01-30-2023  7:49 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

Free events highlight the achievements and perseverance of Black and African American communities from the past to the present. ...

Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Name of Seattle officer in crash that killed woman released

SEATTLE (AP) — Police have released the name of a Seattle police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula last week in a city crosswalk. Seattle Police Department Detective and spokesperson Judinna Gulpan confirmed...

Kidnap suspect released day he arrived at Nevada prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state’s custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: Shania, 'Princess Power' and Pamela Anderson

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week. MOVIES — If you haven’t managed to catch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” yet, the...

Review: Making of 'The Way We Were' is a rich, gossipy tale

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” by Robert Hofler (Citadel) Most people seem to like their screen romances a little on the sad side. When the American Film Institute listed its top romantic...

Amina Luqman-Dawson’s 'Freewater' wins John Newbery Medal

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Amina Luqman-Dawson made time to write a children's book she calls her "little quiet project," a historical adventure about a community of escaped slaves that she completed while raising a son and working as a policy consultant and researcher on education and domestic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Florida GOP leaders want to get rid of gun permits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Saying gun owners don't need a government permission slip to protect their God-given...

Dems urge Biden to halt aid to Peru over protest crackdown

MIAMI (AP) — A group of House Democrats is urging the Biden administration to suspend all U.S. security...

Trump investigations: Georgia prosecutor ups anticipation

ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been put on notice by a prosecutor, but the...

Turkey favors approving Finland's NATO bid before Sweden's

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey could greenlight Finland’s membership in NATO before that of Sweden, if the...

Germany pledges 2 million for Brazil environment, Amazon

SAO PAULO (AP) — German development minister Svenja Schulze announced Monday that her government will make 204...

Dolphins, humans both benefit from fishing collaboration

A fishing community in southern Brazil has an unusual ally: wild dolphins. Accounts of people and...

Tom Cohen CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nothing riles up the tea party chattering class like a broken pledge against raising taxes.
 

Just ask Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a veteran Georgia Republican who this week turned his back on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge he signed years ago as a rite of passage of right-wing politics.


Immediately labeled "worthless" and "a liar" on Tea Party Nation, Chambliss symbolizes the political conundrum facing GOP leaders in the aftermath of President Barack Obama's re-election.


After years of opposing higher taxes on anyone, Republicans now are under pressure to work out a comprehensive agreement to reduce the nation's chronic federal deficits and debt. 


That means a compromise with Obama and Democrats, who insist on more tax revenue being part of a package that includes spending cuts and entitlement reforms.


Congress returns to Washington next week after the Thanksgiving break with just over a month to work out the blueprint for a deal that would avoid the so-called fiscal cliff -- a combination of steep across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases set to occur at the end of the year.


Facing imminent unpopular scenarios such as higher taxes for everyone and further cuts in military spending, the negotiations taking place behind closed doors in Washington have new impetus to produce results.



Obama's victory this month with a slightly stronger Democratic majority in the Senate and a slightly weaker Republican majority in the House signaled general public acceptance of the president's main campaign theme -- raising more tax revenue from the rich as part of a deficit-reduction package.



In particular, Obama and Democrats insist that wealthy Americans -- so far identified as income over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for families -- should pay more taxes than they do now so that rates for everyone else stay the same.



However, the new Congress to be seated in January includes 39 senators -- including Chambliss -- and 219 House members who have signed the anti-tax pledge pushed by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, according to the group's website. 



The House total constitutes a narrow majority in the 435-seat chamber, though some members have denounced their allegiance to the pledge -- much like Chambliss did Wednesday in an interview with CNN affiliate WMAZ, a Georgia television station.



"I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge," said Chambliss, who faces re-election for a third Senate term in 2014.



Referring to Norquist, who has vowed to oppose candidates who break the pledge, Chambliss said that "if we do it his way, then we'll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that."



He acknowledged that Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform will likely work against his re-election because of the issue.



"But I don't worry about that because I care too much about my country," Chambliss said, adding that he was "willing to do the right thing and let the political consequences take care of themselves."



Possible consequences were evident on Friday.



"To call Chambliss an idiot is to insult people of lower intelligence," blogger Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote. "Chambliss is a poster child for every thing that is wrong with the political class in Washington."



Later in his post, Phillips sharpened his point: "If you give your word and you break your word, then you are a liar."



Phillips also called Chambliss the worst RINO -- Republican In Name Only -- in Washington, citing an acronym that conservatives use for what they consider to be sell-out politicians.



"If you are a worthless Republican politician and you want some good press from the liberal media," Phillips wrote, "all you have to do now days is say you are considering abandoning your pledge not to raise taxes."



However, other leading conservative voices also have questioned whether the Norquist pledge remains politically relevant in the face of the mounting federal debt and Obama's re-election.



William Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, said after the November 6 vote that Republicans should consider going along with the president's call for making the wealthy pay higher taxes, telling Fox News Sunday that "it wouldn't kill the country."



Norquist and other conservatives argue that shrinking the government is the only way to properly address the deficit issue. Their mantra is that America spends too much on government, rather than collects too little in taxes.



The Taxpayer Protection Pledge says the signer will "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses," and also "oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."



That commitment puts any adherents in conflict with the direction of the deficit negotiations underway between the White House and Congress.



At the Center for the National Interest on Monday, Norquist predicted that Republicans would prevent any deficit deal from containing a tax increase. There was no immediate response Friday to requests for comment from his group on the Chambliss remarks.



Long a defining difference between Democrats and Republicans, the tax issue has stymied efforts to work out a deficit deal for the past two years. 



Obama and House Speaker John Boehner came close to agreement last year before conservative rejection of any increased revenue and liberal resistance to entitlement reform scuttled the effort.



Boehner, the Ohio Republican who has emerged as party leader in the deficit talks, agrees to the concept of increased revenue, though he and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky both remain opposed to actually raising tax rates.



Instead, they propose broad tax reform that will lower rates while eliminating unspecified loopholes and exemptions to spur economic growth that they say will result in more overall government revenue.



Chambliss, whose voting record got a perfect rating in 2010 from the American Conservative Union, has played a supporting role in the deficit debate.



He joined colleagues from both parties in the so-called Gang of Six senators trying to work out a comprehensive deal on the sidelines of the main talks between the White House and Congress.



Last year, Norquist's group called at one point for Chambliss and the other two Republicans to drop out of the Gang of Six talks that were considering increased tax revenue as part of the deal.



Norquist later sent a letter to Chambliss and GOP colleagues Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mike Enzi of Wyoming to clarify that their stance met the conditions of the pledge because they wanted any increase in revenue to come from economic growth spurred by lower tax rates.



"This is very encouraging news from you," Norquist wrote then. "It means that you will fulfill the Taxpayer Protection Pledge you made to your constituents and the American people to oppose and vote against legislated net income tax increases."



CNN's Ashley Killough and Adam Levy contributed to this report.



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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.