Pardon me, but if I pardon myself and Biden un-pardons me, Ill re-pardon my original pardon!
"Pardon me, but if I pardon myself and Biden 'un-pardons' me, I'll re-pardon my original pardon!" Pool / Getty Images

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'!)

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• Today the Oregon Health Authority reported another desperate milestone: More than 100,000 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The OHA also announced 1.339 new cases since yesterday, and 21 additional deaths.

• In advance of Monday's one-day special session, Oregon lawmakers got an earful of testimony today from citizens who desperately need an extension of the eviction moratorium, as well as a $50 million compensation program for landlords which will hopefully inspire them to lay the fuck off their suffering renters.

• Portlanders have described waiting hours—if not days—to hear back from Portland Police after making 911 calls ranging from domestic abuse to stalking. But when officers did respond, callers said they’ve heard excuses that felt inappropriate, if not politically charged. And some officers are accused of blatantly ignoring calls due to recent cuts in the police budget. Our Alex Zielinski has more in this fascinating/infuriating story.

• Oregon's $62 million relief fund for Black people who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus has, at least for now, been put on hold. For this you can thank numerous legal challenges from companies who seem to think racism doesn't exist.

• Related: In an attempt to undo decades of forced displacement and gentrification in the historically Black Albina neighborhood, Portland City Commissioners are discussing using $67 million in federal funding to build more affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland. But for those still suffering from displacement, this is a small move that isn't nearly enough. Our Alex Zielinski talks to those affected and dives into the details.


• Today in "well, that's just fucking great": Congress has hit yet another snag (collect all 3,456!) in their COVID relief package negotiations, after Dems accuse Republicans of trying to cockblock the incoming Biden administration by cutting off Federal Reserve emergency loan programs that could prevent economic disaster in the coming year. We'll let you know if the GOP ever decides to stop crushing America.

• For the second time, Republican creep Sen. Ron Johnson has screwed your chances of getting a $1,200 stimulus check—an idea that has the backing of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. After helping add $2.8 trillion to the deficit during the Trump years, Johnson is suddenly having (oh no!) "deficit concerns!"

"I didn't feel a thing," Vice President Pence said today after receiving Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. Coincidentally he said the same thing after learning Trump had separated thousands of migrant children from their parents. (#High Five #Sweet Burn)

• Alarm continues to grow over the 40 government agencies—including the Treasury, and the Department of Energy which does nuclear research—that have almost certainly been hacked by the Russians. Putin is denying it ('natch), Biden is promising to make them pay (sounds good!), and Trump is doing nothing (well, that's not exactly true... he's batting his eyes coyly at Putin).

• The Supreme Court has (at least for now) thrown out a challenge that would've stopped Trump's plan to exclude undocumented immigrants in the census—something that could greatly affect how much federal money a state can receive and the number of its congressional seats. However if the final numbers don't arrive until after January 20, new president Biden has said he'd reverse Trump's order. So for once... sloooooow doooooown, okay?

• If criminal boss Trump decides to pardon himself, can Biden "un-pardon" him? There's apparently a case to be made, and constitutional expert Ken Gormley is making it.

• Today in "New York... so much like Portland" news: "NYPD used excessive force during George Floyd protests, city investigation finds."

• Let the bells ring and the confetti fall! Tickets are now on sale for the super sexy HUMP! 2021 Film Festival, featuring an array of hot 'n' horny amateur dirty flicks submitted by hot people like YOU. Get your tickets now!

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• THE WEATHER REPORT: After a soaking tonight, you can expect a mostly dry Saturday with a high of 50, followed by a soaky Sunday.

• And finally, am I wrong or did Joe Pesci die and immediately get reincarnated into a 9-year-old's body?