Thursday, November 29, 2018
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Feds threaten to sue over law to help sick Hanford workers — The Department of Justice has threatened to sue the state of Washington to block an expansion of the state worker compensation program for ill Hanford workers. The legislation passed in 2018 was intended to make it easier for Hanford workers to win approval of claims for a wide range of illnesses. “If the Department of Justice challenges this law in court I look forward to defending it,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a statement. “Hanford workers deserve to be compensated for the health issues caused by their dangerous work.”
TUESDAY at The Stand — Feds oppose workers’ comp protections for Hanford workers
EDITOR’S NOTE — This TCH report notes: Current or former workers who want to file a compensation claim may get help with the state or other programs at no cost at the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center at 309 Bradley Blvd. Suite 120, in Richland. Call 509-376-4932.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Despite plans to step down as House speaker, Rep. Frank Chopp says he’ll run again in 2020 — The Seattle Democrat also sketched out priorities for the upcoming legislative session, including a possible capital-gains tax.
TODAY at The Stand — Register now for WSLC’s 2019 Legislative Conference
► From KNKX — State’s charter schools are supposed to serve at-risk students. So, are they? — A new audit finds that, when comparing charters to traditional public schools in their respective neighborhoods, six out of 10 charters have more affluent student populations than nearby schools.
► From the AP — State lawmakers call for ban on plastic bags — Currently, 19 cities in Washington have plastic bag bans in place, including Seattle, Tacoma and Edmonds. Kenmore most recently approved a ban that takes effect on Jan. 1.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Democrats won big, but party leader could still lose her job — Tina Podlodowski, who was elected leader of the state Democratic Party two years ago on the strength of support from Bernie Sanders backers, now faces a re-election challenge from one of those insurgent progressives, Jason Call of Marysville.
► In today’s Washington Post — Pilots say they were ‘in the dark’ about Boeing’s 737 safety update — Boeing’s latest airliners lack a common override feature that, in some dangerous circumstances, allows pilots to reliably pull planes out of nosedives and avert crashes such as last month’s fatal plunge by Lion Air Flight 610, aeronautics experts and pilot groups say. The state-of-the-art 737 MAX 8 airplanes do not have this feature, yet the company failed to prominently warn pilots of the change even as airlines worldwide began taking delivery of the new jets last year, pilots say.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle high-school graduates will get 2 free years of community college. Here’s how it will work. — Seattle joins a wave of programs across the country that have been created by lawmakers, or voters, that aim to remove the barriers to higher education by making community college tuition-free.
► In today’s Wenatchee World — City workers help family from burning home — A pair of city of Wenatchee code enforcement officers are credited with helping evacuate a family from a burning home Wednesday morning.
► From Politico — Pelosi grabs momentum with big speaker vote — Nancy Pelosi is one step closer to a historic return to the speakership, having handily won her party’s nomination to lead the House in the 116th Congress.
► In today’s NY Times — Democrats resoundingly nominate Pelosi as Speaker, but defections signal fight ahead — The 203-32 result kept alive the threat of a messy intraparty feud and touched off what promises to be an intense period of internal arm-twisting and cajoling by a leader renowned for both.
► From The Hill — Dem single-payer fight set to shift to battle over Medicare ‘buy-in’ — Momentum is building among House Democrats for a more moderate alternative to single-payer health-care legislation. The legislation, which would allow people aged 50 to 65 to buy Medicare, is being championed by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), who supported House Minority Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Speaker in exchange for a commitment to work on his bill when Democrats take control of the House early next year.
► From Politico — Deal reached in farm bill talks — Top farm bill negotiators said they reached an “agreement in principle,” offering hope of breaking a months-long impasse over commodity and food stamp policy that would pave the way for Congress to send legislation to Trump before the end of the year. Details of the compromise weren’t immediately released.
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN
► BREAKING from the NY Times — Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress — Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in August to breaking campaign finance laws, pleaded guilty Thursday to a new criminal charge, the latest turn in the special counsel’s investigation of Trump and his inner circle. Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. That real estate deal has been a focus of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump talks of pardon for Manafort, escalates attacks on Russia inquiry — Escalating his attacks on the special counsel investigation, President Trump said on Wednesday that a presidential pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is “not off the table.”
► In today’s Washington Post — The stunning implications of the Manafort-Trump pipeline (by Harry Litman) — Following the implosion of Manafort’s cooperation agreement with special counsel Mueller, a lawyer for Trump casually announced that Manafort’s lawyers had been briefing Trump’s lawyers about his sessions with the Mueller team all along. This revelation, far from routine, in fact is jaw-dropping — and it has significant legal and political implications.
► From The Hill — Trump’s court picks held hostage by Mueller bill — Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) has threatened to vote against any of Trump’s court picks unless he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller.
► In today’s Miami Herald — How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime — When he was Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, gave a multimillionaire sex offender a deal. Not only would Jeffrey Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in his sex crimes.
EDITOR’S NOTE — That is a sidebar story to the following blockbuster report: Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break.
► From Mediaite — Sinclair makes 200 local news stations run segment supporting use of tear gas on migrants — As the media outrage toward the Trump administration’s harsh border policies escalated this week, Sinclair Broadcast Group required their roughly 200 local news outlets to air a defense of the Border Patrol’s use of tear gas against migrants crossing the border on Sunday.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Sinclair owns/operates KOMO 4 (ABC) in Seattle, KIMA and KEPR (CBS) in eastern Washington, plus KUNS and KUNW (Univision). Lest we forget…
► In today’s Detroit News — Senate Republicans vote to scale back Michigan’s minimum wage, paid sick leave laws — Michigan Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to scale back minimum wage and paid sick leave laws over objections from Democrats, who argued the lame-duck maneuvers may be unconstitutional and undermine the will of voters who signed petitions for the initiatives. The GOP legislators adopted the measures in September in order to keep them off the Nov. 6 ballot.
► In the Milwaukee J-S — Republicans to hold lame-duck session to limit Tony Evers and advance GOP priorities — Republican lawmakers plan to hold a lame-duck session as early as next week to curb the incoming Democratic governor’s powers over state rules, add GOP appointees to a state board, and possibly move the 2020 presidential primary to help a conservative state Supreme Court justice.
► In the Columbia Daily Spectator — Grad student and postdoc unions approve Columbia bargaining framework, forfeiting strike power until 2020 — Graduate and postdoctoral unions voted 1,035-720 in favor of ratifying Columbia’s bargaining framework, marking the beginning of negotiations after decades of stalemate and ending the possibility of a graduate student strike.
► From the Guardian — Bangladesh to eject safety inspectors brought in after Rana Plaza disaster — An international inspection regime put in place after the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory killed more than 1,100 people will be forced to leave the country on Friday, with activists warning of “profound and lasting” consequences for worker safety. A restraining order imposed by the Bangladesh high court will come into force on 30 November, forcing the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh to close its Dhaka office, limiting its ability to inspect thousands of factories supplying clothes for brands including H&M, Esprit and Primark.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.