11-28-2021  3:44 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

COVID-19: Oregon Drops Outdoor Mask Requirement

Oregon still has in place, a statewide indoor mask mandate for all public settings

Oregon Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Legislative Maps

The Oregon Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two challenges filed by Republicans to new state legislative districts approved by the Legislature in September.

NEWS BRIEFS

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Oregon Records More Than 5,000 COVID-19 Related Deaths

Today, Oregon health officials reported 103 new COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to more than 5,000 ...

Northwest Library Site Acquired as Part of Multnomah County Library Capital Bond Projects

Location will help library move towards permanent spaces, expedite other bond projects ...

Four LGBTQ Leaders to Be Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Governor Kate Brown included in 2021 class of inductees to be honored at Victory Fund’s 30th Anniversary Gala ...

Northwest residents urged to stay alert as storms roll in

Weather officials urged Northwest residents to remain alert Sunday as more rain was predicted to fall in an area with lingering water from extreme weather earlier this month. “There's some good news and some pending news,” said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National...

Community systems offer alternative paths for solar growth

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Strolling his church's rooftop among 630 solar panels, Bishop Richard Howell Jr. acknowledged climate change isn't the most pressing concern for his predominantly Black congregation — even though it disproportionately harms people of color and the poor. ...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Carrie Meek, pioneering Black former congresswoman, dies

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Carrie Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died Sunday. She was 95. Meek died at her home in Miami after a long illness, family...

Key moments since Jussie Smollett reported Chicago attack

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett goes to trial Monday on charges that he lied to Chicago police when the former “Empire” actor and R&B singer reported being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack nearly three years ago. Some key moments in the story: Jan. 22, 2019 ...

Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack

CHICAGO (AP) — A popular actor steps out onto the street and is brutally reminded that, despite his fame and wealth, places still exist where the color of his skin and sexual orientation put him in danger. That was the story that ricocheted around the world after Jussie...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Get Back' series dispels, and confirms, some Beatle myths

NEW YORK (AP) — For 50 years, the fixed narrative had the Beatles' “Let it Be” recording session as a miserable experience with a band where members were sick of each other, sick of their work and in the process of breaking up. The nearly 8-hour, Peter Jackson-produced...

Towering musical theater master Stephen Sondheim dies at 91

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Sondheim, the songwriter who reshaped the American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century with his intelligent, intricately rhymed lyrics, his use of evocative melodies and his willingness to tackle unusual subjects, has died. He was 91. ...

Chris Diamantopoulos builds a hot career, on screen and off

NEW YORK (AP) — When you see Chris Diamantopoulos on screen, you may get a sense of déjà vu. The actor regularly pops up in movies and TV shows as a variety of characters, and he's fine if you find yourself trying to place where you've seen him before. “I want people...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Israeli president celebrates Hanukkah at West Bank site

HEBRON, West Bank (AP) — Israel’s president on Sunday visited one of the most contentious spots in the...

In Iraq, family mourns daughter who drowned crossing to UK

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Snow globes, teddy bears and makeup brushes — these were the trinkets left behind in...

Trial set to start on charges Smollett faked racist attack

CHICAGO (AP) — A popular actor steps out onto the street and is brutally reminded that, despite his fame and...

EXPLAINER: Can world powers curb Iran in new nuclear talks?

JERUSALEM (AP) — Can the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers be restored? As Iran and six...

EU plane to monitor migrants on Channel shores after deaths

CALAIS, France (AP) — The EU’s border agency will dispatch a plane to monitor the shores of the English...

Asian leaders at economic summit vow to help Afghanistan

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — The leaders of several Asian countries called for boosting their economic ties and...

Martin Crutsinger AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion spending plan on Monday for 2013 that seeks to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade but does little to restrain growth in the government's huge health benefit programs, a major cause of future deficits.

Obama's new budget was immediately attacked by Republicans as a retread of previously rejected ideas. The budget battle is likely to be a major component of the fall election campaign.

The president would achieve $1.5 trillion of the deficit reductions in tax increases on the wealthy and by removing certain corporate tax breaks. Obama rejected GOP charges of class warfare. In his budget message, he said, "This is not about class warfare. This is about the nation's welfare."

In a message that repeated populist themes Obama also sounded in his State of the Union address, the president defended his proposed tax increases on the wealthy, saying it was important that the burden of getting deficits under control be a shared responsibility.

"This is about making fair choices that benefit not just the people who have done fantastically well over the last few decades but that also benefit the middle class, those fighting to get into the middle class and the economy as a whole," Obama said.

Obama used an appearance before students at Northern Virginia Community College to unveil the budget and highlight a $8 billion proposal that aims at boosting the ability of the nation's community colleges to train students for the jobs of the future. He told the students his budget was a "reflection of shared responsibility."

While administration officials defended the overall plan as a balanced approach, Republicans attacked it as failing to enough to restrain the deficit, which Obama had promised in 2009 to cut in half by the end of his first term.

"This isn't really a budget at all. It's a campaign document," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "The president is shirking his responsibility to lead and using this budget to divide."

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said that Obama had ducked "the responsibility to tackle this country's real fiscal problems.

Ryan is preparing an alternative to Obama's budget that will be similar to a measure that the House approved last year but failed in the Senate where many lawmakers objected to a major overhaul to Medicare.

"We do not intend on backing off on anything," Ryan said in an interview. "We intend on giving the country an alternative and a solution to our biggest problems."

Republicans challenged the math underlying Obama's budget, saying it double-counted deficit reductions already approved in an August budget deal and also claimed $848 billion in savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even though this money would not have been spent.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked Obama's spending plan for failing to "take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis."

This year's budget debate is expected to dominate the presidential contest and congressional elections with the issue not finally resolved probably until a lame-duck session of Congress after the November election, when lawmakers will have to decide what to do with expiring Bush-era tax cuts and looming across-the-board spending cuts.

Obama's new spending plan projects a deficit for the current budget year of $1.33 trillion, marking the fourth straight year that the deficit would top $1 trillion.

The spending plan projects the deficit would decrease to $901 billion in the 2013 budget year, which begins Oct. 1. That reflects $3.8 trillion in spending next year, an increase of 0.2 percent over this year's expected outlays, and a 17.5 percent increase in revenues.

The deficits are projected to gradually go down to $575 billion in 2018, which would still be higher in dollar terms than any deficits run up before Obama took office. It would be below 3 percent of the total economy, however, and thus at a level economists generally consider sustainable.

Obama's budget hewed closely to the approach he outlined in September in a submission to the congressional "supercommittee" that failed to agree on at least $1.2 trillion in additional spending cuts to keep across-the-board cuts from taking effect next January.

The Obama budget stuck to the caps on annual appropriations approved in August that are designed to save $1 trillion over the next decade. It also put forward $1.5 trillion in higher taxes, primarily by allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of this year for families making $250,000 or more per year.

Obama, as he has in the past, also proposed eliminating tax deductions the wealthy receive and would also put in place a rule named for billionaire Warren Buffett that would seek to make sure that households making more than $1 million annually pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

Obama would also impose a new $61 billion tax over 10 years on big banks aimed at recovering the costs of the financial bailout and providing money to help homeowners facing foreclosure on their homes. The proposal also would raise $41 billion over 10 years by eliminating tax breaks for oil, gas and coal companies and it claims significant savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It would save $25 billion over 11 years through cutting costs in the U.S. Postal Service, including eliminating Saturday mail delivery.

Among the areas targeted for increases, Obama proposed $476 billion in increased spending on transportation projects including efforts to expand inner-city rail services.

To spur job creation in the short-term, Obama is proposing a $50 billion "upfront" investment for transportation, $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 schools and $30 billion to help states hire teachers and police, rescue and fire department workers. Republicans in Congress, opposed to further stimulus spending, have blocked these proposals in the past.

The Obama budget seeks $360 billion in savings in Medicare and Medicaid mainly through reduced payments to health care providers, avoiding tougher measures, advocated by House Republicans and the deficit commissions, which supporters said were critical to the cause of restraining health care costs. The projections in Obama's budget show that he is doing little to restrain the surge in these programs expected in coming years with the retirement of baby boomers. Obama's budget projects that Medicare spending will double over the coming decade from $478 billion this year to almost $1 trillion in 2022.

Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor and disabled, would more than double from $255 billion this year to $589 billion by 2022.

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Associated Press writers Andrew Taylor, Kimberly Hefling and Ben Feller contributed to this report.

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