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Let Postdocs vote | Trump finally goes too far | Handouts for $100B Bezos

Wednesday, March 7, 2018




► From KNKX — UW Postdocs one step closer to joining union — UW Postdocs petitioned to join UAW Local 4121 back in October. That union also represents graduate student teaching assistants at the university. The vote was delayed as the university administration disputed which Postdocs should be considered part of the bargaining unit. On Thursday, the state PERC sided with union organizers to include a broader swath of Postdocs. The ruling opens the door for a union vote unless the university appeals. Postdocs delivered an open letter to the administration Tuesday urging them not to appeal.

ALSO at The Stand — UW Postdocs will vote on union after PERC rules in their favor

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Jefferson employees ask commissioners for help on contract issues — An overflow crowd of Jefferson County employees appeared before the county commissioners to express their concerns about mediated bargaining of their contract, which expired in December 2017. Members of the UFCW 21 on Monday focused on issues of arbitration, staff retention, leave time, pay and comparable benefits in other counties.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Machinists launch another union drive at Boeing South Carolina — The International Association of Machinists on Monday filed another petition to unionize Boeing South Carolina, this time limiting its reach to 180 employees working on the flight line in North Charleston. Boeing will challenge the filing as illegal.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Hawaiian Airlines cancels Airbus and orders 10 Boeing 787-9s — The airline’s defection leaves the Airbus A330-800 model with zero orders.




► From Crosscut — Washington to protect against voting discrimination with new law — Once it’s signed into law, Washington will officially become the second state in the country to enact a Voting Rights Act. Said OneAmerica’s Rich Stolz: “There’s real potential to make our democracy stronger and more representative through the Voting Rights Act.”

► From KUOW — Legislation could lead to more district-based voting in Washington — State lawmakers passed the Washington Voting Rights Act the week, meant to give underrepresented minority groups a larger voice in elections. And that could mean more district-based voting in the future.

ALSO at The Stand — Full disclosure: Historic bills are passing!

► In today’s News Tribune — Lawmakers move ahead with deal to change controversial police shooting law — The agreement announced Tuesday is a surprise in Olympia. Many expected Initiative 940 to get a statewide vote in November following years of failed negotiations between police and advocacy groups dedicated to changing Washington’s uniquely high bar for prosecuting a police officer for using deadly force.

► In today’s Seattle Times — WA has been ranking No. 1 for state-candidate contributions from NRA. Here’s why. — According to national campaign-finance data, Washington state-level candidates collected more money from the gun-rights organization than any other state in recent years — and by a long shot — over second-place Texas. The effort by nation’s most powerful gun-rights group to shape the makeup of the Washington Legislature comes in a state where the split between Democrats and Republicans has narrowed over years and the issue of firearm access becomes increasingly divisive.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Another Mid-Columbia Republican lawmaker to retire, bringing state total to 6 — Rep. Terry Nealey (R-Dayton) has joined a growing list of House Republicans who won’t seek re-election to the State House this fall.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State House GOP leader Kristiansen won’t seek re-election — The Snohomish representative from the 39th District has served in the Legislature since 2003.




► From the AFL-CIO — Don’t let Wall Street profiteers scare you: Trade enforcement ≠ trade war (by Celeste Drake) — The steel and aluminum industries have been under attack by predatory trade practices. For too long, elected officials have talked about the problem, but taken little action. Now that the president has announced he plans to support U.S. producers and their employees, Wall Street, multinational corporations and the elected officials who do their bidding around the world are freaking out. Should you be worried? Here is what you need to know.

► A related story from Globe Newswire — U.S. Steel to restart Granite City (Illinois) Works blast furnace, steelmaking facilities — “Our Granite City Works facility and employees, as well as the surrounding community, have suffered too long from the unending waves of unfairly traded steel products that have flooded U.S. markets,” said U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s top economic adviser to resign amid trade policy differences — Gary Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs, is one of President Trump’s closest advisers. But his influence has eroded recently as Trump pursued tariffs on aluminum and steel, a move Cohn had tried to steer the president away from.

► In today’s NY Times — An important voice for free trade proponents goes silent — Cohn in effect served as a proxy for the business wing of the Republican Party as it fought what may be a losing battle against new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

► In today’s Washington Post — Finally, Trump does something Republicans can’t stomach (by Dana Milbank) — For nearly three years, Republican lawmakers have stood with Trump, offering only isolated protest, through all manner of outrage. Disparaging Mexican immigrants. Videotaped boasts about sexually assaulting women. Alleging that his predecessor put a wiretap on him. Falsely claiming mass­ive voter fraud. Racism directed at a federal judge. The firing of James B. Comey. Talk of women bleeding. A payoff to a porn actress over an alleged affair. A defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville. Support for Senate candidate Roy Moore despite allegations of child molestation. The guilty pleas of Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Rick Gates and the indictment of Paul Manafort. The botched travel ban and bungled repeal of Obamacare. Insulting Britain and other allies. Attacks on the FBI and judiciary and attempts to fire the attorney general. Talk of African “shithole” countries. Questions about his mental stability. The lethargic hurricane response in Puerto Rico. The stream of staff firings and resignations and personal and ethical scandals, most recently Tuesday’s finding that Kellyanne Conway twice violated the Hatch Act.

Republican lawmakers were, by and large, okay with all that. But now Trump has at last gone too far. He has proposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. And the Republican Party is in an all-out revolt.

► NOT from The Onion — Porn star sues the President of the United States of America over nondisclosure agreement

► From The Onion — Gary Cohn resigns in protest of Trump’s bigoted comments towards aluminum 




► A MUST-READ in today’s (Everett) Herald — This single mom will be deported — without her three daughters — The 9-year-old came to her third-grade teacher in tears. Two weeks ago, she learned her mother is being deported. The plane ticket back to Honduras is dated for March 19. “I fell apart,” said Barbara McKinney, a teacher at Kellogg Marsh Elementary in Marysville. She’s taught the girl for two years and also one of her older sisters. “I just held Stacey and I sobbed,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do because I knew the family was going to be separated.” Bernarda Pineda, 33, has lived in the U.S. for 12 years after fleeing the Honduras because it is politically unstable, impoverished and dangerous, particularly for women. She wants better for her children.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Is America great again yet?

► In today’s Washington Post — Justice Dept. sues California over ‘sanctuary’ laws that aid those in U.S. illegally — The department asked a judge to block laws that restrict how California businesses and law enforcement agencies can cooperate with immigration authorities. Kevin de Leon, leader of the California Senate, wrote on Twitter that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was suing his state “because we refuse to help the Trump administration tear apart honest, hardworking immigrant families… To that, I say BRING IT ON!”

► From The Hill — Hispanic Caucus chair to Ryan on DACA: ‘You and I, let’s get this done’ — The top Hispanic House Democrat on Tuesday challenged Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to sit down with her to find a bipartisan replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), walked uninvited to Ryan’s Capitol Hill office to deliver her request, along with a handwritten note and a hula hoop.




► From The Hill — White House pushes for conservative changes to ObamaCare fix — The White House is pushing for several conservative policies to be included in a bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare. The Trump administration is giving support to funding controversial ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reduction payments, which Trump canceled in October. But it also lays out conservative policies that the administration wants included as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear The Hill:

At this point, given that they have actively undermined and destabilized the Affordable Care Act, can we stop calling their damage control an “Obamacare fix”? They are trying to fix the damage done by their own actions, or inaction. Even the insurance companies are blaming them for dramatic rate increases. Seriously, at what point will Republicans own the damage they’ve done?

The Entire Staff of The Stand




► From AP — West Virginia teachers back to school after pay raise victory ends 9-day strike — It’s back to school in West Virginia. Teachers across this poor Appalachian mountain state are reopening classrooms Wednesday, jubilant after their governor signed a 5 percent pay raise ending their nine-day walkout. The West Virginia teachers, some of the lowest-paid in the country, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public support throughout their walkout.

► In the Spokesman-Review — Amazon’s Jeff Bezos becomes first $100 billion mogul on Forbes list — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become the first person to amass a fortune surpassing $100 billion in Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s moguls.

► A related story in the Baltimore Sun — $3 billion tax break offered for Amazon HQ2 in Montgomery County — The $3 billion in tax breaks that Gov. Larry Hogan is offering to entice Amazon to build its second headquarters in Montgomery County would benefit all of Maryland, representatives of the Republican governor told lawmakers.

► Another related story from Fox Business — Amazon earned $5.6 billion in 2017, but paid no federal taxes — That’s largely attributable to “excess stock-based compensation deductions” and the effect of the 2017 Tax Act, according to the company’s SEC filing earlier this month. In other words, Amazon was able to leverage the tax credits and breaks to zero out taxes it owed this year.

► In the NY Times — College Republicans propose an unusual idea from the right: a carbon tax — Under the name Students for Carbon Dividends, the coalition is backing an idea first broached by Republican heavyweights including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz: Tax the carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels and then return the money to consumers as a dividend in the form of monthly cash payments to individuals, both adults and children alike.

► In today’s NY Times — Bricklayers think they’re safe from robots. Decide for yourself.


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