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Finding fault for the MAX ● Above the law? ● Legend of Leikeli47

Friday, October 11, 2019




► In today’s NY Times — Review of 737 MAX certification finds fault with Boeing and FAABoeing failed to adequately explain to regulators a new automated system that contributed to two crashes of the 737 MAX, and the FAA lacked the capability to effectively analyze much of what Boeing did share about the new plane. Those are among the findings in a damning report from a multiagency task force that the FAA convened to scrutinize the MAX’s certification process after the second plane crashed.

► From Bloomberg — International experts fault FAA’s approval of Boeing 737 MAX — U.S. aviation regulators assessing 737 MAX sometimes didn’t follow their own rules, used out-of-date procedures and lacked the resources and expertise to fully vet the design changes implicated in two fatal crashes, a review panel comprised of global aviation experts has concluded.

► From Reuters — United Airlines cancels Boeing 737 MAX flights until Jan. 6 — The company said it expects to cancel more than 8,000 flights for October, November, December and the first few days of January and that it will monitor regulatory updates and make adjustments accordingly.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Public Schools board ratifies contract with teachers’ union — Craving stability during uncertain fiscal times, Spokane Public Schools gave unanimous approval Wednesday night to a new three-year contract with its teachers and classified staff.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Benton sheriff’s unions want boss to resign. He’s staying, calling his charges ‘politically motivated’ — The four unions representing Benton County Sheriff’s Office employees called for their embattled leader to immediately resign in the wake of criminal charges.

► In today’s Columbian — PeaceHealth lays off another 50 employees — PeaceHealth has announced support staff layoffs, the second round of layoffs that the health care company has announced in the past three months.

► From Crosscut — Tacoma officials balk at activist pressure to close immigration detention center — Immigration advocates are asking that the Tacoma City Council revoke the business license of GEO Group, the private company that runs the Northwest ICE Processing Center.




► In today’s Seattle Times — New I-5 bridge over Columbia River is long overdue (editorial) — The political leadership debacle that blocked replacement of the outdated Interstate 5 bridge between Washington and Oregon has held back both states for far too long. Now that the inertia has wearied federal patience, the two state governments must step up and support an ambitious construction timeline. The Federal Highway Administration in September laid down specific dates for preliminary work on the bridge, with the start of construction by summer 2025. That’s 21 years after federal funds were first authorized for this project.

► From WA State Wire — Freedom Foundation’s Maxford Nelsen named to federal labor dispute panel — The labor policy director for the Olympia-based anti-union group has been appointed by Trump to fill a seat on the Federal Service Impasses Panel, an independent entity that resolve impasses in contract negotiations between federal agencies and labor unions representing federal employees.

ALSO at The Stand — The wacky world of the Freedom Foundation (by David Groves) — How the anti-union group’s staffers become leaders of Rep. Matt Shea & Friends’ nutty post-apocalyptic “prepper” movement.




► In today’s Washington Post — Trumka throws cold water on new North American free trade deal — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka just all but doomed the near-term prospects for Trump’s top legislative priority, saying it would be a “colossal mistake” for House Democrats to bring the measure up for a vote before Thanksgiving. Barring a dramatic reversal, the labor leader’s declaration snuffs out the hope that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will find the support she needs from her own caucus to forge ahead with the last hope for a major bipartisan accomplishment amid the impeachment firestorm.

ALSO at The Stand:

Without fixes, AFL-CIO must oppose the new NAFTA (Sept. 17)
Making sense of NAFTA and its replacement (by Stan Sorscher, June 10)

► From HuffPost — 400 richest U.S. families paid lower tax rate than working class, study finds — The wealthiest 400 families paid an average effective tax rate of 23% last year ― the second year of Trump’s new tax law ― while the bottom half of all American households paid an average rate of 24.2%, according to the study.




► From AP — Trump vs. The Constitution: In impeachment inquiry, Trump insists he’s above the law — Trump has spent his time in office trying to bend the conventions of the American presidency to his will. Now he appears to be trying to override a core principle of democracy: that no one is above the law. Faced with an impeachment inquiry, Trump has openly defied the core constructs of the Constitution. He chafes at the idea of co-equal branches of government and rejects the House’s right to investigate him.

► From The Hill — Bad polls for Trump shake GOP — Trump’s troubles are deepening, according to several recent opinion polls that show rising public support for impeachment.

► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler calls for impeachment vote — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Battle Ground) said the U.S. House should hold a formal impeachment vote in order to grant bipartisan legitimacy to the investigation of Trump and grant House Republicans subpoena power. But the congresswoman said she disagrees with the White House’s current strategy to stonewall the House’s investigation altogether.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Under House rules, there is no requirement to vote before beginning an impeachment investigation. The White House and the GOP want a vote because they want to include subpoena power to allow Trump’s lawyers to call witnesses and cross-examine witnesses. So Herrera Beutler is toeing the party line. She wouldn’t say how she would personally vote on a formal impeachment inquiry if it came to the House floor. Not a single Republican member of Congress has said they’d support an official impeachment inquiry.

► From HuffPost — Trump lobs insults at Biden, Omar in first rally since impeachment inquiry began — Trump said Biden “was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Lovely. That’s the President of the United States talking. You know, the other day, Trump tweeted what’s become a familiar map of red America that reads, “Try to impeach this.” Karim Douïeb took up the challenge and reminds us all: Land doesn’t vote, people do.




► In today’s Washington Post — How a debate about punching Nazis sparked the fight to create tech’s first name-brand union — A graphic artist had been raising money on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to bring a comic book, called “Always Punch Nazis,” to life. But after the right-wing website Breitbart wrote a story about the project, lawyers at Kickstarter decided to pull it down. Several company employees decided to speak up. And they launched an effort to start a union, as the conversation snowballed to include issues like pay disparities and sexual harassment… Waves of employee activism have swept through the world of tech in the past couple of years, but these actions — protests, petitions, walkouts — have largely stopped short of union campaigns. Kickstarter would be the first name-brand tech shop to unionize , potentially foreshadowing the growth of organized labor in previously inhospitable terrain.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Find out 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 Arizona Republic — Arizona Republic journalists vote in favor of unionizing newsroom — Journalists voted in favor of unionizing the newsroom, capping several weeks of lobbying over issues such as job security, workplace flexibility and pay and benefits.

► From Reuters — GM appeals direct to employees as strike losses pile up — GM took the unusual step of appealing directly to employees in a blog post on Friday that laid out the terms of its latest offer aimed at ending a month-long strike.

► In today’s Detroit Free Press — UAW promises ‘comprehensive proposal’ is upcoming; GM objects to delay — Tensions between the UAW and General Motors remained high Thursday evening after an exchange of letters from the top negotiators on the two sides.

► In the NY Times — The radical guidebook embraced by Google workers and Uber drivers — A book based on ideas associated with a labor group from the early 20th century has provided a blueprint for organizing without a formal union. Its authors are a longtime labor historian, Staughton Lynd, and an organizer, Daniel Gross. They identify with a strain of unionism popularized in the early 1900s by the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical labor group known as the Wobblies that defined itself in opposition to mainstream trade unions.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Workplace discrimination, including wage theft, holds women back (by NOW President Toni Van Pelt) — Women who hold full-time jobs in the U. S. lose a combined total of more than $915 billion every year because of the wage gap. This equates to a nurse in Chicago losing more than 13 months of child care, or seven monthly premiums for employer-based health insurance. A teacher in Florida can’t make seven mortgage and utility payments. This isn’t a wage gap. It’s wage theft. And it’s not only stealing money from women, it’s stealing their future.




► The Entire Staff of The Stand may be a bit late to the party, but thankfully our kids help us catch up. Such is the case with Leikeli47, a genre-hopping rapper from Brooklyn who our daughter just turned us on to. Growing up shy, lonely and bullied in Brooklyn, Leikeli47 was inspired by Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, Wu-Tang and Jay-Z to begin creating music at a young age. We’re told that her live performances “have already become the thing of legend. They are must-see spectacles, face-melting gamuts that combine furious bars with the expert polish of a performer totally at home on the stage.” After watching her jazzy cover of this 1996 Blackstreet hit, we believe it.


P.S. Leikeli47 conceals her face to allow her identity to shine through: “I feel like the Dark Knight, or one of those superheroes, or Superman… the mask, it represents freedom. I’m free with it on.”

P.P.S. For further study, we recommend the song our daughter shared, “Hoyt And Schermerhorn,” plus “Miss Me” and “Girl Blunt,” and the remarkable must-see “Tic Boom” performed live with the same band as above.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!