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Local GOPers back shutdown ● Eyman aims to bankrupt transportation ● Sorry, Cap

Friday, January 4, 2019




► In today’s NY Times — Government shutdown leaves workers reeling: ‘We seem to be pawns’ — By Saturday, the federal government will have been shut down for two weeks, a full pay cycle for federal workers. “They have to realize that this affects everyday people,” said Ray Coleman Jr., a corrections officer who teaches G.E.D. classes at a federal prison in Florida and is president of his local union. “It affects the boots on the ground. To me, it’s like a political chess game that they’re playing, and we seem to be pawns.”

ALSO at The Stand — We need real immigration reform, not a wall (by Jeff Johnson) — Trump must stop holding the public and the federal workforce hostage with his government shutdown.

► In today’s Washington Post — House Democrats vote to reopen government and deny Trump wall money, defying veto threat — But two Senate Republicans who are up for reelection in 2020 broke with Trump and party leaders on their shutdown strategy, saying it was time to end the impasse even if Democrats won’t give Trump the more than $5 billion in border funding he is demanding.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse all voted NO on these appropriations bills, thus supporting Trump’s effort to maintain the shutdown until he gets $5 billion for the border wall. All seven Washington Democrats in the House voted YES to reopening the federal government.

► In today’s NY Times — As Trump holds firm on shutdown, he never mentions one group: Federal workers — Trump’s apparent indifference to the 800,000 Transportation Security Administration agents, correctional officers, scientists and other federal employees caught in the cross hairs of a political standoff presents a remarkable contrast with how other presidents have made a point of trying to demonstrate their empathy during other shutdowns. In 2013, for instance, President Barack Obama wrote an open letter to the workers affected when the government was closed. “None of this is fair to you,” he wrote, adding, “You and your families remain at the front of my mind.”

► In today’s Washington Post — While federal workers go without pay, senior Trump administration officials are poised to get $10,000 raises. — The pay raises for cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to go into effect beginning Jan. 5.

► In today’s Washington Post — Consequences of the government shutdown strike the private sector — Private companies with federal contracts are coping with chaos, confusion and uncertainty, while businesses large and small that rely on the operations of the vast federal bureaucracy are starting to feel sand in their gears.

► In today’s Washington Post — McConnell faces pressure from Republicans to stop avoiding shutdown fight — For weeks, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has remained conspicuously on the sidelines, insisting that it was up to President Trump and Democrats to negotiate an end to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

► From Politico — McConnell keeps his head down as government shutdown drags on — The Senate majority leader isn’t playing the role of dealmaker as he has in previous fights.

► From HuffPost — Trump says country wants border wall, but that’s not what polls say — And opponents can’t call the White House switchboard to let the president know because it’s not working due to the government shutdown.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Here’s how the shutdown is affecting Hanford

► From KNKX — Shutdown causes lack of access to Northwest parks




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Complaint says Kaiser Permanente didn’t bargain in good faith — The NLRB has issued a complaint alleging that Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit healthcare provider, “failed and refused to bargain in good faith” with a coalition of unions that represent 85,000 health care workers in seven states, including 3,505 workers in Washington and 258 in Everett.

► In today’s Seattle Times — The biggest jet engines ever seen are set to roar on Boeing’s 777X — The biggest jet engines ever seen are now hanging from the longest wings on any Boeing plane. Ahead of the new 777X jet’s rollout, Boeing offered a first look at its jaw-dropping GE-9X engines inside its Everett assembly plant.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Settlement reached in lawsuit against PeaceHealth’s transgender healthcare coverage — A settlement was reached in December between PeaceHealth and the ACLU after a longtime Bellingham hospital worker sued PeaceHealth after it refused to cover her son’s gender reassignment surgery in October 2017.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — ‘Flexible enough for any apprenticeship’: LCC adds one-year trades program — A one-year trades program that opens next week at Lower Columbia College will help raise a skilled workforce to respond to a growing need for construction and heavy industry jobs, according to college officials. Adam Davis, business agent for the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 26 union, said it’s “no secret the economy is picking up” and “there is a shortage of blue collar workers”… The new certificate offers a pathway into the trades and supports a mindset that industry jobs are “good paying positions with benefits,” Davis said. It also “knocks out the prerequisites” for many trades apprenticeships, he said.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman says $30 car-tab initiative will be on November ballot — Tim Eyman, the anti-tax crusader and serial initiative-filer, announced Thursday that he has collected more than enough signatures to send his latest anti-tax measure to the Legislature and, ultimately, to the voters in November. The initiative, I-976, would cut all car-tab taxes in the state to a $30 flat fee. That would cripple Sound Transit, which relies on hefty car-tab taxes to fund its expansion of light rail and bus service throughout the Puget Sound region. It also would deal a financial blow to more than 60 cities and towns around Washington that charge an additional vehicle-registration fee, ranging from $20 to $80, to fund local transportation projects.

► From KNKX — Oregon, Washington join appeal of Affordable Care Act ruling — Attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia have filed a notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging a lower court decision declaring the ACA unconstitutional. Oregon and Washington are among those challenging that decision.

► In today’s NY Times — The Democratic Primary doesn’t have to be a nightmare (by Michelle Goldberg) — I’m enthusiastic about (Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy), but I also find myself excited by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement that he’s considering a presidential run centered on the battle against climate change. Perhaps this is naïve, but his entry could encourage a substantive argument about progressive priorities, one that transcends facile theater criticism, ideological purity tests or horse-race handicapping.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington state gets a new kind of clout in new Congress — Washington state will trade clout in leadership for some top positions on a key committee and subcommittee as Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.

► From AFL-CIO — New Congress begins with influx of worker-friendly members — The 116th Congress begins today and it features a diverse group of members who are more friendly to working people than their predecessors in recent Congresses. Union members in the 116th Congress include Washington state Reps. Pramila Jayapal (NWU), Kim Schrier (Public School Employees), and Denny Heck (Public School Employees).

► From — Congressman Smith’s statement on election as Chairman of House Armed Services Committee — “As Chairman, I will work with my colleagues to promote transparency and Congressional oversight, enhance military readiness, combat inefficiency and waste at DOD, advance green technology in defense and address the threat climate change poses to our national security, fight for an inclusive military, and move towards a responsible approach to nuclear weapons.”

► From Politico — Democrats won the House on Obamacare. Here’s how they plan to defend it. — House Democrats in power for the first time in nearly a decade are opening a sustained campaign to hammer Republicans on Obamacare, seeking to force the GOP’s hand on popular policies like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions.




► In the American Prospect — The return of the strike — Some labor experts say the recent surge of strikes could portend a new wave of labor activism, as more and more workers see that collective action can pay off. Others argue that the recent surge is more likely a one-time blip of militancy that will fade away as organized labor’s long-term decline continues.

► From CNBC — Hiring surged in December, employers added 312,000 jobs — U.S. employers added 312,000 jobs in December, well above what economists expected and underlining that the American economy remains strong despite recent market turbulence.




► This week, we lost Daryl Dragon, the “Captain” of 1970s hitmakers Captain & Tennille. But in good conscience, The Entire Staff of The Stand just couldn’t post one of their videos. (“Muskrat Love”? Puh-lease.) So instead we will share a video from one of our favorite albums of 2018 by Christine and the Queens. Enjoy!


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