Tuesday, April 23, 2019
► In today’s Washington Post — A state senator said nurses ‘probably play cards’ at work. Facing mass outrage, she’s apologized. — State Sen. Maureen Walsh (R) apologized on Monday after drawing nationwide backlash for saying nurses in smaller hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” during their shifts. The comment sparked an online petition calling for her to shadow a nurse and “experience what really happens” during a 12-hour shift. As of early Tuesday, the petition had garnered more than 650,000 signatures. The senator’s Olympia office has also been flooded with angry phone calls and emails as well as packages containing decks of playing cards.
ALSO at The Stand — Rally, petition to save nurse/tech break bill — Attend an Emergency Rally for Patient Safety at the State Capitol in Olympia tomorrow (Wednesday, April 24). Patient safety advocates will send a loud message that ALL hospitals deserve patient safety, and ALL nursing and tech staff deserve break and mandatory overtime protections! Also please sign this petition urging to pass SHB 1155 with breaks and overtime protections for nurses and hospital techs, and to include ALL hospitals and no 8-hour shift limitation.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Two more key climate-change bills pass in Olympia, head to Inslee’s desk — Monday’s votes included final passage of SB 5116, intended to phase out the use of fossil fuels in power generation. Democrats, along with a coalition of supporters that includes labor and environmentalists, have supported the bill… “A completely clean and efficient grid will power us forward to building a 21st-century clean-energy economy with good, family-wage union jobs, a healthy climate and thriving communities,” said Larry Brown, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane school officials lobby for more special education money, but not higher local levies — With the clock ticking toward Sunday’s scheduled end of the legislative session and a possible deal on the state operating budget, Spokane Public Schools officials were making pleas Monday to local lawmakers for help with their projected shortfall.
► From The Guardian — Republican discussed violent attacks and surveillance with rightwingers — Washington state Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) took part in private discussions with rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance, “psyops” and even violent attacks on perceived political enemies, according to chat records obtained by the Guardian.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Democrats call on GOP to oust Rep. Matt Shea after report says he backed surveillance on left-wing protestors — Washington Democrats called for state Rep. Matt Shea to be expelled from the GOP caucus on Monday after a news report revealed he took part in a private group chat that discussed attacking and spying on left-wing activists. “Rep. Shea embodies a strain of extreme ideology that, throughout the decades and into the present, has caused deep harm to people and families,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement Monday. “I strongly condemn both his rhetoric and his behavior.” House Republican Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) said he was unswayed by the calls from Democrats.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — It’s up to Republicans to hold Rep. Matt Shea accountable (March 21, 2016 by David Groves) — Here’s a guy whose rap sheet of illegal, inappropriate and embarrassing behavior includes posting creepy Facebook pictures of himself standing in a female political opponent’s driveway; displaying a gun, for which he had no permit, in a road-rage incident; and actively supporting the 2014 armed protest in Arizona on behalf of “Deadbeat on the Range” Cliven Bundy, where participants trained their weapons on public employees who were just trying to do their jobs. Now we learn from a new Oregon Public Broadcasting report that, immediately prior to this year’s legislative session, Rep. Shea was actively supporting Ammon Bundy and his band of armed occupiers at the federal Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Shea reportedly led a group of state legislators in negotiating with local and federal law enforcement officials on the occupiers’ behalf, ignored law enforcement officials’ requests not to visit with and “embolden” the occupiers, and shared tactical information from that meeting with the occupiers… Now that there are reports that Rep. Matt Shea aided and abetted domestic terrorists, one wonders if any Republicans in Washington state will muster the courage to call him out.
EDITOR’S NOTE — They didn’t.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing’s quarterly report will give first look at financial impact of MAX crisis — Even as Boeing inches closer to a fix for its grounded 737 MAX, industry analysts say the aircraft may not fly until October, a delay that could cost the company nearly three fifths of the cash it expected to generate in 2019. On Wednesday morning, investors and analysts will get their first look at the financial impacts of the grounding when Boeing releases its first-quarter results.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — In a few months 6,000 Hanford workers could have new bosses — The first major award of Hanford contracts in about a decade is on schedule for late July and August. Bechtel has an open-ended contract to build and commission the $17 billion vitrification plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation, but the other main DOE contracts at Hanford are typically awarded for decade-long periods.
► From Crosscut — Want less traffic and pollution in the U-District? UW workers say free transit will help — For the past year, the nonprofit Transit Riders Union has led an effort to get the university to fully subsidize transit passes for every employee under the banner UW Pass or Fail. On Monday, about 35 representatives from the coalition gathered outside the Husky Stadium light rail station for a press conference, coinciding with Earth Day.
► From Forbes — Probable misreporting of just-released 2019 Social Security Trustees Report (by Nancy Altman) — The Social Security Board of Trustees has just released its annual report to Congress. If past reporting is an accurate guide, it will be misreported. Thanks to decades of a billionaire-funded campaign to undermine confidence in Social Security, the Trustees Report will likely be greeted with cries that Social Security is going broke. The truth is that Social Security is in strong financial shape.
► And right on cue, today from the AP (it is appearing in newspapers across the nation, including today’s Seattle Times and the Spokesman-Review) — Medicare, Social Security face shaky fiscal futures
In today’s Washington Post — The Supreme Court must see through the obvious sabotage behind Trump’s census question (editorial) — The court will hear arguments today about who counts, quite literally, in the eyes of the federal government. At stake is not just the fate of the census, but also whether the Trump administration will get away with one of its more glaring con jobs… The Trump administration wants to tilt the census in favor of areas of the country that tend to vote for Republicans, at the expense of areas that tend to vote for Democrats. The justices cannot allow such obvious sabotage.
► In today’s NY Times — Pelosi urges caution on impeachment as some Democrats push to begin — Confronting a Democratic divide over the findings of the special counsel, she urged her caucus on Monday to hold off impeaching Trump for now, even as she denounced the “highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior” that she said had dishonored his office.
► In today’s Washington Post — Mueller report fallout threatens to redefine constraints on presidency — The aftermath of the special counsel’s report, as well as Congress’s inability to help serve as a check on Trump, could create a precedent in which it remains unclear where to draw lines on presidential behavior.
► From HuffPost — Today’s the deadline for the IRS to hand over Trump’s tax returns — Congressional Democrats set the deadline earlier this month after the Trump administration said it needed more time to respond to their original request for six years of Trump’s personal and business returns.
► From NBC — After Mueller report, Twitter bots pushed ‘Russiagate hoax’ narrative — A network of more than 5,000 pro-Trump Twitter bots railed against the “Russiagate hoax” shortly after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report last week. The network illustrates the ongoing challenge Twitter faces in persistent efforts to manipulate its platform.
► In today’s NY Times — Stop & Shop strike ends with union claiming victory on pay and health care — After more than three months of negotiations and 11 days on strike, over 30,000 Stop & Shop workers have reached a tentative agreement with the supermarket chain that they said met their demands for better pay and health care coverage.
ALSO at The Stand — Stop & Shop workers in New England score a powerful victory
EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you a retail or grocery worker in Washington state who isn’t getting the pay and benefits you deserve? Contact the UFCW! 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!
► In the North Jersey Record — Tackling pay inequity, new Rutgers faculty contract could become a national template — The tentative contract agreement reached last week by Rutgers University and its faculty union could trigger ripples of change in future bargaining agreements at colleges across the country. Under the new four-year contract, women and faculty from underrepresented communities will be able to obtain pay equity with their male and white counterparts.
► From NBC News — Two Google employees say the company retaliated after they organized a walkout — Two Google employees who have been active in criticizing the company’s management over the treatment of women and other workplace issues are accusing the tech giant of retaliating against them.
► And finally, this public service announcement from KUOW — Court says using chalk on tires for parking enforcement violates constitution — The next time parking enforcement officers use chalk to mark your tires, they might be acting unconstitutionally. A federal appeals court ruled Monday that “chalking” is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.