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The S word ● Our activist insider ● Strikes work

Thursday, February 21, 2019




► MUST-READ in today’s Seattle Times — Socialism is gaining in popularity, and today’s capitalism is to blame (by Jon Talton) — This opening for the S word didn’t travel the Atlantic from such hellholes as Stockholm or Copenhagen. Rather, it’s the natural backlash against big changes in American capitalism. Checks and balances such as antitrust enforcement, regulation of major industries, progressive taxation and unions have been gutted since the 1980s. In place of these mediating institutions, we have highly consolidated industries; giant companies with overwhelming market power; captured regulators that do the bidding for the likes of the big banks; tax cuts for the rich (hurting federal investments, too), and, in many states, workers’ power diminished to levels not seen in decades.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Billionaire Howard Schultz didn’t vote on latest Seattle school levies — The no-show was in line with Schultz’s pattern of ignoring many elections over the decades, even while urging increased civic and political involvement by Americans.




► In today’s Seattle Times — FAA approves start of commercial flights at Paine Field — The decision means Alaska Airlines and United Airlines can begin operations next month as planned. The two carriers are offering a combined 24 daily departures from a new two-gate terminal, with Alaska beginning service on March 4 and United on March 31.

► From AP — Southwest grapples with new labor and revenue problems — Southwest Airlines is lashing out at the union representing its mechanics, suggesting that they may be grounding planes to gain leverage in stalled contract negotiations. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association countered that Southwest is “scapegoating” mechanics, and it warned that the conflict “does not bode well” for safety at one of the nation’s biggest airlines.

► From Reuters — SpaceX, Boeing design risks threaten new delays for U.S. space program — NASA has warned SpaceX and Boeing Co of design and safety concerns for their competing astronaut launch systems, according to industry sources and a new government report, threatening the U.S. bid to revive its human spaceflight program later this year.




► From the Public News Service — Supporters: Working Families Tax Credit would rebalance state tax code — The tax credit would provide an average of $350 in refunds on the state sales tax. It’s modeled after the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. But this proposal goes further than that – it would also expand the definition of workers who qualify for the credit to people without children, family caregivers and immigrants.

ALSO at The Stand — In 2019, let’s start balancing our tax code

► From the NWAP — PDC complaint filed against Glen Morgan, his PAC for willful violations of campaign finance law — The Northwest Accountability Project has filed a PDC complaint against Glen Morgan and his PAC, We the Governed for failure to disclose ANY of its political activity since its formation in 2016. The NWAP is alleging that We the Governed has solicited funds for overt political activities without proper disclosure as outlined by the state’s Fair Practices Campaign Act. Morgan, a former staffer at the Freedom Foundation, is perhaps most well-known for filing hundreds of frivolous PDC complaints against left-leaning candidates and local Democratic parties.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — ‘This is dirty politics at its absolute lowest’ (Oct. 20, 2018) — State Republican operatives target female Democratic challengers with fake union postcards in effort to protect GOP incumbents.




► In today’s Washington Post — Pelosi says House will vote on resolution opposing Trump’s emergency declaration — She says the House will vote in the coming days on a resolution rejecting Trump’s national emergency declaration, encouraging fellow Democrats to support the effort as they try to stop Trump’s push to expand efforts to build a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.

► From Vox — Pramila Jayapal is Congress’s activist insider — Pramila Jayapal came to Congress in 2016 as a progressive outsider, but she’s quickly adapted to become the activist insider — negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the goal of turning progressive ideas into real policy. The 53-year-old representative has shown she knows how to navigate the halls of Congress. Already, she’s persuaded Pelosi to hold committee hearings on Medicare-for-all, and worked to boost a progressive presence on key House committees. As the new co-leader of the largest values-based caucus in the House of Representatives, she wields important power on Capitol Hill to move Democrats to the left — if she can keep her caucus unified and on message. “The progressive caucus hasn’t leveraged its power strategically before,” Jayapal told reporters last month. She seems game for the challenge.

► From Reuters — U.S., China sketch outlines of deal to end trade war: sources — The United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

► In today’s Washington Post — Justice Department preparing for Mueller report in coming days — Justice Department officials are preparing for the end of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and believe a confidential report could be issued in coming days.

► In today’s NY Times — Coast Guard officer plotted to kill Democrats and journalists, prosecutors say — The filing argued that Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson should be held until he is tried, describing him as a “domestic terrorist” who intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”

► In today’s Washington Post — Candidate’s son warned father of N.C. political operative’s alleged tactics — The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation had previously used illegal tactics to win votes.

► From Politico — ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates — A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates is already underway on social media, with signs that foreign state actors are driving at least some of the activity. The main targets appear to be Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), four of the most prominent announced or prospective candidates for president. The goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation and distortions of their positions.




► From ABC News — Oakland teachers officially on strike — Oakland Unified School District teachers have officially hit the picket line after union leaders could not reach an agreement with the district during their final attempt at negotiations.

► From CNN — This is why the Oakland teachers’ strike will be different from all the others — The battle that’s about to erupt in Oakland is unlike any teachers’ strike before now — and the stakes are enormous. On one side, teachers facing gentrification in the shadows of Silicon Valley can’t live on their meager wages as the tech boom explodes around them. But their school district is so broke, it’s about to suffer painful layoffs while struggling to pay for students in need. The situation is dire, and both sides have reached a breaking point. Teachers are set to hit the picket lines Thursday morning, as district officials plan to rely on other employees to keep schools open.

► From The Hill — West Virginia teachers end strike after opposed charter school bill was killed — Public school teachers in West Virginia returned to school Thursday after an education bill they opposed was effectively killed in the state House. Teachers in 54 of the state’s 55 counties walked out Tuesday over SB 451, which would have used public funding to introduce charter schools to the state and provide private school tuition to some households.

► From Jacobin — West Virginia’s political strike wins big — West Virginia has yet again taught working people across the country a critical political lesson: strikes work.

► From the USA Today — ‘Any talks of striking?’: How a West Virginia teacher’s Facebook post started a national movement — The coal miner’s son had studied his county’s rough-and-tumble labor history, written his dissertation on it, taught his high school students about it. Now Eric Starr, who knew history never repeats itself, felt history doing just that. And he was part of it. Standing at a secret meeting like those held by striking miners a century ago, dressed in black except for a red bandana like the ones those miners wore, he exhorted his fellow public school teachers to defy the governor and their own unions and stay out on strike.




► From Polygon — Amid game industry layoffs, AFL-CIO says it’s time for workers to organize — On Feb. 15, just days after massive layoffs at Activision Blizzard, the AFL-CIO issued a powerful public statement of support to game developers in the United States. Its message was both simple and profound. “This is a moment for change,” wrote AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “It won’t come from CEOs. It won’t come from corporate boards. And, it won’t come from any one person.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — What about you? Are you ready for change at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From Deadline — As SAG-AFTRA, ad industry begin contract talks, union urges biz to ‘do the right thing’ — As SAG-AFTRA sits down for the first day of bargaining with the ad industry for a new commercials contract, the union has taken out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal urging advertisers and ad agencies “to do the right thing. When you make an ad, make it union.”

► From Think Progress — This MLB power couple is fighting to save 200 union jobs — “It’s basically union busting, plain and simple,” said Eireann Dolan, the wife of Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle. “The only people wearing [the New Era caps made in Derby, NY] are the players, and these are the players in the union, so we want to make sure they’re wearing caps that are made by people earning a union wage.”

► In today’s NY Times — Overlooked no more: Dorothy Bolden, who started a movement for domestic workers — For Dorothy Bolden and other African-American domestic workers in 1960s Atlanta, the simple act of riding the bus to their jobs in white neighborhoods became much more than just a way to get to work. The women were fed up. Every day, they worked long hours for little pay, and less respect, with few worker protections. So Bolden turned the buses into a setting for de facto union meetings, talking to other passengers about organizing a labor group that could fight for workplace rights. And in 1968, she helped start the National Domestic Workers Union of America, not a formal union but an education and advocacy group that she led for nearly three decades and that served more than 10,000 members around the country at its height.




► Here’s what happens on Fox “News” when a guest speaks truth to power and calls out network hosts like Tucker Carlson as a bunch of “millionaires funded by billionaires” who deliberately refuse to talk about taxing the rich. The host loses his s— and the interview never airs. Unless somebody was filming it on their cell phone as it was taped…


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

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FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!