09-18-2021  4:46 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

As Shootings Rise Mayor Wheeler Wants to Hire Retired Cops

Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland Street Response, a team that helps people experiencing homelessness or low-acuity behavioral health issues, to reduce the number of calls police must handle

Illegal Marijuana Farms Take West's Scarce Water

Deer Creek has run dry after several illegal marijuana grows cropped up in the neighborhood last spring, stealing water from both the stream and nearby aquifers

Biden Slammed for Challenging Nuclear Workplace Health Law

The Biden Administration is picking up where the Trump administration left off, challenging a 2018 Washington state law that made it easier for sick Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to qualify for compensation benefits.

After Humble Beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros Launches IPO

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

With a thirty-four year career in corrections Captain Derrick Peterson announces his campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff ...

University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

In-person fall semester classes proceeding with vaccination rates above 96% among faculty, staff, and students; and adherence to...

Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus...

Oregon tree experts expect delayed mortality due to drought

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The effects of the drought and heat on trees won’t be fully known until next spring, tree experts in Oregon say. Oregon State University professor and forest health specialist Dave Shaw told The Oregonian/OregonLive that there’s typically delayed...

Mayor wants money to hire retired cops as shootings continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is calling for more money to rehire officers who have recently retired to address a staffing shortage as homicides have reached the highest level in more than 20 years. Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland...

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...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

OPINION

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 ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Pakistani PM to prod Taliban on inclusive govt

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister says he has “initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region. Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the...

Police: Prison guard beat banker, used racial slur over mask

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California prison guard was arrested this week on suspicion of beating a Wells Fargo branch manager and calling him a racial slur after being asked to wear a mask inside the bank, police said. James Allen Jones, Jr., 50, was arrested at his job...

Prison reform advocate calls solitary confinement revenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A longtime prison reform advocate asked a federal judge on Thursday to move him out of solitary confinement, claiming the punitive treatment violates his Constitutional rights. Alex Friedman was arrested last year and accused of hiding loaded guns and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actor L. Steven Taylor is the king behind 'The Lion King'

NEW YORK (AP) — L. Steven Taylor got the call that would change his life in 2005: Would he like to make his Broadway debut in “The Lion King”? It was just a six-month contract but he took it, uprooting his family and moving to New York. “Six months has turned into 16...

Sotheby's puts rare U.S. Constitution copy for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — A very special document will be auctioned off later this year — a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. Sotheby's announced Friday — appropriately on Constitution Day — that in November it will put up for auction one of just 11...

'The Crown,' 'Ted Lasso,' streaming seek Emmy Awards glory

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The miniature statutes given at the Emmy Awards on Sunday can be an outsized boon to egos, careers and guessing games. Will “The Mandalorian” bow to “The Crown” as best drama series? Can the feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” charm its way into...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Afghan survivors of errant US drone strike seek probe

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A survivor of an errant U.S. drone strike that killed 10 members of his family...

Schools get the brunt of latest COVID wave in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and...

US Border Patrol hires civilians to free up agents for field

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dozens, even hundreds, of asylum-seeking migrants often wait hours to surrender to U.S. Border...

The Latest: Arizona reports more deaths, fewer virus cases

PHOENIX — Arizona reported more than 100 daily coronavirus deaths for the second time since February. ...

The Latest: Pakistani PM to prod Taliban on inclusive govt

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister says he has “initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to...

Greece opens new migrant camp on island to reduce crowding

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has opened a new migrant camp on the island of Samos that replaces an obsolete and...

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.

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