Tuesday, January 15, 2019
► From Murray.Senate.gov — Sen. Murray shares stories of federal workers and their families amid shutdown — “This past weekend… I flew home to Washington state. I walked through security lines on my way out and thanked the men and women of TSA working to protect us — and not knowing when they will be paid. And when I got to the airport in Seattle, I sat down with federal workers who had tears in their eyes describing their fear over the uncertainty the Trump Shutdown has caused.”
► From ABC World News Tonight — Living without a paycheck (video)
► From KUOW — ‘Barely treading water’: Why the shutdown disproportionately affects Black Americans — African-Americans make up a higher percentage of federal workers than they do of the non-government workforce. That’s in part because, for generations, government work has provided good wages and job security to African-Americans who faced more overt discrimination in the private sector.
► From The Hill — Airline industry fears bite from shutdown — U.S. airlines are warning Washington that a prolonged shutdown could do serious damage to the industry, with fewer government workers to keep flights safe and timely.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — This shutdown has made America less safe (by Monika Warner of PASS) — Aviation safety workers want to do our jobs protecting you—and to get paid what we’ve earned. Is that too much to ask?
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Larsen: Shutdown ‘is rippling through aviation economy’ — Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2nd) joined NATCA, air traffic controllers and other aviation workforce personnel to call on Trump to end the shutdown and put Americans back to work.
► From the Hill — Air traffic controller union official says if shutdown continues there won’t be any workers left — A NATCA official warned Tuesday that if the partial government shutdown continues for another few months, there won’t be any workers left, citing many cannot sustain working without due pay.
► From Politico — Dulles closes screening lanes, lines sprawl in Atlanta as shutdown strains air travel — Washington Dulles International on Monday became the latest airport to close screening lanes because of absences by unpaid TSA agents, adding to a pileup as the government shutdown strains air travel across the country.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Cantwell, Murray among Dems pressing Trump to end shutdown so wildfire preparations, training can begin again
► In the Peninsula Daily News — Kilmer meets with Hurricane Ridge group on funding amid federal shutdown
► In today’s NY Times — Republicans are in lock step with Trump on shutdown. But for how long? — The 24th day of the shutdown slipped by with no progress toward a resolution, and while polls show that a majority of Americans blame Trump and Republicans and do not support a border wall.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) and Dan Newhouse (R-4th) have repeatedly voted against appropriations bills to reopen government. The rest of Washington’s congressional delegation have all voted to fund government and stop the shutdown.
► In today’s Washington Post — The shutdown is giving some Trump advisers what they’ve long wanted: A smaller government — Prominent advisers to the president have forged their political careers in relentless pursuit of a lean federal budget and a reined-in bureaucracy. As a result, they have shown a high tolerance for keeping large swaths of the government dark, services offline and 800,000 federal workers without pay, with the shutdown having entered an unprecedented fourth week.
► From Politico — McConnell tightens grip with Senate GOP amid shutdown fallout — The majority leader’s allies say he’s not being pressured to change his stance on standing with Trump.
► From The Hill — Trump’s polls sag amid wall fight
► In today’s Seattle Times — Alaska Air to add thousands of jobs in 2019 — Alaska Air Group plans to add just over 3,000 jobs in 2019, mostly front-line positions across Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, with three quarters of the jobs in Washington state. The company’s workforce at its Seattle hub grew by about 35 percent between 2013 and 2017.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Valley voters asked to support $113 million fire department levy — The Spokane Valley Fire Department wants voters to approve a $113 million tax to help pay salaries, buy new fire engines and build a new Barker Road fire station and a new maintenance facility.
► From The AP — Legislature begins 105-day session — Washington lawmakers started their 105-day legislative session Monday, tasked with writing a new two-year state budget while addressing a variety of costly issues, including addressing the state’s troubled mental health system.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Legislature this year looks more like the people it serves — Debra Lekanoff gathered members of native tribes for drums and song Monday, while My-Linh Thai wore a traditional Vietnamese dress to her swearing-in ceremony. Both incoming House Democrats represented historic firsts for the Washington Legislature: Lekanoff is the first Native American woman elected to the chamber, and Thai, who was born in Vietnam, is the first refugee to be sworn in. They are two in a group of lawmakers giving the Legislature, which began its 2019 session Monday, a closer resemblance to the people of Washington state.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Alex Ybarra of Quincy is new 13th District representative — Twelve commissioners from four counties selected Quincy school board member Alex Ybarra to replace Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg). Ybarra is an energy-reliability compliance auditor for the Grant County Public Utility District.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Familiar names seek to replace Ranker in Olympia — Likely candidates include former state Rep. Kris Lytton and Whatcom County Council member Rud Browne of Bellingham.
► In today’s News Tribune — Deal reached on police deadly force law after sides iron out ‘good faith’ standard — Law enforcement groups and backers of Initiative 940 have reached agreement on a bill to change Washington state law on the use of deadly force by police officers.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso seeks statewide change to law regarding lowest contract bidders — When the city of Kelso set out to repave a large portion of its downtown thoroughfare, it was legally obligated to accept the lowest bid from a contractor, even though city officials thought the contractor was inexperienced and ill-equipped.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Daylight Saving Time all the time for Washington? — State Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) has sponsored legislation that would halt the spring-forward, fall-back cycle of everyone’s clocks if Congress amends the Uniform Time Act to allow states the option of going onto Daylight Saving Time year-round.
► BREAKING today from CNN — Federal judge strikes down effort to add citizenship question to Census — A federal judge in New York has struck down the Trump administration’s proposal to reintroduce a citizenship question into the 2020 census. The ruling effectively puts a freeze on a deeply contentious move that critics said would discourage non-citizens from participating in the Census. Judge Jesse Furman said Tuesday morning that the proposal is “unlawful,” writing that “(Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’) decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census — even if it did not violate the Constitution itself — was unlawful for a multitude of independent reasons and must be set aside.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Witnessing firsthand the cruel and inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers (by Deborah DeWolfe) — Conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border are every bit as dire as you may have seen or read about. How can we, as a nation, permit the human suffering of immigrants and asylum-seekers to continue?
► From HuffPost — More than 42,000 immigration hearings canceled amid shutdown — The stalled hearings will only further jam up immigration courts across the country, which already have massive backlogs.
► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Herrera Beutler pregnant with third child — “Dan and I are excited to share that Abigail and Ethan will welcome a new baby sister near the end of May,” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) wrote in a Facebook post.
► In today’s NY Times — GOP Rep. King removed from committee assignments over white supremacy remark — House Republican leaders removed Representative Steve King of Iowa from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees on Monday night as party officials scrambled to appear tough on racism and contain damage from comments King made to The New York Times questioning why white supremacy is considered offensive.
► In today’s NY Times — A history of GOP Rep. Steve King’s racist remarks
► In today’s Washington Post — Why are Republicans suddenly outraged over Steve King’s racism? (by Eugene Robinson) — Perhaps King’s newly outraged critics were waiting for him to finally spell it out in language that even the “party of Trump” cannot ignore. Which he did.
► From CNN — Los Angeles teachers union calls for ‘massive presence’ on day 2 of strike — After 32,000 educators went on strike Monday, the United Teachers Los Angeles union said they want day two of the strike to “show such a massive presence that disrupts business as usual in downtown LA.” Union leaders called for Tuesday’s demonstration at the California Charter School’s Association to be as big as or greater than Monday’s walkout, during which thousands of educators marched from city hall to the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters.
LA flooded with public education supporters, demanding a reinvestment in our public schools. Not just a declaration and show of support for public education and teachers, but a rebuke of Beutner’s agenda to starve and privatize our schools. #LAUSDStrike #UTLAStrong #WeAreLA pic.twitter.com/tb9ZL3qpjX
— United Teachers Los Angeles (@UTLAnow) January 15, 2019
► From HuffPost — I’m an LAUSD teacher. This is why we’re striking. (by Joseph Zeccola) — When people talk about the LAUSD strike, they should consider the fact that 98 percent of us voted to give our union permission to call the strike. This isn’t a battle between one union leader and a school superintendent. It’s a battle between 33,000 UTLA members, the vast majority of LA teachers and other school staff, who spend every day teaching and caring for our students, and the district leaders who are unwilling to work with us to meet their needs. We’re walking out because we feel like we’re part of a rigged game set up to undermine public education. And we’ve decided enough is enough.
► From Vulture — The Oscars are feuding with the SAG Awards over famous presenters — “The apparent attempt by the Academy to keep our members from presenting on their own awards show is utterly outrageous and unacceptable,” SAG’s statement said. The guild asked the Academy to “cease this inappropriate action.”
► From Bloomberg — Unions did great things for the working class — Economists have long puzzled about how to think about unions. They don’t fit easily into the standard paradigm of modern economic theory in which atomistic individuals and companies abide by rules overseen by an all-powerful government. Some economists see unions as a cartel, protecting insiders at the expense of outsiders. According to this theory, unions raise wages but also drive up unemployment. This is the interpretation of unions taught in many introductory courses and textbooks. If this were really what unions did, it might be worth it to simply let them slip into oblivion, as private-sector unions have been doing in the U.S.
But there are many reasons to think that this theory of unions isn’t right… Other than massive government redistribution of income and wealth, there’s really no other obvious way to address the country’s rising inequality. Also, there’s the chance that unions might be an effective remedy for the problem of increasing corporate market power — evidence suggests that when unionization rates are high, industry concentration is less effective at suppressing wages. Repealing right-to-work laws and appointing more pro-union regulators could be just the medicine the economy needs.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.