07-02-2020  11:07 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

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New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

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Police union contract extended, bargaining to continue

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Oregon House speaker slams Portland police use of tear gas

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than two dozen protesters were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer, riot and assault on a police officer during protests that stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, Portland police said.Authorities said...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

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To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

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3 cities pilot South Africa-style truth, reconciliation push

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Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement

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ENTERTAINMENT

Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

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Actor says 'Justice League' director Whedon was 'abusive'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Ray Fisher says director Joss Whedon's behavior was “abusive” on the set of the 2017 film “Justice League.”“Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and...

Review: Joe Ely serves up songs of honesty, hope and healing

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?

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Intel chiefs brief congressional leaders on Russia bounties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. intelligence chiefs conducted classified briefings Thursday for congressional...

Wide shift in opinion on police, race rare in US polling

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Russia denies supplying weapons to Afghanistan's Taliban

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Landslide at Myanmar jade mine kills at least 162 people

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More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia's unrest

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McMenamins
Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This is the economy election, right? Tell that to the world.

President Barack Obama is getting another dose of the reality of his job: the out-of-his-control events that shape whether he will keep it.

He is lobbying Israel not to launch on attack on Iran that could set the Middle East on fire and pull the United States into another war. He is struggling to get world powers to unite on halting a massacre in Syria. He is on the defensive about staying in Afghanistan after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a killing spree against civilians.

And back home, where the economy is king, everyone is talking about the price of gasoline. Which, as Obama can't say enough, no one can control right now.

The Republican presidential candidates don't have to worry as much about all this because they don't have the responsibility of governing - a luxury Obama likes to note, although he enjoyed the same when he was the challenger. The Republicans, though, are being drawn into events beyond their preferred message of the day.

For Obama, whose re-election bid looks rosier with every good month of job creation, the political risk in the least is that he gets knocked off message. That happened Monday when Obama and the White House spent a lot of effort trying to focus on energy, but the dominant news was the horrific rampage in Afghanistan.

Americans have turned against the war in Afghanistan, with most of them saying the fight isn't worth it anymore.

The bigger worry for Obama is that all the outside events conspire to sour the public mood, give people more to worry about and create an opening for Republicans to challenge his leadership. Just because presidents may not be able to control problems does not mean they don't get blamed for them.

"There are so many of them now, and dire ones," said Barbara Perry, a scholar of the American presidency at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.

"People may not care much about what Israel is doing, or even what Iran is doing, but given American dependence on Mideast oil, that has a direct impact on the pocketbook. Do these things inevitably have an impact on the campaign? Absolutely, because they will be the questions put to the presidential candidates."

As one example, the price at the pump carries political risk for Obama, who is taking a pounding over the issue in the polls.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline is now about $3.80, the highest ever for this time of year. The White House says anyone suggesting a quick fix is lying to voters. Instead, Obama pushes energy exploration across the board and reminds folks he championed a payroll tax cut that kept money in their pockets.

That doesn't offer as much election-year satisfaction for the typical commuter.

"The reality is that the oil prices and the gas prices that we pay here in the United States are set on the global market," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters Monday. "We don't set them, and we don't control them. This president and this Congress can't control those prices."

Clearly. Obama has gotten used to this dynamic.

Good news has come before on the economy, only to be suffocated by outside events. Just a few months ago, Obama attributed a slowing economy to the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring and the European debt crisis (not to mention his ugly showdown with Congress over a near-government default).

Now sizable job growth has taken hold by the month, but that pattern is hardly assured through Election Day. Obama still has a wary eye on Europe's economic stability, a slowdown in China could undermine the United States, and the turmoil surrounding Iran and Israel that could further jolt gas prices and, perhaps, lead to war.

It was a telling sign when Obama held his first news conference of the year last week and got not one question on the economy writ large. The focus was on the threat of a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Now the attention is back on the Afghanistan war as Obama warns against a hasty retreat.

So it goes for presidents.

The big problems of the day are covered by the media, evaluated by pollsters and viewed within the election context.

Still, the general election campaign is expected to come down to which contender has better answers for people looking for a job, a better career, a way to keep their house, a sense of security.

"The three most important issues of the election are the economy, the economy and the economy," Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said.

Indeed, an Associated Press-GfK poll of issues last month found 91 percent of people said the economy was highly important to them. Obama's team says the choice for voters is about restoring American security for all or going back to a free-for-all approach that led to the crisis. Republicans say he's failed to lead.

The White House isn't out to make this election about foreign policy, but Gibbs said "I don't think it hurts" if the conversation turns that way.

Obama has a story to tell on the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of the war in Iraq, the squeezing of Iran through sanctions.

The direction of the war in Afghanistan has been on that list too. But now it's a question, and Obama has to answer.

Afghanistan is raging with anti-Americanism after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month and, over the weekend, a soldier allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians and burned many of the bodies.

Obama was questioned about the horrific incident by television reporters from around the nation. They had been invited to the White House to talk about energy, but they pushed him on when the U.S. will be getting out of Afghanistan too. Obama said the United States must not rush to the exits.

So the timetable remains: the end of 2014, at the latest, for Americans to get out of a combat role in Afghanistan.

And this one: a little under nine months left for any issue in the world to rock Obama's re-election bid.

---

White House Correspondent Ben Feller has covered the Obama and George W. Bush presidencies for The Associated Press. AP Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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