So Youn Lee’s Pastel Dreamscapes

Little Blue, 12 x 12, oil and acrylic on panel, 2015
Little Blue, 12 x 12, oil and acrylic on panel, 2015 So Youn Lee

On the cover this week is So Youn Lee’s pastel neon starry-eyed vision topped with an ice cream hat, peeking through a forest of blue roses and woodland creatures, named Little Blue. I’m not sure what has captured Little Blue, but it’s captured me too.

EDC 2015 Live Painting with Just Kids Official.
EDC 2015 Live Painting with Just Kids Official. So Youn Lee

Playing with miniature and large-scale work, Lee’s art can be found on clothing, shoes, Munnys, and live mural paintings in both NYC and Miami. The Korean artist describes the subject of her acrylic and oil paintings as “indigenous genderless characters named Mango.”

Afloat, 40, Mixed Media, 2016
Afloat, 40", Mixed Media, 2016 So Youn Lee

Just last year, she collaborated on 30 larger-than-life realizations of Mango, custom painted in shimmery metallics. Named Afloat, the installation was shown at Secret Fresh, an art gallery and toy shop in the Philippines.

If you too are interested in getting away for a summer staycation, follow So Youn Lee’s Mango through the clouds and over the stars.

Between the Stars, 48 x 72, acrylic on canvas, 2014
Between the Stars, 48 x 72, acrylic on canvas, 2014 So Youn Lee

Several Trumpcare Provisions Now Need 60 Votes to Pass—Including Defunding Planned Parenthood

POLITICS HAS RULES. mphillips007 / Getty

We thought they didn't have the votes, but it turns out they really don't have the votes. Today, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that several of Trumpcare's provisions are in violation of the Byrd Rule, which means that they now require 60 votes—rather than a simple majority—to pass.

Among them? The infamous provision defunding Planned Parenthood and two provisions preventing premium tax credits and small business tax credits from being applied to insurance that covers abortion.

You can see a full list here.

Vox has a good breakdown of the Byrd Rule, which applies to the GOP health care bill because they're passing it through budget reconciliation:

Reconciliation was designed to make sure the Senate could more easily pass bills dealing with the federal budget, particularly if Congress wanted to reduce the deficit, without the threat of a filibuster from the minority party. (The process begins with a congressional resolution instructing committees in the House and the Senate to draw up legislation that saves the federal government a set amount of money.) So the special privileges under reconciliation come with conditions.

Those conditions, meant to make sure reconciliation is actually used for bills that affect the budget, are one of the final obstacles for the GOP’s repeal-and-replace effort will have to overcome.

It's not totally clear how Republicans are going to react to this—the right wing is currently touting the news as a blow to anti-choice activists, but beyond that, who knows? Will they try to drum up 60 votes to keep in the provisions found in violation of the Byrd Rule? Will they strike those from the bill and try to pass it in a truncated form? What we do know is that the Republicans were struggling this week to get the simple majority (50) needed to bring the bill to the floor, so obtaining 60 votes—even just for a few provisions—seems like a near impossibility at this point.

Politics: It has rules. God I love the rule of law.

The Last Time So Many Americans Rented Their Homes, Lyndon Johnson Was President

Rental rates are increasing—and not just among broke young people.
Rental rates are increasing—and not just among broke young people. Justin Sullivan/getty

More American households are now renting their homes than at any point since at least 1965, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

According to Pew, the number of U.S. households grew by 7.6 million over the latest decade. But the number of households that own their home has remained flat, while those that rent has increased. And it's not just broke millennials renting:

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Here's Who Interviewed the Police Chief Finalists

Doug Brown

The search for the next chief of the Portland Police Bureau is winding down.

While the names of the six finalists have yet to be officially revealed—though current Chief Mike Marshman is one of them and has a shot to keep his job, and Oregonian reporter Maxine Bernstein says Seattle Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant is another finalist—the identities of the 20-member panel that interviewed the candidates this week is now known, thanks to a records request by Portland's Resistance.

The panel includes such folks as Dr. T. Allen Bethel of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition, rank-and-file police union leader Daryl Turner, Portland Business Alliance head Sandi McDonough, and Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare CEO Derald Walker, among other leaders of various "constituencies."

The panel interviewed the six candidates on Wednesday and Thursday and they will forward their recommendations to Mayor Ted Wheeler, who ultimately has the final say on who gets the job. Wheeler, who pledged to do a national search for police chief, will interview candidates in early August.

Here's the list, and how the city identifies them.

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Frank Cassano's Imbecile Parade: How Do You Beat the Heat?



My secret? Going to the movies! Partly for the movie... but mostly for the air conditioning! Haha! This weekend: Spider-Man!

—Kristy Denby, project manager, Southeast Portland

Just so we’re crystal fucking clear, you natural-born shitwit: So you cram yourself inside a 100-degree car, sit in gridlock until you get to a rat-infested multiplex, pay for a ticket, pay even more for garbage food to stuff into your garbage mouth, get lice from a sperm-crusted seat, sit through two hours of insipid CGI bullshit, then squeeze back into your 100-degree car and back into your miserable life? At first I was worried publishing your “secret” in the Mercury would spoil it—but then I remembered your oh-so-brilliant scheme has been known by unwanted stepchildren and back-row perverts for fucking decades, you fucking imbecile!

The new Spider-Man sucks, by the way.—Frank Cassano

It’s actually very simple. First, install blackout curtains. Then, use a portable AC unit and box fans to keep the air circulating. Create a cross-breeze, and check that your ceiling fans are turning in a counter-clockwise....

—Clifford Evans, web developer, Northwest Portland

Cliffy, everyone’s so impressed... that you have this much time on your hands! Here’s a tip, dipshit—if you’re the kind of pedantic imbecile who thinks it’s fun to construct elaborate systems of fucking fans, you’re also the kind of pedantic imbecile who will die alone on the toilet! By all means, fiddle away with your curtains, gawp at your ceiling fan, and craft a perfect little masturbation cave for yourself—because so long as you’re obsessed with cross-breezes, you’ll stay the hell out of the gene pool! Jerk away, fucko!—Frank Cassano

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Nick Delffs Brings More Jittery Energy to His New Album, Redesign


Nick Delffs’ songs have always come with an irrepressible edge—that’s part of his appeal. From his beloved 2000s jangle-rock band the Shaky Hands to his spirited solo alter-ego Death Songs to his soulful collaboration with Y La Bamba’s Luz Elena Mendoza, Tiburones, Delffs consistently brings a healthy dose of jittery energy to the music he makes.

Sometimes, this manifests as wild-eyed chaos. Other times, the effect is subtler, embedded in the quiet quiver of his voice. For years, Delffs has sounded like he’s trying to wriggle out of his own skin.

Which is why his new solo album, Redesign—out this week on Mama Bird Recording Co.—is so striking. It’s the first album Delffs has released under his own name, and more than ever before, he sounds at ease. Which is not to say these 10 folksy rock songs lack something that coursed through his earlier work. Instead, their confidence provides a welcome counterbalance to Delffs’ natural restlessness.

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This Weekend's Style Event


Plucky Maidens are back at it TODAY with their bi-annual Vintage Fest at Oaks Park. An event the organizers call "A Smorgasbord of Vintage Wares", expect to find tons of vintage goods of all types, along with food trucks and live music. Plan ahead and bring cash, because the vendors do not accept payment of the plastic variety.
Oaks Park, 7505 SE Oaks Park, Fri July 20, Early Buying, 12pm- 2 pm, $12, General Admission, 2 pm- 7 pm, $7

As always, be sure to visit our fashion calendar to keep up to date on all things fashion event related here. Got a fashion event? Drop us a line here.


Why Didn’t Ted Wheeler Think to Mention that the Despised 48-Hour Rule for Cops Had Returned?

Dirk Vanderhart

Let’s all take a minute to give it up for the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition (AMA).

For more than a decade, the group has scrutinized the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), digging down into the minutiae of police policies and cranking out treatises on them with some regularity. And last week, coalition member Portland Copwatch revealed some truly concerning changes to those rules, stepping in where Mayor Ted Wheeler should have acted.

It turns out that police are on the verge of quietly reinstating a stronger version of the 48-hour rule, a much-loathed provision that gave officers two days following a shooting before explaining their actions to internal affairs investigators.

That’s a big deal, and it’s something the community shouldn’t have had to wait for Copwatch to unearth.

Let’s rewind. Last year, then-Mayor Charlie Hales paid dearly to be rid of the 48-hour rule. In a deal he considered a distinct triumph, the mayor inked a new contract with the city’s main police union that, in part, gave officers a 9 percent raise in exchange for the provision to disappear.

The upshot was that officers could be compelled to give statements to internal affairs investigators immediately after shooting someone—progress that advocates and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) had pressed for.

The deal wasn’t without its costs for Hales. He’d slayed a dragon that had eluded other leaders, but earned ire from community members who didn’t think the police contract went far enough.

Now, though, it turns out Hales might have achieved far less than it appeared.

Portlanders learned last week that Multnomah County DA Rod Underhill’s office issued a memo in March that called into question the city’s process for investigating shootings. By forcing officers to give statements to internal investigators—who are only trying to figure out if cops followed city rules—Underhill’s office argued the PPB risked violating their Fifth Amendment rights. That could make it impossible to prosecute the officer, should a grand jury find they’d committed a crime in the shooting.

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Sean Spicer Quits Post As White House Press Secretary

This pugnacious, dissembling leprechaun will no longer be the mouthpiece of American tyranny.
This pugnacious, dissembling leprechaun will no longer be the mouthpiece of American tyranny. Alex Wong / Getty


Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

The Times goes on to say that Spicey thought his appointment was "a major mistake."

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Timbers v. Vancouver Match Preview

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

Fresh off their worst home defeat as an MLS franchise, the near-comically depleted Portland Timbers head north for a Sunday afternoon clash with their resurgent Canadian rivals from Vancouver (3:30 p.m., TV on Fox Sports 1).

The Timbers, now just one point above the Western Conference red line, are hurting. They could be without as many eleven players — including six starters — as they try to stop the bleeding in a season going quite remarkably awry.

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Valerian Is The Fifth Element Sequel You Always Wanted


From its awe-inspiring opening montage, Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets immediately immerses its audience in a brilliant, idiosyncratic sci-fi universe—one that’s unlike anything we’ve seen for 20 years, since Besson’s last brilliant, idiosyncratic sci-fi universe, in The Fifth Element. Those of us who loved The Fifth Element will get exactly what we’ve been missing with Valerian. It’s a delight.

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Good Morning News: Turkeys, Owls, Wolves, and Keeping Crisis Pregnancy Centers Honest

Arent you glad this is a photo of an owl and not a Trump?
Aren't you glad this is a photo of an owl and not a Trump? Oktay Ortakcioglu / Getty

Your corrupt president continues to be corrupt. He's now enlisting lawyers to dig up dirt on investigators working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia in order to weaken the investigation or just fire Mueller altogether. Because if you don't want to be accused of corruption, I guess looking like you have something to hide really helps?

Your clueless president continues to misunderstand health care. The Trump administration is pulling assistance programs that helped people sign up for the Affordable Care Act in 18 cities, making good on the president's tantrum promise to "let Obamacare fail". Trump's also said he'll somehow avoid being blamed for this. Um, good luck with that.

Turkey tries to pardon self: The Washington Post looks into Trump's apparent interest in whether a president can pardon himself.

"Regardless of how serious these conversations are, someone who has nothing to hide typically is unlikely to query his lawyers about whether he can pardon himself," writes the Post's James Hohman. "That Trump might be mulling such a move, however, is not terribly surprising when viewed in the context of his career: He has often behaved like the rules that apply to everyone else do not apply to him."

Have you noticed Trump still seems completely obsessed with Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes? It's not just you.

OJ Simpson was granted parole yesterday. He could be released as soon as October.

Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood, and Lynch View elementary schools in the Centennial School District are getting renamed. "The schools... were named for the Lynch family, which donated land over a century ago to build the first of the schools," reports the O. "But Centennial Superintendent Paul Coakley says many newer families coming into the district associate the name with America's violent racial history."

Washington State's King County Board of Health has approved new requirements for so-called "crisis pregnancy centers," Christian-run centers that physically resemble abortion clinics but don't refer for abortions and instead attempt to dissuade women from having them. The centers will now have to post signs saying they aren't health care facilities, and will be fined if they fail to do so. Our sister paper The Stranger investigated several of these centers in 2011 (I helped!), and found that they peddled shame and perpetuated long-debunked myths about abortion.

Here's some more Morrison Bridge closure news, if you want it! (I know you don't, I'm sorry.)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced that it plans to kill "some animals" in Washington's wolf pack. Poor wolf pack.

Today's owl news: An owl got stuck in a wheel well of a small plane at PDX, delaying a flight. Don't worry, it was safely freed.

Here is a soothing video that explains how owls fly. Good morning!

Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 10: Daniel Norgren

Tim LaBarge

There's not much time left before Pickathon, but there's always time for another episode in our ongoing Pickathon Starlight Series. Today's is extra special, as it features an exceptional performance from one of last year's breakout performers, Daniel Norgren. Pickathon 2016 marked the Swedish singer/songwriter's first US appearance, and he definitely left an impression on those who were lucky enough to catch him. If you missed it, all is not lost—this great performance clip was captured for posterity, in which Norgren and his rhythm section perform a haunting rendition of "Are We Running Out of Love?"

Daniel Norgren will be returning to the US later this year for his first full-fledged American tour. And he's kicking off the tour right here in the Northwest, with a show at Seattle's Tractor Tavern on September 22 and then Portland's Revolution Hall on September 23 (tix). Prior to that, his two 2015 albums are being properly released in North America—The Green Stone and Alabursy will be given vinyl editions (pressed at Portland's Cascade Record Pressing) that'll hit store shelves later this year. So if this track turns you on, there's plenty more Norgren to come.

But before any of that happens, it'll be Pickathon time! The 2017 edition of the Portland-area festival is just a turn of the calendar page away: In less than two weeks, Pickathon will be kicking off at Pendarvis Farm with performances from Charles Bradley, A-WA, Wolf People, Drive-By Truckers, the Last Artful, Dodgr, Dinosaur Jr., KING, Dungen, and many others. That goes down August 3-6 and tickets are moving really fast, so if you're planning on going, you may want to lock yours down now.

Please enjoy, with your eyes and ears, all of the past episodes of the 2016-2017 season of the Pickathon Starlight Series.
• Episode 1: Fruit Bats
• Episode 2: Futurebirds
• Episode 3: Ezra Furman
• Episode 4: Boulevards
• Episode 5: Cass McCombs
• Episode 6: Yemen Blues
• Episode 7: C.W. Stoneking
• Episode 8: Joseph
• Episode 9: Kevin Morby

The Extraordinary and the Familiar Intertwine in Samantha Hunt’s The Dark Dark


Fiction writer Samantha Hunt has the capacity to tell a story that genuinely surprises, like her 2016 novel Mr. Splitfoot, which I read in a hot hurry, then immediately restarted because I wasn’t ready to be done with its mix of strangeness and surprise. That book flirted with something dark and occult, so I was intrigued by the title of Hunt’s new collection of stories, The Dark Dark. Would these tales go to darker and stranger places? The answer is yes—but, of course, Hunt never gives you quite what you expect.

In The Dark Dark, mysteries abound. Some are fantastical—why has a dead dog come back to life? Can a man love a robot? What does a woman’s affair have to do with her turning into a deer at night in her bedroom next to her husband? Others are more mundane: Did a 14-year-old seek to seduce a man in his thirties, knowing the trouble it would cause? Why can’t a woman who desires a child get pregnant?

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Enter the Mercury's "Cutest Pet Photo Contest!"

God DAMMIT, that kitten is cute!
"God DAMMIT, that kitten is cute!" Martin Poole / Getty

Clearly, your pet is the cutest in all of Portland—so why doesn’t anyone believe you? Here’s your chance to prove yours is the cutest once and for all with the Mercury’s “Cutest Pet Photo Contest! (And yes, there are PRIZES!)

• Send an original photo of your pet lookin’ cute to by 5 pm on TUESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2017. (Note: You must own the picture or get written consent from the photographer. iPhone photos are okay!)

• Be sure to include your pet’s name, breed, the owner’s name, and a daytime phone number.

• The entries will be narrowed down to the top sweet 16 cute pets, and published in our August 9 PET ISSUE. Then our readers will vote (bracket-style) to determine which of the top 16 is the cutest pet in Portland!

• The grand prizewinner will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Mercury, and receive a fancy commemorative plaque proving once and for all they’ve got the cutest pet in Portland!

Put Your Pet’s Cuteness Where Your Mouth Is!
Enter the Mercury’s Cutest Pet Contest Today!