09-27-2021  7:25 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Use New Ordinance to Crack Down on Street Racing

The offenses have been labeled as “Unlawful Street Takeover” and “Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.”

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree on House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Man convicted in 1999 ranger killing dies in Oregon prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 75-year-old man died Monday in hospice care at the Oregon State Penitentiary while serving a life sentence without parole for the kidnapping and shooting of two Oregon park rangers in 1999, officials said. Corrections officials did not specify Larry Gene...

Oregon Legislature OKs new political boundaries

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite a threat to block new political maps Republican state lawmakers returned to the Oregon Capitol on Monday as the Legislature passed legislative and congressional boundaries that included a new, sixth U.S. House seat. The congressional map, which...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Texas GOP tries to protect US House seats under new maps

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Facing up to Texas' booming suburbs turning bluer, Republicans on Monday proposed new U.S. House maps that would fortify their slipping grip and shrink the number of seats where the majority of voters are Hispanic — even as they fuel the state's blistering growth. ...

Racial alliances, rivalries on display in LA mayor's race

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The diversity of Los Angeles is on display in the emerging race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti and the winning candidate who emerges from the growing field of hopefuls will need to navigate rivalries and forge alliances across the city’s racial and ethnic communities. ...

Greyhound settles lawsuit over immigration sweeps on buses

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay [scripts/homepage/home.php].2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line’s practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated .5 million from 3,364...

'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' sashays home with 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9: Oct. 3: Composer Steve Reich is 85. Singer Chubby Checker is 80. Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Taliban issue no-shave order to barbers in Afghan province

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from...

Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to...

Gas blowout near Los Angeles leads to up to jumi.8B settlement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of families sickened and forced from their Los Angeles homes after the nation’s...

Greece, France, expected to announce major warship deal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The leaders of Greece and France are expected to announce a major, multibillion-euro deal...

US officials: Biden aide to meet Saudi crown prince on Yemen

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan is traveling to Saudi Arabia on...

Azerbaijan, Armenia mark anniversary of their war

MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan and Armenia are marking the anniversary of the start of their six-week war in which...

Leigh Ann Caldwell CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It's been five years since the collapse of Wall Street's largest financial institutions and the ground falling out from under the U.S. economy. The stock market plummeted, unemployment skyrocketed, and the housing market imploded.



On Monday, President Barack Obama will speak from the Rose Garden to tout his successes in turning the economy around.

"Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth," read a 49-page White House report on the economy released Sunday.

The same day, Larry Summers, a leading name to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, withdrew his name from consideration, clearing the way for Janet Yellen, who serves as vice chairwoman at the Fed, to become the leading candidate.

And on Friday, the White House announced that top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, will step down as head of the National Economic Council and be replaced by Jeffrey Zients, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

But whether the new players will have any impact economic policy, the president's economic agenda -- plagued by an obstinate Republican House and reluctant Senate, threats of shutdowns and sequesters, the end of two wars and the fears of starting a third -- may still be languishing, even as the economy itself appears to slowly be coming back to life.

It's the economy, stupid

That motto was made famous by political strategist James Carville during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, and it rang true for Obama's first presidential campaign as well.

And the American public agrees. In poll after poll, fixing the economy is a stubborn No. 1 when it comes to the issues the voters most care about.

A CNN/ORC International poll conducted this month indicates that 41% of the public says the economy is the most important issue facing the country right now, with health care at 16% and the crisis in Syria at 15%.

Obama was elected on the premise that he would stop and then reverse the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression.

He came into office with his foot firmly on the gas pedal. Less than a month after his inauguration, he signed into law an $831 billion economic stimulus bill. After a productive first month in office, analysts began to compare Obama to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who transformed the fabric of American society in the face of the Depression.

Then, with the help of a Democratic Congress, the president signed an overhaul of the financial system and the largest expansion of access to health care since President Lyndon B. Johnson created Medicare in 1965.

The jury is still out on whether either of those massive pieces of legislation will harm or help the economy, but most agree that just getting them done were historic accomplishments.

'Poor marks'

But since his first two years in office, some experts say, the president has struggled to keep focused on the economy.

Liberal economist Dean Baker has been highly critical of the president's economic record.

"I give him very poor marks. Five years later, the economy is still very far from recovering," said Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, pointing to an unemployment rate that he says would hover around 9% instead of 7.3% if so many people hadn't given up and dropped out of the work force.

And it shows in Obama's approval ratings.

Through much of last year, he had a 30% approval rating on the economy. That number is up this year -- to 43% -- but most still disapprove of his handling of the issue.

A screeching halt

In 2010, many conservatives, led by the tea party movement, sought to stop the president's agenda. They voted out the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and replaced them with conservative Republicans.

Then, those Republicans did what they were sent to Washington to do.

The president has struggled to pass any major economic legislation since 2010. Instead, he's been jumping from one political crisis to the next. Fights over federal budget and spending levels locked Congress in multiple battles in 2011 and 2012 that nearly led to the shutdown of the government.

The narrative didn't always fall in Obama's favor; nor did the policies that ensued. Republicans shifted the conversation from economic stimulus to deficit reduction. The president jumped on the deficit-reduction bandwagon and made that a priority.

Through protracted political battles over the size of the government, forced spending cuts, which sliced up to 10% of most of the federal budget, went into effect. It wasn't the president's favorite idea, however, for how to revive the economy.

He still had hopes of repairing old bridges and building new windmills. So did his supporters, who grew frustrated with the president. "We're getting tired. ... The unemployment is unconscionable. We don't know what the (president's) strategy is," Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, said in 2012.

But in the frame of deficit reduction, Obama was able to obtain a few concessions. He won a series of tax increases, including an increase on the top tax earners: those making more than $400,000 per year.

And the needle moved.

The budget cuts, tax increases and a recovering economy will reduce the deficit by about $4 trillion over 10 years, according to the White House. The nation's debt ratio to size of the gross domestic product is expected to stabilize in the next decade, which economists hail as good for the economy.

The foreign affairs president

While the president came into office with little experience in foreign affairs and hopes to implement an expansive domestic agenda, overseas conflict has kept his plate full.

He expanded the war in Afghanistan and ended the war in Iraq. He kept his attention on the citizen-led revolts that swept the Arab world and expanded the use of drones. Under his administration, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed and the U.S. joined a NATO campaign to overthrow Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and Obama is now working on an intense campaign to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war.

Although presidents are forced to walk and chew gum at the same time, world events have created challenges for Obama's ability to implement his domestic agenda.

"When you look at issues like military strikes in Syria ... it takes the full time and attention of the leaders," Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute said recently.

As the president decided to hold off on a military strike in Syria while Secretary of State John Kerry works with his counterpart in Russia to devise a plan to rid the regime of its chemical weapons, the president attempted to revitalize discussion of his domestic agenda.

"Even as we have been spending a lot of time on the Syria issue ... it is still important to recognize that we've got a lot more stuff to do here in this government," Obama said during a meeting with his Cabinet on Thursday.

Economist Mark Zandi said that, all things considered, the president has been fairly successful on the domestic front.

"It has been a tough road, but I think he did a pretty good job," said Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

But economist Baker offered a more critical perspective, saying the president hasn't shown a willingness to push an economic agenda.

"Let's say Syria didn't happen. What would he be doing right now? I am not sure he has some agenda that is being obstructed by events in the world," he said.

Syria aside, much of the White House's attention this fall will be spent on getting Americans to sign up for the health insurance exchanges, the heart of the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins October 1, and the administration is expected to spend $8.7 million on a media blitz to promote the exchanges.

Second term, second chance

After his re-election, the president hoped to reset his economic agenda. In his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama said he will work to "reignite the true engine of America's economic growth: a rising, thriving middle class."

This summer, he launched a campaign to revive his focus on the economy.

In a series of speeches this year, he acknowledged the troubling economic indicators that are keeping the economy from a full recovery, including income inequality and employment disparities.

Americans' real median household income fell from $63,000 to $55,600 between 2000 and 2011, and as of December, 9.1 million jobs were necessary to restore the job market to pre-recession levels, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

"Reversing these trends has to be Washington's highest priority. It has to be Washington's highest priority. It's certainly my highest priority," Obama said in Galesburg, Illinois, in July.

Job creation, affordable education and home ownership were central to his proposals. Those proposals included expanding development of renewable energy, creating new power grids and expanding access to early childhood education.

But what has the president done since that July speech? Some say, not much.

"Nothing has happened on any front," economist Zandi said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney pushed back against that assessment. He argued that the president is still focused on those economic priorities.

"The president remains committed to pushing forward on an economic agenda that creates a better bargain for the middle class," Carney said Wednesday.

But Zandi said immigration reform, which would be a major catalyst for economic growth, appears to be heading nowhere in the House. And tax and entitlement reform, which would also help to stimulate the economy, have no chance of happening this year.

There's always next year. But 2014 is an election year, which creates an even more difficult environment for passing legislation. After 2014, the president is in his final two years of office, and the political machine begins shaping the next occupant of the Oval Office.

Then, by definition, it can be hard for a lame duck president to get much done.

CNN's Dan Merica, Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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