Wednesday, July 25, 2018
RED FOR FEDS
► In the Washington Post — Stage set for unions’ legal challenge against Trump’s executive orders, but effects already hurt — The stage is set for a major battle involving President Trump’s aggressive attack on federal labor organizations, which has already weakened their operations. In courtroom 17 of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is to hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case of federal unions seeking judicial rejection of anti-union executive orders that Trump issued in May.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — America supports its federal workforce — Today, federal workers represented by the American Federation of Government Employees and their supporters across the country are taking a stand against union-busting, democracy-busting executive orders issued by President Trump.
► In today’s NY Times — Education Dept. illegally curbed workers’ union protections, mediators suggest — Federal labor mediators have advised the Education Department that it most likely imposed new work rules on its employees illegally, curtailing workers’ protections and access to union representation in violation of federal law.
► In the Charleston Post and Courier — SC Attorney General steps into North Charleston dispute between Boeing, labor union — The South Carolina Attorney General’s office is jumping into the middle of an organized labor dispute at Boeing Co.‘s North Charleston campus, calling flight line workers’ decision to join a union a threat to the state’s economy. Robert Cook, solicitor general in the attorney general’s office, filed a document last week with the NLRB supporting Boeing in its effort to overturn a ruling that let flight line workers vote on joining the International Association of Machinists union.
ALSO at The Stand — Boeing South Carolina unit votes to join together with IAM (June 1)
► From Bloomberg — Boeing’s $418M tanker writedown rattles investors — Boeing reported a $418 million blow from additional costs as it prepares to deliver the first of its delay-plagued aerial tankers to the Air Force. The latest tanker writedown covers the cost of retrofitting eight aircraft in various stages of production with upgraded software and other enhancements that resulted from flight-testing, Boeing said. The company had already amassed $3 billion in charges developing the aerial refueler based on its 767 jetliner.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump pushes 25 percent auto tariff as top advisers scramble to stop him — The president wants to move forward on the plan despite warnings from GOP leaders and business executives who have argued that such a move could damage the economy and lead to political mutiny.
► In today’s NY Times — Farmers to get billions in aid to ease tariff fallout — Up to $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers, announced Tuesday by the Agriculture Department, would come through a direct assistance program.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Trump’s financial aid offer to farmers criticized as tax-funded ‘welfare’ — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) wrote several messages on Twitter Tuesday praising the strong economy, but made no mention of the announced aid package for farmers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — #CourageousCathy
► In today’s NY Times — So now Trump wants to protect farmers from Trump’s trade war? (editorial) — A $12 billion farm bailout will not undo the damage the administration’s policies are doing to workers.
► A related story in the NY Times — Trump tax cut is pushing the federal deficit to $1 trillion — Corporate income tax collections are near a 75-year low, as a share of the economy, after a new law reduced rates and allowed companies to deduct investments immediately.
► From Bloomberg — Trump’s tax cut hasn’t done anything for workers (by Noah Smith) — First, the tax reform hasn’t yet resulted in appreciably higher wages for American workers. Real average hourly compensation actually fell in the first quarter after the tax reform was passed. Some have expressed dismay that stock buybacks seem to have taken precedence over boosting capital investment. Since the tax cuts passed, companies have been using buybacks to return record amounts of cash to shareholders — more than $700 billion in the first two quarters.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — ‘An absolute disgrace:’ GOP tax plan approved on party lines (Dec. 20, 2017) — It passed the House 227-203 with all of Washington state’s Republican representatives — Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, Dave Reichert, and Jaime Herrera Beutler — voting “yes.”
► In today’s Columbian — Murray, Cantwell urge ICE to end phone call practice — Democratic U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were joined by 141 colleagues from the Senate and House in urging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to change a newly unveiled practice they branded “callous, shameless, and completely unjustified.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump criticizes FCC for opposing Sinclair-Tribune deal — The president said the media merger would provide a “conservative voice for and of the People,” though politics are not supposed to factor into such considerations.
► In today’s NY Times — Cohen releases tape of Trump discussing hush money to model — President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, released a recording in which Trump appears to have knowledge about payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with him.
► A related story in today’s Seattle Times — TV tuned to CNN on Air Force One sends Trump into rage — On the first couple’s recent trip overseas, Melania Trump’s television aboard Air Force One was tuned to CNN. President Donald Trump was not pleased. He raged at his staff for violating a rule that the White House entourage should begin each trip tuned to Fox News.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Happy days for most job seekers — but something’s missing (by Jon Talton) — By the late 1990s, wages adjusted for inflation were rising for all workers, something that hasn’t happened yet amid the current streak of U.S. job growth. Economist Jared Bernstein points out that wage stagnation affects 82 percent of the workforce, especially in manufacturing and non-management jobs in services. “Even at a time of low unemployment, their bargaining power is feeble, the weakest I’ve seen in decades,” Bernstein writes. “Hostile institutions — the Trump administration, the courts, the corporate sector — are limiting their avenues for demanding higher pay.”
► In response to a challenge from the Norfolk (Va.) Police Department, the Seattle Police released an epic lip-sync video this morning set to Macklemore’s “Downtown.” It includes cameos by Seattle Mariners superstar Felix Hernandez and Mayor Jenny Durkan, among others. Check it out!
The Entire Staff of The Stand is taking the rest of the week off. We’ll be back on Monday, July 30. Until then…
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.