08-11-2022  7:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Merkley, Colleagues Continue Push for Robust Federal Response to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

“As the country continues to navigate the [monkeypox public health emergency], the United States public health system remains on the...

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

SEATTLE (AP) — Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily stop accepting less acute patients and will divert them to other health care systems as capacity challenges worsen, according to the hospital’s CEO. “All hospital systems (are) very much over capacity with very...

Northwestern selects Oregon's Schill to be next president

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — University of Oregon President Michael Schill will assume that office at Northwestern University this fall, the Evanston school's board of trustees announced Thursday. Schill has led Oregon since 2015. He previously served as the law school dean at the...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

Judge sends Wisconsin man to institution in hate crime crash

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge committed a man accused of targeting a motorcyclist in a fatal crash because of the victim's race to life in a mental institution Thursday. Daniel Navarro, a 27-year-old Mexican American from Fond du Lac, was convicted Wednesday of...

ReAwaken Tour host says he feels harassed by NY prosecutor

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A Christian pastor in western New York said he felt intimidated and harassed after the state's attorney general, a Democrat, sent a letter saying she believed a planned far-right political event at his church this week could lead to racial violence. In the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mary Gauthier uses songwriting to help people through trauma

NEW YORK (AP) — Having used songwriting to navigate her own trauma, Mary Gauthier is putting those skills to work helping others do the same. The Nashville-based musician has collaborated with war veterans to write about what they've been through, even producing a disc of the music,...

Novel inspired by Shirley Jackson classic expected in 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of the late Shirley Jackson has authorized a novel inspired by her classic “The Haunting of Hill House.” Elizabeth Hand's "A Haunting on the Hill” is scheduled to come out in fall 2023. It’s the first time Jackson’s estate has approved an...

Metallica, Mariah Carey headline Global Citizen NYC concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Metallica, Mariah Carey and The Jonas Brothers will headline a free concert in New York’s Central Park next month marking the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival organized by the international nonprofit fighting extreme poverty. The Sept. 24 event will...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump's bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's pick for governor in the swing state of Wisconsin easily defeated a favorite of...

Cause sought for Indiana house explosion that killed 3

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities worked Thursday to determine the cause of a house explosion in a southern...

'Disturbing': Experts troubled by Canada’s euthanasia laws

TORONTO (AP) — Alan Nichols had a history of depression and other medical issues, but none were...

At 75, India seeks way forward in big but job-scarce economy

NEW DELHI (AP) — As India’s economy grew, the hum of factories turned the sleepy, dusty village of Manesar...

UN demands end to military activity at Ukraine nuke plant

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. nuclear chief warned Thursday that “very alarming” military activity at...

Greece asks Turkey to help migrants reported stuck on islet

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece on Thursday asked neighboring Turkey to help about 40 migrants, some urgently...

Alan Fram Associated Press

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans are greeting the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's financial overhaul law by trying to weaken it, nibble by nibble.

Wary of attempting to dismantle the entire statute and being portrayed as Wall Street's allies - banks are among the nation's most unpopular institutions - GOP lawmakers are attacking corners of it. They can't prevail because they don't control the White House or Senate, but they may be able to force some compromises on agency budgets, pressure regulators and influence some of Obama's nominations.

Days ago, one Republican-run House committee approved bills diluting parts of the law requiring reports on corporate salaries and exempting some investment advisers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Another House panel voted to slice $200 million from Obama's $1.4 billion budget request for the SEC, which has a major enforcement role.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are continuing a procedural blockade that has helped prevent Obama from putting Elizabeth Warren or anyone else in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which opens its doors in two weeks.

The law hurts "the formation of capital, the cost of capital and access to capital, and you can't have capitalism without capital," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee. "So Republicans in the House will be examining each and every one of the 2,000-plus pages" of the law, which he called "a job creator's nightmare."

Confident that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate can prevent the House from doing major damage, Democrats view the Republican drive as a political exercise - for now.

"It's mostly setting a marker for the election. And it helps with their campaign contributions," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who chaired the Financial Services Committee last year and was a chief author of the law. "But it also tells people in the financial community that if they win the next election, they'll be able to undo it all."

The financial industry leans Republican in its campaign contributions but not overwhelmingly. Sixty-one percent of the $9 million that commercial banks gave federal candidates for the 2010 elections went to Republicans, while 54 percent of the securities and investment industry's $9 million went to Democrats, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Democrats are using the GOP drive for their own fundraising.

In one email sent last week under Frank's name soliciting money for House candidates, the party wrote that Republicans want to "bring back the days of unrestrained excess, deception and de-regulation of Wall Street." The mailing called it "payback to their big contributors in the financial services industry."

Obama signed the banking and consumer protection measure last July 21, a keystone achievement that responded to the biggest financial crisis and most severe recession since the 1930s. It passed Congress with solid Democratic support and near-uniform GOP opposition.

Among its provisions, the law:

- Created the consumer protection agency to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

- Established a body of regulators to scan the economy for threats to the financial system.

- Required banks to hold back money for protection against losses.

- Curbed the trading of derivatives, speculative investments partly blamed for the 2008 financial crisis.

- Gave the Federal Reserve powers to oversee huge companies whose failures could jeopardize the entire financial system.

Yet the law was just a start, since it ordered federal agencies to craft rules to enforce it. As of July 1, out of an estimated 400 regulations to be written, 38 are complete. That leaves 362 proposed, facing a future deadline or having missed due dates for completion, according to the law firm Davis Polk.

Republicans say the overhaul went too far and has saddled banks and other companies with requirements that harm their competitiveness. The House Financial Services panel alone has held more than a dozen hearings on the law, in part to underscore to administration witnesses that some provisions - like forcing banks to hold back capital as a hedge against losses - will hurt business, according to the committee's chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

"What we are doing is rational, it is sensible, it is entirely practical, it is compassionate," said Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., a tea party-backed freshman on that panel. "So we are doing the right thing, and it behooves the Senate and the administration to follow suit."

The highest-profile fight has been over Warren, picked by Obama to set up the new consumer bureau. Many Democrats and liberal groups want her to become its first director.

Following a May clash between Warren and a House subcommittee chairman, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to question the Harvard law professor and long-time consumer activist at a July 14 hearing about her role shaping the new agency.

Meanwhile, 44 GOP senators have promised to block a vote on any nominee unless the bureau is made "accountable to the American people" by replacing the director with a board of directors and giving Congress control over its budget. Forty-one senators can prevent a nomination from coming to a vote.

"You try to get leverage where you can. In the Senate, nominations are your leverage," said Mark A. Calabria, who monitors financial regulation at the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

On another front, Republicans want to cut the budgets of agencies that are supposed to enforce the overhaul.

Besides denying the SEC extra money next year, the House Appropriations Committee would limit the consumer protection bureau to $200 million, well below the $329 million Obama wants. The full House has voted to hold the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives, to $171 million, short of this year's total and less than two-thirds of what Obama wanted.

Republicans cast the cuts as part of their deficit-cutting drive, but Democrats say the reductions are designed to obstruct the new law.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said in a speech this spring that budget cuts would mean "an investor protection effort hobbled."

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