01-22-2021  5:58 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police Shooting of Man Under International Scrutiny

Aaron Campbell, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man was shot in the back and killed Jan. 29, 2010 by Portland Police Officer Ronal Frashour

John Hairston Becomes First Black CEO of Bonneville Power Administration

29-year employee appointed to new role by U.S. Secretary of Energy  

Natural Gas Terminal Plans In Oregon Hit Snag Over Permit

The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states.

BIPOC Caucus Unveils Agenda for 2021

12 members of the state House and Senate name 10 areas of focus

NEWS BRIEFS

People For the American Way Supports Congressional Gold Medal for Officer Eugene Goodman

Goodman, a Black U.S. Capitol Hill police officer, diverted a white mob away from the unprotected Senate chambers during the violent...

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Applicants Sought for Free Girls’ Summer Wilderness Science Education Expeditions

The programs provide 16- and 17-year-old young women opportunities to travel with professional scientists, artists and wilderness...

Portland Center Stage Welcomes New Literary Manager Kamilah Bush Following Nationwide Search

As literary manager, Bush is charged with deepening the literary and artistic core of Portland Center Stage ...

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

Trump gives permit to ranchers whose case led to occupation

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in the final days of the Trump administration issued a grazing permit to Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment sparked the 2016 armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge by right-wing extremists.Interior Secretary David...

2 injured in small plane crash in southwestern Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Two men were hurt when a small aircraft crashed in southwestern Oregon. The Mail Tribune reports the two men were being treated Thursday for non-life threatening injuries, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Moran. Both men are believed to...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Congress poised for quick action on Biden's Pentagon nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled Congress has easily passed legislation required to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense, brushing aside concerns that his retirement occurred inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian...

Cesar Chavez's son happy dad's bust is in Biden Oval Office

WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Chavez had no idea where a sculpture of his father, Latino American civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, would end up in the White House. He agreed just this week to lend the bronze bust to President Joe Biden and hustled to get it wrapped up and shipped across...

AKA sorority members celebrate Kamala Harris inauguration

CHICAGO (AP) — Elizabeth Shelby had her inauguration outfit planned weeks in advance: blue jeans, a Kamala Harris sweatshirt, a green coat, and pink Chuck Taylors as an homage to her sorority’s colors and Vice President Harris’ signature shoe. And pearls, just like the ones...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Human Factor' gets personal about Mideast peace

Ready for a documentary about three decades of agonizing fits and starts of the Mideast peace process, from the perspective of U.S. negotiators? You're probably thinking that doesn't sound too enticing right about now. But there’s a reason “The Human Factor,” by Israeli...

Natiruts, Marley, Aparicio sing for unity of the Americas

NEW YORK (AP) — With a trilingual song that calls for the people of the Americas to unite in a more fair and loving world, Brazilian reggae band Natiruts, Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley and Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio hope to make the whole continent vibrate. “América...

Who really had the album of the year? Emily Lazar did.

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Martin admits that Coldplay’s latest album could have sounded terrible if it wasn’t for one person — mastering engineer Emily Lazar.Like the musical magician she is, Lazar added her special touch to the band’s eighth album “Everyday...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Long lines as Beijing expands mass COVID testing

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing has ordered more coronavirus tests for about 2 million people in its downtown area...

Japan vaccination uncertainty casts doubts over Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is publicly adamant that it will stage its postponed Olympics this summer. But to pull...

Iran, pressured by blackouts and pollution, targets Bitcoin

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling...

Israeli warplanes strike Syria, kill 4 - including children

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Israeli warplanes fired several missiles toward central Syria early Friday, killing...

German virus death toll tops 50,000 even as infections sink

BERLIN (AP) — The death toll from the coronavirus in Germany has passed 50,000, a number that has risen...

2 films offer 2 tales ahead of Wuhan lockdown anniversary

WUHAN, China (AP) — Two new films about Wuhan were released Friday, the eve of the anniversary of the start...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Halimah Abdullah CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Thomas Dean is sick of all the congressional bickering over the health care law.

Sure, the small town doctor understands the law's technical nuances and what's at stake for the millions of people covered by President Barack Obama's biggest policy achievement.

Sure, he knows the law has its problems and that House Republicans are pushing -- for the 33rd time -- to repeal what has become known as "Obamacare," or parts of it.

But Dean, who is one of only three physicians in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, a town of roughly 1,000 people, has had just about enough of the time-consuming arguments on Capitol Hill.

"It's complicated and it's easily manipulated and easily demagogued. I'm tired of the politics. ... The gridlock has hurt us for sure," Dean said as he took a break from his rounds. "We need to move forward with what we have."

Dean is not alone in his exasperation. Americans have long held entrenched positions on the Affordable Care Act. According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted immediately after the Supreme Court upheld the law two weeks ago, 52% of those polled said they favored all or most of the law's provisions, while 47% opposed them.

Those types of numbers "have been set in stone" since the law's passage in 2010, said Mollyann Brodie, senior vice president for public opinion and survey research for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A similar poll conducted by Kaiser just after the ruling found that 47% of those polled were in favor of the ruling, 43% were against and 10% were unsure.

"The sense of voter fatigue depends on the voter's (political) position," Brodie said. "Those in favor are tired of this ongoing debate and want opponents to drop their efforts. For Republicans and those who oppose the law, they are absolutely content to keep going."

That leaves independents, the highly coveted voting bloc that is the holy grail of election year politics. But, according to Kaiser's polling, independents are tired of the back-and-forth too, Brodie said.

"Those folks are more likely to say it's time to move on and they're tired of this," Brodie said.

They are folks like Vietnam veteran Hans Engel.

"My big thing is if you put all of Congress on Social Security, I bet that thing would get solved real quick," Engel said as he prepared for the night's spaghetti dinner at Firestone VFW Post 3383 in Akron, Ohio.

As a disabled veteran on Medicare, he worries about how potential cuts to entitlement spending will affect his health care -- especially as he and fellow baby boomers age and more of them rely on the program.

"I'm all for sacrifice across the board," he said, referring to proposals to trim the nation's debt. "I paid into it all my life and this is the baloney you're gonna pull?"

He's also concerned about the law's costs.

"I'm a registered Democrat, but more and more and more I'm looking a different way," Engel said. "They want to keep taxing and spending our money."

Engel's frustration is pretty indicative of broader voter fatigue when it comes to debate over the health care law and most things in Congress, said David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pointing to Congress' abysmal approval rating.

"I don't think voters are paying attention to what Congress is doing right now," Bositis said. "They think Congress -- especially the House -- is a bunch of fools. These guys are like characters out of 'Saturday Night Live.' "

Voters are also not fooled about what the House vote on repealing the law is really about, Bositis said.

"This is just a campaign stunt and voters are fed up," he said. Voters know that "when these guys are campaigning they're going to say 'I voted to get rid of Obamacare.' "

At the Ballinger Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed hospital in Ballinger, Texas, the center's staff is acutely aware of the high-stakes political debate over the health care law taking place in Washington.

But with a service area of 635 square miles, and 8,500 citizens to serve -- in a state that the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently recently ranked worst in delivering health care services -- Ballinger officials, like many rural health care providers, say they want Congress to keep them out of a high-stakes games of political chicken.

"We don't want rural to be used as a poker chip in an election game," said Ballinger administrator Lance Keilers.

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