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Zombies walk | Fake = negative | Tax breaks don’t work

Wednesday, May 9, 2018




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Actors union orders ‘Z Nation’ work stoppage over pay dispute — The union representing actors on SyFy’s “Z Nation” is ordering its members not to work in response to a pay dispute. Rik Deskin, the president of the SAG-AFTRA Seattle office, said that all members were not to accept employment or render any services on the show. Deskin said the show’s producers have failed to pay actors residual payments, which they are contractually obligated to pay whenever the show’s episodes play in reruns or are sold for syndication.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing’s $9.5 billion Iran deals, always uncertain, are now effectively dead — Following President Trump’s scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal and his imposition of sanctions, Boeing’s prospective $9.5 billion jet sale to Iran is finished for the foreseeable future. For Boeing, it’s a lost opportunity rather than a blow to current plans.

► From the Inlander — Washington State University will launch study on impact of 12-hour nursing shifts — Do consecutive 12-hour shifts impair a nurse’s work with patients and increase fatigue? That’s the question that a team led by Lois James, a researcher at the Washington State University College of Nursing, is trying to answer. James will lead a $1 million study, funded by the federal government, on nurses’ work shifts.

► From Crosscut — Seattle case workers: ‘A paycheck away from being homeless themselves’ — Katelyn Morgaine catches herself sometimes dreaming of a house near Lake Washington or eating the restaurant meals she once enjoyed in her previous life as a lawyer. But she knows those became fantasies years ago, when she jumped from the world of insurance defense litigation to social-services case management, where she now triages a caseload of more than 40 clients — who live on the streets, in shelters, in their cars — for a salary of less than $40,000 a year. Many of her colleagues live in low-income housing, sometimes in the same building as their clients.




► In today’s News Tribune — King County rushes free election postage, now state must follow (editorial) — Now that the state’s hand has been forced, it should pay for uniform voter postage across Washington this year.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State regulators tell utilities to tally social costs of carbon emissions — The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission directives were sent to Puget Sound Energy, Avista Corp and Pacific Power, which collectively serve more than 1.47 million state customers from a mix of coal, natural gas and renewable power. The commission asks the utilities to assign a hefty cost to carbon emissions, a pollution source that scientists say is driving climate change.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — WSU coach Leach joins state lawmakers on trip to Cambodia — Legislative staff members back in Olympia were working Tuesday to come up with details of the trip (and who paid for it) after GOP Sens. Mike Baumgartner and Doug Ericksen, and GOP Rep. Vincent Buys, along with Leach, were shown in meetings with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.




► From NPR — Likely 2020 Democratic candidates want to guarantee a job to every American — No major candidates have declared that they’re preparing a run against President Trump in two years, but whispers are building around potential candidates. A few of them have coalesced around a seriously ambitious policy idea — guaranteeing a job for every American who wants one.

► In today’s NY Times — Party mavericks are rebuffed at the polls — Republicans in West Virginia defeated Don Blankenship, an ex-convict coal baron in West Virginia, and Ohio Democrats fended off Dennis Kucinich, whom many saw as unelectable.

► From the Washington Post — North Carolina GOP congressman loses primary, first House incumbent ousted — Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger’s defeat came as a surprise to House Republicans, who figured the incumbent had shored up support in the district after a shaky start.

► In today’s Columbus Dispatch — Ohioans approve new process to draw congressional districts — Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to revamp the process for drawing congressional districts, holding the promise that the next map will feature less gerrymandering by politicians and more fairness for voters.




► From The Hill — Ryan: GOP has deal on bill easing Dodd-Frank — Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that the House and Senate have struck a deal to pass the upper chamber’s bipartisan bill to roll back strict financial rules enacted by former President Obama.




► In today’s NY Times — Trump lawyer got $500,000 from firm tied to Russia mogul — A shell company that Michael Cohen used to pay hush money to a pornographic film actress received payments totaling more than $1 million from an American company linked to a Russian oligarch and several corporations with business before the Trump administration… Other transactions described in the financial records include hundreds of thousands of dollars Cohen received from Fortune 500 companies (including pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries, and AT&T) with business before the Trump administration.

► From TPM — WSJ: In mock Mueller interview, Trump took 4 hours to get through two questions — In an informal, four-hour practice session, Trump’s lawyers were only able to walk him through two questions, given the frequent interruptions on national-security matters along with Trump’s loquaciousness, one person familiar with the matter said.

► From The Hill — Trump threatens to remove news networks’ press credentials over negative coverage

► From Vox — Trump finally admits that “fake news” just means news he doesn’t like — The Fox & Friends report that inspired Trump’s tweet this morning was based on a study by the Media Research Center, a right-wing media watchdog group, that claims that 90 percent of Trump news coverage from January 1 to April 30 of this year was negative… The Media Research Center didn’t say the negative Trump coverage was fake. Trump himself conveniently drew the connection.




► In today’s LA Times — ‘We are humans too:’ Voices of UCLA’s striking custodians, hospital aides and imaging technicians — This week, thousands of UC employees are staging a three-day strike for better pay and working conditions. On Monday, more than 20,000 custodians, cooks, lab technicians, nurse aides and other members of AFSCME Local 3299 walked off their jobs. By Tuesday, two more unions joined in sympathy strikes. The union and UC reached a bargaining impasse last year. The university has said it won’t meet the workers’ demands. Workers covered UCLA’s Westwood campus Monday. They wore green T-shirts that proclaimed in big yellow block letters, “We run UC.”

► In the Daily Bruin — Other unions representing UC workers plan to join AFSCME in solidarity strike — Unions representing medical employees in the University of California plan to hold a strike in solidarity with the UC’s largest union this week.




► In today’s NY Times — When all else fails, tax incentives probably will, too (by Eduardo Porter) — Giveaways like these are often a waste of public money. Research on a program of corporate tax breaks in Texas found that 85 to 90 percent of the projects benefiting from such incentives would have gone forward without them. Even when tax breaks work and spawn new jobs, local residents gain little if anything. Timothy J. Bartik, an economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich., estimates that eight of every 10 new jobs will be filled by outsiders. While the new workers will pay taxes, most of the revenue will be spent on public services for a growing population. And the incentives themselves will blow a hole in state and local budgets, draining resources that would be better invested in, say, public education.


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