11-18-2019  1:30 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

Jefferson High Sees Gains in Freshman Preparedness, Graduation Rates

New support positions aim to increase attendance rates among students who often struggle with displacement, homelessness

Nike Cuts Ties With Amazon, but Shoes Won’t Vanish From Site

Nike wants to focus on selling its swoosh-branded gear on its own site and apps

NEWS BRIEFS

Noodle Dish at Portland Public Schools One of Best School Meals in US

Food Management, a news organization dedicated to noncommercial food service, has named PPS’s yakisoba noodles the nation’s top...

Clark College names new VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Rashida Willard leads college equity work supporting students, faculty and staff ...

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Forest Service opposes bear-baiting ban in Idaho, Wyoming

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal authorities are contesting a lawsuit filed by environmental groups seeking to ban using bait to hunt black bears in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming. The groups say allowing the use of bait could harm federally protected grizzly bears.The U.S. Forest Service...

Correction: Tribe-Whaling story

SEATTLE (AP) — In a story Nov. 14 about the Makah Tribe’s effort to resume whaling in Washington state, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Makah is the only tribe with a treaty right to hunt whales. While the Makah is the only tribe whose treaty specifically mentions a...

Trask, stingy defense lead Florida over Missouri, 23-6

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nothing about Kyle Trask’s path to becoming Florida’s starting quarterback was easy. Something as trivial as a sluggish first half doesn’t rattle him.Trask threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter to help No. 11 Florida shake free of Missouri...

No. 11 Gators head to Mizzou hoping for another turnaround

It was only a year ago that Dan Mullen was asked about the state of his Florida program after he watched his team get humiliated by Missouri in the Swamp.His response already has become the stuff of legend.“They keep score. Someone wins and someone loses,” Mullen said, passion rising...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mexican president defends indigenous pensions plan

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president on Monday defended a plan to provide pensions to indigenous people starting at age 65, compared with 68 for other Mexicans.Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was elected last year after campaigning to help marginalized people, said those...

Frat functions on hold as reports of racism shake Syracuse U

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Reports of racism at Syracuse University have resulted in a student sit-in that is in its sixth day, a suspension of fraternity events and an offer of as much as ,000 in reward money.Administrators on Sunday suspended one fraternity, along with social events for the...

Correction: Census-Prison Gerrymandering story

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In a story Nov. 17 about how the U.S. Census Bureau counts prisoners, The Associated Press misspelled the first name of a Villanova University professor. The correct spelling is Brianna Remster.A corrected version of the story is below:Census counting of prisoners...

ENTERTAINMENT

Chang says his new Netflix show honors Bourdain

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With its food-travel fusion and trips to parts unknown, “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” host David Chang says he understands why critics are making comparisons to work done by his late friend and colleague Anthony Bourdain.“I don't know how you...

Review: Hanks anchors a lovely Mister Rogers tale for adults

Director Marielle Heller frames “ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ” as if it were an episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” with miniature sets of cars and bridges to illustrate New York and Pittsburgh. Mr. Rogers, played with clear-eyed purpose by Tom...

Like her parents, Blue Ivy now an award-winning songwriter

NEW YORK (AP) — At just 7, Blue Ivy Carter is an award-winning songwriter.Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s daughter won the Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award at Sunday’s Soul Train Awards for co-writing her mom’s hit “Brown Skin Girl,” a song...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Ford Mustang SUV starts a blitz of new electric vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford is unveiling its first all-electric SUV, marking the start of an avalanche of...

California sues e-cigarette maker Juul over ads, youth sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — California on Monday sued the nation’s biggest e-cigarette maker, alleging that...

Judge denies DNA testing sought 13 years post-execution

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The daughter of a man executed 13 years ago for murder does not have legal standing...

Flood-hit Venice’s dwindling population faces mounting woes

VENICE, Italy (AP) — One of only four oar makers for Venice’s famed gondoliers, Paolo Brandolisio...

Prince Andrew’s efforts to put scandal behind him backfire

LONDON (AP) — Prince Andrew's effort to put the Jeffrey Epstein scandal behind him may have instead done...

Lebanese protests test Hezbollah’s role as Shiites’ champion

BEIRUT (AP) — Young men chanting the "people want to bring down the regime" gathered outside the office of...

McMenamins
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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