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Highest not high enough ● Inhumane America ● Check U.S. corporations

Wednesday, June 26, 2019




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Mukilteo schools may soon have state’s highest paid teachers — Teachers in Mukilteo public schools have overwhelmingly embraced a new three-year contract boosting starting pay for new teachers and pushing salaries of seasoned instructors to the highest in the state. Members of the Mukilteo Education Association on Monday approved terms of the collective bargaining agreement which covers wages and a plethora of other issues including reducing class sizes in lower grades and adding supports for special needs students.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle and other ‘superstar cities’ get boost from job concentration — Fresh evidence arrives almost daily to prove that the obituary for Seattle is quite premature. In addition to the blockbuster news that Apple will be expanding here with a “key engineering hub” in South Lake Union, a new study shows that Seattle is one of the four metros in America with the greatest increase in job density. The other “superstar cities” in this regard are New York, Chicago and San Francisco.




► From AIN Online — More than 400 Max pilots sue Boeing in class action — Two law firms have filed a class-action lawsuit against Boeing on behalf of more than 400 pilots from a major international airline claiming compensatory damages from the grounding of the 737 Max fleet. The pilots fly for an airline that also employs a 737 Max pilot known only as Pilot X, who wishes to remain unidentified for fear of reprisal. Pilot X filed a lawsuit individually late last month, claiming present and future losses stemming from the “psychological impact” of the two crashes that ultimately led to the aircraft’s grounding.

► From Reuters — Bombardier exits commercial aviation with sale of regional jet business to Mitsubishi — Bombardier Inc said it will sell its money-losing regional jet business to Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd for $550 million in cash, in a deal marking the Canadian plane and train maker’s exit from commercial aviation.




► From KNKX — Families scramble, industry sounds alarm as nursing home closures climb in Washington — Keiro Northwest is just the latest in a wave of nursing home closures in Washington that’s forcing patients and their families to scramble to find new facilities. Industry officials have warned state lawmakers that nursing home closures will continue without emergency funding. However, most Washington state officials say they’re not yet alarmed.

► In today’s Seattle Times — With Aug. 6 primary near, Washington officials scramble to fix problems with new voter-registration system — Despite warnings from elections officials in King and other counties about problems with a new voter-registration system, Washington state intends to forge ahead and use it for the Aug. 6 primary.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Rep. Drew Hansen considers a run to be Washington’s next attorney general — Add Drew Hansen to the list of Democrats waiting on Gov. Jay Inslee’s next move. State Rep. Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island) has announced his plans to form an exploratory committee for a 2020 run to become Washington’s next attorney general.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Clash over cap-and-trade in Oregon reflects hard path of carbon pricing in Pacific Northwest — Washington state lawmakers are very familiar with the type of cap-and-trade bill to combat climate change that in Oregon led 11 Republican state senators to walk out and leave the state in a dramatic effort to block a vote.




► In today’s Washington Post — House passes $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill with provisions for the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody — The House passed a $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill Tuesday, one containing provisions for the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody that Democratic leaders added amid widespread anger in their ranks over Trump’s handling of the crisis. The 230-to-195 vote, largely along party lines, followed a flurry of last-minute negotiations among Democrats who said they have been horrified by reports of poor conditions at overcrowded U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities where unaccompanied children have been kept.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s delegation voted on party lines; all Democrats votes “yes,” and all Republicans voted “no.”

► From the AP — Time running short, showdown looms over border aid package — A House-passed $4.5 billion emergency border aid package faces a dim future in the GOP-held Senate, the chamber’s top Republican said Wednesday, as pressure builds to wrap up the measure before the government runs out of money to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children.

► From the Boston Globe — Wayfair employees plan walkout to oppose furniture sales to migrant detention facilities — Employees of the online housewares giant Wayfair announced Tuesday that they would stage a walkout at the company’s Back Bay headquarters on Wednesday to protest its decision to sell furniture to the operators of facilities for migrant children detained at the southern U.S. border.

► From TPM — Border Patrol rejects soap, diaper donations to child centers despite filthy conditions — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have been rejecting donations of soap, diapers, and other necessities to the child migrant detention centers that’ve been exposed as filthy and devoid of basic humanitarian supplies.

► From TPM — Acting border chief to resign as outrage grows over immigrant conditions — John Sanders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting commissioner, is expected to resign as outrage grows over conditions that immigrants, especially minors, are living in at the border.

► From TPM — Trump distances himself from outgoing Border Patrol chief




► In today’s NY Times — Mueller to testify to Congress, setting up a political spectacle — Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, has agreed to testify in public before Congress in two back-to-back congressional hearings on July 17 about his investigation into Russia’s election interference and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

► In today’s Seattle Times — How Sen. Patty Murray is pushing health-care issues to the forefront of the 2020 election — As the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Murray has in the past few years sharply increased the number of health care-related bills she has introduced.

► From Politico — The first Democratic debate: Everything you need to know — The Democratic primary debate season kicks off at 6 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.

► From Crosscut — The Onion likes Jay Inslee. After the debates, will voters? — In the eyes of the nation’s leading satirical news website, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is an easy — and relatively frequent — target for parody.

► From The Onion — ‘I just want a substantive, issues-oriented Democratic debate,’ lie thousands of Americans hungry for unhinged trainwreck — “What I’m all about is a coherent, civil debate [that eventually leads to a humiliating GIF I can post online and eventually filter all of my opinions on a candidate through].”




► From Vox — CEOs made 287 times more money last year than their workers did — After years of kicking and screaming, corporate executives have finally released pay data on what their CEO makes versus their median worker. Unsurprisingly, the gap is obscene. The average chief executive of an S&P 500 company earned 287 times more than their median employee last year, according to an analysis of the new federal data released Tuesday by the AFL-CIO.

ALSO at The Stand — Rich CEOs get richer, unlike the rest of us

► From CNN — Amazon’s less-than-zero tax rate is unacceptable (by Edward McCaffery) — Amazon, a company whose market capitalization or value has been flirting with the $1 trillion mark for some time now, had $233 billion in revenues in 2018, showed $11 billion in pure profit before taxes, and actually got a tax refund of $129 million, on account of tax losses and credits brought forward from prior years…

So, what is Amazon’s tax rate? According to The Week, it was at 11.4% from 2011 to 2016, which was apparently too much for owner Jeff Bezos’s tastes — Amazon’s 2018 income tax rate plummeted to -1%. That’s a minus sign in front of the 1, signaling a negative tax rate. “I have nothing against Amazon, but no company pulling in billions of dollars of profits should pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers. We need to reward work, not just wealth,” Joe Biden said in a tweet.

► In today’s Washington Post — 7 ways $1.6 trillion in student loan debt affects the U.S. economy — American families are carrying about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, a massive burden that amounts to nearly 8 percent of national income. That share has roughly doubled since the mid-2000s. Years of research show that such post-college debt compels people to put off marriage and home ownership. It also stifles entrepreneurship and career paths.




► From Newsweek — Want to boost the economy? Check the power of U.S corporations, not China (by Robert Reich) — At the core of the American system are 500 giant companies headquartered in the United States but making, buying and selling things all over the world. Half of their employees are non-American, located outside the United States. A third of their shareholders are non-American. These giant corporations have no particular allegiance to America. Their only allegiance and responsibility is to their shareholders. They’ll do whatever is necessary to get their share prices as high as possible—including keeping wages down, fighting unions, reclassifying employees as independent contractors, outsourcing anywhere around world where parts are cheapest, shifting their profits around the world wherever taxes are lowest and paying their top CEOs ludicrous sums…

I’m not blaming American corporations. They’re in business to make profits and maximize their share prices, not to serve America. But because of their dominance on American politics, and their commitment to share prices instead of the wellbeing of Americans, it’s folly to count on them to create good American jobs or improve American competitiveness.


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

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