10-23-2019  1:05 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Ecology Director Objects to EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Act Rule

Ecology Director Maia Bellon submitted formal objections in which she calls the proposal ill-advised and illegal

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

NEWS BRIEFS

U.S. Census Bureau Hosts Job Recruitment Events in Portland

There are several opportunities to ‘Meet the Employer’ today through Saturday for more information or to apply for 2020 census...

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Woman sues Oregon clinic over claims of past abuse by doctor

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman who says she was repeatedly sexually abused by her pediatrician has filed a jumi million lawsuit against the doctor's former medical clinic in Oregon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that the woman says the abuse occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s at...

Police: Body found is missing university student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a body found near the St. Johns Bridge in Northwest Portland is a missing University of Portland freshman.Police on Tuesday evening said that the medical examiner's office had conducted an autopsy and positively identified the body as Owen...

AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson to 3rd; Wisconsin falls

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Farewells to US Rep. Elijah Cummings to begin in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) — Constituents, friends and other mourners are set to gather at a historically black college in Baltimore to honor the life of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings in the first of a series of planned services.The Maryland congressman and civil rights champion died Thursday of...

Trump claim brings new pain to relatives of lynching victims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Willie Edwards Jr., a black truck driver, was killed by Ku Klux Klansmen who forced him to jump off a bridge in Alabama in 1957. Two years earlier, white men had bludgeoned black teenager Emmett Till to death in Mississippi. No one went to prison for either...

Trump 2020 targeting Hispanic vote in nontraditional places

YORK, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is making contrarian appeals in the most unusual places, trying to win over Hispanic voters in states not known for them, like Pennsylvania.His second campaign, far better financed and organized than his first, is pressing every...

ENTERTAINMENT

Liam Gallagher talks solo rise, family feud and rock music

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spend a few minutes with Liam Gallagher and it's clear the rocker hasn't lost any of his bravado, right down to counting himself among the greats in rock history.But Gallagher does acknowledge that one band breakup — not, Oasis, but rather the demise of Beady Eye in...

Lori Loughlin, other parents charged again in college scheme

BOSTON (AP) — "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband and nine other parents faced new federal charges Tuesday in a scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents accused of bribing their children's way into elite universities or cheating on college entrance exams.A...

Celebrities to get drag makeovers in RuPaul's new VH1 series

LOS ANGELES (AP) — RuPaul is giving a dozen celebrities the chance to get drag makeovers for charity and bragging rights.VH1 said Tuesday that "RuPaul's Celebrity Drag Race" will air as a limited series next year.Each of the four episodes will feature a trio of stars competing for best drag...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump 2020 targeting Hispanic vote in nontraditional places

YORK, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is making contrarian appeals in the most...

Pennsylvania's gas politics churn as Trump embraces industry

EXTON, Pa. (AP) — For a second time in three months, President Donald Trump is headed to Pennsylvania to...

UK prime minister mulls early election over Brexit impasse

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be pushing for an early general election...

Botswana votes as ruling party faces surprising challenge

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) — Polls opened in Botswana on Wednesday as the long-peaceful southern African...

Canada's Trudeau wins reelection but faces a divided nation

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau begins his second term facing an increasingly divided...

Trump finds no simple fix in Syria, other world hotspots

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's plan to reverse America's involvement in "endless wars" has run...

McMenamins
Jim Kuhnhenn White House Reporter for the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Why so glum?

Unemployment is dropping, but the reaction from both the left and right ends of the political spectrum is surprisingly unenthusiastic. 

Conservatives fear the improvement will weaken their argument that the way to bring back jobs is less regulation and more fiscal discipline. Liberals worry that better job numbers will create momentum for spending cuts that will cause the fragile recovery to falter. The Skanner News Video: The figures

The divided reaction illustrates the ideological forces pulling at President Barack Obama as he tries to gain economic and political traction out of the positive jobs report.

"Overall, it's a very solid jobs report," said Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "And overall there's been increasing optimism that despite having a long way to go, we're clearly headed in the right direction and we're putting some miles behind us and trying to get back to a good situation."

Indeed, a number of economic markers are moving in positive directions. The U.S. economy has been growing for 18 months. Retail sales are picking up. A Federal Reserve survey released this week showed factory activity rising in all Fed districts except St. Louis.

Obama, himself, made the point Friday, trumpeting the unemployment numbers during a visit to a Miami high school.

"That's the 12th straight month of private-sector job growth," he said. "So our economy has now added 1.5 million private sector jobs over the last year. And that's progress."

Still, unemployment is usually the last economic signpost to improve after a recession, and the rate remains high at 8.9 percent. The number of unemployed is 13.7 million, almost double since before the recession. And that's enough to provoke some downbeat assessments.

"We have yet to see the leadership we need coming out of the White House to restore sustainable economic growth," declared Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Economist Heidi Shierholz, at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, weighed in with this: "Some of February's growth is simply a positive rebound effect after bad weather last month, and the trend is modest."

Since the November elections that placed Republicans in control of the House and weakened the Democrats' hold on the Senate, Republicans and conservatives have argued that the path to jobs is through deregulation of industries, fiscal restraint and low taxes. Obama has embraced some of the advice, reaching out to business with a pledge to reconsider some government rules and compromising with Republicans by dropping, for now, his demand that the wealthy pay higher taxes.

So, even as the unemployment rate goes down, Republicans insist Obama's past policies were at worst, counterproductive, or at best, ineffective. Jobs will come faster and with more staying power, they argue, if government simply gets out of the way.

Liberals and their Democratic allies have been pressing for more government intervention in the economy. The fragile recovery still needs to be prodded by public spending, they say, and they bristle at attempts to cut current budgets. Obama has embraced some of that advice, too. He has proposed additional taxpayer money toward education, research and technological innovation while negotiating with Republicans on how far to cut into current spending.

"The current jobs numbers underscore the fact that deep cuts in federal spending are extremely premature," Shierholz wrote in an analysis of the new jobs number. "We should instead be having discussions of substantial additional stimulus spending."

Even Goolsbee cautioned that the unemployment numbers themselves might not follow a smooth downward trajectory.

While private employers added 222,000 jobs last month, some analysts noted that when averaged with more meager number of new jobs in January, the increase in payrolls is similar to the monthly pace in the last quarter of 2010.

"On the unemployment rate, for sure there are going to likely to be blips," Goolsbee said in an interview. "Nobody knows, is 8.9 the rate or will it go up? That could happen."

But he added: "The three-month trend, the one-year trends of substantially adding jobs in the private sector and substantial reductions in the unemployment rate are exactly what we want."

The White House is certainly counting on those trends moving in their favor. The economy — and high unemployment — were key factors in last November's Republican election wave.

At the time, the unemployment rate had been rising for six straight months. But since the 9.8 percent high of November, it has been dropping. Politically, the trend line could be as important as the unemployment rate itself.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan as unemployment climbed from 6 percent in October of 1979 to 7.5 percent in October of 1980. Likewise, George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992 in the midst of rising unemployment, which went from 6.9 percent September of 1991 to 7.6 percent in September of 1992.

But Reagan managed to get re-elected in 1984 even though unemployment stood at 7.4 percent in October of that year. Unlike Carter and Bush, Reagan's unemployment trend line had been dropping since the spring of 1983.

There are still trouble spots ahead for Obama.

"The main clouds of concern that we monitor are what happens in the Middle East with fuel prices and what happens with the financial system in Europe,"Goolsbee said.

In addition, public hiring by local and state governments remains an area of weakness. "State finances tend to lag the aggregate economy by six to 10 months," Goolsbee said. "It's likely to continue to be tough for them."

Those are clouds that can still dampen an economic recovery — and complicate a president's political prospects.





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