10-06-2022  10:03 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

E. Washington Rancher Sentenced for 'Ghost Cattle' Fraud

Cody Easterday was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Yakima, Washington, for what U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian called “the biggest theft or fraud I’ve seen in my career."

$40K Awarded to Woman Injured by Portland Police at Protests

Erin Wenzel sued the city for assault, battery and negligence, claiming that on Aug. 14, 2020, an officer “ran at her and violently slammed into her with a nightstick” while she was leaving the area as police had instructed. 

Media Roundtable in Renton Helps Set the Stage for the Nov. 8 General Election

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs and King County Elections Director Julie Wise addressed election myths, issues, challenges, and opportunities. Event included a guided tour of King County’s elections headquarters.

University of Portland Begins New School Year with First Black President

Robert Kelly is also the first non-priest to lead the private Catholic university.

NEWS BRIEFS

Amazon to Invest $150 Million in Funds That Provide Underrepresented Entrepreneurs With Access to Capital

Amazon today announced Amazon Catalytic Capital, a new initiative to invest 0 million in venture capital funds, accelerators, and...

Bonamici to Host Webinar on Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

On Thursday, Oct. 6 Congress member Suzanne Bonamici will host a webinar on the Biden-Harris Administration’s transformational...

SUNDAY: “No More Gun Violence” Block Party in North Portland

Event marks final in summer series aimed at bringing people together to reclaim their neighborhoods and fight for a future free of gun...

HBCU Homecoming Experience Highlighted at National Museum of African American History and Culture

Museum will also highlight stories of LGBTQIA+ African Americans (and allies) for LGBT History Month ...

Morrison Bridge to Close for Paint Project Work

The Morrison Bridge will close on October 14-17 and October 21-24 starting at 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. ...

Vancouver City Council bans large fossil fuel facilities

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The city council in Vancouver, Washington, has approved a permanent ban on new fossil fuel developments after years of temporary moratoriums. While new facilities that distribute, extract, refine or process fossil fuels have been temporarily prohibited by...

Transgender woman assaulted, cops seek help finding suspects

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A transgender woman was assaulted on Monday in Eugene, Oregon, by a man and three others who allegedly used transgender slurs, police said. The incident is under investigation as a possible bias crime, The Register-Guard reported. Eugene Police...

No. 2 Georgia looking for return to top form against Auburn

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Don't expect Auburn players to empathize with concerns expressed this week about No. 2 Georgia's sudden dip from championship form. The Bulldogs, who play Auburn on Saturday, fell from the top spot in The Associated Press Top 25 this week after having to rally for...

No. 2 Georgia looking for 6th straight win over rival Auburn

Auburn (3-2, 1-1 SEC) at No. 2 Georgia (5-0, 2-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS) Line: Georgia by 29 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Georgia leads 62-56. WHAT’S AT STAKE? Georgia will try to regain its momentum after...

OPINION

No Room for Black Folk

A recent interview with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and an associate professor, reveals the inability of certain white Americans to share the benefits of our society ...

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Federal judge halts key parts of New York's new gun law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge halted key provisions Thursday of New York's latest attempt to restrict who can carry a handgun in public and where firearms can be brought, saying multiple parts of a law the state passed this year are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Glenn...

'It's not right': Players want more from NHL against racism

For too long, Matt Dumba felt he was on his own dealing with racial taunts directed at him as a youngster growing up in Saskatchewan. It was no different for Dumba as an adult, one of just a handful of minority players in the National Hockey League. Even in a circle of his fellow...

Venus Williams, Spike Lee set for Black Entrepreneurs Day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Venus Williams, Spike Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shaquille O'Neal and Killer Mike are among those set to participate in a celebration of African American business success and opportunity. Black Entrepreneurs Day, founded and organized by “Shark Tank” panelist and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: A spiky social satire in ‘Triangle of Sadness’

The question of worth flows through Ruben Östlund’s “ Triangle of Sadness,” a handsomely grotesque satire about the guests and workers aboard a luxury yacht. The ideas might not be new, and the targets might be easy, but the Swedish filmmaker who has made a cottage industry out of picking at...

Review: In 'Tár,' Cate Blanchett is a maestro at work

“Time is the thing," says Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) in Todd Fields' “Tár.” Lydia, a world-renown conductor, is explaining her art as more than waving a baton around — not a mere “human metronome” — but rather an almost god-like ability to mold and contort time. The...

Winfrey, Letterman among moderators for Michelle Obama tour

NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman and Ellen DeGeneres are among the celebrity moderators joining former first lady Michelle Obama on tour for her upcoming book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.” Other guests include Conan O'Brien, Tracee Ellis...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Major indexes slip in afternoon trading on Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street Thursday as the broader market continued pulling...

Loretta Lynn's songs resonate anew amid abortion debate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Loretta Lynn, the Grammy-winning country music icon who died Tuesday at 90, lived...

Brittney Griner at 'weakest moment' in Russia, her wife says

WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner is at her “absolute weakest moment in life right now” as she...

Dutch court orders government to improve migrant centers

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court on Thursday ordered the government and its asylum-seeker...

Europe holds 44-leader summit, leaves Russia in the cold

PRAGUE (AP) — The leaders of 44 European countries stretching from Iceland all the way to Turkey met Thursday in...

Greece: 22 dead, dozens missing, after 2 migrant ships sink

KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) — Bodies floated amid splintered wreckage in the wind-tossed waters off a Greek island...

Alan Fram the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If President Barack Obama, the House and the Senate all want to extend a Social Security payroll tax cut and jobless benefits through next year, why are they fighting so bitterly over doing it?

Obama, House Democrats and lopsided majorities of both parties in the Senate want to immediately renew the tax cut and jobless benefits for the next two months, and find a way later to extend them through 2012. House Republicans want to do it for a full year right away.

That doesn't sound like an unbridgeable gap. Yet the fight has evolved into a year-end partisan grudge match with no clear resolution in sight and with huge political and economic stakes.

Without action, the payroll tax paid by 160 million workers will rise by 2 percentage points to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. That would mean $1,000 a year less in the pockets of people making $50,000, or about $19 weekly. In addition, 3 million people currently receiving long-term jobless benefits will begin to lose weekly payments that average under $300 - for many, their only support.

Following is a guided tour, in question and answer form, through the dispute.

Q: Why do Obama and the Senate want to extend the tax cut and jobless benefits by only two months?

A: Actually, they don't. When the Senate voted overwhelmingly last weekend for a two-month bill backed by Obama, it was a fallback position after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., disagreed over ways to pay for a yearlong extension. Both sides agreed they would not let the bill increase long-term deficits.

The Senate's two-month version continues the payroll tax and jobless benefits at this year's levels and costs $33 billion. The bargainers agreed to pay for that by raising fees people pay for new mortgages or refinancing insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage companies. For a $200,000 mortgage, the fee increase would raise a borrower's cost about $17 a month.

A full-year extension would cost around $200 billion, and the two sides couldn't agree on how to pay for that. So they agreed on a bill extending the tax cuts and jobless benefits through February, and then they would return early next year to resolve their differences over a yearlong measure.

Q: The government spends over $3.5 trillion every year. How hard can it be to find another $170 billion or so in savings?

A: It's been tough because of the math and the ways each side would do it.

The two parties seemed to agree that additional savings could come from a federal sale of parts of the broadcast spectrum, and by requiring government workers to contribute more to their pensions. Beyond that are vast differences, substantive and political.

A yearlong extension that the GOP-run House passed this month would make higher-income seniors pay more for Medicare coverage and cut spending for parts of Obama's health care overhaul law enacted last year. Democrats oppose both those provisions.

Democrats have proposed paying for a one-year extension of the payroll tax and federal unemployment benefits by imposing a 1.9 percent surtax on income above $1 million a year, a non-starter with Republicans. During talks between top Senate Democrats and Republicans, Democrats also proposed other ways of boosting levies on the wealthy, but those were rejected.

Q: Are there any other differences?

A: They're also fighting over the jobless benefits taxpayers should provide as the economy slowly improves.

Democrats want to keep the current structure. Most states provide 26 weeks of unemployment coverage, and federal programs enacted since the recession boost the eligibility up to 99 weeks in some states.

The House-passed bill would pare that total coverage to a maximum 79 weeks. That probably would fall even further in some states as employment improves. The House bill also requires benefit recipients without high school diplomas to pursue education alternatives and lets states test recipients for drug use.

Q: While they work through these differences, why the fuss over whether Congress first approves a two-month or a one-year plan?

A: For one thing, many freshman and conservative House Republicans are tired of compromising with the Senate and want their leaders to take a stand. They also say a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut would create uncertainty for taxpayers and businesses and problems for employers' payroll systems.

Many House Republicans hate the idea of keeping the issue alive until March 1, when the two-month bill would expire. Democrats have damaged Republicans politically with proposals to pay for the payroll tax cut by boosting levies on the rich. GOP lawmakers solidly oppose that approach, saying it would discourage job creation, and Democrats have used that to argue that Republicans are defending the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

That's not an argument Republicans want to spend the 2012 election year having. As a result, many want to avoid additional votes on the matter next year, and they don't want to let Obama spend next month's State of the Union address discussing it. They would rather spend 2012 voting on issues they feel are on their terrain, like blocking Obama administration regulations, reducing the size of government and cutting its spending.

Q: What about Democrats?

A: They say the tax cut and unemployment coverage must be renewed to protect the millions who would be hurt Jan. 1. They also have no desire to surrender leverage by abandoning the two-month deal negotiated by the Senate's Reid and McConnell.

But they, too, have political motivations.

Democrats cite economists who say the payroll tax would pump enough money into the economy to help it grow slightly next year. Knowing that the 2012 presidential and congressional races are likely to hinge on the economy's performance, they want to take no chances with anything that might tip the economy in the wrong direction. To them, that means the payroll tax cut and extra jobless coverage must be extended.

Q: Wouldn't these bills also prevent a scheduled cut in reimbursements to doctors who treat Medicare patients?

A: Yes, a 27 percent reduction takes effect next month unless Congress acts. Doctors say that cut would discourage physicians from treating the elderly people served by Medicare. Neither party wants to anger older voters by limiting their access to doctors.

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