Three things to know this week

We are Working Washington

BossFeed Briefing for June 12, 2017. The special session of the State Legislature continues to continue this week… and continues to continue to not show any visible signs of progress towards agreement on a budget. Reports have recently been picking up that Republicans in the U.S. Senate may be close to reaching agreement on a healthcare repeal bill. And while paid holidays are not required under Federal law, BossFeed was in fact on vacation last week.

Catching up 

Three things to know this week:

scared Every previous U.S. Labor Department under every previous presidential administration has held that a worker’s immigration status does not affect their right to minimum wage and other labor standards. But workers and advocates are increasingly concerned this practice has changed, creating new barriers to enforcement, and effectively incentivizing wage theft.

Canadian flag Ontario, Canada is raising its provincial minimum wage to $15/hour, lifting pay for 675,000 workers. At the current exchange rate, $15 Canadian is about $11.14/hour in U.S. currency.

cart Amazon is offering discounted Prime memberships to people who receive any form of government assistance through an EBT card. About half of all U.S. households are currently Prime members.

Two things to ask:

ring But do they tip the catering staff? A “five-star wedding” runs about $5,000 a guest, according to people who work to organize the weddings of the ultra-rich, but reject the job title of “wedding planner” because they associate it with Jennifer Lopez. New-money clients sometimes hire consultants to provide social media and PR strategy for the weddings, while old money clients like fifth-generation Rockefellers supposedly “will put the au pairs and the nannies and whoever raised them at the head table.”

horse Anyone have any ideas? Vacation resorts charging up to $1,200 a night say they’re struggling to find staff who can maintain their high standards, and also tend to their horses. Seems like there must be something that could be raised the would make more workers interested in taking a given job, but the notion seems not to have occurred to the stressed-out luxury peddlers.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

zzzzzz Surveying the political landscape in Great Britain, anthropologist, political thinker, and early Occupy activist David Graeber asks if people can become bored of being hopeless. Graeber suggests that despite the many defeats of working class politics in the UK, the aftermath of the Great Recession there has provoked a return to utopian thinking. The provocative piece — even more valuable in view of last week’s strong electoral performance by Labour — touches on everything from steampunk to Scottish science fiction, asking if perhaps despair has run its course and we’re on the cusp of historic change.


Read this far?

tophat Consider yourself briefed, boss.


on this day … 6/13 on a day with many significant events~ 1866 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. It was ratified on July 9, 1868.

1415 – Henry the Navigator, the prince of Portugal, embarked on an expedition to Africa.

1777 – The Marquis de Lafayette arrived in the American colonies to help with their rebellion against the British.

1789 – Ice cream was served to General George Washington by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton.

1825 – Walter Hunt patented the safety pin. Hunt then then sold the rights for $400.

1866 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. It was ratified on July 9, 1868. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

1888 – The U.S. Congress created the Department of Labor.

1898 – The Canadian Yukon Territory was organized.

1900 – China’s Boxer Rebellion against foreigners and Chinese Christians erupted into violence.

1912 – Captain Albert Berry made the first successful parachute jump from an airplane in Jefferson, Mississippi.

1920 – The U.S. Post Office Department ruled that children may not be sent by parcel post.

1922 – Charlie Osborne started the longest attack on hiccups. He hiccuped over 435 million times before stopping. He died in 1991, 11 months after his hiccups ended.

1923 – The French set a trade barrier between the occupied Ruhr and the rest of Germany.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

1927 – For the first time, an American Flag was displayed from the right hand of the Statue of Liberty.

1940 – Paris was evacuated before the German advance on the city.

1943 – German spies landed on Long Island, New York. They were soon captured.

1944 – Germany launched 10 of its new V1 rockets against Britain from a position near the Channel coast. Of the 10 rockets only 5 landed in Britain and only one managed to kill (6 people in London).

1944 – Marvin Camras patented the wire recorder.

1949 – Bao Dai entered Saigon to rule Vietnam. He had been installed by the French.

1951 – U.N. troops seized Pyongyang, North Korea.

1966 – The landmark “Miranda v. Arizona” decision was issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision ruled that criminal suspects had to be informed of their constitutional rights before being questioned by police.

1967 – Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1971 – The New York Times began publishing the “Pentagon Papers”. The articles were a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam.

1978 – Israelis withdrew the last of their invading forces from Lebanon.

1979 – Sioux Indians were awarded $105 million in compensation for the U.S. seizure in 1877 of their Black Hills in South Dakota.

1983 – The unmanned U.S. space probe Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to leave the solar system. It was launched in March 1972. The first up-close images of the planet Jupiter were provided by Pioneer 10.

1988 – The Liggett Group, a cigarette manufacturer, was found liable for a lung-cancer death. They were, however, found innocent by the federal jury of misrepresenting the risks of smoking.

1989 – The Detroit Pistons won their first National Basketball Association title. They beat the L.A. Lakers in four games.

1989 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush exercised his first Presidential veto on a bill dealing with minimum wage.

1992 – Future U.S. President Bill Clinton criticized rap singer Sister Souljah for making remarks “filled with hatred” towards whites.

1994 – A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, found Exxon Corp. and Captain Joseph Hazelwood to be reckless in the Exxon Valdezoil spill.

1995 – France announced that they would conduct eight more nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

2000 – In Pyongyang, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il welcomed South Korea’s President Kim Dae for a three-day summit. It was the first such meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea.

NWLC to Betsy DeVos: We’re taking you to court

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos won’t say whether her agency is doing anything to curb sexual harassment in schools. Did they think we would just let that slide?

We deserve to know if our schools are safe.

National Women’s Law Center v. United States Department of Education
Here at NWLC, we believe no one should be pushed out of school because they’ve experienced sexual harassment or assault. Yet that’s the heartbreaking reality for too many survivors when their schools ignore their obligations under Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded schools. With that in mind, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Department of Education this past January to learn whether and how the department has been handling investigations of sexual harassment and assault.

They refused to respond. Given Secretary DeVos’ ongoing failure to commit to Title IX enforcement—and Donald “When you’re a star, they let you do it” Trump’s terrible personal record on sexual assault, plus his administration’s poor civil rights record overall—their silence leaves us deeply concerned that this administration is doing nothing on behalf of survivors. That’s why we filed suit today, to compel them to live up to their legal responsibilities and turn over information about their sexual assault cases.

  • Read more about why we’re suing the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Share this graphic to spread the word: we deserve to know if they’re taking action to make sure our schools are safe.

Stopping the Attempt to Sneak Through a Dangerous Attack on Our Health Care
Late last week, it became clear that GOP leaders in Congress are moving at lightning speed to finalize their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and gut the Medicaid program. So far, they’ve been keeping the bill language secret, but if they do what we expect, it would be devastating. Tens of millions of people will lose health care coverage, millions more could end up with insurance that doesn’t cover critical health care needs, like maternity care, and insurance plans could once again charge a survivor of breast cancer more for insurance. We’ve fought hard to get these protections written into law, and we refuse to go back to a time when simply being a woman was treated like a pre-existing condition.

Today marks a year since the killing of 49 and wounding of 58 members of the LGBTQ community at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This coming Saturdaymarks two years since the massacre of nine Black worshippers at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. To honor the victims of these attacks and the nearly 300,000 hate crimes that happen in America each year, and to speak up for common sense solutions to our country’s horrific gun violence epidemic, we have joined with Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and a variety of organizations around the country to observe Disarm Hate Week.

  • A newly re-introduced bill in Congress would prohibit anyone convicted of a hate crime from purchasing or owning a gun. Read more about the bill in Newsweek.
  • Speak out: Use the hashtag #DisarmHate to join the conversation about how to end gun violence and hate crimes.
  • Members of the LGBTQ, Muslim, Latinx communities and allies are coming together to demonstrate unity in remembrance of the Pulse victims. Read why.

Resistance Must-Reads


We the Resistance is our fight to protect our rights and freedoms and to defend the most vulnerable among us through powerful collective action. Every conversation you have with a loved one about the issues important to you, every call you make to Congress, every rally you attend is a part of that resistance. Join us — sign on to the We The Resistance manifesto.