09-23-2021  1:01 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Cascadia Names New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Bukhosi Dube will lead innovative “integrative health” model

How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

Washington Governor Inslee Asks Feds for Medical Staffing Help

Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon Dems Void Power-Sharing Redistricting Deal With GOP

The Democratic speaker of the Oregon House on Monday rescinded a deal she made with Republicans to share power as lawmakers redraw political boundaries and add an additional U.S. House seat for the state.

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Mayor Extends COVID Eviction Moratoriums

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Tuesday the city's eviction moratoriums will remain in place through Jan. 15, 2022, rather than...

Oregon House and Senate Democrats Condemn Newberg School Staff Member's Racist Conduct and Use of Blackface

A staff member at Mabel Rush Elementary School in the Newberg School District attended work on Friday in blackface ...

New Plaque Honors Black Pioneer Merchant A.H. Francis

Throughout the mid-1800s, Francis was an active abolitionist, using his position to fight for Black people from western New York to...

IPAC Announces September 21 Kickoff of the Portland Peace Initiative

A new coalition intends to show how peace is possible in Portland ...

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Man refusing to wear mask disrupts school board meeting

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — Police were called to a Walla Walla School Board meeting on Tuesday when a man refused to wear a mask and disrupted the proceedings, officials said. The meeting Tuesday was halted and will resume in a virtual format next week, The Union-Bulletin...

Man fatally shot outside Bend nightclub, man arrested

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon, and prosecutors are working to determine whether race played a role in the incident, authorities said. Barry Washington Jr., 22, was shot early Sunday in downtown Bend, Oregon...

College Football Picks: Neutral sites for 2 ranked matchups

Last week, college football gave fans one of its tastiest, and unfortunately rare, treats when Auburn visited Penn State. Good teams. Great setting. Entertaining game. What college football is all about. This week, not so much. The...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Carolina's Confederate monument protection law upheld

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state law preventing anyone from moving a Confederate monument or changing the historical name of a street or building without the Legislature's permission is legal. But in the same ruling, the...

Diversity study: APSE's gender-hiring scores continue to lag

A diversity study found the Associated Press Sports Editors has improved in racial hiring but the independent national organization continues to lag when it comes to hiring women. The report card Wednesday from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in...

Melvin Van Peebles, godfather of Black cinema, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking filmmaker, playwright and musician whose work ushered in the “blaxploitation” wave of the 1970s and influenced filmmakers long after, has died. He was 89. In statement, his family said that Van Peebles, father of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Done with delays, Academy movie museum rolls out red carpet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The projectors are rolling. The ruby slippers are on. Many an Oscar sits glistening. The shark has been hanging, and waiting, for nearly a year. Nine years after it was announced, four years after its first projected open date, and five months since its...

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal carries claustrophobic ‘The Guilty’

An emergency dispatch center doesn’t exactly sound like the most visually exciting place to set an entire film. But the technical limitation of being imprisoned in a soulless office while high stakes action takes place off screen can be an inspired storytelling gimmick in the right hands, as it...

R. Kelly's rules protected him, prosecutors in sex trial say

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly got away with sexually abusing underage victims for more than two decades by ruling his inner circle enablers with an iron fist, a prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday at the R&B singer’s sex-trafficking trial. “The defendant set rules, lots of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Wildfire victims left with nothing get hope from donated RVs

QUINCY, Calif. (AP) — Clutching a bag full of duct tape and snacks, Woody Faircloth climbs aboard a motorhome...

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?

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After Northeast flooding, insurance woes swamp residents

NEW YORK (AP) — After being pummeled by two tropical storms that submerged basements, cracked home foundations...

Ukraine's leader takes UN to task as 'retired superhero'

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Leaders who are “playing” at unity and stuffing pressing problems into an overflowing...

US-French spat seems to simmer down after Biden-Macron call

PARIS (AP) — The most significant rift in decades between the United States and France seemed on the mend...

UN: In war, 16 million Yemenis 'marching' toward starvation

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the U.N. food agency is warning that 16 million people in Yemen “are...

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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