Monday, January 7, 2019
► From the AP — Trump stands by border demands as shutdown drags on — President Donald Trump stood by his demands for funding for a border wall Sunday as another round of shutdown talks failed to break an impasse, while newly empowered House Democrats planned to step up the pressure on Trump and Republican lawmakers to reopen the government.
ALSO at The Stand — Shutdown ‘insulting and a slap in the face’ — Since the partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22, federal correctional workers have been going to work without being paid. “It’s insulting and a slap in the face from the, ‘Law and Order President,’ said Eric Young, President of the AFGE Council of Prison Locals. “It’s even more insulting that federal inmates are being paid regularly while federal correctional officers who staff our prisons and had their annual leave cancelled and called back to supervise those inmates are forced to work and face uncertainty over when and if they’ll receive their next paycheck.”
► From The Hill — Two Democratic senators call for blocking votes unrelated to shutdown
► From HuffPost — Millions could lose food assistance if shutdown continues
This shutdown belongs to Trump, McConnell, and Fox News. Last month 90 senators supported a continuing resolution to reopen the government without wall funding, more than the 2/3 needed to override a Trump veto. But McConnell won’t allow a vote, and Fox News won’t free Trump.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 6, 2019
► From My Northwest — Passengers at Sea-Tac miss flights as TSA agents call out sick amid government shutdown — Sea-Tac was already dealing with a shortage of TSA agents before the government shutdown. Now, the situation is even worse. Some have already quit since the shutdown started. As others continue to work without pay, more are calling in sick.
► In the Washington Post — Aviation system begins to feel stress from the shutdown, union leaders say — The U.S. aviation system safely delivered 46 million passengers over the holiday season, but union leaders say cracks are showing as 3,000 support workers have been furloughed and about 10,500 air traffic controllers continue to work without pay due to the government shutdown. They said about 6,300 projects, many of them safety-related, have been stalled by the shutdown. Workers who supply technical expertise in support of day-to-day controller operations also have been furloughed.
► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. towns with federal workers brace for impact as the shutdown continues — Far away from federal office complexes in D.C., small towns and cities with workforces dependent on government jobs are beginning to feel the pinch of one of the longest shutdowns in history, now at more than two weeks old.
► From the AP — Unpaid bills, leftovers, downtime: Federal workers cope in shutdown — “As a federal employee, we’re not supposed to be political,” said Mike Gayzagian, a TSA officer at Boston’s Logan Airport. “This is not our fight, but we’re being used as pawns.”
► From The Hill — Trump: ‘I can relate’ to federal workers going without pay during shutdown — Trump said he can “relate” to federal workers who haven’t been paid during the partial government shutdown, which has lasted 16 days and counting, but insisted that the budget impasse is “a very important battle to win.”
► From HuffPost — Trump wants to call the shutdown a ‘strike.’ He has it completely backward. (by Dave Jamieson) — As the shutdown grinds into its third week, multiple news outlets have reported that behind closed doors Trump prefers to call what’s happening a “strike.” A strike is a work stoppage initiated by workers. In labor parlance, what’s happening is more like the polar opposite of a strike: a lockout. That’s a work stoppage initiated by management, in which workers are denied access to their jobs.
► From Working WA — How employers in our region can help us all ride out the Seattle squeeze — With less than a week to go before the permanent closure of the viaduct, there’s already been plenty of discussion about how people who work in offices can adjust to the Seattle Squeeze. But hundreds of thousands of people in our region work in food service, retail, warehouses, caregiving, delivery, and other fields that require a worker show up at a particular workplace in order to do their jobs. Their employers have a key role to play in helping us all ride out these dramatic transportation impacts, too.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Puget Sound Naval Shipyard begins hiring blitz — The PSNS is looking to replace about 750 positions it has lost this past year to attrition. Interested candidates can apply starting Thursday on the USAJOBS.gov web site. The jobs pay between $16.41 and $22.09 an hour and come with health benefits, retirement plans and training.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Forum on farm worker housing in Yakima in the works — Efforts toward a collaborative policy on temporary farm worker housing in Yakima County are moving forward. Details of a countywide public forum on housing for farm workers are on the agenda for the Yakima City Council’s meeting Tuesday.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Eyman-Fagan initiative would eliminate many vehicle license fees, including Spokane’s — Initiative 976 would prevent local governments from adding on to the state $30 vehicle tab fee. It also would reduce the motor vehicle excise tax, including for Sound Transit, which serves the Puget Sound region… If I-976 passes, the city of Spokane would lose about $2.5 million a year earmarked for fixing residential streets, said a city spokeswoman. That’s more than half of the $4.5 million the city spends on fixing residential roads.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News —Local lawmakers to consider contract bids, school bond supermajorities — Sen. Dean Takko (D-Longview) said the Legislature will likely look at teacher salaries, which rose significantly in some communities after strikes across the state this summer. He said, “A lot of the salary increases just aren’t sustainable. It’s going to come home here in a few years. There’s some talk of raising the cap on local levies but if we do that, we’re right back into another McCleary.”
► From Mother Jones — Democrats’ first order of business: Making it easier to vote, harder to buy elections — The legislation, known as HR 1: The For the People Act, would make it easier to vote, crack down on gerrymandering, and reduce the influence of big money in congressional races. It would also institute new ethics rules, including one requiring sitting presidents and presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trade talks resume between U.S., China amid optimism about ending dispute — The meetings in Beijing will be the first face-to-face talks since President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a cease-fire in their rancorous trade dispute.
► From HuffPost — ‘Betrayed’ factory boss turns on Trump, says plant may move to Mexico — A Michigan electronics company chairman, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, now says he feels betrayed and his factory may have to move to Mexico because of the president’s tariffs.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
► From Bloomberg — When Mueller issues report, Trump may try to suppress some of it — The White House may try to block portions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report from being shared with Congress and the public in a fight that could end up before the Supreme Court.
► MUST-READ in the NY Times — The people vs. Donald Trump (by David Leonhardt) — For the country’s sake, there is only one acceptable outcome, just as there was after Americans realized in 1974 that a criminal was occupying the Oval Office. The president must go. No other president since Nixon has engaged in behavior remotely like Trump’s. To accept it without sanction is ultimately to endorse it. Unpleasant though it is to remove a president, the costs and the risks of a continued Trump presidency are worse…
Consider the following descriptions of Trump: “terribly unfit;” “erratic;” “reckless;” “impetuous;” “unstable;” “a pathological liar;” “dangerous to a democracy;” a concern to “anyone who cares about our nation.” Every one of these descriptions comes from a Republican member of Congress or of Trump’s own administration. They know. They know he is unfit for office. They do not need to be persuaded of the truth. They need to be persuaded to act on it… Throughout his career, Trump has worked hard to invent his own reality, and largely succeeded. It has made him very rich and, against all odds, elected him president. But whatever happens in 2019, his false version of reality will not survive history, just as Nixon’s did not. Which side of that history do today’s Republicans want to be on?
► In today’s NY Times — Los Angeles braces for major teachers’ strike — There are 900 schools, 30,000 teachers and more than 600,000 students in the Los Angeles public school system. By the end of the week, a teacher strike could throw them all into crisis. After months of failed negotiations, teachers are expected to walk off the job on Thursday, in a show of frustration over what they say are untenable conditions in the second-largest school system in the country.
In today’s LA Times — Highly paid substitutes, lessons in large spaces — how L.A. Unified is preparing for a teachers strike — Emails and presentations from district staff to school leaders show that principals were encouraged in the fall to hold meetings to solicit parents’ help during a strike.
► In today’s Washington Post — Workers on corporate boards? Germany’s had them for decades (by Susan Holmberg) — Elizabeth Warren’s plan to give workers a voice on corporate boards isn’t radical. “Co-determination” has a long history, and America should embrace it.
► From Bloomberg — Kroger, Microsoft test futuristic grocery store. Amazon, take note. — Kroger has remodeled two stores — located near the companies’ headquarters in Cincinnati and Redmond — to test out the new features, which include “digital shelves” along with a network of sensors that keep track of products.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.