Friday, January 8, 2021
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, Jan. 8 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 264,012 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 2,223) and 3,634 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 12)
► From the Columbian — Frustrations mount over coronavirus outbreak at Larch Corrections Center — Inmates, loved ones vent about a perceived lack of communication from administrators.
► From KNKX — Who goes next? Timeline, new tiers for COVID vaccine laid out for Washingtonians — People age 70 and older as well as some people living with an elder will be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington. The state Department of Health on Wednesday provided awaited details for whose turn comes when to get the precious and scarce shots. Right now, the COVID-19 shots made by Pfizer and Moderna are limited to health care workers, first responders and nursing homes. The timeline after that in Washington state will be divided into four tiers, which will probably stretch through April.
► From the Seattle Times — Boeing to pay $2.5 billion to settle fraud charges tied to 737 MAX crashes — Boeing has agreed to pay just over $2.5 billion to resolve a federal charge of “criminal misconduct” for how its employees misled regulatory officials during certification of the 737 MAX, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. Of that amount, only $243.6 million, less than 10%, is a fine paid to the U.S. government for the criminal conduct, “which reflects a fine at the low end” of the sentencing guidelines, the court agreement states. The rest includes an additional $500 million Boeing commits to pay in compensation to the families of the 346 people who died in two crashes of the MAX. However, 70% of the $2.5 billion cited in the settlement, or $1.77 billion, is compensation to Boeing’s airline customers that the company has already agreed to pay. (Indeed, that’s just a fraction of what it has agreed to pay them.)
EDITOR’S NOTE — Also criminal: Unlike the departed Boeing executives who got multi-million golden parachutes, thousands of hard-working Boeing workers have lost their jobs in the wake of this scandal. Meanwhile, Boeing’s board of directors (pictured here at the time of the 737 MAX offenses), continue to collect their $345,469 per year in cash and stocks for overseeing this debacle.
► MUST-READ from the News Tribune — ‘Get the f*** out’? No way. Washington reporters not cowed by Trump-worshipping thugs (editorial) — During simultaneous uprisings of Trump disciples in Washington D.C. and Olympia Wednesday, there was so much chilling evidence that our democratic institutions are under siege, it’s hard to know where to start. For us, the one that naturally ranks at the top was the brazen assault on the free press, America’s First Amendment birthright — especially after a member of our own news reporting team was confronted by an armed thug and threatened with physical harm on the state Capitol grounds. “Get the fuck out!” the man yelled while stepping aggressively toward McClatchy reporter Sara Gentzler and another journalist. “We’re serious, get the fuck out!” He later told them he’d already pepper-sprayed media members, and they’d better be gone in five minutes. And the coup de grace: “We’re going to shoot you fucking dead in the next year,” Gentzler said the man told her… Perhaps we should have known it would come to this. Trump’s disgraceful and repeated claims of “fake news,” along with his ludicrous branding of hard-working journalists as “the enemy of the people,” was destined to infect the minds and inflame the deeds of his most impressionable followers.
► From Crosscut — State lawmakers look for ways to limit armed militias — State laws are vague on armed protests and paramilitaries, but legislators and activists are trying to change that.
EDITOR’S NOTE — “The use of the word ‘militia,’ any time you are talking about anything other than a state militia like the National Guard, it is just wrong,” said Mary McCord, a former Justice Department official now running an institute that specializes in constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center. “Using that term without putting ‘unlawful’ in front of it suggests that there is some legitimacy or even constitutional authority for their existence, which there isn’t.”
► From the News Tribune — Groups cancel plans to enter closed Capitol building in Olympia when session convenes — Washington Three Percent, a far-right paramilitary group (of white supremacists), sent an email blast Thursday evening announcing the “Legislative Lock Out” event was canceled.
► From the AP — Amid riot fears, state lawmakers plan in-person session — Leaders from both sides said the state constitution requires it and that they wouldn’t be intimidated.
► From the Spokesman-Review — Start of Washington’s legislative session will be secure, but safety protocols still under review — The day after pro-Trump protesters forced their way onto the governor’s mansion property here, lawmakers said they were confident the Capitol campus would be safe to conduct Monday’s opening day ceremonies. But specific safety plans are still in the works.
► From KING 5 — T’wina Nobles to be sworn in Friday as Washington’s first Black Senator in 10 years — There will be several lawmakers joining the ranks for the first time this year, including women of color. T’wina Nobles has been the president and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League for more than three years. She will be sworn in as a state senator on Friday, and will officially start her new job on Monday. “Being the only current Black member of the state Senate and the first in ten years, means I have a great responsibility,” said Nobles.
► From the Seattle Times — ‘He’s been fibbing for 20 years’: Tim Eyman trial approaches conclusion, state alleges years of schemes — The state of Washington’s yearslong case against Tim Eyman inched toward its conclusion Thursday, with the state accusing the serial initiative promoter of a decadeslong run of money laundering, soliciting kickbacks and violating campaign finance law in a scheme to enrich himself through political donations.
TRUMP’S DEADLY MOB
► From the Washington Post — After inciting mob attack, Trump retreats in rage. Then, grudgingly, he admits his loss. — President Trump spent more than 24 hours after instigating a mob to violently storm the Capitol trying to escape reality. Cloistered in the White House, Trump raged uncontrollably about perceived acts of betrayal. He tuned out advisers who pleaded with him to act responsibly. He was uninterested in trying to repair what he had wrought. And he continued to insist he had won the election, even as his own vice president certified the fact that he had not. Only after darkness fell in Washington on Thursday, after the Capitol had been besieged by death and destruction and a growing chorus of lawmakers had called for his immediate removal from office, did Trump grudgingly accept his fate.
► From the NY Times — Capitol police officer dies from injuries in pro-Trump rampage — Brian D. Sicknick, a United States Capitol Police officer, died on Thursday night from injuries sustained “while physically engaging” with pro-Trump rioters who descended on the U.S. Capitol the day before, the fifth fatality linked to the chaos that engulfed the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
► From the NY Times — Woman killed in Capitol embraced Trump and QAnon — After 14 years in the military, Ashli Babbitt bought a pool supply company and delved into far-right politics.
► From the NY Times — These are the rioters who stormed the nation’s Capitol — The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.
► From the Washington Post — Internet detectives are identifying scores of pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol. Some have already been fired. — While police and the FBI work to identify and arrest members of the mob, online detectives are also crowdsourcing information and doxing them — exposing the rioters to criminal prosecution, but also more immediate action from their bosses.
► From the Seattle Times — Black Washingtonians question disparate treatment in images of white extremists storming Capitol — Jesse Hagopian and several other Black Washingtonians who witnessed the day’s events through computer or TV screens described frustration, hurt and anger at the contrast in police response to a mob overtaking the Capitol compared to their own and other Black Americans’ experiences with police. “It’s been surreal,” Hagopian said. “That double standard is lost on no Black family in America.”
► LIVE from the NY Times — Democrats talk of impeachment as chaos engulfs Trump’s White House — The assistant speaker of the House said Democrats could vote on impeachment next week. With less than two weeks left of Donald Trump’s presidency, a wave of resignations hits his cabinet.
► From the People’s World — Union leaders join in blaming Trump for insurrection
The Stand (Jan. 7) — Violence is the result of Trump’s ‘venom, conspiracies, hate, lies’ — A collection of reactions from international unions to Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.
► From the Seattle Times — Remove Donald Trump from power (editorial)
► BREAKING from the AP — Trump won’t attend Joe Biden’s inauguration
► From The Hill — Republican senators now regret not doing more to contain Trump — One Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss his conversations with GOP colleagues acknowledged GOP lawmakers should have served as a stronger check on the president over the past four years.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A profile in anonymous fucking courage, there. They knew exactly what they were doing when their sacrificed their morals, principles and dignity to secure right-wing judges and massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich. They believed Trump was a “useful idiot” and that the end justified the means. Their 11th hour regrets mean nothing. Their names will forever be tarnished by their complicity.
► From the NY Times — Appeasement got us where we are (by Paul Krugman) — Why have so many public figures — who should have known what Trump and his movement were — tried, again and again, to placate them by giving in to their demands? Why are they still doing it even now? Almost two-thirds of House Republicans voted against accepting Pennsylvania’s electors after the Trumpist riot. But even those who didn’t actively join his attempts to stage a coup tried to let Trump and his followers down easy. McConnell waited more than a month before accepting Joe Biden as president-elect. One senior Republican saidsaid, “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time?” Well, now we know the answer…. It’s time to stop appeasing the fascists among us.
► From The Hill — Trump resignations gaining steam — A growing number of Cabinet members and senior officials are resigning from the Trump administration.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is simply self-preservation. There’s nothing heroic or noble about rats abandoning a sinking ship. They will never escape the shame of their active, eager participation in this destructive administration.
► From HuffPost — Teachers union burns Betsy DeVos with 2 memorable words after resignation — The American Federation of Teachers sends off its nemesis with an easy-to-remember message: “Good riddance.”
► MUST-READ from the Washington Post — The pro-Trump media world peddled the lies that fueled the Capitol mob. Fox News led the way. (by Margaret Sullivan) — “Fair and balanced” was the original Fox News lie, one of the rotten planks that built the foundation for Wednesday’s democratic disaster. Over decades, with that false promise accepted as gospel by millions of devotees, Fox News radicalized a nation and spawned more extreme successors such as Newsmax and One America News. Day after day, hour after hour, Fox gave its viewers something that looked like news or commentary but far too often lacked sufficient adherence to a necessary ingredient: truth. Birtherism. The caravan invasion. Covid denialism. Rampant election fraud. All of these found a comfortable home at Fox. In the Trump era, the network — now out of favor for not being quite as shameless as the president demands — was his best friend and promoter. So to put it bluntly: The mob that stormed and desecrated the Capitol on Wednesday could not have existed in a country that hadn’t been radicalized by the likes of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, and swayed by biased news coverage.
► From the Washington Post — Facebook, Twitter could face punishing regulation for their role in U.S. Capitol riot, Democrats say — The violent mob has emboldened party lawmakers who say that social media sites failed to heed their repeated warnings.
► From The Hill — Progressives call on Biden to ‘go big’ on COVID relief with Democratic majority — More than 100 progressive groups, labor organizations and advocacy groups are calling on President-elect Joe Biden to use the soon-to-be Democratic majority in both chambers of Congress to move quickly on a major coronavirus relief bill. In a release accompanying the letter, the groups said they urging Biden “to use Democratic control of Congress to go big on urgent urgent economic relief.” They said state and local governments have not received aid since the CARES Act in late March, and that the COVID-19 package passed in December “does not go anywhere near far enough” what the country needs right now and going forward.
► From Roll Call — Biden said to tap Boston mayor Martin Walsh for Labor secretary — President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Boston Mayor Martin Walsh for Labor secretary, according to two reports Thursday, citing sources familiar with the decision. In contrast to recent Labor secretaries, Walsh is a union man. He was a lifelong union member before his mayorship, joining the Laborers’ Union Local 223 after college — the same union his father joined shortly after emigrating from Ireland, and the one his uncle ran as president.
► From the AFL-CIO — Trumka: Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor Secretary — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color. He will have the ear of the White House, the Cabinet and Congress as we work to increase union density and create a stronger, fairer America.”
► From the Washington Post — The economy lost 140,000 jobs in December — President Trump will leave office with one of the highest levels of job loss for any president in decades.
► From The Progressive — How unions helped Georgia flip the Senate — On-the-ground organizing builds people power and victories from the bottom up.
The Stand (Jan. 7) — Unions helped secure key Georgia victories — With Democrats poised to take control, labor calls for quick passage of the PRO Act.
► MUST-READ from the Washington Post — U.S. trade policies have disproportionately harmed Black and Latino workers, not just the White working class Trump courted, researchers find — Although Trump deliberately courted the White working class with his failed “Buy American, Hire American” campaign, Black and Latino workers suffered disproportionate economic harm by corporate offshoring following the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization agreement during the Clinton administration — trends that continued during Trump’s presidency as more manufacturing jobs disappeared, researchers found. Researchers analyzed and matched government data on trade job loss with demographic data in a rare look at how purportedly race-neutral trade policies and agreements impact American workers of different races and ethnicities. Not only were Black and Latino factory workers more likely to lose their jobs, they were also less likely to find new employment, said the report by Public Citizen.
The Stand (Dec. 3) — It’s time for trade policies that benefit us all (by Hillary Haden)
► “Georgia. Oh, Georgia.” Thank you for this week’s Ray of hope.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.