but who will answer? — George W. Bush. John McCain. Bob Corker. And now Jeff Flake of Arizona, who delivered a stinging indictment of President Trump and his own party on the Senate floor on Tuesday. The four men represent a new type of freedom caucus, one whose members are free to speak their minds about the president and how they see his words and actions diminishing the United States and its standing in the world without fear of the political backlash from hard-right conservatives. But who — if anyone — will follow?

► In today’s NY Times — Jeff Flake out, Roy Moore in (by David Leonhardt) — Today’s GOP doesn’t seem to have much room for conservatives who stand up for Trump. It does have room for a hateful demagogue. Roy Moore is the former judge who recently won the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in Alabama. He has called homosexuality “evil” and “so heinous” and who engaged in a discussion, on video, about whether it should be “punished by death.” What are Republican senators doing about Moore? They are endorsing him, that’s what.

► In today’s NY Times — ‘Army’ of lobbyists hits Capitol Hill to preserve NAFTA — Automakers, retailers and other business leaders stormed Capitol Hill on Tuesday in an extraordinary show of force against a Republican president they fear will cripple or kill the North American Free Trade Agreement, an outcome business leaders said could devastate their profits and harm the United States’ ability to compete in a global market.

► In today’s NY Times — Senate acts to shield Wall Street from consumer lawsuits — Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote as Senate Republicans struck down a rule restricting arbitration clauses that would have let Americans sue banks and credit card companies.

► From HuffPost — Elizabeth Warren reams GOP: ‘The system is rigged’ against Americans — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Senate Republicans’ vote to overturn a regulation to help consumers fight Wall Street is proof that “the system is rigged.”




► In today’s NY Times — Tax cuts are the glue holding a fractured Republican Party together — The Republican tax plan is a bit like having a baby to save a failing marriage. With divisions roiling the party, the prospect of a once-in-a-generation bill to cut taxes increasingly appears to be the last, best hope for a fractured establishment desperate to find common ground and advance an effort it has long championed as the pinnacle of Republican orthodoxy… The stakes are rising by the day, as Republican donors and voters watch the intraparty dispute unfold and worry about the party advancing the legislative priorities it has long espoused, let alone holding its congressional majorities in the 2018 midterms.

► In today’s Washington Post — House GOP tax leader threatens to break Trump’s promise not to change 401(k) rules — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady suggested a tax bill he is preparing could lower the tax-free amount Americans can contribute to their retirement accounts, potentially bucking a pledge from President Trump that those accounts would be left alone.

► From Politico — Schumer takes hard line with Trump on taxes — Chuck Schumer has shown he’s willing to cut deals with President Donald Trump. But the Senate minority leader says Democrats will take a hard-line approach with the White House on taxes — and everything else — until Trump’s GOP-only approach hits a dead end.




► From Fox Business — AFL-CIO’s Trumka puts Democrats on notice — The AFL-CIO — the largest union organization in the United States — is holding its convention in St. Louis, Mo., this week, and its president, Richard Trumka, has been reelected by its members. Trumka, who won his third four-year term, is putting the Democratic Party on notice, saying the nation’s largest labor federation cannot count on its support in a blanket fashion anymore.

► From the AFL-CIO — Highlights from Day 3 of the AFL-CIO 2017 Convention

► In today’s Seattle Times — Stuck in part-time work — a new American dilemma (by Jon Talton) — A humming economy and record stock market aren’t enough to help some people get better work. More people — 5.1 million — want full-time work but are stuck in part-time jobs than at any equivalent time during an expansion since the 1980s. And to be clear, this doesn’t include those who choose to work part-time.

► In today’s NY Times — At a steel plant, layoffs and a request: Train your replacement (video) — After an Indianapolis factory said it would move production to Mexico, two longtime friends disagree whether to help the company train their replacements.


► From The Onion — Jeff Bezos’ heart breaks a little reading Albany’s Amazon headquarters pitch — “Oh, jeez, you can tell they put a lot of work into this sad presentation — they even provided a concept sketch of our headquarters across the river from their little Amtrak station,” said Bezos… At press time, Amazon had reportedly received an addendum to Albany’s proposal noting they are optimistic that United Airlines may begin offering flights between their city and Detroit within the next year.


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