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'!)
• Stop and think about it: In just about 15 hours, Donald Trump will be out of the president's office (hopefully and rightfully) forever. It's been a horrific four years of corruption and cruelty, but it also exposed how easily our democracy can be taken away—and it came pretty damn close. Now our challenge will be taking what we've learned about ourselves—resiliency as well as ugliness—and build a country that recognizes our successes and crimes, and doesn't just play pretend at democracy, but actually works at it. Now, let's read some news.
• Yes, the inauguration of Joe Biden is tomorrow and is a real reason to celebrate—but don't forget the path of destruction Donald Trump has left in his wake, including more than 400,000 people dead from COVID thanks to corrupt inaction from the government he led.
"Let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and remember who we lost," Pres.-elect Joe Biden says in solemn moment at lighting ceremony honoring victims of COVID-19. https://t.co/c7ZW4GUVZ3 pic.twitter.com/kyrd4nbr3Q
— ABC News (@ABC) January 19, 2021
• Now that Trump is hours away from getting the boot, current Senate Majority Turtle Mitch McConnell has finally discovered his spine, explicitly blaming the president for feeding "lies" to his stooges, and "provoking" the Capitol insurrection. (Pssst! Note to investigators: Doing nothing to prevent a crime is also a crime!)
Today is Mitch McConnell’s last full day as Majority Leader.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) January 19, 2021
• Meanwhile, Trump is very, very busy during his last day as president, preparing a list of around 100 extremely terrible people to pardon. (Wonder if the My Pillow guy can be pardoned for making shitty pillows?)
• You suspected it, and it looks like it was true: According to court documents, Trump's militia chodes planned the Capitol attack days in advance, were in communication with each other as they breached the building, and led a hunt to capture lawmakers. Now the question is: Which lawmakers helped them?
• "Prince of Chodes" Sen. Josh Hawley, an election denier and supporter of the Capitol attack, is returning to his obstructionist roots and refusing to sign off on Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's pick for Homeland Security Chief, because... Biden's pick isn't racist enough or at all?
• Good news! Prez-elect Biden has chosen Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, which will make her the first openly transgender federal official if she's confirmed by the Senate! (I'll need at least 40 more pounds of good news, please. It's been a hard four years.)
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Another Trump chud has been arrested in connection with the January 6 assault on the Capitol—this time for breaking into Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley's office and smoking a joint. When reached for comment, the joint said, "Do NOT lump me in with these Trumpy butter dicks! I was kidnapped!"
• According to a study by environmental scientists, federal law enforcement officers "used toxic and potentially deadly smoke grenades more than two dozen times" during last summer's run of protests in Portland, causing severe effects among some protesters. The Department of Homeland Security hasn't responded to the accusations, but maybe they'll be more forthcoming in court when we sue the pants off them.
At least five inmates in Oregon's prisons died from COVID-19 during the MLK weekend. As of Tuesday morning, 33 prison inmates in Oregon died from the disease ... 1/3 of those deaths have been this month. #orpol https://t.co/lGnlRAn1Y0
— Conrad Wilson (@conradjwilson) January 19, 2021
• Super gross Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull—who's been told to resign after making horribly racist and Islamaphobic comments on his Facebook page—offered a weak-ass "apology" yesterday. But when asked if he would say "Black lives matter," Shull responded with "All lives matter." Something tells me he hasn't learned his lesson!
• Miss the live concert-going experience? Then DO NOT MISS the new Mercury Music Series, featuring livestream performances by your fave Portland artists—debuting with the fantastic BLOSSOM! Coming at you January 28!
• 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: Mostly cloudy but still dry tomorrow with a high of 45.
• And finally, I wish this band would follow Trump around for the rest of his life.