06-06-2020  11:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Thousands March Peacefully for 7th Night in Portland

NBA Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard walked at the front of the crowd arm-in-arm with young demonstrators

Districts Jettison School Police Officers Amid Protests

Mayor Ted Wheeler: “Leaders must listen and respond to community. We must disrupt the patterns of racism and injustice.”

Two De La Salle North Grads Forge Thrilling Paths

A med student and a Fulbright scholar reflect on their time at the school.

OHSU Resident Uses TikTok, Student Outreach, to Show Representation in Medicine

A group of high school students weighing careers in health care were recently greeted on Google Meet by a physician whose social media star is on the rise.

NEWS BRIEFS

Resources for Supporting Racial Justice in Oregon

Learn about how to get involved with local organizations that have been fighting for decades for racial justice. ...

Business Donates Profits

On Sunday, June 7, the owners of Pine State Biscuits are donating all of their profits to the NAACP and ACLU from all five of their...

NAMC-Oregon Statement on Racism, Inequity & Violence Against Black People

All of us at NAMC-Oregon are angered and deeply saddened by the police murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the...

Civil Rights and Social Justice Organizations Call for a National Day of Mourning Today

At 12:45 p.m. PT today, the NAACP is asking for everyone to take a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. ...

ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police for Attacking Journalists at Protests

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Jared Goyette, a journalist covering the demonstrations, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet ...

The Latest: Statue of Gen. Wickham toppled in Richmond

TOP OF THE HOUR:— Statue of Confederate Gen. Wickham toppled in Richmond, Virginia— Police use flash bang devices, pepper spray to disperse Seattle protesters— Mayor of Portland, Oregon, orders police not to use CS gas except as last resort___RICHMOND, Va. — In the...

Oregon city joins others in curbing tear gas, police tactics

SEATTLE (AP) — Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler on Saturday ordered the city’s police to stop using a common type of tear gas except as a last resort in life-threatening situations, making it one of several cities that have started restricting law enforcement tactics in response to...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Responding to Challenging Questions in a Nation Still in Upheaval

Nate McCoy attempts to answer tough questions in a letter to his sons ...

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland and the Path Forward

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler invites Portlanders, as public servants, to join him "in insisting that we never return to business as usual." ...

Local Business Leaders Share Messages of Hope

President, CEO of SAIF says each of us must move forward in "our understanding of the problem, in holding ourselves accountable for our own attitudes and biases, and in coming together, not apart." ...

Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence

Thomas Knapp says the root of police violence is the creation of "police forces" as state institutions separate from the populace and dedicated to suppressing that populace on command ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters topple Confederate statue in Virginia capital

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A small group of demonstrators toppled a statue of a Confederate general in the the former capital of the Confederacy late Saturday, following a day of largely peaceful protests in the Virginia city.The statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham was pulled from its pedestal...

Asia Today: South Korea's cases surpass 50 for 2nd day

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Sunday reported 57 additional cases of the coronavirus, marking a second day in a row that its daily jump is above 50 as authorities struggle to suppress a spike in infections in the densely populated Seoul area.The new cases took the country’s...

Washington protesters express optimism after week on edge

WASHINGTON (AP) — On Monday, they were forcibly removed from the street by law enforcement. On Saturday, they danced. The tens of thousands of racially diverse demonstrators who flooded Washington to protest injustice and police brutality reshaped the mood of a city that has been on edge...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kanye West attends Chicago protest, donates [scripts/homepage/home.php]M to victims

Kanye West has donated [scripts/homepage/home.php] million to support the families and legal teams for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.A representative for the rapper confirmed that some of the money donated would fully cover college tuition costs for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. Floyd died...

Shouts of solidarity for black reporter pulled from protests

A black reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was told she could not cover the city’s protests over the death of George Floyd because of a tweet, and now dozens of her colleagues, fellow journalists, her union and even the city’s mayor are speaking out in support of her. On Friday...

AP Photos: Ahead of Tom Jones' 80th birthday, a look back

For nearly 60 years, Tom Jones has been delighting audiences with stunning stage performances and hits like “It's Not Unusual” and “Delilah.”The Welsh baritone who drew comparisons to Elvis turns 80 on Sunday. This gallery of images shot by The Associated Press shows...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Massive protests punctuate a week in the streets

They held up signs and their fists and the memory of George Floyd.Tens of thousands of protesters marched...

Coronavirus disrupts global fight to save endangered species

WASHINGTON (AP) — Biologist Carlos Ruiz has spent a quarter-century working to save golden lion tamarins,...

As Trump blames antifa, protest records show scant evidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scott Nichols, a balloon artist, was riding home on his scooter from the protests...

One man lays wreaths in Normandy on this unusual D-Day

BENOUVILLE, France (AP) — The essence of war remembrance is to make sure the fallen are never forgotten....

UK's rapid-fire changes on face coverings advice criticized

LONDON (AP) — The British government faced criticism Saturday for another sudden change in its advice on...

The Latest: China has 1st non-imported infection in 2 weeks

BEIJING — China has reported its first non-imported case of the new coronavirus in two weeks, an infected...

McMenamins
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

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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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