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Pay teachers! ● Republicans and Russia ● A Space Force question

Monday, August 13, 2018




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Tri-Cities teacher raises are still up in the air. Will they reach deals in time? — Richland teachers plan to rally Monday as contract negotiations with the school district over raises stretch toward the start of the school year. Meanwhile, Pasco and Kennewick teachers and administrators also are grappling over the same issue — with Pasco union and district officials headed back to the negotiating table and Kennewick bargainers wading to mediation. It’s not just a local issue — far from it. Across Washington, wage negotiations are happening in numerous districts, spurred by an overhaul of the state education funding system and an accompanying $2 billion infusion for educator pay.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle city workers tell of unfair treatment and mistrust, as government tracks diversity shortfalls — People of color who work for the city of Seattle are underrepresented among its top bosses, and women are badly underrepresented across all levels of city government, according to a new workforce report by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration.

► In the Wenatchee World — Cougar Creek, Grass Valley fires grow significantly — The Cougar Creek Fire is now up to 26,695 acres — an increase of 7,318 acres from Saturday. It’s still about 5 percent contained. Total personnel is up to 1,190. The Grass Valley Fire in Sims Corner near Mansfield is up to 45,000 acres. That’s a major change from Saturday, when it was at 1,000 acres, and officials said dry conditions and wind are to blame.

► In today’s Seattle Times — As Trump considers penalties, Seattle-area immigrants turn down public benefits they’re entitled to claim — Immigrants are withdrawing their children from health care and turning down food stamps as the Trump administration considers penalizing those who use public benefits — even if they’re legally in the U.S.

► From KNKX — Lawsuit over immigrant detainee wages is now class action — A legal challenge to $1 dollar per day wages paid to immigrants held at a Tacoma detention center can proceed as a class action lawsuit, a federal judge has ruled.




► In the News Tribune — Embattled Tacoma lawmaker concedes primary race, likely won’t advance — Embattled Rep. David Sawyer (D-Tacoma) lost ground in primary vote counts this week, likely cementing his third place finish and signaling the end of his time in the Legislature. He has been accused by eight women of behavior from both before and after he served in the Legislature that ranged from inappropriate to harassing.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Labor-endorsed Democratic candidate Melanie Morgan scored 41.4% of the vote, Republican Terry Harder got 24.6% and Sawyer, who WSLC delegates voted to OPPOSE, got 22.3%.




► From Politico — Kavanaugh confirmation hearings set for Sept. 4 — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings will start on Sept. 4 and last between three and four days, Republican leaders say. That scheduling tees up the GOP to meet its goal of getting President Trump’s pick seated on the high court by the time its term begins in early October. Democrats have excoriated the GOP for the less-than-complete release of the nominee’s records, including the lack of records from the nominee’s time as Bush’s staff secretary.

ALSO at The Stand — Urge U.S. senators to reject Kavanaugh nomination

► In today’s NY Times — The wrong way to do paid family leave (by Bryce Covert) — Marco Rubio’s bipartisan paid family leave bill is historic but forces parents to rob from their retirement to care for children.

► From The Hill — Fearing ‘blue wave,’ drug, insurance companies build single-payer defense — Powerful health-care interests’ formation of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is a sign of the health-care industry’s alarm over growing support for a single payer health-care law within the Democratic Party.

► In today’s Washington Post — This is not a hoax, and things are not okay (by Joe Scarborough) — Despite evidence and multiple warnings of clear and present danger from Russia attacks on U.S. democracy, Trump still stubbornly sides with an ex-KGB spy over his own law enforcement and intelligence leaders… One thing is certain: Republicans can no longer plead ignorance when it comes to Putin. Our country’s national security community has sounded the alarm. Congress has been warned that our democracy is under attack by the Russians. How GOP leaders respond to this threat will determine not only the legacy of their political party but also the resilience of a political system they have carelessly ceded to a buffoon. Unless Republican leaders begin putting country ahead of party, history’s judgment against them all will be harsh.

► A related story in the Spokesman-Review — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers won’t rule out impeaching Rod Rosenstein — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Thursday that impeachment of Justice Department officials overseeing the Russian probe should be an option if they don’t work with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to disclose more information.

► In today’s NY Times — Voting rights advocates used to have an ally in the government. That’s changing. — During the Obama administration, the Justice Department would often go to court to stop states from restricting access to the polls. But 18 months into Trump’s term, there are signs of change: The department has launched no new efforts to roll back state restrictions on the ability to vote, and instead often sides with them.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Not in Washington state, where the Democratic-controlled Legislature has taken multiple steps to promote voting and expand access to the polls and representative government.




► From The Hill — Unions see Missouri win as red state watershed — Americans’ views on unions hit a 14-year high last year, reaching 61 percent approval, a distinct turnaround since the Great Recession almost a decade ago, when approval hit an all-time low of 48 percent amid job cuts, a contracting economy and the government bailout of U.S. automakers. Even Republican support for unions is on the rise, from a low of 26 percent in 2011 to last year’s 42 percent, just a hair below the share who disapprove of unions.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Don’t just like ’em, JOIN ‘EM! Click here for information about how to join a union.

► In the Washington Post — In U.S., wage growth is being wiped out entirely by inflation — Rising prices have erased U.S. workers’ meager wage gains, the latest sign strong economic growth has not translated into greater prosperity for the middle and working classes. Cost of living was up 2.9 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, the Labor Department reported Friday, an inflation rate that outstripped a 2.7 percent increase in wages over the same period. The average U.S. “real wage,” a federal measure of pay that takes inflation into account, fell to $10.76 an hour last month, 2 cents down from where it was a year ago.

► From CNBC — An increasing number of women are finding high-paying jobs in an unexpected place — building casinos — It’s taken Savy Man-Doherty 10 years to achieve her goal of becoming a journeyman pipefitter. It’s a well-paid union job in which she gets to work with her hands while earning $42 an hour, more than three times what she once made as an office worker at a non-profit… The traditionally male-dominated construction industry has become increasingly welcoming to women, who are seen as part of the solution to the construction worker shortage, and a labor force that will help shore up union pensions. Man-Doherty is now the face of statewide initiative to recruit more women into the field, which has won her some local celebrity.

► In today’s NY Times — At Carrier, the factory Trump saved, morale is through the floor — Twenty months after the president-elect reached a deal to keep blue-collar jobs from leaving the country, absenteeism plagues the Indiana plant. Employees share a looming sense that a factory shutdown is inevitable — that Carrier has merely postponed the closing until a more politically opportune moment.

► In today’s Washington Post — White-supremacist rally near White House dwarfed by thousands of anti-hate protesters





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