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White supremacist terrorism ● The poor pay more ● Thank you, Sly

Friday, March 15, 2019




► In today’s Washington Post — 49 killed in terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand — Portions of the ghastly attack were broadcast live on social media by a man who released a manifesto railing against Muslims and immigrants. The 74-page document states that he was following the example of notorious right-wing extremists, including Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

► In today’s Washington Post — New Zealand suspect inspired by French writer who fears ‘replacement’ by immigrants — A shooting suspect entitled his manifesto, “The Great Replacement,” a clear reference to the title of a 2012 book by the right-wing French polemicist Renaud Camus, who claims that Europe’s white majority is being replaced by nonwhite North African and sub-Saharan African immigrants, many of whom are Muslim.

EDITOR’S NOTE — So Trump imposes a Muslim travel ban in America and blames “both sides” for violence. White supremacist terrorists have been radicalized and emboldened.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Investigators find new clues pointing to potential cause of 737 MAX crashes as FAA details Boeing’s fix — Investigators on the ground near the crash site of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX found the plane’s jackscrew, a part that moves the horizontal tail of the aircraft, and it indicates that the tail was in an unusual position, according to an aviation safety consultant briefed on the findings. The consultant, John Cox, chief executive of Safety Operating Systems and formerly the top safety official for the Air Line Pilots Association, said that Boeing’s new flight control system on the MAX — implicated in the preliminary investigation into the earlier crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia — is one of several possible systems that could explain the unusual deflection in the horizontal tail, a control surface that swivels to pitch the plane’s nose up or down.

► In today’s NY Times — Boeing 737 MAX hit trouble right away, pilot’s tense radio messages show — “Break break, request back to home,” he told air traffic controllers.

► In today’s NY Times — Boeing promised pilots a 737 software fix last year, but they’re still waiting — Weeks after a deadly crash involving a Boeing plane last October, company officials met separately with the pilot unions at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. The officials said they planned to update the software for their 737 Max jets, the plane involved in the disaster, by around the end of 2018. It was the last time the Southwest pilots union heard from Boeing, and months later, the carriers are still waiting for a fix.

► From The Hill — FAA comes under new scrutiny over Boeing decision — The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision-making and its role within the Trump administration bubbled to the forefront this week after the agency reversed course and grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes amid safety concerns and mounting political pressure.

► Meanwhile, today from CNN — U.S. Air Force says Boeing has ‘severe situation’ after trash found on refueling planes — In a blistering attack on Boeing, the Air Force’s top acquisition official said the company has a “severe situation” with flawed inspections of its new KC-46 air refueling tanker aircraft, after trash and industrial tools were found in some planes after they were delivered to the Air Force.

► From the Jan. 22, 2019 edition of the Seattle Times — Boeing overhauls quality controls: more high-tech tracking but fewer inspectors — The company told the Machinists union last month it will eliminate thousands of quality checks as no longer necessary. Boeing said it will cut about 450 quality-inspector positions this year and potentially a similar number in 2020. In the Puget Sound region, there are now just over 3,000 Boeing Quality Inspectors, who typically work as a second set of eyes. For each of the tens of thousands of jobs that go into assembling an airplane, they formally sign off that it has been completed and done right. By the end of next year, Boeing’s plan would bring that down to not many more than 2,000 people.




► From KING 5 — Higher burden on lower income taxpayers in Washington — “It’s embarrassing our tax system is making people more impoverished,” said Misha Werschkul, the Executive Director of the Washington Budget Policy and Research Center. She called our tax system upside down and pointed to our national standard for taxation, where the higher your income, the higher your tax rate.

ALSO at The Stand — At Town Halls, urge legislators to fix upside-down tax system

► From The Stranger — Facebook says it doesn’t have to follow state law and complaining about that should lead nowhere — Facebook doesn’t have to follow state law governing election ads, and if a complaint is filed with state regulators over Facebook’s lack of compliance, no consequences should follow. That’s the view Facebook expressed on Tuesday in a letter to the Public Disclosure Commission.

► MUST-READ in the Daily Beast — Donald Trump and the Republicans want you to work for free (by Nick Hanauer) — Just because Trump is intent on screwing workers (on overtime pay rules) doesn’t mean Democrats have to go along. We have a federal system and we should use it. In those states like Washington and Pennsylvania with rulemaking authority on overtime, governors must act. In other states, it’s up to Democratic legislators to fight for workers. The 40-hour workweek—“minimum wage and maximum hours”—has long been the backbone of the American social contract. Without that basic understanding, all the other norms that have ensured a strong middle class begin to slip away. For too long, employers have devalued the real price of work. It’s time to give a real raise to the hardworking American middle class by restoring the overtime threshold to its historical levels.

ALSO at The Stand — Trump administration’s federal overtime proposal ‘way too weak’ — The U.S. Department of Labor’s “insufficient” plan raises the urgency for Washington state regulators to restore the 40-hour work week.




► From KNKX — Kids to demonstrate for climate action in Tacoma and Seattle — Kids in Tacoma and Seattle are planning to join worldwide demonstrations during the school day Friday to call on adults to take action on climate change. Demonstrations are expected in dozens of countries. They are inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden. Thunberg has been skipping school on Fridays since August to ask lawmakers in her country to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement.




► From Bloomberg Law — Organized labor opposes proposed new NAFTA deal — The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of labor unions, won’t support the USMCA trade agreement if an early vote is pursued, the organization announced March 14. The federation’s executive council voted to oppose the deal after a two-day meeting, saying that it lacks sufficient enforcement mechanisms that would strengthen labor conditions in Mexico.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — AFL-CIO opposes USMCA in current form

► In today’s Washington Post — Senate votes to reject Trump’s emergency declaration, setting up president’s first veto — The Senate passed a resolution Thursday to overturn Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, with 12 Republicans joining all the Democrats to deliver a rare bipartisan rebuke of the president. The disapproval resolution passed the House last month, so the 59-to-41 Senate vote will send the measure to the president’s desk. Trump intends to use the first veto of his presidency to strike it down, and Congress does not have the votes to override the veto. “VETO!” Trump tweeted moments after the vote.

► From Reuters — Few Americans see savings from Trump’s tax reform, poll finds — Only one in five U.S. taxpayers expect to pay less income tax this year as a result of the tax reform law passed in 2017 by Republicans who promised big savings for everyday Americans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday.

► From Bloomberg — Trump administration warned by Congress over employer liability rule — Under Trump, the NLRB told its employees that tight budgets will require cuts to compensation and even downsizing, an agency union said. So it came as a surprise when the union learned the board wants to pay subcontractors to do work employees traditionally perform themselves. Congressional Democrats were surprised, too — especially when they found out what the subcontractors would be doing: reviewing public comments on its proposed new “joint employer” rule. The rule would govern subcontractors’ business relationships and liability.

EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s right. The NLRB is subcontracting work on its controversial subcontracting rule.




► Before there was Prince, there was this guy. Happy 76th birthday to Sly Stone, leader of a legendary jam band so funky that even the violin player was groovy. Thank you, Sly!


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