Eighty-Nine Hours: That's how much time Seattle drivers spent sitting in traffic, according to a new study, which also says our traffic is the fifth worst in the country. Get mad at Olympia about this, right now, if you want to see a light rail network—one that would relieve much of this congestion—to West Seattle, Ballard, and beyond, in your lifetime.
Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour? Not on Spokane senator Michael Baumgartner's watch, who let the bill to bump up wages die in committee late yesterday. "This proposed minimum wage increase would be devastating to countless small businesses," he claimed. "I won’t put people in Eastern Washington out of work to placate the egos of extreme Seattle liberals."
He's Talking About Billionaire Nick Hanauer: After Baumgartner killed the higher minimum wage, Hanauer, who's talked about running a state ballot initiative to increase wages next year, tweeted, "$16 in 16 here we come," and "If you're a WA State progressive, you love this guy @SenBaumgartner. Now, better politics for [Democrats] in 16." (Also better politics: centering the voices of workers who can speak from experience, instead of mouthy billionaires, in the movement against inequality.)
If You Haven't Been Following John Stang's Chronicling of the State Legislature: Start now. Here's a bill on gender pay inequity that's been quietly killed, though it could be revived, according to Stang:
A bill by Representative Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, would require employers to provide valid reasons—such as differences in education, training, or experience—if employees challenge pay disparities between workers of the opposite sex for essentially the same work. The bill would also allow gender-based pay disputes to be taken to an administrative judge at the Washington Department of Labor & Industries. And the bill would also forbid employers from ordering workers not to disclose their salaries.
And Here's Another Common-Sense Proposal... That's up against rigid opposition from Republicans. In fact, I heard misleading radio spots on KIRO yesterday casting this as a tax on average families. Actually, it's a tax on Washington's wealthiest 32,000 people (their capital gains) to pay for education, which the state has chronically underfunded.
Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba May Establish Headquarters in Seattle: What is Alibaba? Click here. It's one of the biggest companies in the world—significantly larger than Amazon. An investment banker tells Puget Sound Business Journal that Alibaba is "likely" to set up their US headquarters in Seattle, "which would be a very interesting move given Seattle is home to their largest western competitor, Amazon." I hope Alibaba does this.
Amazon Is Fighting with a Big Book Publisher Again: This time it's HarperCollins, according to Business Insider.
Remember the Egyptian Revolution? Tahrir Square? Hey, whatever happened to that? Oh—the Obama administration has resumed giving billions in aid to the military junta that came to power through a coup and has been vigorously persecuting journalists, queers, and pro-democracy activists. "President Obama informed President al-Sisi," the White House says, "that he will lift executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits."
About New Daily Show Host Trevor Noah: Read this from Ijeoma Oluo. Let the guy own it—those were shitty, stupid jokes that punched in all the wrong directions—and move on. Comedy Central is backing him.
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