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'!)
• On the heels of record-breaking COVID deaths and hospitalizations across the state, Gov. Brown added another five counties (25 total) to the "extreme risk" category which will have the most stringent restrictions for at least two weeks. The new ranking system starts tomorrow.
• Today in "GULP": According to estimates from the Oregon Employment Office, up to 70,000 Oregonians could lose their unemployment benefits by December 26.
• Meanwhile, a bunch of pearl-clutching downtown businesses are blaming graffiti and protests for the fact that no one is coming downtown... but hold on... isn't there also some sort of "pandemic thing" happening?
I'm genuinely stumped at what this coalition is asking for. More people in jail? More money to clean up graffiti (city has already given $100k) or broken windows? More homeless sweeps? A photoshoot? https://t.co/bcyEofoinB— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) December 2, 2020
• In May and August, the Mercury spoke with Portlanders who lost work at the start of the pandemic to see how they're holding up. Now that we're going into a "dark winter" with even more restrictions, closings, and no federal help in sight, our Blair Stenvick checks back in with them again.
• According to a state report examining racial bias during police stops, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office was singled out for the many glaring disparities in how they cited Black and Latinx people.
• Related: A prominent police training group is distributing a "research document" to law enforcement agencies that's filled with made-up facts and conspiracy theories that asks local cops to treat Black Lives Matter protesters as "terrorists plotting a violent revolution."
"The paper claims that those who participated in months of protests earlier this year in Portland and Seattle were 'useful idiots' designed to give cover to the 'hard-core, terrorist trained troops' that would follow." https://t.co/jIJSZj4Gi9
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) December 2, 2020
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Britain is the now the first country to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which is scheduled to be rolled out next week to a limited number of healthcare workers and older citizens. The US is expected to grant approval in a little over a week, and according to advice from the CDC, the vaccine should first be given to frontline workers in the medical community and nursing home residents.
• Also new today from the CDC, due to public pressure the organization is shortening their advised quarantine time for those exposed to the virus from 14 to 10 days (and seven days if the exposed person tests negative and shows no symptoms).
The bad news is that Mnuchin is full of shit but the good news is that Katie Porter tore him several new assholes https://t.co/ihuK1a5Kcj— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) December 2, 2020
• Top Dem leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have given their approval to the $908 billion COVID relief plan put together by a bipartisan group of senators—though don't expect Senate Majority Obstructor Mitch McConnell to do anything other than obstruct.
• For those who love seeing bad people get sick, you're in luck! "White House hosting indoor holiday parties despite warnings from top health officials."
Scoop: Pompeo and his wife are hosting multiple holiday parties (one on the 8th floor of the State Dept with more than 900 invitees & food & drinks). At the same time, Pompeo’s subordinates are warned against meetings for “non-mission critical events.” https://t.co/4MCPfRuyrU— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) December 2, 2020
• The Department of Justice is investigating a possible "bribery for pardon" scheme that involves (you guessed it!) the White House—and while the names in the document are currently redacted and does not specifically mention Trump, the president's tweet from last night tells you everything you need to know: "Pardon investigation is Fake News!"
• Speaking of assumed criminal behavior, Trump is already asking for advice on how to pardon all his children, Jared "JARED!" Kushner, and pants-tugging skeleton Rudy Giuliani—because that's what you do with innocent people, right? Pardon them?
Ivanka Trump sat for a deposition Tuesday with investigators from the Washington, DC, attorney general's office as part of its lawsuit alleging the misuse of inaugural funds, according to a court filing https://t.co/4QAj8v9VfM— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 2, 2020
• Something you don't see very often: Obama getting dragged on the internet! In an interview, the former president criticized those who use the phrase "Defund the police," saying it will drive away voters. Cue the many people who rightly took issue with that faulty logic!
• Running now through Thursday Dec 10: 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: Another breezy, mostly sunny day tomorrow with a high of 50!
• And finally, Leslie Jones narrating MSNBC is a thing of true beauty.
I’m just saying who’s with me? pic.twitter.com/PR0lVIn6WC— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) December 2, 2020