Thursday, August 6, 2020
► From the News Tribune — Nobles leads O’Ban in Lakewood-area Senate race. Could longtime GOP seat turn blue? — As of Wednesday, Democratic candidate T’wina Nobles held a slim lead over Republican incumbent Steve O’Ban in the race for state senator in the 28th Legislative District in Pierce County, a seat that’s been held by Republicans for years. “(Voters) are ready for a new type of Senator in the District and a new type of leadership to confront the challenges of these times. … While there are many ballots left to be counted, we are confident that later returns will continue to trend in our favor,” T’wina Nobles said.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Labor-backed candidates fare well in primary
► From the Seattle Times — Republican Loren Culp advances to face Gov. Jay Inslee
► From the (Everett) Herald — House candidate injured in crash on primary election day — April Berg, 46, an Everett School Board member and 44th Legislative District candidate, was a passenger in a car struck by a suspected impaired driver Tuesday near Everett. She reports from the hospital that her back was broken in two places.
► From the Columbian — Sparks fly as Herrera Beutler, Long define their differences in 3rd District race — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3rd) said the 2017 tax cuts were the cause of the country’s robust pre-pandemic economy. Long countered that the stock market and unemployment rates aren’t actually good indicators of the health of the economy for everyday Americans, who likely don’t hold stock portfolios and may work multiple jobs to make ends meet. “We were told two years ago that the Republicans’ tax plan was going to pay for itself,” Democratic challenger Carolyn Long said. “We learned that within a year, a trillion dollars was added to the federal debt. That’s money that my daughter is going to pay for.”
► From the (Everett) Herald — Everett school bond loses ground in latest tally of ballots — Some good news in Lakewood where the district’s two-year technology levy inched closer to passage.
► From The Hill — Progressives soaring after big primary night — Progressives crowed Wednesday after a number of their candidates scored pivotal wins in Tuesday’s primaries, pushing back against the notion that the party’s left flank faces barriers to electability.
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, Aug. 6 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 60,084 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 767) and 1,624 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 11)
► From the NY Times — The unique U.S. failure to control the virus — Nearly every country has struggled to contain the coronavirus and made mistakes along the way. But with all of those problems, one country stands alone, as the only affluent nation to have suffered a severe, sustained outbreak for more than four months: the United States. How did this happen? The New York Times set out to reconstruct the unique failure of the United States, through numerous interviews with scientists and public health experts around the world. The reporting points to two central themes. First, the United States faced longstanding challenges in confronting a major pandemic. It is a large country at the nexus of the global economy, with a tradition of prioritizing individualism over government restrictions. That tradition is one reason the United States suffers from an unequal health care system that has long produced worse medical outcomes — including higher infant mortality and diabetes rates and lower life expectancy — than in most other rich countries.
The second major theme is one that public health experts often find uncomfortable to discuss because many try to steer clear of partisan politics. But many agree that the poor results in the United States stem in substantial measure from the performance of the Trump administration. In no other high-income country — and in only a few countries, period — have political leaders departed from expert advice as frequently and significantly as the Trump administration. Trump has said the virus was not serious; predicted it would disappear; spent weeks questioning the need for masks; encouraged states to reopen even with large and growing caseloads; and promoted medical disinformation.
► From HuffPost — Trump campaign account barred from tweeting until it deletes false COVID-19 claim — Facebook and Twitter both penalized the campaign for posting video from a Fox News interview in which Trump says children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.
► From HuffPost — The first data on kids, COVID-19 and race is here — and it’s not good — Researchers looked at 1,000 children and young adults ages 0 to 22 in the Washington, D.C., area who were brought to a drive-through COVID-19 testing site in the spring with relatively mild symptoms. Overall, roughly 20% of the children tested positive. But just about 7% of white children tested positive, whereas 30% of Black children and more than 45% of Latinx children did. The findings also suggest there are marked income-based disparities in COVID-19 infections among American children.
► From the Bellingham Herald — Inslee says distance learning strongly recommended in high-risk Washington counties — There were 25 counties in that category as of Tuesday, meaning they had more than 75 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks. Canceling or postponing in-person extracurricular activities in high-risk counties is also recommended, the governor said.
The Stand (July 24) — WEA demands safety first in any plans to return to school this fall
► From the Yakima H-R — Yakima County school districts announce plans to start school online
► From the Spokesman-Review — Teachers respond to Spokane district’s decision to begin with distance learning
► From AFL-CIO — Teachers, School and Your Children — Candace Pinn is a kindergarten teacher in New Rochelle, New York, and a member of the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees-AFT. Whether schools open or not is one of the biggest questions right now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
► From The Hill — 8 in 10 teachers concerned about returning to K-12 classes in the fall
► From the Washington Post — A Mississippi town welcomed students back to school last week. Now 116 are home in quarantine. — Last week, schools in Corinth, Miss., welcomed back hundreds of students. By Friday, one high-schooler tested positive for the novel coronavirus. By early this week, the count rose to six students and one staff member infected. Now, 116 students have been sent home to quarantine, a spokeswoman for the school district confirmed.
► From CBS News — Georgia second grader tests positive for coronavirus after first day of school, forcing class to quarantine — Two suburban Atlanta school districts that began in-person classes Monday with mask-optional policies face more questions about safety protocols after on-campus pictures showed students packed shoulder-to-shoulder.
► From the Seattle Times — Seattle City Council members move ahead on initial Police Department layoffs, other changes — Proposals to reduce the Seattle Police Department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition won unanimous City Council support Wednesday, while proposals to reduce police-command pay and stop removing homeless encampments also cleared hurdles. Final votes on the moves are still to come next week, and the council rejected a push to “defund” the Police Department’s remaining 2020 budget by 50% and reinvest that money, as many Black Lives Matter protesters have urged.
► From the Daily News — COVID suspends plans for Longview fertilizer plant, slows other projects
► From the AP — FAA: Boeing pressured safety workers at S.C. aircraft plant — Federal officials are seeking to fine Boeing $1.25 million, saying Wednesday that company managers pressured employees who were designated to perform safety-related work for the government at an aircraft factory in South Carolina. The FAA said that over a nearly two-year period, Boeing managers pressured employees to inspect a plane before it was ready, harassed inspectors to speed up, and threatened to replace them. Sometimes managers at the plant in North Charleston waited outside a plane to keep track of how long it took safety-unit members to perform inspections, the agency said.
► From the Washington Post — Democrats, White House negotiators search for virus relief deal as Trump threatens to take unilateral steps — Trump administration negotiators and top congressional Democrats are up against a self-imposed deadline to make a deal on a new coronavirus relief bill, with a potentially critical meeting set for Thursday evening that could determine whether an agreement is possible. Pressure for a deal is only increasing as some 30 million jobless workers remain without emergency unemployment benefits that expired last week.
► From the Washington Post — More than a dozen GOP senators join call to extend airline bailout program as job losses loom — Sixteen Senate Republicans on Wednesday called on congressional leaders to extend a program that provides money to support airlines’ payrolls in exchange for prohibiting them from laying off employees during the coronavirus pandemic. The senators join more than 223 members of the House, mostly Democrats, but also a few Republicans, in signaling their support for the program, boosting its chances of being included in a final deal on a second round of coronavirus relief. Securing the program has been a priority for labor unions representing workers in the aviation industry.
The Stand (July 27) — Aviation unions urge extension of Payroll Support Program
► From The Hill — Trump backs plan to give airlines another $25 billion in aid
► From NBC Nightly News — Coronavirus: A deeper look at the unemployment crisis — For millions of Americans currently unemployed, the loss of federal benefits is creating more hardship. NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent shares the story of Larrilou Carumba, a UNITE HERE Local 2 member and a single mother of three who was furloughed from her hotel job in March.
► From the WSJ — Lapse in extra unemployment benefits to hurt U.S. recovery, economists say — Many economists expect last week’s expiration of $600 in enhanced weekly unemployment benefits to lead to a sharp drop-off in household spending and a setback for the U.S. economy’s near-term recovery.
► From the NY Times — An incomplete census hurts everyone. Even Trump. (editorial) — The president doesn’t realize his supporters will lose out too if the count is brought to an early close.
► From Politico — A growing side effect of the pandemic: Permanent job loss — Permanent losses have so far made up only a fraction of the jobs that have vanished since states began shutting down their economies in March, with the vast majority of unemployed workers classified as on temporary layoff. But those numbers are steadily increasing — reaching 2.9 million in June — as companies start to move from temporary layoffs to permanent cuts.
► From the AP — 1.2 million seek jobless aid after $600 federal check ends
► From Reuters — Risk coronavirus or default: ride-hail drivers face tough choices as U.S. aid expires — Uber driver Johan Nijman faces a difficult decision as federal unemployment aid expires: risk failing to pay for groceries and even lose his home, or resume driving and potentially catch COVID-19.
► From the Washington Post — ‘Held hostage’: Cruise employees were stuck on a ship and forced to work without pay, lawsuit says — Thousands of foreign workers were stuck aboard for months, they said, unable to make any money but blocked from returning to their home countries. Many were ordered to keep cooking, cleaning and doing laundry in hopes of paychecks that never came.
► From the NY Times — The real reason the American economy boomed after World War II — The United States long reserved its most lucrative occupations for an elite class of white men. Those men held power by selling everyone else a myth: The biggest threat to workers like you are workers who do not look like you. Again and again, they told working-class white men that they were losing out on good jobs to women, nonwhite men and immigrants. It was, and remains, a politically potent lie. It is undercut by the real story of how America engineered its Golden Era of shared prosperity — the great middle-class expansion in the decades after World War II. Americans deserve to know the truth about that Golden Era, which was not the whitewashed, “Leave It to Beaver” tale that so many people have been led to believe. They deserve to know who built the middle class and can actually rebuild it, for all workers, no matter their race or gender or hometown. We need to hear it now, as our nation is immersed in a pandemic recession and a summer of protests demanding equality, and as American workers struggle to shake off decades of sluggish wage growth. We need to hear it because it is a beacon of hope in a bleak time for our economy, but more important, because the lies that elite white men peddle about workers in conflict have made the economy worse for everyone, for far too long. The hopeful truth is that when Americans band together to force open the gates of opportunity for women, for Black men, for the groups that have long been oppressed in our economy, everyone gets ahead.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.