Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• The long planned homeless sweeps in publicly-owned Laurelhurst Park (brought about by complaining wealthy NIMBYs) took place this morning... during the winter... in the middle of a pandemic... and with the end result of merely pushing these houseless residents to another part of the city. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Dan Ryan appear to have sent out identical statements regarding the campsite sweep at Laurelhurst Park today.— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) November 19, 2020
The emails came about an hour a part.
Not described as a joint statement. Just the same sentences pic.twitter.com/dWgcHejG84
• Oregon's COVID updates continue to be alarming: Today marked the largest number of COVID infections (1,225) and deaths (20) since the beginning of the pandemic in the state. Hospitalizations from the virus have risen 137 percent since November 1, and state lawmakers are considering labeling the situation "catastrophic" in order to convene a special remote session, and make quick changes without the red tape.
This is how bad the coronavirus death situation is in Oregon right now:— Brad Schmidt (@_Brad_Schmidt) November 19, 2020
Nineteen days into November, more Oregonians have died than in any of March, April, May or June (and, soon, September).
November is on pace to be Oregon's deadliest month to date.
By @davidcansler pic.twitter.com/hpiNoXUoAD
• Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty issued a new statement last night in regards to her dust-up with a Lyft driver earlier this month, saying one of the reasons she dialed 911 was because of a series of death threats and harassment that's been directed at her since joining the council, including "leaving horse manure on my doorstep or shooting bullets at my office window."
• Today in "unwelcome holiday headlines": "Oregon forecasts 70,000 unemployed workers could lose benefits after Christmas, when CARES Act expires."
• A small group of armed Trumpers, Proud Boys, racists, and conspiracy theorists marched around downtown today to... remind us that their glorious leader lost the election? If so, "mission accomplished," chuds!
Portland police are checking concealed gun permits of “Back the blue” demonstrators outside the justice center pic.twitter.com/pXzi3eWMfs— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) November 19, 2020
IN NATIONAL NEWS
• In yet another brazen attempt to subvert the election, Trump has invited two top Michigan lawmakers to the White House in an attempt to get them to ignore Biden's clear victory and certify the president as the winner. By most accounts this will be yet another hilarious waste of time from President Loser.
• Speaking of losers, the increasingly embarrassing Rudy Giuliani—after fucking up Trump's attempts at reversing Biden's win in Pennsylvania in court—gave a "truly bonkers," lie-filled press conference today in which he continued to try to convince people of extensive voter fraud even though it's been proven multiple times by multiple sources that his stupid theories are bullshit. But there was one bright spot: Giuliani's "Just for Men" hair-dye streaming down his forehead. (Or maybe android blood? You be the judge.)
• In yet another potential loss for Trump, the release of US Census numbers that the president was trying to rush along so he could exclude undocumented immigrants will now probably be delayed until after the loser leaves office.
• The American COVID death toll has now topped 250,000, and yet instead of a coordinated national response (hello, infinitely corrupt Trump administration), states are being left to create a patchwork (and therefore spotty) response.
• Meanwhile, President-Elect Joe Biden is working around Trump's constant obstruction by meeting virtually with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss future COVID strategy and how to help cash-strapped states.
• The CDC is joining the west coast governors in strongly advising all Americans to avoid travel on Thanksgiving.
• The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to 742,000 this week, indicating that a new round of national layoffs are starting. Too bad Senate Majority Turtle Mitch McConnell is only interested in pushing through Trump appointees rather than working on COVID relief!
A state judge in Pennsylvania has rejected an attempt by the Trump campaign to throw out more than 2,000 absentee ballots for technical reasons, adding to several losses the campaign has faced in the last week. https://t.co/72BqG2Qxjy— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 19, 2020
• As in Portland, the arrests of thousands of protesters across the nation are being dismissed because prosecutors know they were simply exercising basic civil rights.
• SAD SCIENCE NEWS: The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico—the huge radio telescope often pictured in movies, and depended upon by countless astronomers around the world—will be taken down after sustaining too much damage to repair.
• Running now through Sat Nov 28: The brand new "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" featuring the sexiest short flicks from the past 15 years of festivals! (Look, you NEED this. GET THOSE TIX NOW!)
• The results are in, and the people have spoken: YOU LOVE GOOD AFTERNOON, NEWS! Never miss a single informative, entertaining post by subscribing HERE.
• THE WEATHER REPORT: A much drier Friday and a high of 51!
• And finally... okay. That's just disgusting.
This is journalism pic.twitter.com/K0EDzZfvxt— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) November 19, 2020