10-20-2020  4:25 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Police to Wear Helmets with 3-Digit Identification

Portland Police Bureau said Friday it will assign each officer a three-digit number which will be displayed on their helmets during events

Kafoury & McDougal File Four “Shopping While Black” Lawsuits

One woman was refused gas on her way to work becase the attendant "doesn't serve Blacks"

New Initiative to Boost Black Students’ Success

Oregon Community Foundation oversees grants, coalition of 20 community organizations to support education equity 

Oregon Historical Society Museum to Open Wednesday, October 14, Following Building Vandalism

The Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt, which was taken Sunday evening has been recovered but sustained damage

NEWS BRIEFS

New Artist Relief Program to Provide $1.25 Million in Relief to Oregon Artists

Applications are now open to professional artists who have experienced or anticipate loss of revenue of $1,000 or more ...

Meals on Wheels Needs 500 Thanksgiving Friendly Chatters

To combat loneliness during the pandemic, volunteers are needed to call homebound participants on Thanksgiving Day ...

Multnomah County Elections Expands Open Hours

SE Portland and Gresham voter service locations now open each Saturday leading up to the Nov. 3 General Election ...

THURSDAY: Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez to Hold Joint Town Hall

Lawmakers will discuss their collaboration on housing, environmental justice, and more ...

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury Announces New Directors for Health Clinics and Public Health

Two Multnomah County managers who’ve helped steer their divisions through the COVID-19 pandemic have been named to top executive...

Environmental groups sue over Portland tear gas use

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Night after night in Portland, tear gas and other crowd control devices have enveloped protesters and bystanders in airborne chemicals that settle on the ground, later to be washed into storm drains. Amid allegations that human health and the environment are suffering...

4th person with COVID-19 dies in eastern Oregon prison

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A fourth person who tested positive for COVID-19 while incarcerated at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton has died, state officials said. The Oregon Department of Corrections said the man who died was between 50 and 60 years old. He is the 16th person...

SEC postpones 3rd game this week, moving Missouri-Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference postponed next week's game between Missouri and No. 10 Florida on Friday, the third league contest moved this week because of COVID-19 outbreaks.The Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive for the coronavirus and dozens...

Week 7: Georgia-Alabama in spotlight; schedule disrupted

The COVID-19 pandemic is packing a punch in college football this week, nowhere harder than in the Southeastern Conference.Alabama coach Nick Saban might not be on the sideline when the No. 2 Crimson Tide hosts No. 3 Georgia on Saturday in perhaps the biggest game of the season. Saban tested...

OPINION

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

The Skanner News Statewide Election 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Portland Mayor, Portland City Council, and more ...

Muslim Advocates Denounces Trump’s Racist Attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar and Refugees

The organization says Trump’s attacks invite violence against Rep. Omar and Minnesota’s Somali community ...

Trump and the Lost Country

Discussing the debate, Robert Koehler refers to an article by psychiatrists describing how power causes brain damage ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

San Francisco officials let people sue over racist 911 calls

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fed up with white people calling 911 about people of color selling water bottles, barbecuing or otherwise going about their lives, San Francisco leaders unanimously approved hate crime legislation giving the targets of those calls the ability to sue the caller. The Board...

DOJ announces center to help cops, offers aid to Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has put million toward the creation of a national center that will provide training and assistance to help law enforcement agencies prevent the use of excessive force, and officials expressed hope that Minneapolis...

Minneapolis police deputy demoted over 'white boys' comment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A high-ranking deputy to the Minneapolis' police chief said he was demoted after he was quoted in a newspaper story referring to white officers as “white boys,” which led to a backlash within the department.Art Knight, who is Black and who was Police Chief...

ENTERTAINMENT

Director Stephen Daldry exits 'Wicked' film adaptation

The long-gestating film adaptation of the Broadway hit “Wicked” has hit another snag. Director Stephen Daldry is exiting the project, a studio representative confirmed Tuesday. The industry trade website Deadline first reported the news. The “Billy Elliot” director has...

Review: Charming 'Over the Moon' gets lost in lunar orbit

The acclaimed animator behind such powerful figures as Ariel, Aladdin, Tarzan and Rapunzel has a new heroine and she's going further than any of his creations — the moon.Twelve-year-old Fei Fei builds a handmade rocket to blast into outer space in the new Netflix movie musical “Over...

Football rules nationally, Dodgers in Los Angeles

NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers played for their season Sunday night on Fox, the seventh game of the National League Championship Series. Win and go to the World Series, lose and go home.At the same time, the Los Angeles Rams played a regular season game on NBC against the San...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US spacecraft touches asteroid surface for rare rubble grab

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid Tuesday and, dodging boulders the...

Grand juror speaks after judge ruling in Breonna Taylor case

LOUISVILLE, Ky (AP) — A grand juror who won a court fight to speak publicly about the Breonna Taylor...

Altered photo shows Ice Cube, 50 Cent in 'Trump 2020' hats

An altered photo of rappers Ice Cube and 50 Cent in hats that appear to show support for President Donald Trump...

Danish submarine killer briefly escapes from prison

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his...

Feds say US colleges 'massively' underreport foreign funding

A scathing report from the Trump administration on Tuesday concluded that top U.S. universities have...

Amnesty: Credible reports protesters shot dead in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Amnesty International said late Tuesday there was “credible but disturbing...

Vote like your life depends on it
By The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cementing a significant challenge to the ways of Congress, the top Republican in the Senate on Monday fell into line behind demands by House leaders and tea party activists for a moratorium on pork-barrel projects known as "earmarks."

Earmarking is the longtime Washington practice in which lawmakers insert money for home-state projects like road and bridge work into spending bills. Critics say that peppering most spending bills with hundreds or even thousands of such projects creates a go-along-get-along mindset that ensures that Washington spending goes unchecked.

The Skanner News Video here

http://video.ap.org/?t=By%20Section/U.S.&g=1115dv_mcconnell_earmarks&f=fg00201

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has long defended the practice, said he's now heeding the message that voters sent in midterm elections that swept Democrats from power in the House. He said he can't accuse Democrats of failing to ignore the wishes of the American people and then be guilty of the same thing.

McConnell's move heads off a battle with conservative Republican senators who had signaled that they would force a vote Tuesday on banning the practice. That vote is now a formality.

"Nearly every day that the Senate's been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people," McConnell said in a surprise announcement from the Senate floor. "When it comes to earmarks, I won't be guilty of the same thing."

House GOP leaders had already endorsed a ban on earmarking, and McConnell's move signaled a recognition that earmarks were on their way out.

McConnell, a 26-year veteran of the Senate and longtime member of the Appropriations Committee, had argued in the past that banning earmarks would shift too much power to President Barack Obama and wouldn't save taxpayers any money.

"I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don't apologize for them," he said. "But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight."

Obama endorsed an earmark ban in his Saturday radio and Internet address, saying that "in these challenging days, we can't afford" them.

Just hours before McConnell spoke, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., promoted the ban in remarks to tea party activists at a Capitol rally.

"Tomorrow, the Republicans in the Senate are going to start answering that question: Have we learned our lesson? Are we going to go a different way?" DeMint said. "If the Senate Republicans fail to pass a ban on earmarks tomorrow, obviously they have not gotten the message."

McConnell's move also forestalls a possible fight with the House, where Speaker-to-be John Boehner, R-Ohio, poised to become the most powerful Republican in Washington, had put people on notice that there won't be any earmarks in spending bills.

"House and Senate Republican leaders are listening to the American people and are united in support of an earmark ban. "This is a strong first step — though only a first step — towards making the tough choices required to get our country back on track."

McConnell's move came as a relief to colleagues caught in the middle of a behind-the-scenes battle between Senate traditionalists and tea party favorites like DeMint and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who have joined with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a longtime battle — and thus far a losing one — against the bipartisan practice of earmarking.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who voluntarily gave up earmarking last year, praised the move.

"That's great," Corker said. "Sounds like the issue is behind us."

All but a few of the 13-member GOP freshman class made campaign pledges that they wouldn't seek earmarks. But some of them were reluctant to get caught in the middle between DeMint and McConnell on whether they would support DeMint's proposal for a ban on earmarks in the session of Congress that starts in January.

It also was not lost on incumbents that among the new members of the class is Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who defeated Sen. Robert Bennett in state party caucuses earlier this year that were dominated by tea party activists.

Coburn made waves Monday in an interview with the conservative Weekly Standard in which he endorsed future primary challenges of Republicans who partake in earmarking.

McConnell said most earmarks have merit, such as a project he sponsored to clean up the Bluegrass Army Depot, "which houses some of the deadliest materials and chemical weapons on earth." His success in sending money home to Kentucky played a role in his 2008 re-election bid.

But earmarks have become larger-than-life symbols of wasteful Washington spending, such as the $200 million-plus "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska, a project that was later canceled.

Earmarks also are blamed for a "pay to play" culture in which lobbyists and business executives seeking earmarks lubricate the system with campaign contributions.

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