06-12-2024  8:28 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

James Beard Finalists Include an East African Restaurant in Detroit and Seattle Pho Shops

The James Beards Awards are the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. For restaurants, even being named a finalist can bring wide recognition and boost business.

Ranked-Choice Voting Expert Grace Ramsey on What Portland Voters Can Expect in November

Ramsey has worked in several other states and cities to educate voters on new system of voting. 

Asylum-Seekers Looking for Shelter Set up Encampment in Seattle Suburb

Asylum-seekers mainly from Angola, Congo and Venezuela have set up an encampment in a Seattle suburb. Some of the camping asylum-seekers were told to leave their shelter at a church while others lost their short-term motel or rental housing when it expired June 1. A notice for the campers to leave by Tuesday afternoon expired with no law enforcement action.

School Board Selects Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, Ed. D. to be Next Superintendent

Throughout her career, Armstrong has been instrumental in advancing student achievement, addressing racial inequities and closing the achievement gap for students of color through her dynamic approach to classroom innovation, curriculum enhancement and professional development.

NEWS BRIEFS

Kobi Flowers Crowned 2024 Rose Festival Queen

Flowers has been active in her school community as member of the leadership team at Self Enhancement, Inc., Varsity Cheer...

Summer Events are Shining Through at Multnomah County Library

Start your June by honoring Juneteenth, celebrating Pride and playing the Summer Reading game. ...

PCCEP Forum on Brain Injuries, Policing and Public Safety

This event will feature speakers with lived experience of brain injuries and the criminal justice system, and policy professionals ...

Chaz Ebert Book Signing Event at Powell’s This Weekend

Ebert's new book explores The FECK Principles—a term Chaz coined—of Forgiveness, Empathy, Compassion and Kindness as four...

Portland Trail Blazers Tip-off Summer Series

The Trail Blazers participate in culturally diverse community events throughout the summer ...

Bull that jumped the fence at Oregon rodeo forced to retire from competition, owner says

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Party Bus, a 3-year-old bull bred for bucking, has performed in his first and last rodeo. Party Bus — named after his father, Short Bus — made national headlines last weekend at his first rodeo when he jumped the fence of a crowded arena in central Oregon...

Off-duty guard charged with killing Seattle-area teen after mistaking toy for gun, authorities say

SEATTLE (AP) — An off-duty security guard in a Seattle suburb has been charged with second-degree murder by prosecutors who said that he fatally shot a 17-year-old six times in the back as the teen and his friends tried to return a toy gun that the guard believed was a firearm to a sporting goods...

Josh Sargent out for Colombia friendly, could miss Copa America

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — United States forward Josh Sargent could miss Saturday's friendly against Colombia and could be dropped from the Copa America roster. A 24-year-old from O'Fallon, Missouri, Sargent scored 16 goals in 26 league games with Norwich in England's second-tier League...

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...

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

'Hotel Cocaine' on MGM+ gives viewers disco, drama and plenty of blow in Miami in the late '70s

NEW YORK (AP) — The lapels are wide, “Disco Inferno” is blasting on the dance floor and lines and lines of nose candy are on offer in the new intriguing Miami-based series “Hotel Cocaine.” The eight-episode romp on MGM+ centers on a real-life hotel at the beginning of the...

After years of delays, scaled-back plans underway for memorial to Florida nightclub massacre

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Survivors and the families of victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre had hoped by now to have a permanent memorial in place for Wednesday's eighth anniversary of the attack by a lone gunman who killed 49 people at the gay-friendly club in Orlando, Florida. ...

Virginia NAACP sues school board for reinstating Confederate names

The Virginia NAACP sued a county school board Tuesday over its reinstatement of Confederate military names to two schools, accusing it of embracing segregationist values and subjecting Black students to a racially discriminatory educational environment. The school board in Shenandoah...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: Katie Ledecky dishes on what makes an Olympic legend in ‘Just Add Water'

Katie Ledecky didn’t dream of becoming an Olympian as a kid. It was just something she and her brother, Michael, did at a pool in Maryland that she describes as “maximum chill.” The lack of pressure was part of what drove her deep enjoyment of the sport from an early age, and, consequently,...

Book Review: Glamour and tragedy intertwine in Griffin Dunne’s memoir ‘The Friday Afternoon Club’

Actor and producer Griffin Dunne grew up in New York and Los Angeles with the glitterati all around. His father, Dominick Dunne, a television executive and film producer when Dunne was young, liked to hobnob with the rich and famous. His uncle, journalist and screenwriter John Gregory Dunne,...

Academy Museum Gala picks starry honorees for its fall fundraiser

Rita Moreno and Paul Mescal are getting together with Quentin Tarantino in October. It’s not for a movie (yet). All three are being honored at the glamorous Academy Museum Gala, the organization said Monday. The event is only in its fourth year but has established itself as a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Southern Baptists pick new leader, will decide whether to formally ban churches with women pastors

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Southern Baptists on Wednesday elected a North Carolina pastor and longtime denominational...

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the inspiration for the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, who was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame three times in a storied career as a player and...

Russia fires more missiles and drones at Ukraine ahead of diplomatic efforts to stop the war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces fired missiles and drones at the Kyiv region and five other areas of Ukraine...

Haiti’s transitional council appoints new Cabinet tasked with leading a country under siege by gangs

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s transitional council appointed a new Cabinet on Tuesday, marking the...

A Russian woman is questioned in Denmark over allegations of helping a foreign intelligence agency

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Russian woman has been detained and questioned in Denmark for allegedly helping a...

Hungary agrees not to veto NATO support to Ukraine as long as it's not forced to help out

BRUSSELS (AP) — Hungary agreed on Wednesday not to veto NATO support for Ukraine but Prime Minister Viktor...

David Espo AP Special Correspondent

President Barack Obama has lunch with Toledo Mayor Michael Bell at Rudy's Hot Dog in Toledo, Ohio, June 3. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The threat of a first-ever default by the federal government is pushing President Barack Obama and Republicans toward a sweeping agreement to cut government spending and increase the Treasury's borrowing authority. Yet a perennial partisan struggle over Medicare drives them apart.

Remarkably, the two sides seem determined to pursue both accord and discord simultaneously, sparing the still-wobbling economy from threatened calamity while preserving Medicare as a political issue in the 2012 elections.

"I'm willing. I'm ready. It is time to have the conversation" about deficit cuts and the debt limit, said House Speaker John Boehner, urging Obama to become personally involved. "It is time to play large ball, not small ball."

But a few days later, House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said, "I could never support any arrangement that reduced benefits for Medicare. Absolutely not," she told CBS' "Face The Nation," emphasizing a position she and other Democrats had laid out at their own meeting with Obama.

Given the sheer size of Medicare, nearly $500 billion a year, any deal on reducing future deficits is likely to include savings from the program, if not the benefit cuts many Democrats oppose.

But if any Republican thought that the White House and congressional Democrats might agree to even a temporary cease-fire on Medicare, they may want to reconsider.

Boehner, R-Ohio, and fellow House Republicans had scarcely left a White House meeting with Obama on Wednesday when presidential press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Obama "doesn't believe that we need to end Medicare as we know it, to dismantle the program as it currently exists, in order to achieve significant deficit reduction."

Within seconds, he said the Republican plan for Medicare "puts too much of the burden of deficit reduction on the shoulders of seniors, of low- income children and the disabled. And the president just feels that that's unacceptable."

A few moments later, Carney hit a trifecta of sorts, calling the Republican plan "premium support or privatization or voucherization."

None of these can be considered terms of endearment, politically, particularly not by Republicans. They say their Medicare plan, developed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is designed to save the program from bankruptcy and preserve it for future generations.

In the meeting the president hosted for rank-and-file Republicans, Ryan and Obama clashed.

The congressman told Obama it was not leadership to demagogue a good-faith attempt to save Medicare, when it is clear the program is headed for bankruptcy, according to several participants in the session.

Obama replied it wasn't leadership to shift billions in costs from the federal government to states and individuals who can't afford it.

Ryan responded that wasn't what his plan did, explained it in some detail and drew an ovation from fellow Republicans.

The plan retains Medicare in its present form for current beneficiaries and those age 55 and older.

For anyone younger, Medicare would consist of a government-mandated package of benefits, purchased on the open market from private insurers. Federal funds would help defray the costs for beneficiaries.

Polls and recent events such as the unexpected loss of a House seat in upstate New York and criticism from GOP president contender Newt Gingrich make clear that the Republican plan is not favorable political terrain for the party.

They are on far safer turf, they concede, when they stress that job creation is their top goal and spending cuts the surest way to achieve it.

Even some House Democrats who once talked of wanting to allow more government borrowing without taking steps to rein in future spending voted against legislation last week to do precisely that.

Republicans presented the bill as something Obama had asked for, but the House Democrats' second-in-command, Rep, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, called it a "demagogic vote" designed to render his rank and file vulnerable to campaign attack ads.

His comments underscore how much the Republicans have succeeded in casting the political debate since they were sworn into office in January and took control of the House.

If anything, the announcement from Moody's Investors Services that it might downgrade the U.S. debt, followed by a report showing an increase in unemployment, helped Republicans who are eager to put the Medicare debate aside.

"If we don't get our fiscal house in order, the markets will do it for us," Boehner said Friday.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner put it slightly differently after meeting with first-term House members, most of them Republicans who are determined to cut spending.

"I'm confident two things are going to happen this summer," he said. "One is we're going to avoid a default crisis, and we're going to reach agreement on our long-term fiscal plan."

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EDITOR'S NOTE - David Espo covers Congress for The Associated Press.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast