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Apple tariffs | Census sabotage | Teacher walkouts | Sinclair ‘cult’

Monday, April 2, 2018




► In the Yakima H-R — Gov. Inslee visits Yakima to sign bill establishing ‘Cesar Chavez Day’ — Before his death in 1993, Chavez visited the Yakima Valley several times, urging county residents to support boycotts, strikes and other initiatives. In 1986, he led a march from Granger to Yakima.

ALSO at The Stand — State celebrates its first Cesar Chavez Day




► In today’s Washington Post — Trade war escalates as China says it will impose tariffs on 128 U.S. exports, including pork and fruit — The Chinese government plans to immediately impose tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork and certain fruits (including apples), a direct response to President Trump’s recent moves to pursue numerous trade restrictions against Beijing.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Work to start on $90 million lab in Richland, thanks to federal budget — Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will be able to start work on a $90 million new building with world-class chemistry capabilities in Richland, thanks to $20 million in federal dollars. The spending bill for fiscal 2018 passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 23 included the money to start the project, said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

► In the Seattle Times — Some airport workers still earn less than minimum wage, as SeaTac law leaves a confusing patchwork — McGee Air Services, which handles bags for Alaska Airlines at Sea-Tac, pays new hires just less than the minimum wage. And cargo-ramp workers employed directly by the airline earn much less than that. Both are represented by the Machinists union. What’s going on?

► In the Seattle Times — More state money for schools means Kent teachers escape layoffs — For months, Kent schools have been in crisis-mode, anticipating more than 100 across-the-board layoffs. But this week, Gov. Inslee approved extra money for schools, which will move Kent back from the brink.

► In the Yakima H-R — U.S. Census: Yakima officials debate merits of White House decision to ask about citizenship — Critics say asking census respondents if they are U.S. citizens will lead to inaccurate counts and a resulting in drop federal funding, while supporters say it’s the only surefire way to prevent voter fraud and accurately represent voters.

EDITOR’S NOTE — What voter fraud?

► In the (Everett) Herald — Keep citizenship question out of 2020 census (editorial) — A proposal to slip a question into the 2020 census asking about U.S. citizenship might seem harmless at first glance — even potential useful — but it comes too late in the planning for the enumeration, required every 10 years by the Constitution, and threatens to discourage participation that would have impacts on fair representation in Congress and in distribution of federal funding. And there’s no need to include it.




► In the Seattle Times — Russia probe is no place for partisanship: Will Washington’s delegation protect the special counsel probe? (editorial) — Congress must ensure that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is able to complete his investigation. Washington’s 12-member delegation is mostly supportive, based on a survey conducted by this editorial board. But the state’s four Republicans are being disappointingly partisan and refused to answer specific questions about how they would defend Mueller. None would commit to supporting either of two proposals in Congress to protect the special counsel and two, including U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth highest ranking member of the Republican caucus, did not respond to our questions. Mueller’s investigation, to determine the extent of Russia’s attack on the 2016 election and any involvement with President Donald Trump’s campaign, is arguably the federal government’s most important task right now. At stake is the integrity of democracy in the United States.

► MUST-READ from Pro Publica — A betrayal — Henry is a teenager who decided he had to get away from his gang, MS-13. So he told police everything he knew. In return, the U.S. government is deporting him to El Salvador where MS-13 is in control, and he’s marked for death.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Is America great again yet?

► In today’s Washington Post — ‘No more DACA deal,’ Trump says as he threatens to ‘stop’ NAFTA if Mexico doesn’t better secure border —  President Trump spent his Easter morning in Florida on an anti-immigrant tirade, declaring Sunday that there would be no deal to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers” and threatening to exit the NAFTA unless Mexico increases border security. It was Trump who last fall canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was begun in the Obama administration to provide temporary protection to dreamers… In his comments Sunday, he appeared to be confused about the rules of the program. To qualify, immigrants must have lived in the United States since 2007, have arrived in the country before age 16 and have been younger than 31 on June 15, 2012. No one arriving in the country after that date is eligible.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Tax cut: The richest get $33,000, the poorest will get $40 — The Republican tax law passed last fall will give the richest 1 percent of Americans an average personal income tax break of about $33,000, while the poorest Americans will receive an average personal income tax break of $40, according to a new study by nonpartisan analysts.

► In today’s Washington Post — Justice in the #MeToo era is not nearly as swift for federal employees — A new study shows that sexual harassment is commonplace in federal offices, and settlements can take years in a system many say is underfunded.




► Today from ABC News — Tens of thousands of teachers planning massive rallies and classroom walkouts — Tens of thousands of public school teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma plan to attend rallies on Monday at their state capitols in what they hope will be the latest display of muscle by the nation’s educators demanding higher wages and better classroom resources. The double demonstrations come less than a month after West Virginia teachers went on a nine-day strike that ended with the governor there signing legislation giving them a 5 percent pay hike — their first raise in four years.


ALSO at The Stand — The way forward for a new labor movement (by Jonathan Rosenblum)

► In today’s Washington Post — Oklahoma teachers prepare to walk out as furor over school funding spreads across the country — The state’s schools have endured some of the nation’s steepest cuts in education in the last decade. The walkout follows protests in West Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.

► From Bloomberg — The newest weapons against unions are employees — U-Haul workers sent a flood of letters seeking to reverse an Obama-era rule that could make it easier for unions to win workplace elections. Most used very similar language, in part because the company wrote it for them.

► From HuffPost — Union behind the ‘Fight for $15’ cuts funding for local fast-food campaigns — SEIU poured around $10.8 million into fast-food efforts in 2017, down from around $19 million the previous year, according to one analysis. The biggest cuts appear to have hit local organizing committees, which have done the on-the-ground outreach to workers and coordinated the fast-food strikes that began in 2012.

► In the NY Daily News — The Onion employees unionize, joining Writers Guild of America — No joke: Employees at The Onion are now unionized. The editorial and video staffs at the satirical website, along with its fellow workers at Clickhole and the A/V Club sites, are now aligned with the Writers Guild of America.

► In the Detroit Free Press — My college degree didn’t help me find work. But learning a trade did. (by Corey Aitken) — I started my post-secondary education like many of my friends and former classmates. And just as it was instilled in me, like probably all of you, I was told to graduate high school, go to college because college graduates get the best careers.




► In today’s NY Times — Sinclair made dozens of local news anchors recite the same script — On local news stations across the United States last month, dozens of anchors gave the same speech about “fake news” to their combined millions of viewers… Sinclair regularly sends video segments to the stations it owns. These are referred to as “must-runs,” and they can include content like terrorism news updates and commentators speaking in support of President Trump. But some observers say asking newscasters to present the material themselves is new.


ALSO at The Stand — Did Sinclair buy KOMO to shut it down? (Oct. 18, 2017)

► From Newsweek — Sinclair hired reporter from Russian propaganda outlet RT who produced ‘must-run’ ‘Deep State’ segment — The “must-run” piece aired on March 21 and featured Sebastian Gorka, the former adviser to President Donald Trump, lamenting the existence of a deep state—a popular conspiracy theory in some circles that longtime career public servants in the government are working to subvert the U.S. government.

► From The Hill — John Oliver rips Sinclair media bias message: Anchors ‘like members of a brainwashed cult’ — “Nothing says ‘We value independent media’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult,” the HBO host said on “Last Week Tonight.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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