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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

2 businesses sue pipeline company over 2016 explosion

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two businesses whose Northwest Portland storefronts were destroyed by a 2016 gas explosion have filed new lawsuits against the company that was digging at the time.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland Bagelworks owners Kim and Rik Bartel are suing Loy Clark...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Q&A: Does a manufacturing slump threaten the US economy?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying fears and predictions, the U.S. economy is still shrugging off President Donald...

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Tensions as yellow vests join French retirement protests

PARIS (AP) — Paris police skirmished Saturday with yellow vest activists joining a wave of protest actions...

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Venice tide barriers pass another test, but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

McMenamins
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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