10-20-2019  7:20 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Seattle's first Opportunity Zone development breaks ground

SEATTLE (AP) — The Opportunity Zones program was marketed as a way to help poor communities by offering major capital-gains tax breaks for investors to park their cash in 8,000 designated low-income census tracts.Instead, critics have labelled it a "tax scam," ''the latest example of urban...

Prosecutors: Trade war opens doors For Mexican drug cartels

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials in Oregon say they've uncovered an elaborate scheme to convert Mexican drug profits from sales in the United States back into pesos using Chinese citizens who seek to circumvent their country's banking laws.The Mexican drug cartels are...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters arrested Friday...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long after more flamboyant colleagues flamed out of President Donald Trump's favor amid...

Analysis: Confronted by impeachment, Trump adds to the chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump has thrust Washington into a...

Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

MILAN (AP) — Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of...

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — South America's longest-serving leader was seeking an unprecedented fourth term in...

15 dead after Russian dam collapse floods dormitories

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 15 people are dead after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water...

McMenamins
Erica Werner the Associated Press


President Obama with Jon Favreau,
his director of speechwriting

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is ready to reclaim the spotlight with a plea for economic fairness in a State of Union address that opposition Republicans panned in advance as a rehash of old ideas.

Obama delivers his third State of the Union address Tuesday in a capital and country shot through with politics, with his re-election campaign well under way and his potential GOP opponents lobbing attacks against him daily as they scrap for the right to take him on.

Obama's 9 p.m. EST address to a joint session of Congress and millions of television viewers will be as much as anything an argument for his re-election, the president's biggest, best chance so far to offer a vision for a second term.

Senior political adviser David Plouffe said Tuesday morning the president is "happy to have a debate" about his performance.

Bill Galston, a former Clinton administration domestic policy adviser now at the Brookings Institution, said, "Almost by definition it's going to be at least as much a political speech as a governing speech."

"The president must run on his record," Galston said, "and that means talking candidly and persuasively with the country about the very distinctive nature of the challenges the American economy faced when he took office and what has gone right for the past three years, and what needs to be done in addition."

With economic anxiety showing through everywhere, the speech will focus on a vision for restoring the middle class, with Obama facing the tricky task of persuading voters to stick with him even as joblessness remains high at 8.5 percent. Obama can point to positive signs, including continued if sluggish growth; his argument will be that he is the one to restore economic equality for middle-class voters.

Implicit in the argument, even if he never names frontrunners Gingrich and Mitt Romney, is that they are on the other side.

Obama's speech will come as Gingrich and Romney have transformed the Republican campaign into a real contest ahead of Florida's crucial primary next week. And he'll be speaking on the same day that Romney, a multimillionaire, released his tax returns, offering a vivid illustration of wealth that could play into Obama's argument about the growing divide between rich and poor.

Asked in an interview Tuesday about Romney's relatively modest tax rate in the range of 15 percent, given that he's a multi-millionaire, Plouffe said, "We need to change our tax system. We need to change our tax code so that everybody is doing their fair share."

Obama will frame the campaign to come as a fight for fairness for those who are struggling to keep a job, a home or college savings and losing faith in how the country works.

The speech will feature the themes of manufacturing, clean energy, education and American values. The president is expected to urge higher taxes on the wealthy, propose ways to make college more affordable, offer new steps to tackle a debilitating housing crisis and push to help U.S. manufacturers expand hiring.

Aides said the president would also outline more specifics about the so-called "Buffett Rule", which Obama has previously said would establish a minimum tax on people making $1 million or more in income. The rule was named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who has said it is unfair that his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said on Twitter Tuesday that Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, would attend the State of the Union in the first lady's box.

Even before Obama delivered his speech, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said he already felt "a sense of disappointment."

"While we don't yet know all of the specifics, we do know the goal," he said. "Based on what the president's aides have been telling reporters, the goal isn't to conquer the nation's problems. It's to conquer Republicans. The goal isn't to prevent gridlock, but to guarantee it."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has called the themes of Obama's speech a "pathetic" rehash of unhelpful policies. But he said Tuesday he hoped Obama would "extend somewhat of an olive branch" to work with Republicans on the economy during his prime-time address.

For three days following his speech, Obama will promote his ideas in five states key to his re-election bid. On Wednesday he'll visit Iowa and Arizona to promote ideas to boost American manufacturing; on Thursday in Nevada and Colorado he'll discuss energy; and in Michigan Friday he'll talk about college affordability, education and training. Polling shows Americans are divided about Obama's overall job performance but unsatisfied with his handling of the economy.

The lines of argument between Obama and his rivals are already stark, with America's economic insecurity and the role of government at the center.

The president has offered signals about his speech, telling campaign supporters he wants an economy "that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few." Gingrich, on the other hand, calls Obama "the most effective food stamp president in history." Romney says Obama "wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society."

Obama will make bipartisan overtures to lawmakers but will leave little doubt he will act without their help when it's necessary and possible, an approach his aides say has let him stay on offense.

The public is more concerned about domestic troubles over foreign policy than at any other time in the past 15 years, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Some 81 percent want Obama to focus his speech on domestic affairs, not foreign ones; just five years ago, the view was evenly split.

On the day before Obama's speech, his campaign released a short Web ad showing monthly job losses during the end of the Bush administration and the beginning of the Obama administration, with positive job growth for nearly two Obama years. Republicans assail him for failing to achieve a lot more.

Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Obama is not conceding the next 10 months to "campaigning alone" when people need economic help. On the goals of helping people get a fair shot, Carney said, "There's ample room within those boundaries for bipartisan cooperation and for getting this done."

Plouffe appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and was interviewed on NBC's "Today" show and "CBS This Morning."

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Associated Press writers Ben Feller, Julie Pace and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

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