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Good morning, Portland. As we continue our descent into Hell, please keep your setback trays in an upright and locked position, and stow all large electronic devices under your seat.
Here are the headlines.
• IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A insurrectionist mob of Trump supporters and violent Q-anon sycophants literally stormed the US Capitol yesterday, leaving four people dead in their wake. You can get the play-by-play of the day—and reaction from Oregon leaders—in the Mercury's liveblog. And the New York Times broke down the several layers of "security" these rioters managed to break through before getting inside the Capitol—it truly boggles the mind that it was so easy for a bunch of men who don't even wear masks during a pandemic to break in!
• Washington, DC wasn't the only gathering place for violent right-wing extremists yesterday. They also gathered outside state capitols across the country, including over in Salem. Mercury contributor Suzette Smith has a must-read rundown of that locally crafted clusterfuck, from her on-the-ground reporting.
• Despite the mob, Congress managed to certify the election results late last night, meaning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris don't have any more procedural obstacles to taking office in two weeks. Fewer Republicans mounted baseless objections than originally expected—I guess an attempted violent coup helps put things in perspective—but there were still objections for both Arizona's and Pennsylvania's results. More than half of House Republicans voted in favor of the objections, though they failed in the end. There were a lot of grandstanding speeches last night about the importance of American democracy, but this clear-eyed message from Rep. Conor Lamb rises above the fray:
WATCH: Tempers flare in the US House chamber as Republican lawmakers shout over Rep. Conor Lamb, temporarily causing benches to empty, for accusing Republicans of lying about why President Trump lost Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/WsOQJtyiUb— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 7, 2021
Here's more fallout from yesterday's unprecedented events:
• The National Association of Manufacturers—a powerful business lobby—is calling on Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, essentially throwing Trump out of office before his term ends. That's important because we all know elected Republicans are more likely to listen to big business interests than basically anyone else.
• Meanwhile, a lot of congresspeople just want good, old fashioned impeachment:
Impeach.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 7, 2021
• A smattering of Trump administration officials are resigning in the wake of yesterday's events, and Trump's response to them. Let's all start the world's slowest slow clap in their honor!
• Trump has been temporarily suspended on Twitter, and "indefinitely" suspended on Facebook, for stoking the flames and telling violent insurrectionists they're "very special" in a video posted to social media.
• Vox put together this handy timeline of every time Trump's words served as an accelerant for violence, going back to the campaign trail in 2015.
• And here in Portland, a lot of Black Lives Matter protesters who remember the federal government's full-throttle violence in response to mostly peaceful demonstrations this summer are wondering where that same force is in response to yesterday's attack on the Capitol. (I'm sure we can all think of a few reasons for the disparity.)
And here's some other local news, unrelated to the shitshow in DC:
• Oh hey, here's some good news??? Kayse Jama, the executive director of immigrant and refugee advocacy nonprofit Unite Oregon, was appointed to fill the seat for Oregon Senate District 24, which represents East Portland. The seat was vacated by Shemia Fagan after her November election to the Oregon Secretary of State's office. Jama will be the first Muslim to serve in the Oregon Senate.
• Mayor Ted Wheeler was heckled by a group of people last night while having dinner in Nob Hill, and one person punched him in the shoulder. No injuries were reported, and the person who assaulted Wheeler left the scene before arrests could be made.
• In one of its first votes of the new year, Portland City Council unanimously approved a proposal to increase the amount of funds reserved for affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland by $67 million. These new funds will go directly back into current affordable housing and community development programs in the area that focus on supporting Black residents who've been systematically displaced from North and Northeast Portland's historically Black neighborhoods.
• And finally, we'll end today's post with what passes for levity these days:
I am crying at E!’s coverage of the coup pic.twitter.com/AInyVYm9WG— Carey O'Donnell (@ecareyo) January 7, 2021