Slog AM: Washington Supports Assault Weapons Ban, McCarthy Might Cave to Freedom Caucus Trolls, NFL Does the Right Thing for Once

Slog AM: Washington Supports Assault Weapons Ban, McCarthy Might Cave to Freedom Caucus Trolls, NFL Does the Right Thing for Once

Competing solutions to the staffing crisis in our hospitals: The Seattle Times reports that unions representing nurses who work in Washington hospitals will push lawmakers in Olympia to revive a bill to set maximum nurse-to-patient ratios this legislative session . Hospital lobbyists don’t like the idea. Instead, they want Washington to join 39 other states that operate a common licensing regime to make it easier to hire nurses from other states.

Download this guide: The Seattle Times published a “printable” version of its guide on how to help someone in a mental health crisis, but who carries paper these days? There’s a lot of useful information out there, so download a copy and save it to your phone for the next time you’re helping a neighbor have a really weird day.

Students hold protests to push fossil fuel companies off UW campus: KUOW reports that students from the UW chapter of Institutional Climate Action have staged protests at the university’s career center for several weeks to pressure the administration to ban the companies of fossil fuels by recruiting their classmates on campus. The students plan to continue the protest throughout the winter quarter, hoping that the UW will join several universities in the UK that have already adopted the policy.

Are substation attacks becoming a trend? KUOW reports that Energy Department data shows more outages on the Pacific Northwest power grid last year due to substation attacks than previously reported. Investigators have not discovered a motive or consistent connection between the attacks, but none of the power plants have reported any theft of copper or other valuable materials related to the incidents.

Give the people what they want: Crosscut released the findings of its latest survey on the public’s priorities for the State Legislature ahead of the session that begins Monday. The poll found broad support for banning assault weapons, spending more on K-12 education and addressing the housing crisis. Governor Inslee’s proposal to issue $4 billion in bonds to finance the construction of more affordable housing, however, received a narrow majority of support with 52% of respondents supporting the measure.

We’re still talking about it: The House of Representatives will continue trying to elect a speaker today, and the Associated Press reports that Liberty’s grand caucus appears to be reveling in the chaos. An ultra-conservative congressman-elect, Chip Roy of Texas, defended the clown show, saying it was “common in the 19th century” for the House to take several ballots to elect a speaker. Other things that were common in the 19th century that were better left in the past: people beating each other on the House floor, traveling to DC in horse and buggy, and, um, slavery.

Democrats, you’re not innocent here: Sure, the GOP is the party that currently holds all kinds of constituent services and makes us look like a failed state, but everyone should have seen this coming.

The Democrats really should have hit the entire debt ceiling when they had control of Congress.

(There will be many occasions to repeat this sentiment in the coming months.)

— David Roberts (@drvolts) January 6, 2023

Will McCarthy cave? At the heart of this clash between unwanted Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the lunatic fringe of the GOP is a House rule that would allow any member of Congress to propose “vacating the chair,” which would trigger this ridiculous process all over again. The Associated Press reports that McCarthy may finally give in to demands to restore order so he can finally get the vein he so desperately wants.

Meanwhile, regular people pay the price: While it rarely makes headlines, much of the work congressional offices do is to help their constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy. But since no one can be sworn in until the House elects a Speaker, none of this business can happen.

The GOP staffer sent me this to highlight how the thin speaker race is affecting the offices: “The response we received when we tried to contact the IRS on behalf of one of our constituents. I’m not sure people understand the non-political ramifications this has on our ability to help people.”

— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 5, 2023

FTC aims to not compete: The Federal Trade Commission has issued a proposed rule that would outlaw non-compete agreements, which some economists argue would effectively lower wages for millions of Americans subject to restrictions in their employment contracts. . The FTC estimates that the rule would result in $300 billion in wage increases across the economy.

A rash of shootings targeting local Democratic politicians: In New Mexico, NBC News reports that shootings have occurred at the homes or workplaces of four local Democratic elected officials. Thankfully, no one has yet been hurt, but police have not identified a suspect and have not confirmed whether they believe the incidents are connected.

Delta workers call out ‘culture of fear’: Amid an ongoing unionization effort, workers at Delta who load and unload planes report that the company has cut hours, taken tougher disciplinary measures against employees and reduced vacation time. The airline reported record revenue in the third quarter of 2022 and expects to double its profits this year, so it looks like they can afford to share some of the wealth with the people whose sweat generates that profit.

The NFL does the right thing, for once: The league has canceled the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals that was suspended after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

The Buffalo-Cincinnati Week 17 game will not be restarted. Clubs to consider AFC Championship game at neutral site.

Full statement:

— NFL (@NFL) January 6, 2023

Let’s wrap up the AM with some fact-checking: Casey Decker of Verify did the work to debunk a viral anti-vax post, trying to capture Damar Hamlin’s collapse to promote misinformation about heart attack risks from COVID vaccines . I love that this is such an essential part of journalism these days!

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