03-03-2021  12:31 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

More contagious Brazilian virus variant emerges in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A coronavirus variant that was first detected in Brazil has emerged in Oregon, the first known case of the new variant on the contiguous U.S. West Coast, medical authorities said Tuesday.The sample was sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end...

Ex-UPS driver sentenced to 20 years for I-5 shootings

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A former UPS driver charged in shootings that injured a woman and damaged vehicles along Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Kenneth Ayers, of Roseburg, was sentenced Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court for three counts of...

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...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In Mississippi, small-town bluesman keeps aging music alive

BENTONIA, Miss. (AP) — With calloused hands, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes plucks an old acoustic guitar at the juke joint his parents started more than 70 years ago. He checks the cafe’s inventory: jars of pickled eggs, beef jerky, pork hocks. He tends to the wood-burning stove,...

Unusual alliance seeks policing reforms in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Policing reforms are making for strange bedfellows in New Mexico as the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and the conservative-backed nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity lobby for a bill to eliminate police immunity from lawsuits on civil rights...

FBI chief warns violent 'domestic terrorism' growing in US

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Christopher Wray bluntly labeled the January riot at the U.S. Capitol as “domestic terrorism” Tuesday and warned of a rapidly growing threat of homegrown violent extremism that law enforcement is scrambling to confront through thousands of...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Vaccine, vaccine': Dolly sings 'Jolene' rewrite before shot

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dolly Parton has written hundreds of songs over her decades-long career and it turns out her tune “Jolene" is the just right one for getting her COVID-19 vaccine. “I even changed one of my songs to fit the occasion. It goes, ‘Vaccine, vaccine,...

Catherine Zeta-Jones joins Michael Sheen in 'Prodigal Son'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Catherine Zeta-Jones was already a fan of “Prodigal Son,” so when the chance came to join the show, she jumped, lured by the prospect of working alongside Michael Sheen.The Welsh actors were born in cities about an hour apart and moved in similar circles...

Jhene Aiko to host Grammy Award premiere ceremony

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jhene Aiko will take on hosting duties at the Grammy Awards premiere ceremony this month.The Recording Academy announced Tuesday that the Grammy-nominated singer will host the pre-show, where most trophies are awarded. It will be streamed live on the Grammy’s...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Australian AG Porter denies rape accusation, won't resign

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s attorney-general denied having sexual contact with a...

Deadly Calif. crash on route for illegal border crossings

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Barely a mile from where an SUV packed with 25 people struck a tractor-trailer...

Myanmar forces use violence again against protesters

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Police used tear gas and rubber bullets again Wednesday to violently disperse...

Virus variant races through Italy, especially among children

ROME (AP) — The variant of the coronavirus discovered in Britain is prevalent among Italy's infected...

Mexico Senate passes energy bill favoring state, fossil fuel

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Senate passed an electrical energy bill that favors government-owned...

Seychelles bids to reach COVID 'herd immunity' by mid-March

VICTORIA, Seychelles (AP) — The president of Seychelles says he hopes enough residents will soon be...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
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.



 ™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. 



  

Everybody Reads Ross Gay
Interstate Bridge
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Triggered

Kevin Saddler