No more shutdowns! ● Fixing the fix ● About your taxes…

Monday, February 11, 2019




► In today’s Washington Post — Shutdown looms as border talks break down over immigration enforcement — The nation faces the real possibility of another government shutdown at the end of this week after bipartisan talks aimed at averting that outcome broke down in a dispute over immigration enforcement, lawmakers and aides said Sunday. Trump’s border wall demands, which precipitated the record-long 35-day shutdown that ended late last month, were a secondary issue in the impasse that developed over the weekend, according to officials in both parties. Instead, after looking promising for days, the delicate negotiations collapsed over Democrats’ insistence on limiting the number of unauthorized immigrants who can be detained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The breakdown in talks made it unlikely that lawmakers will be able to finalize an agreement on Monday, as they’d hope to do so it could pass the House and Senate before Friday night’s deadline.

► From Politico — Shutdown talks take a turn for the worse — Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) acknowledged on Sunday that negotiations had stalled, and he put the odds of getting a deal at 50-50.

► In today’s Washington Post — Top lawmakers to meet to revive stalled border talks with shutdown days away — Key lawmakers plan to meet Monday afternoon in a late-stage bid to avert a government shutdown, trying to revive talks that derailed over the weekend amid a dispute on immigration enforcement rules.

► From NY Magazine — With another shutdown looming, flight attendants plan demonstrations on Feb. 16 — Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said Friday that her union is working with labor partners to plan a series of demonstrations in major airports around the country on Feb. 16. In anticipation of another shutdown, Nelson says that the union will be out leafleting in airports in 80 major cities next week ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations. “We are also working very hard to get information out to all of our members about what’s at stake. We need people to fully understand what the issues are so that we can be prepared to respond potentially with withholding our service, if that’s what it takes to stop a continuation of the shutdown,” she added.

► From Common Dreams — Gearing up for possibility of another Trump shutdown, airport workers ready mass protests in 80 cities

► In today’s Washington Post — Devastated by one shutdown, dreading the next — The federal government had finally called her back to work after 35 days, but now Vicki Ibarra wondered how she could afford to get there. Her used sedan had been repossessed by the bank a few days earlier. The family minivan had a faulty engine and barely any gas. Her Internet had been cut off a month into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, so she used a friend’s wireless password to log into her bank account. There was $0.38 left in checking and $7.80 in savings, the sum total of 16 years at the IRS. “This is like disappearing into quicksand,” she said to her friend, Ernie Delgado. “Even once I get back at work, how am I supposed to dig out?”




► From CityLab — Seattle went on strike, and ignited America’s labor movement — The 1919 Seattle General Strike was a spectacular show of force for the city’s workers, and ignited a tradition of local labor organizing that lives on 100 years later.

► In the Seattle Times — Breaking point? King County jails corrections officers worked more than 188,000 hours of overtime last year — Staffing King County’s adult and juvenile jails is a 24-hour-a-day job. The officers who do it say they’re being required to work so much overtime that safety’s at risk. They want more hiring. County administrators say it’s not that simple.

► In the Columbian — Tide rising for Vigor in Vancouver — Here’s the deal, the Vigor representatives said to city officials in late November. They had a contract for about $1 billion with the U.S. Army to build a next-generation landing craft and several other marine projects. They envisioned the manufacturing facility would employ about 130 workers to start and likely ramp to 400 after three years or so. These would be family-wage jobs, both union and nonunion. Could the city help?




► In the Spokesman-Review — Legislature looking for ways to fix the ‘McCleary fix’ –There are things about public schools the McCleary fix didn’t fix. Changes it made have school officials facing millions of dollars in unexpected costs that could mean a choice between cutting programs or asking for higher taxes. They’re seeking help from the Legislature, but lawmakers already face a new bill the state must shoulder, some $900 million over the next two years to cover the health insurance and other benefits for school employees throughout Washington who provide what the state considers basic education.

► In the Olympian —‘We’re just asking for fairness.’ Democrats push affordable housing reforms at Legislature — House Democrats on Thursday discussed a set of bills they hope to pass this session that would target the homelessness crisis and high eviction rates.

► From Willamette Week — New study finds raising income taxes on millionaires didn’t hurt Oregon economy“Seven of the eight states had per capita income growth as least as good as their neighbors after enacting a millionaires’ tax,” the study finds.




► In today’s Washington Post — Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink — Millions of Americans filling out their 2018 taxes are likely to be surprised that their refund is smaller than expected or that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service after years of receiving refunds. People are already taking to social media to vent their anger, and many are blaming President Trump and Republicans for their shrinking refund, using the hashtag #GOPTaxScam. Some on Twitter have even said they voted for Trump but won’t do so again after seeing their refund slashed.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Don’t be shocked when you do your taxes and find out you’re paying more this year — so corporations and the rich can pay less. Even worse, that tax giveaway — which was supported by Washington’s GOP Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers — and its resulting deficits are being used as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare, just as labor warned it would.

► From Labor 411 — Netflix made $845 million in profits and paid $0 in taxes under new GOP tax law — The video streaming service posted its largest-ever U.S. profit in 2018­­ — $845 million — on which it didn’t pay a dime in federal or state income taxes. In fact, the company reported a $22 million federal tax rebate.




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s State of the Union address didn’t mention fixing Social Security. That’s a problem. (by Michelle Singletary) — “How could President Trump not mention the words ‘Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid’ in his state of the union speech when he promised over and over again that he would not cut these programs,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in a response to Trump’s address. “Could it be because his budget proposed massive cuts to these programs in direct violation of his campaign pledge?”




► From Reuters — Denver teachers to walk out of classrooms in strike over wages — Several thousand Denver public school teachers were expected to walk off the job on Monday in the first strike in Colorado’s largest school district in 25 years. Negotiations between the teachers’ union and the school district broke down over the weekend over whether to prioritize general wage increases or incentives for teachers working in high-poverty areas and challenging classrooms.

► In the L.A. Times — Where does a tip to an Amazon driver go? In some cases, toward the driver’s base pay — Amazon at times dips into the tips earned by contracted delivery drivers to cover their promised pay, a Times review of emails and receipts reveals. Amazon guarantees third-party drivers for its Flex program a minimum of $18 to $25 per hour, but the entirety of that payment doesn’t always come from the company. If Amazon’s contribution doesn’t reach the guaranteed wage, the e-commerce giant makes up the difference with tips from customers.

► In the Washington Post — Facing opposition, Amazon reconsiders N.Y. headquarters site, two officials say — is reconsidering its plan to bring 25,000 jobs to a new campus in New York City, according to two people familiar with the company’s thinking, following a wave of political and community opposition.

► In the NY Times — Landmark Broadway deal gives actors a piece of the profits — The deal, reached between Actors’ Equity, a union representing 51,000 performers and stage managers, and the Broadway League, a trade organization for producers, is a milestone, marking the first time that the industry’s financiers have tacitly agreed to acknowledge that performers are contributing ideas, not just labor, to shaping new musicals and plays.




► From Bloomberg — Trump wrong to scapegoat immigrants, AFL-CIO president says (video)


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

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