Tuesday, November 10, 2020
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, Nov. 10 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 118,570 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 1,076) and 2,460 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 10)
► From KIRO — State health officials: ‘Time is running out to reverse course’ as coronavirus cases rise — The fight against COVID-19 continues as Washington has had a rise in cases six days in a row. State health officials said on Monday that time is running out to flatten the curve. The virus has killed 2,460 people in the state, with 21 new deaths reported Monday. Because of concern over the rise in cases, WDOH is holding an urgent briefing Tuesday afternoon to help get the message out that “people must act now to stop the spread from getting worse.”
► From the Seattle Times — Boeing wins zero new orders, delivers few jets and sees 737 MAX backlog shrink — October brought no relief for Boeing’s commercial airplane business. It won zero new sales, had to remove an additional 37 MAXs from the order backlog and delivered just 13 jets. Boeing’s struggles in October contrast sharply with a surge in jet deliveries and a small uptick in orders at rival Airbus. Airbus won 11 new orders and delivered a total of 72 aircraft in October.
► From the Seattle Times — Biden victory may have profound effects on Amazon, Boeing and other parts of Washington state economy — Biden wants to strengthen organized labor, supporting legislation that would impose financial penalties on companies for interfering with worker organizing and shorten the timeline for union election campaigns. Unions have long eyed Amazon’s sprawling operations, but have had little success in the U.S. Biden also proposes strengthening federal workplace-safety enforcement by expanding the number of investigators and other staff at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Injury rates at Amazon’s fulfillment centers are well above the industry average.
► From the Seattle Times — Emergency rules allow Washington state school districts to redefine school time. Do they go too far? — The state education board voted unanimously last week to extend an emergency rule that allows school districts flexibility in what they count as an hour of teaching. But a group of special education parents is challenging that rule in court, saying it is shortchanging students of their educations. The Washington State Board of Education will vote in January whether to make the rule permanent.
► From the Seattle Times — Republicans face political chasm in King County as Democrats lose some rural support — Washington Republicans woke up after Election Day to a crushingly familiar math problem bedeviling their prospects in statewide races: a cratering of support in King County. Their gubernatorial candidate, Loren Culp, pulled just 25.5% of the King County vote — the worst showing in the state’s most populous county in at least four decades. And the GOP barely put up a fight in the county’s legislative races, getting swept in once-competitive Eastside suburban districts by double-digit margins. Democrats, meanwhile, were celebrating wins in all but one statewide race. But even as the party looks set to gain two or three legislative seats around the Puget Sound area, it lost ground in one key traditionally blue-collar legislative district along the coast, with two conservative Democratic legislators losing their seats to Republicans.
► From the (Everett) Herald — GOP’s Gilday widens lead on Homola for House seat in 10th District — Sen. Ron Muzzall (R) is on course to keep a Senate seat, while Rep. Dave Paul (D) clings to lead for re-election to the House.
► From the Spokesman-Review — Culp won’t concede governor’s race, saying it would ‘disenfranchise’ voters — As of Monday afternoon, slightly less than 68,000 ballots remain to be counted, out of some 4.1 million cast. Culp was more-than 550,000 votes behind Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee in the race for governor.
► A related story from KNKX — Public libraries offer students free online tutoring in math and other subjects
► From the Spokesman-Review — Northwest Republicans react to Biden win, Trump’s cheating claims — Republican lawmakers from the Northwest have declined to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and instead are backing a barrage of Trump campaign lawsuits without directly endorsing the president’s allegation that the vote was rigged.
► From the Washington Post — White House, escalating tensions, orders agencies to rebuff Biden transition team — The Trump White House on Monday instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, escalating a standoff that threatens to impede the transfer of power and prompting the Biden team to consider legal action.
► From the Washington Post — Top Republicans back Trump’s efforts to challenge election results — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans on Monday backed Trump’s efforts to contest his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, despite the lack of evidence of significant fraud and sharp rebukes from election officials who defended the integrity of the vote.
► From Politico — Barr OK for election-fraud investigations roils Justice Department — In response to Barr’s memo, the career official running the DOJ branch that oversees such prosecutions stepped down.
► From the NY Times — Growing discomfort at law firms representing Trump in election lawsuits — Some lawyers at Jones Day and Porter Wright, which have filed suits about the 2020 vote, said they were worried about undermining the electoral system.
► From the Washington Post — Trump lost. Too many Republicans keep pretending he didn’t. (editorial) — Monday marked two days since the race for president was settled — two days since Trump should have conceded and begun to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden in an orderly transition. Yet Trump showed no sign of accepting reality or showing any respect for the will of the voters. So-called leaders of the Republican Party, for four years the enablers of Trump’s erosion of constitutional norms, are now enabling his dishonest slander against American democracy itself… The phony narrative of a stolen election will harm Biden’s effort to reunify and govern the nation, as it tarnishes the United States’ — and democracy’s — reputation around the world.
► From Politico — Poll: 70% of Republicans don’t think the election was free and fair
► From Vox — Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight — Joe Biden has won the presidency. But the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, is attempting a coup in plain sight. “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” he tweeted on Saturday morning. This came after he demanded that states cease counting votes when the total began to turn against him, after his press secretary shocked Fox News anchors by arguing that legally cast votes should be thrown out… That this coup probably will not work — that it is being carried out farcically, erratically, ineffectively — does not mean it is not happening, or that it will not have consequences.
► From The Hill — ObamaCare faces Supreme Court test with new conservative majority — Court watchers say a number of outcomes are possible when a decision is handed down, likely in June. The most extreme scenario would involve conservative justices striking down the entire 2010 law, a result that doctors’ groups say would threaten to throw the nation’s health care system into chaos at a time when the country could still be in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.
► From the NY Times — Obamacare is back in court. The stakes couldn’t be higher. (by Abbe Gluck) — What is at stake is even more than the nearly one-fifth of our economy that the health care industry represents and what has become a new baseline on coverage for Americans. It is democracy, and the court’s duty to leave political decisions to the elected branches of government.
► From HuffPost — Trump administration moves the freeze wages for farmworkers before leaving office — The Trump administration is moving ahead with a federal rule that would freeze pay for many agricultural guest workers for the next two years, even as they remain essential personnel during a pandemic. The new regulation would change the methodology used to determine the prevailing wage rates for workers with H-2A visas.
► From The Hill — Senate roadblocks threaten to box in Biden — Biden will at best have a 50-50 Senate majority or, more likely, find his party in the minority by a seat or two, a significant hurdle that will test his ability to cut bipartisan deals while making it difficult if not impossible to pass several Democratic priorities for at least two years.
► From Roll Call — DeLauro wins AFL-CIO backing in Appropriations gavel bid — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka endorsed the Connecticut Democrat in a tweet, adding to prior union statements of support from AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Becky Pringle.
► From Vogue — As First Lady, Jill Biden Will make history for working women — She is a 69-year-old mother of three with a Dr. in front of her name, signaling one of her four degrees. When Joe Biden is inaugurated in January, Jill Biden will become the “first professor FLOTUS,” as CNN coined it—the first first lady who plans to work outside the White House, continuing her career as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College in addition to her planned causes: free community college, military families, expanding cancer research and education. “I like working,” Jill Biden said. “Like so many of your readers, I’m a working woman. [Teaching is] my passion. That’s what I love doing. That has been my career and really a major focus in my life, so I feel like I could handle it and do everything else that first ladies want to do.” Though her decision has been called insane by some, Jill seems determined and prepared. She already kept up her full-time professorial duties as the second lady during two terms of the Obama administration.
With Jill Biden in the White House, we will no longer have to wonder what, if anything, the first lady is doing. She represents a beacon for the East Wing, the chance to restore a sense of warmth and heart to the role. Jill, a 36-year educator, has made a career of caring. Her speech from an empty classroom at the virtual Democratic National Convention gave voice to the emotional weight parents like me had been feeling on behalf of our children throughout the pandemic. Here, finally, was a woman who understood the urgency and the sadness, someone who cared as much about sending children back to school as reopening restaurants and bars and hair salons.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.