Where’s the urgency? ● Session starts ● Who’s his boss? ● L.A. teachers strike

Monday, January 14, 2019




► From The Hill — No signs of urgency as shutdown enters fourth week — The record-breaking partial shutdown is entering its fourth week with no clear path forward to reopen the government. The funding lapse became the longest in modern history on Saturday, its 22nd day, surpassing the 21-day record previously set during the Clinton administration. Monday marks the 24th day of the shutdown. But the historic nature of the shutdown is being met by a relatively quiet start to the week in Washington, where a weekend snowstorm blanketed the area with 8 to 12 inches of snow.

► From The Guardian — Senate Republicans feel shutdown pressure as Trump tweets angrily on — Day 24 dawns after fusillade of angry messages from White House and with presidential ally seeking temporary reopening.

ALSO at The Stand:

— As shutdown drags on, families suffer and unions turn up the heat

— Resource fair at Sea-Tac for federal workers amid shutdown

— STOP THE SHUTDOWN: Here’s what you can do to help — Keep the calls coming! Call your U.S. Senators at 1-866-803-8830 and urge them to reopen the government NOW by demanding an immediate vote in the Senate.

► In the Seattle Times — Sea-Tac Airport workers lose sleep, apply for loans as longest-ever federal shutdown continues — At a resource fair organized by the Port of Seattle, credit unions, nonprofits and utility companies told federal workers how they could access short-term loans, late bill-payment support and emergency assistance.

► In the Kitsap Sun — Kitsap officials, workers anxious over prospect of prolonged shutdown — “It feels like we’re being held hostage,” said Aaron Lambert of Bremerton, who works as an inspector for the Seattle office of the EPA, but is among the 380,000 federal government employees on unpaid leave.

► In today’s Walla Walla U-B — Shutdown could affect distribution of housing vouchers

► From The Hill — Air traffic controllers working without pay sue over shutdown — The suit claims the government is in violation of the Fifth Amendment because it “unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process.” The group also says the government is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act because it is not paying air traffic controllers at least minimum wage and because the FAA did not pay them overtime during the shutdown.

► In today’s Washington Post — Compelled to work without pay, federal employees sue Trump — A case filed Wednesday diverges from the others by invoking the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in the aftermath of the Civil War.

► In today’s Washington Post — The cascade of shutdown problems grows each week — The ripple effects across government continue, shuttering agencies and programs that were operating on leftover funds and imperiling others. More federal employees will miss a paycheck at the end of this week, upping the stakes in the continuing stalemate.

► From The Atlantic — FBI agents say the shutdown is a threat to national security — Nearly 5,000 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff have been furloughed.

► From the AP — Shutdown puts strain on hundreds of Native American tribes

► In today’s Washington Post — Passenger with gun made it through TSA checkpoint in Atlanta and onto Delta flight




► In today’s Seattle Times — Democrats now have big new majorities in Olympia. What do they want to get done? — Many of those legislators are walking into the 2019 legislative session fired up over what they see as President Donald Trump’s adversarial presidency and eager to mold Washington into the more progressive version they have talked about for years.

ALSO at The stand — WSLC announces legislative agenda for 2019

► From The AP — Things to watch in Washington Legislature this year — The 105-day legislative session in Washington state begins Monday, with lawmakers set to write a new two-year budget.

MORE legislative session preview in the (Everett) Herald(Vancouver) Columbian.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State Sen. Kevin Ranker resigns amid misconduct accusations — Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island), who is under investigation following allegations of improper conduct, has resigned. He sent a letter to Gov. Inslee’s office late Friday saying he was resigning “with a heavy heart,” effective immediately. “The Senate remains committed to creating and fostering a safe, inclusive workplace for everyone,” Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) said in a statement.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane-area senators lead both parties as new session starts — It’s a rare but not unprecedented alignment of leadership with Spokane constituents heading both parties in the Senate.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Inslee proposes state capital gains tax — Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a $54.4 billion state budget that would introduce a capital gains tax on stocks, bonds and other assets. The proposal would tax capital gains of over $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for joint filers at a rate of 9 percent.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Keeping up with the Legislature from afar — The Legislature is meeting 300 miles away from Spokane, but it may be easier than ever to keep tabs on what lawmakers are doing for – or to – you, at least for one aspect of the often hard-to-follow process.




► In the Tri-City Herald — Some Hanford workers not owed full pensions; could decision impact thousands more? — An appeals court has found that the Department of Energy has no obligation to provide full pension benefits to some Hanford nuclear reservation workers who filed a class action lawsuit.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Employers, here’s how to help your workers survive the Seattle Squeeze (by Rachel Lauter of Working Washington) — Not everyone works in an office. You can’t telecommute to a warehouse. And if your job doesn’t offer stable or predictable work hours, you can’t just decide to adjust your schedule to improve your commute.




► In the NY Times — FBI opened inquiry into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia — In the days after President Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

► In the Washington Post — Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration — Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.

► Today from The Hill — Trump: I never worked for Russia — Some Trump allies were startled after he declined during a weekend interview to unequivocally deny that he was working on behalf of Russia. So on Monday, Trump denied he “worked for Russia.”

► From Politico — It’s already collusion (by Strobe Talbott) — We don’t need news reports to tell us that Trump is giving Putin what he wants. Take it from this longtime Russia hand: It’s staring us in the face.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Retired Rep. Dave Reichert joins lobbying firm — Effective Monday, Reichert has been hired by Tacoma and Washington, D.C.-based Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs (GTH-GA), where he’ll work initially on a federally funded project combating human trafficking in Central America. Reichert’s work at GTH-GA will include advising the firm’s clients on trade issues.




► In today’s LA Times — Los Angeles Unified School District teachers go on strike — Los Angeles teachers walked off the job Monday morning in their first strike in 30 years, leaving half a million students and their families with difficult choices. Schools will be open but it’s unknown how many students will head to classes in the nation’s second-largest school system. Some will be joining their teachers on the picket line.

► From The Guardian — LA’s teachers can teach the working class about the power of labor strikes (by Eric Blanc and Meagan Day) — Organizing to bring work to a halt fundamentally shifts the balance of power and transforms workers into a force to be reckoned with.

► In the (Everett) Herald — More than 17,000 uniformed medical jobs eyed for elimination — The Army, Navy and Air Force are finalizing plans to eliminate over the next few years more than 17,000 uniformed medical billets — physicians, dentists, nurses, technicians, medics and support personnel.

► In today’s NY Times — PG&E to file for bankruptcy following devastating California wildfires — California’s largest power company intends to file for bankruptcy as it faces tens of billions of dollars in potential liability following massive wildfires that devastated parts of the state over the last two years.

► In today’s Washington Post — Florida restored voting rights to former felons. Now the GOP wants to thwart reform. (editorial) — Some Florida Republicans who opposed the ballot measure insist “clarifying” legislation is needed. That sounds like mischief intended to thwart the voters’ will and maintain a system under which at least 1 in 5 black Floridians faced a lifetime ban on voting.


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

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