06-21-2018  8:28 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Fire forces evacuation of some residents in Jefferson County

CULVER, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jefferson County have told residents in the Three Rivers community to leave immediately as winds whipped a fire burning in central Oregon.Sheriff Jim Adkins issued an evacuation order Thursday night for the private development near Lake Billy Chinook. The...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

Donna Brazile CNN Contributor

Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking With Grease: Stirring the Pot in America." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.

(CNN) -- A remarkable thing just happened in Congress. Republicans and Democrats sat down together to work out a budget. This hasn't happened since 2009.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan -- Romney's running mate, you'll recall, and the hero of fiscal conservatives -- told Politico, "Let's understand what we're doing here, we're going back to regular order. ... This is how the founders envisioned the budget process. We want to get back to that."

Ryan's comment is both encouraging and puzzling. Departure from the regular order of compromise through conference committee manifested itself in an iron gridlock that, in turn, has left 63 percent of the nation thinking our political system is in decline.

So although it's encouraging that Ryan, a Republican leader from Wisconsin, is attempting to make the system work again, we should remember why Congress became so dysfunctional.

There have been fiscal crises before -- 17 shutdowns since 1976, now 18. There have been almost suicidal economic policies -- fights over tariffs, trade and taxes have been bread and butter issues since Colonial days. Admittedly, the disaster known as the sequester is something new.

I can't recall a time when a trifecta of fiscal irresponsibility happened almost simultaneously.

One reason has been the Republicans determined effort, since the election of President Obama, to undermine the process of compromise. This is not a secret. The result has been to undermine the efficacy of government and the good standing of the Republican Party.

It may be that Republicans, following the principle of enlightened self-interest, have recognized that no one has all the answers and that compromise for the good of the country -- doing one's sworn duty -- is what they were elected to Congress to do.

But I'm skeptical. Ryan, along with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, voted against the bill that ended the shutdown and both "ultra-conservatives" are members of the conference committee, the committee that's supposed to restore Congress to "regular order."

Ryan "in effect sided with the people who are using (brinkmanship) as a strategy to get their ends. I think that's not a good sign," said Maryland Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer, House Democratic whip.

The committee has a deadline: The bill to fund the government expires on Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling -- and another looming default -- comes hard on its heels on Feb. 17. "Regular order" must be restored, a compromise found, by the end of December.

The media, shocked that our reality isn't a reality show, is beginning to understand the issue. Bob Schieffer, host of CBS's "Face the Nation," asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, "...wouldn't it be a good idea, maybe, to start re-engaging before early next year to try to lay some groundwork...?"

McConnell practically dismissed the question -- he said the committee was going to come up with a proposal -- then returned to the conservative war cry of all cuts and no revenue. McConnell said, "It seems to me, that's the best way to go forward as we go into the discussions that we will have in January and February."

This, despite the fact that the deficit is shrinking, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The sequester took teachers out of schools and police officers off their jobs, grounded Air Force planes, docked Navy ships and could cost up to 900,000 jobs in a year. The federal furloughs, according to Goldman Sachs, also slowed personal income growth. Not good for the economy or the country.

McConnell, apparently, isn't expecting the "regular order" to be restored. But then, he was in charge of the final negotiations in 2011, leading Congress to the brink of defaulting on our debt and the first ever lowering of our nation's credit rating.

McConnell said "We're not going to do this again in connection with the debt ceiling or with a government shutdown," in an interview published in the conservative National Review titled "McConnell's exit interview." Let's hope there's no hidden escape clause.

Escape clause or poison pill. McConnell has repeatedly called on President Obama for "leadership," but when he spells out what that means, it comes down to the president abandoning his principles and mandate and paying the extortion demanded by ultraconservatives.

Meanwhile, this week millions of disabled elderly veterans and children will start to see their food stamps cut. Private charities across the nation are being overwhelmed with demands beyond their capacities. Yet sadly, Republicans want to make even more cuts. This is wrong. Whatever happened to "We the people"?

The middle ground in Congress has all but disappeared. The founders intended competing principles and interests to check excesses and create a balance in our politics that would benefit "we the people." Gerrymandered districts and a hyped-up fight-night media offer a partial explanation of why we seem to have neither checks nor balances.

I wish with all my being that holding the government of the people as hostage, demanding political ransom, is dead. Maybe at the end of the 2014 election, it will be.

Until then, pray, but don't hold your breath that we'll return to any "regular order."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Donna Brazile.

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

 

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