10-14-2019  8:12 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“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’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for 'Jackie Brown,' dies at 78

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Friday. He was 78.Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness....

Jessye Norman, opera icon, memorialized at hometown funeral

Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

The Latest: Spanish official puts Brexit onus on Johnson

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):3:40 p.m.Spain's foreign minister says he expects...

McMenamins
Charles Babington the Associated Press

President Barack Obama greets a young baby upon his arrival at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Calif., April 20. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's the conspiracy theory that won't go away. And it's forcing Republican officials and presidential contenders to pick sides: Do they think Barack Obama was born outside the United States and disqualified to be president?

As the Republican candidates tiptoe through the mine field, Democrats are watching. They hope the debate will fire up their liberal base and perhaps tie the eventual GOP nominee to fringe beliefs that swing voters will reject.

In recent days several prominent Republicans have distanced themselves, with varying degrees of emphasis, from the false claim that Obama was born in a foreign country. But with a new poll showing that two-thirds of adult Republicans either embrace the claim or are open to it, nearly all these GOP leaders are not calling for a broader effort to stamp out the allegations.

"It's a real challenge for the Republican Party and virtually every Republican candidate for president," contends Democratic pollster Geoff Garin. If it's not handled well, he said, all-important independent voters might see Republicans as extreme or irrelevant.

Many Americans consider claims of Obama's foreign birth to be preposterous, unworthy of serious debate. Yet the "birther" issue threatens to overshadow the early stages of the GOP effort to choose a presidential nominee for 2012. Real estate mogul Donald Trump has stirred the pot lately, repeatedly saying Obama should provide his original birth certificate.

From a political standpoint, it's impossible to dismiss the matter as conspiratorial fantasy, akin to, say, claims that the 1969 moon landing was staged. In the latest New York Times-CBS News poll, 45 percent of adult Republicans said they believe Obama was born in another country, and 22 percent said they don't know. One-third of Republicans said they believe the president is native born.

The same poll a year ago found considerably less suspicion among Republicans. A plurality of GOP adults then said Obama was U.S.-born, and 32 percent said they believed he was foreign-born.

In the latest poll, about half of all independents said Obama was born in the United States. The other independents were about evenly split between those saying he is foreign-born, and those saying they don't know.

Ten percent of Democrats said Obama was born overseas, and 9 percent were unsure.

Obama's birth certificate indicates he was born in Hawaii in 1961. Newspaper birth announcements at the time reported the birth, and news organizations' investigations have rebutted the birthers' claims. The Constitution says a president must be a "natural born citizen."

Trump's leap to the top tier of potential GOP presidential contenders in recent polls has frustrated party leaders who'd like the birthplace issue to go away.

The House's top Republicans -Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor - say they are satisfied that Obama was born in Hawaii. But they have declined to criticize those who state otherwise, and Boehner has said it's not his job to tell Americans what to think.

Trump, meanwhile, keeps fueling the fire. Even though many people doubt he will run for president, he has forced other Republicans to take stands.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania have been the most direct in rejecting the birthers' claims. "I believe the president was born in the United States," Romney told CNBC.

Santorum has no doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, and he "believes this debate distracts us from the real issues," said his spokeswoman, Virginia Davis.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour accepts the president's word about his birthplace, his staff said.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told an Iowa audience, "I'm not one to question the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate." He added a little jab: "When you look at his policies, I do question what planet he's from."

When ABC's George Stephanopoulos showed a copy of Obama's birth certificate to Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who was ambivalent at first, she said: "Well, then, that should settle it. ... I take the president at his word."

Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave mixed signals in a recent Fox News appearance. She praised Trump for "paying for researchers" to dig into claims of Obama's foreign birth. But she added, "I think that he was born in Hawaii because there was a birth announcement put in the newspaper."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has dismissed claims that Obama is foreign-born, calling them a distraction. But on a February radio show, Huckabee referred to Obama "having grown up in Kenya," the birthplace of the president's father.

Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. A spokesman said Huckabee's statement was simply a mistake.

Aides to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said voters have not asked him about the birthplace question and he has not discussed it.

The issue has spread to several states where Republican-controlled legislatures have introduced or passed bills requiring presidential candidates, and sometimes others, to prove their citizenship. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, recently vetoed such a bill, calling it "a bridge too far."

Democrats think the birthplace issue might fire up liberals, especially minorities, who in many cases have been dispirited by Obama's frequent compromises with conservatives to pass legislation. Blacks who embraced Obama's barrier-breaking election now see some Republicans claiming he has no constitutional right to be president.

The New York Times-CBS poll was worded in a way that might have subtly encouraged respondents to say Obama is foreign born. "Some people say Barack Obama was NOT born in the United States," the poll's callers said, but they did not offer counter arguments.

Moreover, some pollsters think respondents will seize a chance to call Obama a Muslim or non-citizen to convey something else: a dislike for him or his policies.

"Some people who strongly oppose a person or proposition will take virtually any opportunity to express that antipathy," writes Gary Langer, who polls for ABC News.

Garin, the Democratic pollster, doesn't buy it in this case. The birthers' claims are so prevalent, especially on conservative TV and radio shows, he said, that poll respondents are likely to say what they truly believe about a much-discussed topic.

"There are high- profile people, including Donald Trump and many others in the conservative media, who advocate and validate this point of view each and every day," Garin said. The big question about the birthplace issue, he said, "is the extent to which it drives a wedge within the Republican Party" and turns off independents in November 2012.

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