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'!)
• Two protests that occurred on New Year's Eve and the following day (in Portland and Salem) mark a potential turning point for both left-and-right wing demonstrators. Suzette Smith and Justin Yau were at both protests and provide a thoughtful deep dive into how the politically charged situation may be changing and what we might expect in 2021.
Two NYE-adjacent protests in Oregon—one by the far-right, another by the far-left—suggested a paradigm shift in the tactics and focus of their movements, setting the stage for 2021 demonstrations.
Reporting by @Suzettesmith
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) January 6, 2021
• Portland civil rights groups are (correctly) pissed at Mayor Wheeler's new tough-guy rules on protesting—which includes "gathering intelligence" on people practicing their First Amendment rights. Civil rights activists are claiming (again, correctly) that the mayor is failing to address the problems that caused the protests in the first place: police brutality and systemic racism.
Wheeler wants harsher penalties for people who are arrested at multiple protests, but Juan Chavez of @OJRCenter said that would be a due process violation.
“There’s a process for this through which a jury of your peers gets to decide whether or not you committed a crime.” pic.twitter.com/3uv4qEoE2v
— Hannah Ray Lambert (@TheHannahRay) January 5, 2021
• Gov. Kate Brown announced yesterday that Oregon's vaccine rollout has been too slow (100,000 shots were expected in December, while only 31,000 have been delivered. Brown added that she's working with the Oregon Health Authority to meet a goal of vaccinating 12,000 Oregonians each day, otherwise this could mean trouble for her plans to reopen schools in certain districts by February.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Today in "There's No Reforming the Police": A Wisconsin prosecutor has refused to file criminal charges against Officer Rusten Sheskey who in August shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, seven times in the back and paralyzed him. The shooting, which was caught on video by a bystander, spurred nationwide protests—and, after this announcement, don't be surprised if there's more of the same.
If you’re surprised that no charges will be brought against the police officer who shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake, or any other officers involved, you haven’t been following American history.
— Joy WE VOTED!! WEAR A MASK!! Reid 😷) (@JoyAnnReid) January 5, 2021
• It was the final day for casting votes in Georgia's runoff election, which will decide whether the Democrats or a heartless, endlessly corrupt gang of traitors will control the Senate. While it seemed to take FOREVERRRRR for the state to count its votes following the November election, this is quite a different ballgame, and we could learn the winners as early as Wednesday morning. Fingers crossed!
• After spectacularly failing to coerce Georgia's Secretary of State to mysteriously "find" extra votes in order to overturn the election, Trump has turned his sights on mewling mama's boy Mike Pence, reportedly pressuring him into rejecting Biden's votes when Pence is called on to confirm the electoral college count in Congress tomorrow. (Fact check: This scheme is stupid and will fail. But it will be deliciously fun to watch!)
• Republican Ted Cruz is one of the seditious pieces of shit who will be challenging the results of the electoral college count tomorrow in Congress—which is surprising since you'd think the person accused of being the Zodiac Killer would try to keep a lower profile.
• Oh! Speaking of right-wing traitors: Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, leader of far-right/white supremacy-loving group the Proud Boys, was arrested in Washington, DC yesterday on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter flag, and today was banned by a judge from entering the District of Columbia. (Saaay... where can the rest of America sign up for such a restraining order?)
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says President Trump wouldn't be allowed to visit Scotland to golf during its pandemic lockdown after speculation that Trump might travel there rather than attend President-elect Biden's inauguration. https://t.co/vq4OHGgvnW
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 5, 2021
• While it's tempting to focus solely on the current insane political circus, here's a headline to jolt you back to reality: "Los Angeles is running out of oxygen for patients as covid hospitalizations hit record highs nationwide."
• Following a barrage of conflicting reports, it appears that former James Bond and That '70s Show co-star Tanya Roberts has actually died at the age of 65.
• 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!
• THE WEATHER REPORT: SURPRISE! More rain tomorrow with a high of 50.
• And finally, wait... WHAT?? I need one these RIGHT FREAKING NOW!