Friday, September 27, 2019
► From Crosscut — Legal experts say affirmative-action measure wouldn’t permit use of racial quotas — Opponents of I-1000 have maintained that it would, in effect, install racial quotas in government hiring and university admissions. But past U.S. Supreme Court decisions have made it clear that the use of numeric quotas to implement affirmative action policies — such as setting aside a specific number of slots for members of certain racial or ethnic groups — is unconstitutional. In separate interviews with Crosscut, five law professors from around the country said that considering race as one factor among many, as I-1000 would allow, aligns with what past U.S. Supreme Court rulings have said about the issue. All five law professors have expertise in constitutional law or affirmative-action cases… Contrary to the claims of I-1000 opponents, all five law professors who recently spoke to Crosscut said the practice of setting goals and timetables for improving diversity in admissions and hiring is not the same as instituting a quota system.
ALSO at The Stand — WA Fairness explains why voters should approve I-1000 / R88
► From Reuters — Boeing CEO to testify before Congress about grounded 737 MAX — Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg has agreed to testify before Congress next month on the grounded 737 MAX that was involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.
GENERAL MOTORS STRIKE
► In the Detroit News — GM strike, day 12: Negotiations go into the late evening — Negotiations between General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers resumed Friday morning after talks went into the late evening. Bargaining on Thursday continued past 10:30 p.m., according to a source familiar with the negotiations. It is the latest since the strike began 12 days ago that negotiators have stayed up talking, a signal that a tentative agreement could be reached soon.
► In the Detroit News — UAW strikers prepare for the worst, hope for the best: ‘There will be some hardships’ –Saturday is date night, but Angela and John Shock are trying to trim expenses, so they’re planning to just go for a stroll … On the picket line. She’s in skilled trades at the GM Tech Center in Warren. He’s an assembly inspector there, scheduled for the 5-to-9 p.m. picket shift at an entry gate along Van Dyke Avenue. Along with 46,000 other UAW members, they’re on strike and on notice: This is not the time to fritter away money.
► In the Detroit Free Press — UAW: ‘Pay hasn’t caught up with inflation’ after ‘bankruptcy sacrifices’ — The UAW hourly worker strike against General Motors, with its debate over wages and health care benefits, spotlights the compensation received at the top and the bottom, which ranges from nearly $22 million per year (CEO Mary Marra) to $15 per hour
THE WAR ON UNIONS
► From Politico — Senate confirms Eugene Scalia for Labor secretary — The Republican-controlled Senate voted 53-44 on party lines Thursday to approve Eugene Scalia for Labor secretary. “Scalia’s nomination is a slap to the face of labor,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from the Senate floor, “because Mr. Scalia’s life work has been utterly opposed to the mission of the agency to which he’s nominated. He has sided repeatedly with the large corporate interest against the working people.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“It is insulting and dangerous that lifelong union-buster Eugene Scalia is the country’s top labor official. His track record is well documented, and it’s clear he has yet to find a worker protection he supports or a corporate loophole he opposes. Making the Labor Department—whose mission is to defend the rights of workers and enforce the law—a satellite office of a corporate right-wing law firm flies in the face of working people’s clearly expressed desires. We will not forget this betrayal by the Trump administration, and we will never stop fighting to ensure all working people have the safety protections on the job they deserve.”
► From Governing — ALEC outlines 2019 agenda to erode union power — When Mark Janus was introduced at the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference in Washington, D.C., last week, he was hailed as a conquering hero. But he told them the fight is only beginning. Janus urged state legislators at the conference to champion ALEC’s “very, very positive” model bills that would further restrict public and private unions’ power in their states. The Supreme Court’s ruling gives the conservative group and others new momentum when pursuing that mission in state capitals.
ALSO at the Stand — Janus: The fix is in at the Supreme Court (March 6, 2018) — Meet Mark Janus. Under his union contract, Janus makes $71,000 a year in a state where both the average pay for social work and the statewide median income is less than $60,000. He also earns time-and-a-half for working overtime. Almost every year he gets a step pay increase and/or cost-of-living increase. He gets paid holidays and paid vacation time. He gets his choice of several health care plans and is also eligible for retiree health care coverage. He gets paid sick leave and paid paternity leave. He is eligible to receive a defined-benefit pension that, when he retires, will pay him a portion of his salary for the rest of his life. He has job security and the peace of mind that if some manager violates his rights or tries to fire him without cause, the union will represent him to protect his job and his family. That job would be a dream come true for most social workers — and for most Americans. And for all that, Janus pays a fair-share fee of $45 per month to the union, about what the average American pays for a gym membership. None of his money goes to political campaigns, or lobbying, or any other community and charitable activities his union is involved in. Just the contract.
► In today’s Washington Post — Whistleblower, working in stealth, almost single-handedly set impeachment in motion — The whistleblower has by some measures managed to exceed what former special counsel Robert Mueller accomplished in two years of investigating Trump: producing a file so concerning and factually sound that it pushed into motion the gears of impeachment.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump writes the GOP impeachment playbook: Scorched earth. But will it work? — Trump on Thursday excoriated an unidentified whistleblower and the White House aides who informed their complaint as “almost a spy” and likened their work to treason — part of a scorched-earth strategy he is directing for the Republican Party at the outset of an impeachment showdown. Trump has acted impulsively and indignantly as he wages an all-out political war to defend himself from allegations that he abused his power to solicit foreign interference in his 2020 reelection bid. And in a testament to how completely he controls the Republican Party, many GOP officeholders and conservative media figures have followed Trump’s cues by joining his attempts either to attack the anonymous whistleblower, discredit the explosive accounts in their complaint, or malign the media for covering it.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse have all joined in the circling of GOP wagons around Trump. Herrera Beutler and Newhouse have released statements or told reporters that they believe the president did nothing wrong — echoing the White House’s accidentally released talking points. “There was no quid pro quo,” they say, an obvious red herring. And all three have suggested Democrats’ hyper-partisan attacks on the president are the issue, not the president’s actions.
► In today’s Washington Post — Four debunked talking points used to discredit the whistleblower complaint — To defend President Trump against the whistleblower allegations, Republicans in Congress are having to dodge or misstate some key facts. Here are the most common talking points they are using to discredit the complaint and why those don’t hold up.
► Today’s MUST-READ from The Atlantic… on Aug. 24, 2018 — How this will end (by Eliot Cohen) — To really get the feel for the Trump administration’s end, we must turn to the finest political psychologist of them all, William Shakespeare. The text is in the final act of Macbeth as one of the nobles who has turned on their murderous usurper king describes Macbeth’s predicament:
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.
A tyrant is unloved, and although the laws and institutions of the United States have proven a brake on Trump, his spirit remains tyrannical — that is, utterly self-absorbed and self-concerned, indifferent to the suffering of others, knowing no moral restraint. He expects fealty and gives none. Such people can exert power for a long time, by playing on the fear and cupidity, the gullibility and the hatreds of those around them. Ideological fervor can substitute for personal affection and attachment for a time, and so too can blind terror and sheer stupidity, but in the end, these fall away as well… The normal course of events is sudden, epic desertion, in which an all-powerful political figure who loomed over everything is suddenly left shrunken and pitiful, a wretched little figure in gaudy robes absurdly too big for him, a figure of ridicule as much as, and even more than, hatred.
► Gather ’round, kids, while The Entire Staff of The Stand shares a cautionary tale that could have inspired Bad Company’s “Shooting Star” (but didn’t).
Born and raised in Scotland, Jimmy McCulloch started playing the guitar at the age of 11. In 1969 at 16, he became the youngest guitarist to ever play on a UK #1 single, “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman. He subsequently did concerts and session work with the likes of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Harry Nilsson, John Entwistle, and others. When McCulloch was 21, the guitar phenom was recruited by none other than Sir Paul McCartney to join Wings, a band he played with for three years. But 40 years ago today, on Sept. 27, 1979, the 26-year-old was found dead in his London apartment from a heroin overdose.
Here McCulloch performs a song he composed for Wings, the first song the band released with someone other than McCartney on all lead vocals. It’s a song that warns of the dangers of drugs.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.