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ACA clock ticking ● Lame-duck tax giveaway ● ‘No warning’ from GM

Tuesday, November 27, 2018




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Deadline for health insurance open enrollment is nearing — This year’s open enrollment period for 2019 began on Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. People who don’t receive insurance through an employer or who are ineligible for government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare can purchase private insurance plans on, the online marketplace that allows side-by-side comparison of the different plans being offered in each county.

► In today’s Olympian — DNR recruiting 550 seasonal firefighters — The state Department of Natural Resources is looking for 550 seasonal workers for the 2019 wildfire season, the agency announced. That season begins about mid-June and lasts until mid-September, although it could extend into October and even November, according to DNR. Some returning firefighters will start in April.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Mixed report on Washington state charter schools’ accountability — The Washington state auditor’s office found “mixed results” when it evaluated the accountability of the state’s charter schools during the 2017-2018 school year.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Restoring taxi, night and weekend transit services could cost millions — It will take months and millions to rebuild the off-hours services Ben Franklin Transit lost when a key contractor unexpectedly went out of business at Halloween. This feeder service provides point-to-point transportation to customers who live outside of the “fixed route” system, connecting them to the nearest bus stop of transit center.

EDITOR’S NOTE — When public services are privatized, any initial cost savings are lost when public infrastructure to provide those services is dismantled, leaving taxpayers vulnerable to contractors’ price hikes and, as in this case, loss of service when contractors go out of business.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Monday marks first day of fast ferry service from Kingston to Seattle — Fast ferry service between Kingston and Seattle officially launched Monday morning, the second of three passenger-only routes Kitsap Transit plans to operate between Kitsap County and Seattle.

► In today’s News Tribune — Carpenter apprentices will have new place for training in DuPont — DuPont’s Northwest Landing continues to grow along with the Northwest Carpenters Institute of Washington. The site will be an additional campus for the institute, which has sites in Kent, Renton, Mount Vernon, Spokane and Kennewick.

► From Crosscut — Sally Bagshaw will not seek re-election to Seattle City Council — With two incumbents already out, the 2019 council race is shaping up to be raucous.




► From Politico — House Republicans unveil giant tax package — House Republicans on Monday evening unexpectedly released a 297-page tax bill they hope to move during the lame-duck session of Congress. The legislation would revive a number of expired tax provisions known as “extenders.” House Republicans may vote on the proposal as soon as this week. They did not release a detailed summary of the plan, or an official estimate of how much it would cost.

► From Politico — Shutdown fight over border wall nears — Sources say the White House’s top priority is securing several years worth of wall construction. House Republican leaders are heading to the White House on Tuesday afternoon as GOP leaders try to placate President Donald Trump and avoid a partial government shutdown on Dec. 7.

► In today’s Washington Post — Mueller says Manafort lied after pleading guilty, should be sentenced immediately — Prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III said former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort breached his plea deal by lying repeatedly as they questioned him for the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

► Exclusive from The Guardian — Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy — Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. It is unclear why Manafort would have wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last apparent meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller. A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016. Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

► From Politico — GOP’s Goodlatte: ‘It’s awfully tough’ for Ivanka Trump to comply with email standards — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said on Monday that it was “awfully tough” for government officials such as Ivanka Trump to comply with agency standards for secure communications when sending emails.




► In today’s NY Times — GM to idle plants, cut thousands of jobs as sales slow — General Motors announced Monday that it planned to idle five factories in North America and cut roughly 14,000 jobs in a bid to trim costs. It was a jarring reflection of the auto industry’s adjustment to changing consumer tastes and sluggish sales. The move, which follows job reductions by Ford Motor Company, further pares the work force in a sector that President Trump had promised to bolster.

ALSO at The Stand — We didn’t bail out GM so it could hoard profits, close plants (a statement from UAW Vice President Terry Dittes)

► In the Detroit Free Press — GM workers say they had ‘no warning’ of closure — As word spread Monday that GM is closing assembly plants, including Detroit-Hamtramck, its roughly 1,500 workers were at home on Thanksgiving break — watching the news roll in like everybody else. “You tell the world before you tell us,” said line worker Dnitra Landon, pulled over in her 2017 Buick Encore before she clocked into the Hamtramck plant Tuesday morning. “The world don’t come in here every morning at 6 o’clock to work for you, so how come we don’t get to know before the world?”

► In today’s Washington Post — GM layoffs are another victory for capital over labor (by Christopher Ingraham) — The combination of unemployed workers and happy investors underscores a key point about the modern American economy: What’s good for corporate profits isn’t necessarily good for workers. In fact, and perhaps now more than ever, the interests of a company’s workers and shareholders are directly at odds. It wasn’t always this way.

► From KUOW — ‘We’re taking a stand’: Google workers protest plans for censored search in China — Several Google employees have gone public with their opposition to the tech giant’s plans for building a search engine tailored to China’s censorship demands. The project, code-named Dragonfly, would block certain websites and search terms determined by the Chinese government — a move that, according to a growing number of workers at Google, is tantamount to enabling “state surveillance.”


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

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