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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

Felicia Gonzales claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn told her that all guests had to sign the policy, but she watched...

National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act could further limit access to the American Dream ...

Father sues Redmond police for using stun gun on 14-year-old

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A father is suing Redmond police because he says they used excessive force when they used a Taser stun gun on his 14-year-old son nearly two years ago. Michael Francisco filed the civil rights lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the Oregonian reported,...

Democrats: Oregon climate bill is priority; GOP resists

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the speaker of the House of Representatives, both Democrats, said Friday that passing legislation aimed at stemming global warming is their priority when lawmakers return to the Capitol next month. But Rep. Christine Drazan, the leader of the...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

How Being 'Tough on Crime' Became a Political Liability

In one of the most stunning shifts in American politics in recent memory, a wave of elected prosecutors have bucked a decadeslong tough-on-crime approach adopted by both major parties ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lee working to amend Confederate general proclamation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee will introduce legislation this year that would amend a law requiring Tennessee to honor Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.Lee's office confirmed Friday that the Republican was working on the bill. The office...

Buttigieg trying now to make it to SC for MLK Day events

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who has been criticized for his slow outreach to blacks and other minorities, is trying to rearrange his schedule to make room for events in early-voting South Carolina that honor Martin Luther King Jr.Buttigieg’s...

Court portrait of writer of notorious slave ruling reviewed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In North Carolina's Supreme Court chamber, above the seat held by the second African American chief justice, hangs a towering painting of a 19th century slave owner and jurist who authored a notorious opinion about the “absolute” rights of slaveholders over...

ENTERTAINMENT

Nashville songwriters spread outside country at Grammys

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville songwriters are showing up at the Grammys this year, but not just in the country music categories. The city’s writing talent has been increasingly tapped to help craft nominated soundtracks, pop songs and R&B albums over the last couple of...

Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show

PARIS (AP) — Guests crammed into Dior's annex in Paris' Place de la Condorde on Friday amid chaos before the show. Some guests had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit as cars came to unload celebrities, including David Beckham and Robert Pattinson, at an industrious pace. Mayhem such...

2 years after 'step up,' Grammys step into another mess

NEW YORK (AP) — The leadership at the Recording Academy thought they were in the clear: After the Academy's then-CEO made comments that seemed to belittle women at the height of the #MeToo movement, leaving the organization in a firestorm that further exposed their diversity problems, it set...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Prohibition began 100 years ago, and its legacy remains

NEW YORK (AP) — In this era of bottomless mimosas, craft beers and ever-present happy hours, it’s...

Gun-rights activists gear up for show of force in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Police are scouring the internet for clues about plans for mayhem, workers are putting...

Over 2,000 Central American migrants try to enter Mexico

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala (AP) — More than 2,000 Central American migrants on Saturday surged onto a bridge...

Russia's Putin says he opposes unlimited presidential term

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that he opposes the idea of an unlimited term...

Rare coin of Britain's King Edward VIII fetches record jumi.3M

LONDON (AP) — One of the world's rarest coins, a gold piece bearing the image of Britain's King Edward VIII...

'Days of God': A look at Iran's mounting crises

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's supreme leader says his nation is living through “days of...

McMenamins
Ben Fuller AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defiant and frustrated, President Barack Obama aggressively challenged Republicans Thursday to get behind his jobs plan or explain why not, declaring that if Congress fails to act "the American people will run them out of town."

The president used a White House news conference to attempt to heighten the pressure he's sought to create on the GOP by traveling around the country, into swing states and onto the home turf of key Republican foes including House Speaker John Boehner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Giving a bit of ground on his own plan, he endorsed a new proposal by Senate Democrats to tax millionaires to pay for his jobs program. "This is not a game," he said.

Obama made no apologies for his decision to abandon seeking compromise with Republicans in favor of assailing them, sometimes by name. He contended that he'd gone out of his way to try to work with the GOP since becoming president, reaching hard-fought deals to raise the government's borrowing limit and avert a government shutdown, and had gotten nothing in return.

"Each time, what we have seen is games playing," the president said. "I am always open to negotiations. What is also true is they need to do something."

Obama was still at the lectern when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Republicans he would permit a test vote as early as late Thursday on the president's original measure. There was little doubt it would fail, the outcome Republicans hoped for.

The president predicted dire political consequences for his opponents if they don't go along.

"I think the American people will run them out of town because they are frustrated and they know we need to do something big, something bold."

"We will just keep on going at it and hammering away until something gets done," he said. "And I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can't campaign against them as a do-nothing Congress."

Yet Obama's campaign has not swayed Capitol Hill Republicans who oppose the higher taxes he and other Democrats want to use to pay for his proposal. They accuse Obama of playing "campaigner in chief" instead of working with them.

"If the goal is to create jobs, then why are we even talking about tax hikes?" Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday.

Republicans are resolutely opposed to much of Obama's jobs initiative, both for its tax increases for wealthier people and small businesses and its reprise of stimulus spending on roads, bridges and schools and grants to local governments to pay the salaries of teachers and first responders. They criticize his bill as another version of his $825 billion stimulus of 2009, one that this time would rely on raising taxes.

Obama did say he would support a new approach by Senate Democrats for paying for his jobs bill with a tax on millionaires rather than his plan to raise taxes on couples making more than $250,000.

The president's strident tone underscored a difficult political predicament as he seeks re-election with the economy slowing and unemployment stuck above 9 percent. "Our economy really needs a jolt right now," he said.

The president said that without his nearly $450 billion package of tax cuts and public works spending there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth. He said the bill could guard against another economic downturn if the situation in debt-laden Europe worsens.

"If it turns out that there are Republicans who are opposed to this bill, they need to explain to me, but more importantly to their constituents - who's the American people - why they're opposed and what would they do."

"What I've done over the last several weeks is to take the case to the American people so that they understand what's at stake."

Obama said the economy is weaker now than at the beginning of the year. Citing economists' estimates, he said his $447 billion jobs bill would help the economy grow by 2 percent and create 1.9 million jobs.

"At a time when so many people are having such a hard time, we have to have an approach, we have to take action that is big enough to meet the moment," he said.

Obama addressed the disaffection with politics pervasive among the public that's driven down his approval ratings - and even more so, Congress' - as he seeks a second term.

Appearing fed up, Obama blamed it on Republicans who he said refuse to cooperate with him even on issues where he said they once agreed with him. He talked about the ugly debate over raising the government's borrowing limit that consumed Capitol Hill and the White House over the summer, until Obama gave in to Republican demands for deep spending cuts without new taxes.

"They don't get a sense that folks in this town are looking out for their interests," Obama said of Americans in general. "So if they see that over and over again, that cynicism is not going to be reduced until Congress actually proves their cynicism wrong by doing something."

"What the American people saw is that the Congress didn't care."

Obama also said the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators protesting against Wall Street and economic inequality are expressing the frustrations of the American public.

He said he understands the public's concerns about how the nation's financial system works. And he said Americans see Wall Street as an example of the financial industry not always following the rules.

Asked why there hadn't been more prosecutions in the financial sector, Obama said that many of the activities that precipitated the financial crisis in 2008 were not necessarily illegal. He said many financial schemes were probably immoral, inappropriate or reckless and required new regulations.

Obama criticized efforts in Congress, led by Republicans, to roll back some of the financial rules approved last year. He defended the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by that the legislation against GOP efforts to weaken it.

Obama also said that some banks are now using new regulations as an excuse to charge consumers more. It was a reference to a fee some banks are imposing to make up for restrictions on debit card fees they charge retailers.

"It's not necessarily fair to consumers," he said.

Obama also said the European Union has to act fast to deal with its debt crisis, but he said he is confident that European leaders are ready to take the necessary steps.

He said he hopes that European leaders have a "very clear, concrete plan of action that is sufficient to the task" by next month's meeting of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations. Obama said the European debt crisis had already affected the U.S. economy.

On other topics, Obama:

-Said he was concerned by the Pakistani military and intelligence community's ties to "unsavory characters." But he said he is not inclined to cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan because he has a great desire to help the Pakistani people.

The president's comments follow just-retired Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen's claim that the Haqqani insurgent network acts as "a veritable arm" of Pakistan's intelligence agency. While Obama did not endorse Mullen's assertion, he did acknowledge that Pakistan engages with individuals the U.S. finds troubling. However, Obama said Pakistan has been a valuable partner in U.S. efforts to go after al-Qaida.

-Criticized China for "gaming" the trading system by keeping its currency undervalued but expressed concern that bipartisan Senate legislation to penalize China could conflict with international agreements. Still, he did not say whether he would veto the legislation.

-Defended his administration over two brewing controversies. One concerns a multimillion-dollar federal loan guarantee to a California solar company, Solyndra, that has declared bankruptcy and that Obama's administration supported despite warnings over its solvency. The other involves a Justice Department program aimed at building cases against major weapons traffickers in Mexico that lost track of numerous guns.

On Solyndra, Obama said the loan guarantee program carried inherent risk, and the administration knew not every company would succeed. And he said continuing the program was crucial in order to counter China's aggressive investments and subsidies to boost its own clean energy industry.

On the gun program, called Operation Fast and Furious, Obama said he has confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder, who's come under criticism from Republicans. The president said both he and Holder would be "very unhappy" if guns were allowed to pass through to Mexico in a way that could have been prevented.

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