Upside-down Seattle | Teachers go ‘big’ | Why Trump is panicking

Thursday, April 12, 2018




► From KUOW — Seattle has most regressive taxes among large U.S. cities, report says — Taxes here are exceptionally hard on the poor and uniquely light on the rich. “When you look at Washington state, it’s the most regressive out of all the states, and when you look Seattle, it’s the most regressive out of all the largest cities in every state,” said Matthew Caruchet of the Economic Opportunity Institute.

ALSO at The Stand — Rally April 14 for tax system that works for all of us — “Tax Rally 2018: Invest In All Of Us” will be Saturday, April 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St. in Seattle.

► From Crosscut — More layoffs at the already depleted Seattle P-I — SeattlePI.com, the remaining lifeboat from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s dramatic 2009 collapse, will lose a third of its already depleted editorial staff. In what its owner, the Hearst Corporation, views as a reorganization, two employees were laid off and one resigned.

► From KNKX — Workers set to empty Hanford’s infamous K-Basin of radioactive sludge — Workers plan to tackle some of the nastiest waste on the massive Hanford cleanup site next month. The so-called K-Basin holds sandy, explosive, potentially flammable and highly-radioactive sludge stored in six large containers.

► BREAKING this morning from the Tri-City Herald — Incident reported at Idaho nuclear site, crews responding –Federal officials early Thursday activated an Emergency Operations Center and sent crews to a reported incident at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho.

► A special report in today’s Seattle Times — ‘I felt so alone’: What women at Microsoft face, and why many leave — Court filings, internal documents and interviews with employees illustrate why Microsoft has failed to hire or retain more women: Widespread complaints focus on a culture of casual sexism, a male-dominated hierarchy slow to change, and poor resolution of grievances.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Good jobs in this country were made by people who refused to quit, and instead, joined together to negotiate better treatment and a fair return on their work. Contact a union organizer today!




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — As school-funding fight winds down, teachers want ‘big’ raises — Washington public school teachers are ready to reap financial rewards from their long battle to increase state funding for education. Union leaders are making no secret of their desire to win double-digit salary increases for teachers in contract negotiations getting under way in districts around the state.

► From Medium — Accurate 2020 census a priority for Governor Inslee — The accuracy of the 2020 census, which is mandated to count every person living in the country regardless of citizenship status, is at risk. Underfunding, a transition to an online system, and the Trump administration’s stated intention of adding a citizenship question on the census form are causing concerns that participation will be suppressed and the 2020 census will fall short of delivering an accurate count. In Washington state, officials started laying the groundwork last year in anticipation of efforts to jeopardize the decadal count.




► From Newsweek — Trump’s tax cuts didn’t benefit U.S. workers, made companies richer, analysis finds — A new analysis of all Fortune 500 companies found only 4.3 percent of workers will receive a one-time bonus or wage increase tied to the business tax cuts, while businesses received nine times more in cuts than what they passed on to their workers, according to Americans for Tax Fairness, a political advocacy group devoted to tax reform. The analysis also found that companies spent 37 times as much on stock buybacks than they did on bonuses and increased wages for workers.

► From Reuters — U.S. companies found ways to avoid taxes before tax bill: report — Fifteen U.S. corporations including online retailer Amazon, power company Duke Energy and insurer Prudential Financial avoided U.S. tax on nearly $25 billion in combined profits last year, a tax watchdog group said on Tuesday. The 15 corporations had profits of $24.5 billion in 2017 but managed to obtain nearly $1.4 billion in rebates from the U.S. Treasury for a combined tax rate of minus 5.6 percent. The nonpartisan group said the new U.S. tax regime, which slashed the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent beginning in January, will likely allow corporations avoid even more tax.

ALSO at The Stand — Rally April 14 for tax system that works for all of us — “Tax Rally 2018: Invest In All Of Us” will be Saturday, April 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St. in Seattle.

► From Bloomberg — ‘This is nuts’: Rare business coalition fights Trump tariff proposals — A rare coalition of business groups are banding together to fight President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs, arguing they will hurt U.S. consumers and the economy.

► From The Hill — Loss of Ryan hits hard for House Republicans — The ripple effects of Ryan’s announcement will not be clear for months. But in the early hours after the news broke, some Republicans framed the news as both the latest sign that Republicans are headed for the minority as well as a spark that could set off more GOP retirements.

► In today’s NY Times — Saving Paul Ryan (editorial) — How the departing House speaker handles President Trump will define his legacy. It’s not too late for him to step up.

► From The Guardian — Randy Bryce says he ‘repealed Paul Ryan.’ Now he wants to replace him. — This week the thick-set ironworker with an inky black mustache that gave him his “Iron Stache” nickname took one giant step towards Washington. Bryce, a 53-year-old army veteran, is running for Wisconsin’s first congressional district, the seat held by the House speaker, Paul Ryan, since he first won office in 1998. While Bryce was polling well, and his campaign out-raised Ryan’s.

► In the Seattle Times — Democrats, watch out on your left (by Michelle Goldberg) — New leader Maurice Mitchell wants to make the Working Families Party home to a new generation of activists who are part of a historic upsurge in popular protest, fusing Bernie Sanders’ class politics with a focus on racial and gender equality.




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump operating on tornado of impulses as he deals with Syria, trade and Russia probe — Many of the guardrails that previously helped stabilize President Trump — from West Wing aides to clear policy processes — have been cast aside, with little evident organization or long-term strategy emanating from the White House.

► In today’s Washington Post — Bannon pitches White House on plan to cripple Mueller probe and protect Trump — Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted as White House chief strategist last summer but has remained in touch with some members of President Trump’s circle, is pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies to cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The first step, sources say, would be for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

► From The Guardian — 300,000 vow to march if Trump fires special counsel — More than 300,000 people have pledged to attend “rapid response” protests across the US, should Trump fire special counsel Robert Mueller. The activist website MoveOn said it had more than 800 “emergency” rallies around the country prepared if Trump dismisses Mueller

► From Politico — Why Trump is panicking (by former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti) — Trump is right to be concerned about the FBI search of Cohen’s office, but not because it was improper or a violation of attorney-client privilege. In fact, there are established Justice Department procedures regarding searches of attorney offices. What should concern Trump is that the search of Cohen’s office presumably met the rigorous requirements of those procedures and reportedly resulted in the seizure of communications between Trump and Cohen… Cohen is in serious legal jeopardy, and his communications could lead Mueller to Trump.

► In today’s Seattle Times — FBI raid on Trump’s attorney was linked to ‘Access Hollywood’ tape

► From The Hill — In major shift, GOP-controlled panel moves to protect Mueller — The Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to move forward with legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, a significant shift that comes amid growing pressure from Democrats.




► In today’s NY Times — Teacher walkouts threaten Republican grip on conservative states — An intensifying series of red-state battles over education funding and teacher pay threatens to loosen Republicans’ grip on some of the country’s most conservative states, as educators and parents rebel against a decade of fiscal austerity that has cut deeply into public education. As Arizona teachers laid the groundwork this week for a walkout, thousands of Oklahoma teachers stayed out of the classroom to protest low school budgets, and some in Kentucky continued their protests against a pension reform bill. Last month, West Virginia’s Republican-controlled government made concessions to striking teachers.

► From Politico — Teachers are going on strike in Trump’s America — So far, fed-up teachers have found unexpectedly sturdy support among voting populaces that otherwise have tended to favor low to non-existent taxes.

► In today’s Washington Post — The price of cheap meat? Raided slaughterhouses and upended communities. (by Lynn Waltz) — The cycle is familiar. Americans want cheap meat. That requires low wages. So plants hire undocumented workers. ICE raids the plants. Latino families cry. Schoolteachers are put in the untenable position of either supervising children after hours or sending them home, knowing their parents are missing. People are appalled by the human cost, momentarily. Then employers and workers become more sophisticated at evading detection and the cycle begins again.

► In today’s Washington Post — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens initiated unwanted sexual contact with woman, she testifies — The report produced by a committee of state lawmakers significantly adds to the crisis facing Greitens, who had previously admitted to an extramarital affair with his former hairdresser.


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

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