05-22-2018  12:34 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family seeks answers after Oregon student injured on trip

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of an Oregon college student is searching for answers after the 22-year-old was found injured and unconscious near railroad tracks in Truckee, California.The Reno Gazette-Journal reports Aaron Salazar remains in the critical care unit at a hospital in Reno,...

Oregon mom raises awareness after baby dies from meningitis

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Summer Poff knew something was wrong with her 7-month-old son, Blaize, early in the morning on May 11.He was fussy, feverish and wouldn't go to sleep. The Salem mom tried to soothe her baby and gave him Tylenol, but at 3 a.m, she knew she needed to take him to the...

Facelift of Seattle's Space Needle nears completion

SEATTLE (AP) — Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a 0 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure's top viewing...

Lawsuit seeks to change how Army Corps regulates shorelines

SEATTLE (AP) — Three conservation groups are suing the Army Corps of Engineers over how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers built along shorelines across Puget Sound.Sound Action, Friends of The San Juans and the Washington Environmental Council want the Corps to better...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization...

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired soccer champion Brandi Chastain.The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco unveiled the plaque on Monday night. Chastain said, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice."On...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment, and infected her with herpes, the woman said in a lawsuit filed in New York.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment,...

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the...

Brazil leader won't seek re-election

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's President Michel Temer is ending speculation that he might seek re-election...

Rights group: Rohingya insurgents massacred Myanmar Hindus

BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International said Wednesday that Myanmar's army was not the only group that has...

Romania court acquits Senate speaker of lying under oath

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has acquitted the Senate speaker of making false statements...

Ted Barrett CNN Senior Congressional Producer

(CNN) -- Despite deep concerns about the economic impact of the looming fiscal cliff and months of talks leading up to this point, Democrats and Republicans are leaving town until after the November elections without making any significant progress resolving their main sticking points.

Meanwhile, economists warn that left unresolved, the fiscal situation could push the country back into a recession.



Lawmakers have said for months that no decisions on taxes, spending and entitlement reform can be made until after voters do their job on Election Day and decide who will control the levers of power at the White House and on Capitol Hill.

"Elections matter," said one top Senate aide involved in bipartisan efforts to come up with various contingency plans depending on the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections.

The enormity and complexity of the fiscal cliff -- which would happen at the end of the year when the Bush tax cuts expire, trillion dollars in automatic spending cuts are triggered and a handful of other thorny tax and spending issues need to be addressed -- are worsened by the partisan gridlock that led to it in the first place.

Most of the policy choices are well known to the lawmakers who were involved in the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission, the so-called "Gang of Six" talks, the bipartisan super committee negotiations and other recent failed attempts to reach a grand bargain to reduce the debt.

The real question is whether policymakers can return after the election and find a common path forward.

If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins the White House it is likely Congress will agree to avoid the fiscal cliff by extending current policies for several months to give the new president time to put his stamp on the outcome, several lawmakers and aides said. But if President Barack Obama wins and the makeup of Congress remains close to what it is now, negotiators could try to make headway during the post-election lame duck session.

Whether they can cut a deal during the few weeks after the election and before the end of the year is uncertain.

"I haven't seen any real successes in a lame duck in a long time, so I don't expect any this time," said Sen. Orin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee. "There's a lot of polarization as we speak."

One of several moderate senators retiring at the end of this term said he didn't think a deal could be reached, either.

"I'm not optimistic that will happen because this is a kick-the-can-down-the-road Congress," said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska. "The best you're going to get is to kick it down the road one more time."

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, the chairman of the Budget Committee and a leader of the Gang of Six, is pushing a plan that would have Congress agree in a lame duck session to "hundreds of billions of dollars" in spending cuts and new taxes as a "down payment" on the work congressional committees would do next year to lower the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years. He said GOP members of the Gang of Six support his proposal.

Other senators have raised the idea of a down payment that would buy time for Congress to consider an overhaul of the tax code and replace the automatic spending cuts with more targeted cuts.

"I think there will be a Band-Aid solution to get us into the new Congress," said Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, who is fighting defense cuts required by sequestration. "I'm not a big fan of a lame duck Congress structurally reforming the entire nation."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said he's never seen a lame duck session "that's had any degree of success" and said the only thing that could change that is "if the markets start to react."

On that point, some Democratic aides have begun to argue that while the situation is very serious, people shouldn't panic immediately about the January deadline because the fiscal cliff may be more of a slope that will gradually take effect as expiring tax cuts are felt in paychecks and cuts to federal programs take hold. They argue it is not comparable to the financial crisis of 2008 that led to sharp drops on Wall Street and a controversial federal bailout of many banks.

In the meantime, members of the Senate Finance Committee this week met with top officials from the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as they continued to lay the groundwork for lame duck negotiations.

On the House side, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Michigan, met with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to do the same.

At a news conference Thursday two Senate Democratic leaders offered up both optimism that a deal would prevent the fiscal cliff and pessimism that hardened ideologies will stand in the way.

"I understand how we come together in times of crisis," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. "I do not believe that we're gonna go over the fiscal cliff."

But Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, who co-chaired the super committee, raised questions about whether Republicans would ever agree to tax increases, something many Democrats insist must be part of a final deal.

"There is one solution to this and everyone knows it. We need to have both revenue and reductions on the page, and so far revenue has not been there because Republicans have refused to," she said.

 

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