I was in favor of the COVID relief plan until I learned it could help people.
"I was in favor of the COVID relief plan until I learned it could help people." Alex Wong / Getty News

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 anti-eviction occupation of the Red House—a home populated by a Black and Indigenous family in Portland's historically Black Albina neighborhood—is in its third day. While the police continued spinning fear-mongering disinformation about the occupation, members of the Kinney family held a press conference yesterday to explain the circumstances behind their eviction. Meanwhile a very familiar narrative is emerging that portrays the eviction as some sort of "karmic retribution" for unrelated past crimes, rather than the residents being victims of predatory lending, racial disparities within the justice system, gentrification, and Portland's history of redlining. So if you're feeling tempted to cast white judgement on a situation you know nothing about, maybe at least do the work of educating yourself first? Thankyouverymuch!

• Check out this interview from our Blair Stenvick with an anonymous TriMet bus driver about what it’s like to provide public transit during [waves arms vaguely] ALL THIS. It's very interesting and has this alarming quote: "I’d say a third to half of riders either don’t wear a mask, or wear a mask improperly."

• Starting today (Thurs Dec 10) small businesses in east Multnomah County can begin applying for $2,500 grants to help relieve financial strain brought about by the pandemic. Restaurants, gyms, and retail that's been most affected by the shutdown will be given priority. But hurry, hurry: Application deadline is Monday!

• You: "I've been enjoying Savage Love for years, and can no longer be shocked by anything I read."
New Savage Love column: "Hold my beer."

IN NATIONAL NEWS

• The FDA's advisory panel has given the green light to the Pfizer COVID vaccine with the regulatory agency's final decision expected in a few days, after which the roll out will begin. Hurrah! See you in the club! (In six to nine months.)

• Meanwhile the country has broken its one-day death record, with more than 3,000 people dying of the virus which is "more than on D-Day or 9/11."

One hundred House Republicans have idiotically signed on to support a legally hopeless Texas lawsuit that wants to overturn Biden's obvious win of the election. (I suppose I would've signed on, too—if I were a spineless coward afraid of Trump tweeting something mean about me.)

• The Minneapolis City Council has voted to shift $8 million in police budget funds to violence prevention and other programs—a very similar move to the decisions made by our Mayor Wheeler in November—but for a town where George Floyd was murdered, it's not exactly impressive?

• Audio has leaked of President-elect Biden pooh-poohing the term "Defund the Police," which he claimed was the reason Democrats lost so many seats in the House. (Note: Exactly ZERO of these candidates campaigned on defunding the police.)

• To the surprise of no one, Senate Majority Turtle Mitch McConnell is slamming the brakes on the once promising bipartisan COVID relief bill, because his fellow eternally corrupt Republicans refuse to support providing $160 billion in state and local funds that would go to hospitals, saving lives, and forestalling a complete economic breakdown. On the upside... there is no upside, unless Georgians vote to end the GOP senate majority.

• You actually, really do hate to hear it: Ellen Degeneres has tested positive for COVID-19.

• You have sex and/or relationship problems (or like to hear about those who do), right? Then don't miss the hilarious SAVAGE LIVESTREAM—in which the honorable Dan Savage answers all your sexy questions LIVE. It's this Saturday, Dec 12... don't you dare miss it!

Support The Portland Mercury

TONIGHT, Thursday, Dec 10: It's your last chance to catch "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 WEATHER REPORT: Expect a rainy Friday with a high of 45!

• And finally, here's what would happen if Trump were to suddenly decide to get involved with America's coronavirus response. Enjoy.