05-27-2024  3:53 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon 2024 Primary Results

Maxine Dexter, Janelle Bynum, Dan Reyfield and Elizabeth Steiner secure nominations; other races too soon to call.

AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All Returns for 2024

Parks Local Option Levy brings the city a full slate of free movies, concerts (including pop icon Sheila E), Free Lunch + Play, the...

GFO Library Open on Memorial Day

We are remaining open to give our patrons an opportunity to use the library on a day off from work. ...

Montavilla Jazz Festival Adds Concerts and Venues to Fall Festival

Festival features a three-day village-style celebration of local, world-class artistry with more than 30 concerts and events across 12...

Election Day Information in Multnomah County: Ballots Must Be Returned by 8 p.m. May 21

Today, May 21, 2024, is the last day to vote in the primary election. ...

PCC and Partners Break Ground on Affordable Housing

The new development, set to be a vibrant community hub, will feature 84 income-based apartments ...

Bill Walton, Hall of Fame player who became a star broadcaster, dies of cancer at 71

Bill Walton was never afraid to be himself. Larger than life, only in part because of his nearly 7-foot frame, Walton was a two-time NCAA champion at UCLA, a two-time champion in the NBA, a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, an on-court icon in every sense of the word. And off the...

NBA says Hall of Famer Bill Walton dies at 71 prolonged fight with cancer

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA says Hall of Famer Bill Walton dies at 71 prolonged fight with cancer....

Duke tops Missouri 4-3 in 9 innings to win first super regional, qualify for first WCWS

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — D'Auna Jennings led off the top of the ninth inning with a home run to end a scoreless pitching duel between Cassidy Curd and Missouri's Laurin Krings and 10th-seeded Duke held on for a wild 4-3 victory over the seventh-seeded Tigers on Sunday in the finale of the...

Mizzou uses combined 2-hitter to beat Duke 3-1 to force decisive game in Columbia Super Regional

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Laurin Krings and two relievers combined on a two-hitter and seventh-seeded Missouri forced a deciding game in the Columbia Super Regional with a 3-1 win over Duke on Saturday. The Tigers (48-17) had three-straight singles in the fourth inning, with Abby Hay...

OPINION

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Armenians, Hmong and other groups feel US race and ethnicity categories don't represent them

The federal government recently reclassified race and ethnicity groups in an effort to better capture the diversity of the United States, but some groups feel the changes miss the mark. Hmong, Armenian, Black Arab and Brazilian communities in the U.S. say they are not represented...

South Africa's election could bring the biggest political shift since it became a democracy in 1994

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africans will vote Wednesday to decide whether their country will take its most significant political step since the moment 30 years ago when it brought down apartheid and achieved democracy. This national election will not be as momentous as the...

National Spelling Bee reflects the economic success and cultural impact of immigrants from India

When Balu Natarajan became the first Indian American champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 1985, a headline on an Associated Press article read, “Immigrants’ son wins National Spelling Bee,” with the first paragraph noting the champion “speaks his parents’ native Indian...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dabney Coleman, actor who specialized in curmudgeons, dies at 92

NEW YORK (AP) — Dabney Coleman, the mustachioed character actor who specialized in smarmy villains like the chauvinist boss in "9 to 5" and the nasty TV director in "Tootsie," has died. He was 92. Coleman died Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, his daughter, Quincy Coleman, said...

Book Review: 'Cujo' character returns as one of 12 stories in Stephen King’s ‘You Like It Darker'

In Stephen King’s world, “It” is a loaded word. It’s hard not to picture Pennywise the Clown haunting the sewers of Derry, Maine, of course, but in the horror writer’s newest collection of stories, “You Like It Darker,” “It” ranges from a suspicious stranger on a park bench, to an...

Book Review: 'Ascent to Power' studies how Harry Truman overcame lack of preparation in transition

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Harry Truman's ascension to the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt's death was a rocky one, and it came at a pivotal time in the nation's history. Once a senator who complained that the 32nd president treated him like “an office boy,” Truman left the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

A woman could be Mexico's next leader. Millions of others continue in shadows as domestic workers

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Concepción Alejo is used to being invisible. Alejo, 43, touches her face up...

Military labs do the detective work to identify soldiers decades after they died in World War II

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — Generations of American families have grown up not knowing exactly what...

Friday's preholiday travel breaks the record for the most airline travelers screened at US airports

ATLANTA (AP) — A record was broken ahead of the Memorial Day weekend for the number of airline travelers...

At least 2,000 feared dead in Papua New Guinea landslide. These are some challenges rescuers face

BANGKOK (AP) — The Papua New Guinea government said more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried...

South Africa's election could bring the biggest political shift since it became a democracy in 1994

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africans will vote Wednesday to decide whether their country will take its...

Georgian parliament committee rejects presidential veto of the divisive 'foreign agents' legislation

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A Georgian parliament committee on Monday rejected the president’s veto of the...

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In the first presidential election since the tea party's emergence, Republican candidates are drifting rightward on a range of issues, even though more centrist stands might play well in the 2012 general election.

On energy, taxes, health care and other topics, the top candidates hold positions that are more conservative than those they espoused a few years ago.

The shifts reflect the evolving views of conservative voters, who will play a major role in choosing the Republican nominee. In that sense, the candidates' repositioning seems savvy or even essential.

But the eventual nominee will face President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election, when independent voters appear likely to be decisive players once again. Those independents may be far less enamored of hard-right positions than are the GOP activists who will wield power in the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary and other nominating contests.

"The most visible shift in the political landscape" in recent years "is the emergence of a single bloc of across-the-board conservatives," says the Pew Research Center, which conducts extensive voter surveys. Many of them "take extremely conservative positions on nearly all issues," Pew reports. They largely "agree with the tea party," and "very strongly disapprove of Barack Obama's job performance."

Climate policy is a dramatic example of how GOP presidential hopefuls have shifted to the right in recent years. Former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah, along with other likely candidates, have backed away from earlier embraces of regional "cap-and-trade" programs to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Such stands were unremarkable in GOP circles just a few years ago. Sen. John McCain, the 2008 presidential nominee, supported a cap and trade plan to place prices and limits on the emission of heat-trapping gasses.

Now the position is anathema to millions of Republicans, and therefore to the party's candidates. Pawlenty is the most effusive in his backtracking. "I was wrong, it was a mistake, and I'm sorry," he says repeatedly.

The likely presidential candidates have shifted rightward on other issues as well.

Romney, who leads in most polls, has rejected his earlier stands supporting abortion rights, gun control and gay rights. He says his 2006 law requiring Massachusetts residents to obtain health insurance was right for his state at the time, but he has condemned the Obama-backed mandate that would cover all Americans.

Pawlenty campaigns as a tight-fisted conservative who would refuse to raise the nation's debt ceiling, even though many Republican leaders say economic chaos would ensue. Yet in 2006, Pawlenty told a newspaper, "the era of small government is over" and "government has to be more proactive, more aggressive."

Pawlenty says he was partly quoting another person. But in the same 2006 interview he said, "there are certain circumstances where you've got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful."

Pawlenty has abandoned such talk in his presidential quest.

The Republican Party's rightward drift is causing headaches for the presidential hopefuls on the issue of Medicare, a potential minefield in the general election. House Republicans passed a bill that eventually would convert Medicare to a less costly, less generous program. It would help older Americans buy health insurance, but it no longer would provide benefits based mainly on a patient's needs rather than costs.

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich touched off a firestorm by calling the plan radical. He spent the better part of a week trying to recant, change the subject and get his campaign back on track.

Pawlenty, after promising to offer his own Medicare plan, acknowledged conservatives' priorities and said he would sign the House measure if it were the only choice before him.

Romney hedged Friday on whether he would sign the House bill into law. "That's the kind of speculation that is getting the cart ahead of the horse," he said. "I'm going to have my own plan."

Many Republican activists are delighted by the rightward tack of their party and its presidential contenders.

If anything, "mainstream Republican leaders are pushing the party too far to the left," said Sid Dinerstein, GOP chairman in Palm Beach County, Fla. The House plan for Medicare is the only one that makes sense, he said, and GOP candidates "should become articulate and knowledgeable in talking about it."

Louisiana's Republican chairman, Roger F. Villere Jr., agrees.

"The conservative issues are the correct issues," he said. The presidential candidates should embrace the House stand, he said, and persuade voters they care more about saving Medicare than the Democrats do.

Some in Obama's camp, however, say the presidential contenders risk locking themselves into hard-right positions that won't play well when less ideological voters flock to the polls in November 2012.

Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich and others "are wiggling all over the place" to appease staunch conservatives, said Bill Burton, Obama's former spokesman and now a Democratic fundraiser and advocate. Americans want strong, consistent leaders, he said, and the Republican contenders aren't filling the bill.

Obama, of course, has had his own inconsistencies, such as backing away from calls to increase payroll and income taxes on the wealthy.

Moreover, competitive Democratic primaries are usually the mirror image of GOP contests. Democratic candidates generally edge to the left to attract liberal activists before hewing back to the center for the general election.

This time, however, Obama has no primary opponents to worry about. That allows him to focus on the all-important independent voters, who swung the 2008 elections to Democrats, and the 2010 midterm elections to Republicans.

The latest Pew Research study suggests that independents, who "played a determinative role in the last three national elections," will have even more clout in 2012. They comprised 30 percent of the national electorate in 2005, Pew found. They now make up 37 percent.

Whoever survives the conservative-dominated Republican nominating process will have to address those independents' concerns quickly and adroitly.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast