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Hanford deadlines ● Trump vs. health care ● The cost of Amazon

Tuesday, July 2, 2019




► In the Tri-City Herald — Frustrated state officials order new Hanford deadlines. Millions could be diverted for new tanks. — The state of Washington has unilaterally set new legally binding requirements and deadlines for Hanford cleanup, including requiring the Department of Energy to design new waste storage tanks. The requirements and deadlines in the Tri-Party Agreement usually are set through negotiations among DOE, the Washington state Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency.

► In today’s (Everettt) Herald — Stanford appointed to vacancy in state Senate — Rep. Derek Stanford, a Democratic state representative from Bothell since 2011, was appointed to fill the 1st Legislative District’s vacant Senate seat during a joint meeting of the Snohomish and King county councils. Following that decision, he tendered his resignation from the House. That cleared the way for members of the two county councils to name Duerr, a Bothell City Councilwoman, to succeed Stanford in the House.

► In today’s Seattle Times — If a big earthquake hits, many Washington schools at ‘high risk’ — The analysis provides extensive and detailed warnings of how the buildings that often contain Washington’s children could fare in a powerful earthquake and shows how retrofits now could save money — and lives.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — Waging war? Local lawmakers say Southwest Washington ignored during session –Local lawmakers said it felt like their colleagues in Puget Sound had ignored their concerns about this and other legislation.




► From Business Insider — Families of 737 Max crash victims say Boeing has not contacted them, offered support, or apologized since the disasters — The parents of a woman killed on one of the flights told Business Insider they had received “no condolences” and “no direct communication” from Boeing despite numerous public apologies by the plane maker and said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg “talks to other people but not us, the victims’ families.”

► From CNBC — Southwest expects Boeing 737 Max cancellations to continue into October — Southwest Airlines expects it will have to remove the grounded Boeing 737 Max jets from its flying schedule beyond the current October 1 re-entry date following the discovery of a fresh safety issue, Chief Executive Gary Kelly told employees on Monday.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump pick to lead FAA faces scrutiny from Senate Democrats — Stephen Dickson, who retired from Delta Air Lines last fall after 27 years at the company, is facing resistance from Senate Democrats, adding more uncertainty to an agency already under pressure after the deadly crashes of two Boeing jets.




► In today’s NY Times — ‘It feels like a jail’: Lawmakers criticize migrant holding sites on border — Women held in rooms without running water, sleeping bags set up on concrete and children left apart from their families: That was what Democratic lawmakers said they heard about on Monday as they toured two Texas border facilities.

► From ProPublica — Inside the secret Border Patrol Facebook group where agents joke about migrant deaths and post sexist memes — Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.

► In today’s Washington Post — Lawmakers condemn ‘vulgar’ posts in border agents’ secret Facebook group — The postings sparked outrage among a delegation of House members who toured two detention centers in Texas.

► From KUOW — Haunting symbolism: Migrant children are being held where Japanese-Americans were detained — When Tom Ikeda, a Seattle historian, learned that 1,400 migrant children will be detained this summer at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, the symbolism hit home. Pause on that number. One thousand, four hundred kids. That’s how many students attend Ingraham High School in north Seattle. Fort Sill was first the site from which the Indian Wars were fought. Many years later, during World War II, it was where 700 Japanese-Americans were imprisoned, accused of being spies and traitors.

► From The Hill — Trump says immigration raids will happen after July 4 — The president made the announcement in the Oval Office while signing legislation providing $4.6 billion in funding to address the influx of migrants from Central America at the southern border.




► MUST-READ in today’s Seattle Times — We must fight Trump’s latest threat to our health care (by Sen. Patty Murray) — If you are one of the 3 million Washingtonians with a preexisting condition — your health care is on the line next week. If you are one of the over half a million Washingtonians who got their coverage through Medicaid expansion — your health care is on the line next week. If you got your health coverage through the exchanges, or are a young adult still on your parents’ plan — your health care is on the line next week.

Why? Because Republicans are suing to take it away. Next week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana will hear a lawsuit brought by Republican governors and attorneys general, and supported by President Donald Trump, that could harm families by ending protections for people with preexisting conditions and undermining health care for patients across the country.

► BREAKING from the Washington Post — House Democrats sue Trump administration over president’s tax returns — Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, filed the lawsuit against the IRS and the Treasury Department after months of feuding with the Trump administration over the returns.

► From The Hill — Trump looking ‘very strongly’ at delaying census — Trump said Monday he’s looking “very strongly” at delaying the 2020 census if the administration is not allowed to add a citizenship question, an unprecedented move that would surely trigger new legal challenges. Legal experts have said delaying the census would violate the Constitution. Under federal law, the census must begin by April 1, 2020.

► From The Hill — Trump administration appears to miss deadline to start printing census

► In today’s NY Times — The moochers of middle America (by Paul Krugman) — If your view is that the progressive agenda is morally wrong, that people shouldn’t receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes, you should be aware how many Americans are already “takers,” “moochers,” whatever. In fact, we’re talking about a vast swath of the heartland that includes just about every state that voted for Donald Trump…

Richer states subsidize poorer states. And the reasons are clear: Rich states pay much more per person in federal taxes, while actually getting a bit less in federal spending, because Medicaid and other “means-tested” programs go disproportionately to those with low incomes. But the magnitudes are startling. Take the case of Kentucky. In 2017, the state received $40 billion more from the federal government than it paid in taxes. That’s about one-fifth of the state’s G.D.P.; if Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale… It’s fair to say that far more Kentuckians work in hospitals kept afloat by Medicare and Medicaid, in retail establishments kept going by Social Security and food stamps, than in all traditional occupations like mining and even agriculture combined. So if you really believe that Americans with higher incomes shouldn’t pay for benefits provided to those with lower incomes, you should be calling on “donor” states like New Jersey and New York to cut off places like Kentucky and let their economies collapse. And if that’s what you mean, you should let Mitch McConnell’s constituents know about it.




► From Bloomberg Law — Organize 100,000 new workers in 5 years? UNITE HERE says it will — Organize, fight, win contracts. Repeat. That was the central message UNITE HERE left hundreds of delegates during its three-day constitutional convention in Las Vegas last week. The union, one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most militant, carried that philosophy to the ambitious goals it set for itself over the next five years.

► In the LA Daily News — LA County labor leaders endorse possible grocery strike — Leaders of labor unions representing roughly 800,000 workers in Los Angeles County recommended Monday, July 1, that the Los Angeles Federation of Labor officially sanction a potential Southern California grocery strike. The sanction, if approved federation’s executive board, would mean that workers represented by 300 labor unions would honor picket lines and refuse to shop at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons stores.

► From Fierce Telecom — AT&T reaches tentative labor deals with CWA — AT&T announced on Sunday that it has brokered several tentative labor deals with the Communications Workers of America, which represents a large chunk of the company’s technicians and installers. The company said it had reached two tentative agreements with CWA District 4 in Midwest CWA wireline contract negotiations, covering some 8,000 workers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

► From the AP — Why wealth gap has grown despite record-long economic growth — Even after a full decade of uninterrupted economic growth, the richest Americans now hold a greater share of the nation’s wealth than they did before the Great Recession began in 2007. And income growth has been sluggish by historical standards, leaving many Americans feeling stuck in place.

► From Reuters — Rich get richer, everyone else not so much in record U.S. expansion — Welcome to the longest U.S. economic expansion in history, one perhaps best characterized by the excesses of extreme wealth and an ever-widening chasm between the unfathomably rich and everyone else.




► Last Week Tonight with John Oliver — Warehouses — “The more you look at Amazon, the more you realize that its convenience comes with a real cost. Think about it. We used to have to drive to stores to buy things. Now those things are brought directly to us and they’re somehow cheaper. That didn’t just happen with a clever algorithm. It happened by creating a system that squeezes the people lowest on the ladder… hard. And all the while, the man behind Amazon is now worth $118 billion, more than anyone else in the world.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Don’t miss the parody Amazon video at the end (starting at 19:12).




► From the Players’ Tribune — So the president f*cking hates my girlfriend (by Sue Bird) — Hi!! Sue here. This is my World Cup Semifinals preview. The title was supposed to be “So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend (and 10 Other Things I Want You to Know Before the World Cup Semifinals)” but we ran out of space. My bad. Thanks for reading. GO USWNT.


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