Friday, February 22, 2019
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Is state ready for another massive transportation package? — Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens) filed legislation Thursday for a 10-year, $16.6 billion package of transportation improvements largely paid for with a 6-cent hike in the gas tax and new fees on carbon emissions and development.
► MUST-READ in today’s Washington Post — An open letter to my Republican colleagues (by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) — To my Republican colleagues: When the president attacked the independence of the Justice Department by intervening in a case in which he is implicated, you did not speak out. When he attacked the press as the enemy of the people, you again were silent. When he targeted the judiciary, labeling judges and decisions he didn’t like as illegitimate, we heard not a word. And now he comes for Congress, the first branch of government, seeking to strip it of its greatest power, that of the purse. Many of you have acknowledged your deep misgivings about the president in quiet conversations over the past two years. You have bemoaned his lack of decency, character and integrity. You have deplored his fundamental inability to tell the truth. But for reasons that are all too easy to comprehend, you have chosen to keep your misgivings and your rising alarm private. That must end. The time for silent disagreement is over. You must speak out.
► From Politico — House to vote Tuesday to block Trump’s emergency declaration — The House plans to vote Tuesday on legislation to block Trump’s attempt to circumvent Congress to fund his border wall, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday. The privileged resolution targeting the emergency declaration is expected to easily pass the House. It will then be guaranteed a vote in the Senate within 18 days.
► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler running in 2020 — She will be seeking re-election in 2020 despite rumors that she’s going to retire. She also says she supports the border wall, but opposes Trump’s emergency declaration.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Both Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) and Dan Newhouse have said they “have concerns” about Trump’s emergency declaration. We’ll see if they’re concerned enough to actually vote against it.
► From The Hill — Senate plots to avoid fall shutdown brawl — Lawmakers face another deadline later this year to prevent a government-wide shutdown that would strike roughly a year before the 2020 election.
► From The Hill — White House braces for Mueller report — The White House is bracing for Robert Mueller’s report, which the special counsel investigating Trump’s campaign and Russia could submit to the Department of Justice as early as next week.
► In today’s NY Times — New election ordered in North Carolina race at center of fraud inquiry — North Carolina officials on Thursday ordered a new contest in the Ninth Congressional District after the Republican candidate, confronted by evidence that his campaign had financed an illegal voter-turnout effort, called for a new election.
► In today’s Washington Post — Yes, Social Security needs some fixing — but it’s not broken (editorial) — Social Security mostly accomplishes the purposes for which it was established and which make it politically popular: guaranteeing income security for the elderly and for disabled workers.
► From ABC News — Oakland teachers on strike for 2nd day — It’s day two of the teacher strike in Oakland. Negotiations are expected to resume later Friday morning. There was a tense moment at a meeting Thursday night between the superintendent and parents. Parents were shouting, so the frustrated superintendent walked out of the meeting without saying a word, got in her car and drove away.
► From NPR — Oakland, Los Angeles and more to come: Why teachers keep going on strike — Teachers earn less than other workers with comparable experience and education — a gap that’s widened in recent years. More than a million teachers aren’t covered by Social Security. An NPR/Ipsos poll conducted last April found that 59 percent of teachers have worked a second job, and 86 percent say they’ve spent their own money on classroom supplies.
► In today’s Washington Post — With fewer undocumented workers to hire, U.S. farmers are fueling a surge in the number of legal guest workers — By the 2000s, more than half of American farmworkers were undocumented, according to the Labor Department. But now — due to to border enforcement, the surging cost of smugglers and changes in migration patterns — the number of people crossing into the United States illegally is nearing the lowest level in decades. To fill those positions, employers have turned to temporary visa programs that recruit workers in Mexico and Central America. Since 2016, the number of U.S. agricultural visas has grown from 165,000 to 242,000, a record high.
► From the MLBPA — Players Association stands by New Era workers — The Major League Baseball Players Association stands in solidarity with the more than 200 women and men at the New Era plant in Derby, NY, who have made the official on-field caps our players have worn with pride for decades but who will now lose their jobs as the company shutters the facility and turns the work over to a non-union manufacturer. The MLBPA urges New Era to reconsider its decision, which will cause economic harm not just to the dedicated workers who manufacture the caps and to their families, but also to the town of Derby, which has supported the company for nearly 60 years. It has always been a source of great pride for players to wear the highest-quality, union-made caps produced by the New Era workers in Derby.
► Peter Tork, best known as the goofy Ringo-like member of the 1960’s TV band The Monkees, died yesterday at 77. When producers decided in 1965 to create a Beatles-like band for television, Tork’s friend and fellow folk singer/guitarist, Stephen Stills, later of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young), auditioned. But Stills didn’t get the part, purportedly because of his already receding hairline and bad teeth. Stills then recommended Tork to the producers and convinced him to audition, and the rest is history. Here is Tork, wearing a red Hefty bag that’s a couple sizes too big — David Byrne-style, we suppose — and performing one of the band’s biggest hits. R.I.P., Peter.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.