Thursday, November 21, 2019
The Entire Staff of The Stand is going on vacation. Our next Daily News posting will actually be several days from now — on Monday, Dec. 2. That said, we may post an occasional “emergency” story elsewhere at The Stand from an undisclosed location. Until then…
► From the AP — Forecast shows another uptick in Washington state revenue — An updated forecast shows Washington state is expected to see a net increase in revenues of about $299 million for the current two-year budget cycle. The numbers released at Wednesday’s meeting of the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council also show that revenue for the budget cycle that ends mid-2021 will top out at about $51.7 billion. The state is projected to have about $3 billion in reserves in that timeframe… Gov. Jay Inslee will release his supplemental budget proposal next month.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — It’s the Legislature’s turn to face a legal challenge (editorial) — As with the challenge to Tim Eyman’s I-976, the constitutional issues raised by banking associations are for courts to decide. But the path toward adoption of HB 2167’s tax increase on out-of-state banks should be of concern to all, because it points to a record of haste and a lack of due consideration that has occurred more than once in recent legislative sessions.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Contamination halts work at Hanford project. It’s the 8th worker exposure this year — Work has halted at Hanford to remove a highly radioactive spill just north of Richland after an eighth incident this year in which a worker’s clothing or skin was contaminated with radioactive waste. The 324 Building sits over a leak of radioactive cesium and strontium into the soil beneath it at the site about one mile north of Richland and about 300 yards west of the Columbia River.
► From Forbes — Boeing 737 MAX fiasco brings new scrutiny to gap in oversight of foreign repair stations — The Boeing 737 MAX fiasco has brought airline labor unions new hope that they can finally change the way foreign aviation maintenance bases are regulated. Airline labor is backing a bill, “The Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act,” introduced by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), that would strengthen the FAA’s oversight of repair stations located outside the U.S. A House subcommittee, headed by DeFazio, approved the bill Wednesday. The bill would address gaps between the intense regulation of U.S. airline maintenance bases and the far less stringent oversight of foreign repair stations.
► From The Hill — Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers — A bicameral group of Democrats led by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Wednesday to protect immigrant workers who file labor claims against their employers. The bill, dubbed the Protecting Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act, would expand a visa program targeted toward victims and whistleblowers, and provide protection from deportation for workers involved in a labor dispute.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The House version of the bill — which is strongly supported by the United Farm Workers, is co-sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, among others.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Farmworker bill gains favor with House committee but Republican concerns remain — The House Judiciary Committee voiced support for an immigration bill that aims to solve critical agricultural workforce issues despite several Republican concerns during a markup that lasted several hours Wednesday. The decision to advance the bill, called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, will be official after a recorded vote scheduled for Thursday morning. The bill is the product of several months of negotiations between a group of several House members, including Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4th).
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump says China isn’t ‘stepping up,’ and trade talks show signs of languishing –Nearly six weeks after claiming he had agreed “in principle” on a partial trade deal with China, Trump suggested on Wednesday that the agreement might not be finalized this year because of Chinese foot-dragging. Trump’s comments came as investors appeared to be growing impatient with his inability to deliver the promised accord.
► In today’s NY Times — Can the Supreme Court save itself? (by Linda Greenhouse) — Two cases threaten to reinforce its image as a political captive of the Trump administration: the recently argued case involving young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers and the pending effort by Trump to quash subpoenas seeking his tax information.
► From Wired — Workers deserve a say in automation (by Sherrod Brown and Liz Shuler) — When the global economy shifted in the late 19th century, working people were the first to adapt. They moved to cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo, Ohio, and worked long hours in unsafe factories. They drove the Industrial Revolution and changed the nature of work forever. When it became clear that employers were exploiting their productivity, the labor movement formed to protest abuses like sweatshops, child labor, and poverty wages.
► BREAKING from the NY Times — Russia expert warns GOP: ‘Fictions’ on Ukraine help Moscow
► In today’s NY Times — Sondland has implicated the president and his top men (editorial) — “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.” Those are the damning words of President Trump’s handpicked ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who on Wednesday morning directly implicated not only Trump, but also several top members of his administration, in the Ukraine shakedown scheme at the heart of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.
► In today’s Washington Post — Sondland’s bombshell testimony leaves Trump’s GOP allies scrambling — The bombshell testimony alleging that the president attempted to leverage an invite for the Ukrainian president in exchange for an investigation into his political opponents forced the White House to quickly recalibrate its defense of the president’s actions.
► From the AP — GOP support for Trump shows no overt signs of cracking
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Inland Northwest lawmakers respond – and don’t – to Sondland testimony — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5th) declined to comment on Sondland’s testimony, but Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) offered a strong indictment:
“This morning’s hearing provided even more detailed and disturbing evidence confirming what we already know: that President Trump demanded the Ukrainian government launch a politically-motivated investigation into his opponent, and in doing so, invited foreign interference in our next election. These are facts every American should find appalling, and as the House of Representatives continues to gather all the facts I hope every elected official – regardless of party – is prepared to put our country first.”
► From CNN — Embattled UAW president resigns amid internal charges of misusing union funds — Embattled UAW President Gary Jones resigned his post Wednesday as the union’s leadership was seeking to remove him from office because he allegedly misused union funds.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Yesterday, the UAW issued a statement that its Executive Board had filed charges that “assert that Gary Jones and (UAW Region 5 Director) Vance Pearson directed the submission of false, misleading and inaccurate expense records to the UAW Accounting Department and further concealed the true information concerning those expenses, in violation of the UAW’s Ethical Practices Code and applicable federal labor laws.” Today, the UAW issued a brief statement that reads: “The UAW announced today that upon formal filing of Article 30 charges against him, Gary Jones, through his attorney, has informed the UAW IEB that he was resigning as President of the UAW effective immediately.”
► In today’s NY Times — GM sues rival over bribery scheme as union scandal expands — General Motors sued its rival Fiat Chrysler on Wednesday, asserting that it bribed UAW officials in contract negotiations to get a leg up on GM over the course of a decade. Hours after G.M. filed the lawsuit, in federal court, the union’s president resigned as the UAW took steps to oust him. The day’s events embroiled two of the country’s three biggest automakers and the union that represents their workers, a controversy the likes of which the industry has rarely experienced.
► In today’s NY Times — Google hires firm known for anti-union efforts — Google has hired an anti-union consulting firm to advise management as it deals with widespread worker unrest, including accusations that it has retaliated against organizers of a global walkout and cracked down on dissent inside the company.
► In the Honolulu Star Advertiser — Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants vote to authorize strike — The AFA-CWA said that the tally showed a 99.9% vote to authorize a strike, with 95.1% participating. Said Master Executive Council president Sharon Soper: “Hawaiian Flight Attendants are sending an emphatic message to management: Delay is not acceptable; we demand the contract we deserve because we earn it every day. We are safety professionals, and management must acknowledge our
► From the AFL-CIO — Colombian workers launch general strike — Colombia’s workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities will join together in a national general strike today, Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America’s workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry.
► The Entire Staff of The Stand today wishes Canadian singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen a happy 34th birthday. Born and raised in Mission, B.C., just a few miles north of the border crossing in Sumas, Wash., Jepsen hit it big with “Call Me Maybe” in 2012. It’s too bad that’s the only song most have ever heard by her, because she’s far from a one-hit wonder. In fact, her 2019 release Dedicated is one of the better albums TESOTS has heard this year. Here she is recording a live, stripped-down version of a song from that album on a dock in Finland. The setting looks like it could be right here in the Puget Sound, sound, sound, sound, sou-o-ound. Enjoy!
(You like? Try “Too Much.”)
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.