(Daily Clips will not publish Thursday, June 13, so that the editor can attend the monthly meeting of the 34th District Democrats Wednesday evening. See you there.)
Inslee calls second special session, warns of July 1 shutdown
The Washington State Legislature is going into double overtime, as Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday called a second special session and warned of uncharted waters and a partial government shutdown if lawmakers do not complete work and pass a budget by the end of June. “If there is no budget by July 1, the law doesn’t allow us to keep government operating fully,” Inslee said. Inslee put blame squarely on the Republican-dominated coalition that runs the Washington Senate, which has insisted on a bevy of measures — including an Eyman-like measure to limit non-education spending and legislation giving a break to payday lenders — as the price of passing a budget. The Senate Republicans’ wish list, limits on social spending, and tax breaks to special interests, have brought about the prolonged impasse.Exchanges, at Inslee’s news conference and on social media, took on rough tones.“Gov. Inslee admits proposed tax hike, increased spending not really just for kids, education: It’s for social services,” tweeted the conservative National Federation of Independent Business, a lobby closely aligned with the Republicans. At his news conference, however, Inslee declared: “It’s very difficult to educate a child who is homeless, hungry and sick. That’s what their (the Senate) budget does.” Seattle P-I, 6-11-13. Inslee’s entire press conference is on TVW, and all Democrats should watch it. TVW, 6-11-13.
And talk about return of the undead? Guess who’s been giving the “Majority Coalition” its budget advice?
The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus may be made up of 23 Republicans and two Democrats with limited experience writing budgets or leading a political caucus. But they have had an ace in the hole for most of the session this year as their majority locks horns with a Democrat-controlled House and new Democratic governor. Dino Rossi, the Republican who used his work in the 2003 Senate-House budget wars to launch two (failed) gubernatorial campaigns, (and a Senate campaign that went nowhere), has been giving key senators in the Majority Coalition some general advice along the way this year. Rossi said his counsel has mostly been on on “larger conceptual matters.” Olympian (Tacoma News Tribune), 6-11-13.
Initiative to elect Seattle City Council by districts will likely make ballot
Seattle Districts Now Tuesday submitted 46,633 signatures, more than enough to win a place on the ballot for an initiative that would have seven of nine Seattle City Council members elected by districts instead of running costly citywide races. The measure would leave two City Council members to be elected at large by Seattle’s 617,000 residents, while putting the seven others into districts averaging 88,000 residents. If voters approve, the entire nine-member council would go on the 2015 ballot.Seven members would be elected from districts to four-year terms. The two at-large members would be elected for two years, and thereafter to four year terms. By this formula, the posts of Seattle mayor, city attorney and two at-large council positions would share the ballot. Seattle P-I, 6-11-13.
Sea-Tac workers who prepare specialty meals for airlines say their own dietary needs are ignored
Workers near Sea-Tac Airport, who prepare the meals served on many airlines, say their employer is failing to accommodate their religiously based dietary needs. Gate Gourmet provides meals for employees, who are not allowed, for security reasons, to bring their own food into the facility or to eat lunch off site. At the heart of the case (James Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Asegedew Gefe & Abbas Kosymoo v. Gate Gourmet) now before the Washington Supreme Court is how far an employer has to go to accommodate someone’s religious beliefs. The employees at Gate Gourmet are mostly immigrants—from Ethiopia, India and Pakistan. They’re Hindus, Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Because of their religious beliefs, many don’t eat pork or beef or are strict vegetarians. And that’s where the conflict with the company comes in. KPLU, 6-11-13.
ACLU sues Obama administration over NSA surveillance
The American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that it has filed a federal lawsuit against key members of President Obama’s national security team over the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance, the first legal challenge to the newly disclosed intelligence gathering system. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, argues that the NSA’s ongoing daily collection of virtually all Verizon telephone records is unconstitutional and should be stopped. “This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens,” Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director, said in a statement. “It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation.” Los Angeles Times, 6-11-13.
To Think About
Why Edward Snowden is a hero
What is Snowden’s real crime? Like Ellsberg, Vanunu, and Bradley Manning before him, he uncovered questionable activities that those in power would rather have kept secret. That’s the valuable role that whistleblowers play in a free society, and it’s one that, in each individual case, should be weighed against the breach of trust they commit, and the potential harm their revelations can cause. In some instances, conceivably, the interests of the state should prevail. Here, though, the scales are clearly tipped in Snowden’s favor. John Cassidy, New Yorker, 6-10-13.