07 30 2016
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The Wake of Vanport
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  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
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  • SEATTLE (AP) — Genetically modified wheat not approved for sale or commercial production in the United States has been found growing in a field in Washington state, agriculture officials said Friday, posing a possible risk to trade with countries concerned about engineered food. The Food and Drug Administration says genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and little scientific concern exists about the safety of those on the market. But critics say not enough is known about their risks, and they want GMOs labeled so people know what's in their food. Several Asian countries temporarily banned U.S. wheat imports after genetically modified wheat was found unexpectedly in a field on an Oregon farm in 2013. It also popped up in a field at a university research center in Montana in 2014. It wasn't immediately clear how altered wheat cropped up in Washington. But the U.S. Agriculture Department said there is no evidence it has entered the market. If it did, the FDA concluded that "it is unlikely that the wheat would present any safety concerns if present in the food supply," the department said. A farmer discovered 22 plants in an unplanted field, and the wheat was developed to be resistant to the herbicide known as Roundup, created by seed giant Monsanto, the USDA said. An agency spokeswoman did not know where in the state it was found. Federal officials said they were working with the farmer to ensure that none of the modified wheat is sold. Out of caution, the agency said it is holding and testing the farmer's full wheat harvest, but so far it has not found GMOs. The plants are a type of wheat that had been evaluated in limited field trials in the Pacific Northwest from 1998 to 2001 but never commercialized, Monsanto said in a statement. It said the type found in Washington state is similar to the one discovered in Oregon three years ago; it has the same inserted DNA but in a different location. No variety of genetically engineered wheat has been approved for commercial use or production in the U.S. GMOs are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA. Most genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like cornstarch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup. Only a handful of modified fruits and vegetables are available, including Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash and a small percentage of sweet corn. The FDA also has approved for consumption a genetically engineered salmon that would grow faster than traditional salmon, but it's not yet available in grocery stores. South Korea said Friday that it will inspect U.S. wheat imports for genetically modified wheat, the Yonhap News Agency reported. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has asked the USDA for information on the unapproved wheat and inspection methods. The USDA said it has validated a test that Monsanto developed for the herbicide-resistant wheat, which would be available to trading partners. "Trading partners will get the tests. I believe that once they have those in place, they'll continue buying," said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission, a state agency that represents wheat farmers. "We don't anticipate any major disruptions." The USDA also said it has beefed up oversight of genetically engineered field trials and now requires developers to apply for a permit for those involving GMO wheat starting this year. In 2014, genetically modified wheat plants were found at a university research center in Huntley, Montana, where it was legally tested by Monsanto in the early 2000s. The plants in eastern Oregon were found in a field that had never conducted such tests, and the USDA closed its investigation two years ago unable to determine how the wheat got there. Different strains were found in each state. The Washington Association of Wheat Growers and the Washington State Agriculture Department referred questions to federal authorities.
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  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
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  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
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Any day now, the House of Representatives could vote on the budget reconciliation bill, a controversial package that will cut federal spending by $54 billion. The savings would come from cuts to programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, veterans benefits, Head Start, child support enforcement and aid to foster children.

Republican leaders say the bill is necessary to reduce the federal deficit, but so far they have not managed to secure the 218 votes necessary to pass the bill in the House. Opponents — including some Republicans — say the bill makes cuts in exactly the wrong places, and will set back efforts to reduce poverty and hunger in the Northwest.

U.S Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said he opposes the bill because he is concerned about its impact on low-income Americans.

"These are very mean-spirited cuts that are going to hurt the poorest among us in Oregon," De Fazio said. "They include cuts to school lunch programs, food stamps, Medicaid and cuts to school loans, which will affect young people who are trying to better themselves.

"The worst thing about this is that these cuts are not intended to reduce the deficit, but to make room for large tax cuts, which will benefit the most wealthy. They are rewarding wealth one week and hurting struggling people the next."
Negotiations about the exact content of the budget reconciliation bill are still under way, but if it is passed into legislation its many provisions will likely include:

• More than $1 billion in cuts to the food stamp program. Nationally, up to 170,000 people would lose their food stamps.
• At least $10 billion in cuts from Medicaid. Under the bill, states will be allowed for the first time to charge low-income pregnant women and children for medical services.

• A $5 billion (40 percent) cut in federal funding for child support enforcement over the next five years. Child support enforcement in Washington last year collected $591 million for children. In Oregon, child support enforcement collected $294 million in 2003.

• Cuts of $732 million to the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides modest income assistance to poor elderly individuals and people with disabilities.

• A 2 percent across-the-board cut to veterans' services. Analysts say this likely will reduce health care benefits to veterans.

• Cuts of $577 million over 5 years from services to foster children living with relatives.
Among its many additional provisions, the bill would include cuts to child care assistance for low-income working families.

"This bill would be devastating for people in Washington state," said Julie Watts, acting director for the statewide Poverty Action Network, a nonprofit coalition of anti-poverty groups. "This is bad policy; these are bad choices. Our lawmakers should be voting against them. It's just bad for the state."

Both Oregon and Washington have made progress in reducing hunger rates in recent years. Just a couple of years ago, the state of Oregon was rated highest in the nation for hunger; now it is No. 17, close to the U.S. average. Washington state, in the top five for hunger for eight years, is now No. 10. Advocates say that helping more eligible families apply for food stamps was what made the difference.

"The reason we have made progress in reducing hunger in Oregon is directly linked to the aggressive expansion of use of the food stamp program among low-wage working Oregonians," said Janet Bauer, federal budget coordinator for Oregon Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit left-of-center think tank. "The provisions that have allowed low-income working adults to access food stamps would be eliminated in the bill. So I think our gains are in jeopardy under the House proposal."

Bauer, Watts and other advocates say they fear that low-income women and children will simply not get necessary medical care, because they will not be able to afford to pay the new charges.

"What research has found is that people can't afford to participate in Medicaid, so they drop off, or they can't get necessary medications," Bauer said. "The ultimate outcome is deteriorated health and higher emergency room costs.
"The health care needs don't go away. When people can't afford other treatment they end up relying on the emergency system. We don't believe these cuts will result in any reduction in cost to society."

Watts said cuts to child support enforcement and child care will hurt thousands of children in Washington state. In addition, she said, cuts to services for foster children living with relatives will hurt efforts to keep children within their families.

"The state would be forced to cut support to abused and neglected kids," she said.
Rep. De Fazio argues that it is wrong to cut social programs in order to finance tax cuts that benefit only a small number of wealthy people.

"If they were really serious about reducing the deficit, there are a lot of places they could cut that wouldn't hurt working people," he said.

"I have my own list. For example, if they were to reinstate the 2001 tax rate just for people making over $350,000 a year, we could save $27 billion. That would create six times as much income for the federal government for deficit reduction.

"And if we looked at offshore tax shelters, clarified those rules and put some limits on those, we could capture $65 billion over the same five-year time period."

De Fazio also suggested saving $50 billion by cutting the military's Star Wars program, which he says does not work.
"There are some places where the federal government is clearly wasting money or giving it away to people who don't need it," he said. "We're borrowing $1.2 billion a day to run the federal government and basically handing the bill to our kids and grandkids."

Despite a hefty Republican majority in Congress, changes to the bill are highly likely. Many Republican moderates are reluctant to support the cuts to social programs. Other Republicans oppose specific proposals, such as cuts to programs that help dairy farmers, proposals to allow offshore drilling along the U.S. coastline or the provision that would allow oil companies to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The Senate version of the bill, which did not include provisions to drill in Alaska or cut the food stamps program, passed last week. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., voted for the bill; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., voted against it. When Senate and House bills differ, a committee made up of members of both houses decides on the final version passed into law.
For more information about opposition to the bill, visit cwla.org/advocacy/nocapsonkids.htm.

 

Oregon Representatives

Rep. Earl Blumenauer
729 N.E. Oregon St. Suite 115
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-231-2300
Fax: 503-230-5413

Rep. Peter DeFazio
151 W. Seventh St. Suite 400
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: 541-465-6732
Toll free: 1-800-944-9603

Rep. Darlene Hooley
21570 Willamette Dr.
West Linn, OR 97068
Phone: 503-557-1324
Fax: 503-557-1981

Rep. Greg Walden
843 East Main St. Suite 400
Medford, OR 97504
Phone: 541-776-4646
Toll free from 541 area code:
1-800-533-3303
Fax: 541-779-0204

Rep. David Wu
620 S.W. Main St. Suite 606
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-326-2901
Toll free: 1-800-422-4003
Fax: 503-326-5066

 

Washington Representatives

U.S.Rep Brian Baird
O.O. Howard House
750 Anderson St. Suite B
Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: (360) 695-6292
Fax: (360) 695-6197

U.S.Rep Norm Dicks
Norm Dicks Government Center Suite 500
345 Sixth St.
Bremerton, WA 98337
Phone: 360-479-4011
Toll free: 800-947-6676
Fax: 360-479-2126

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings
2715 St. Andrews Loop Suite D
Pasco, WA 99301
Phone: 509-543-9396
Fax: 509-545-1972

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee
21905 64th Ave. W. Suite 101
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Phone: 425-640-0233
Fax: 425-776-7168

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen
2930 Wetmore Ave. Suite 9F
Everett, WA 98201
Phone: 425-252-3188
Toll-free: 1-800-562-1385
Fax: 425-252-6606

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
1809 Seventh Ave. Suite 1212
Seattle, WA 98101-1399
Phone: 206-553-7170
Fax: 206-553-7175

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris
10 North Post, Sixth Floor
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: 509-353-2374
Fax: 509-353-2412

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert
2737 78th Ave. S.E. Suite 202
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206-275-3438
Toll free: 877-920-9208
Fax: 206-275-3437

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith
3600 Port of Tacoma Road Ste. 106
Tacoma, WA 98424
Phone: 253-896-3775
Fax: 253-896-3789

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