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'!)
• In case you missed it, "DEMOCRACY HAS PREVAILED." (Though ya gotta admit it was dicey there for awhile.) President Joe Biden—love typing that—and the first Black/South Asian/Woman Vice President Kamala Harris—love typing that, too—were sworn in today in a stirring ceremony that made me cry, like, 3.5 times. It's been a hard four years, folks.
• Inauguration highlights: Poet Amanda Goreman's hopeful (yet, bracingly realistic) reading of "The Hill We Climb"; a gorgeous, flamboyant rendition of the National Anthem by Lady Gaga (ra-ra-ra); Kamala Harris being escorted in by Officer Eugene Goodman of the US Capitol Police (the hero who duped Trump rioters during the Capitol attack); Biden fist-bumping members of the press instead of berating them (CRYYYY!!); and Bernie Sanders' comfy, casual winter coat and mittens covering up a lot of "I was paid to be here" energy.
Lady Gaga grabbing a golden mic to sing the national anthem in front of Mike Pence... yeah I’m printing and framing this pic.twitter.com/HvpK4oJlAr— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) January 20, 2021
God I wish I could drink a $12 vodka soda at a gay bar tonight and watch a drag queen who has sewn the JLo white pantsuit at the speed of light lipsync a Lets Get Loud/ This Land Is Your Land Remix— Jonathan Young (@_jonathanyoung) January 20, 2021
• Oh, and lest we forget, DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER THE SENATE. All in all, a purrrr-etty, purrr-etty good day.
• And it gets better, because Biden immediately went to work signing a blizzard of executive orders in an early attempt to overturn Trump's corrupt/racist policies that include, but were not limited to, ending construction on Trump’s border wall and the Muslim travel ban, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, and revoking the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But members of the Biden team are (rightfully) worried that the totality of destruction the Trump administration left behind is still hidden, and that the chaos we see is just the "tip of the iceberg."
• More good news: Crackpot QAnon followers lost their shit online when they discovered Trump's secret shadow government officers didn't rush into the inauguration, arrest every Democrat and traitor in sight, and return King Donald Trump to his rightful throne! I mean, it's like all their wild violent fantasies were about as realistic as an episode of Bridgerton!
• And speaking of crackpots, despite all the threats to occupy statehouses across America, none of the shit-talking chuds could bother to show up. Funny what happens when you take away their social media platforms!
• Oh, and still speaking of useless crackpots, Trump apparently left the White House today for his forced retirement in Florida... but to be honest, no one really noticed or cared.
Stephen Miller no longer works at the White House.— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 20, 2021
• On his way out the door, Trump issued 143 pardons and commutations, a list that included lots of corrupt cronies who were convicted on bribery and racketeering charges (surprise!) as well as a good number of actually deserving people championed by criminal justice activists (actual surprise!). The biggest names on the list included human turnip/former advisor Steve Bannon, who was pardoned before he was ever convicted (probably to keep his mouth shut); Elliott Broidy, a prominent Republican fundraiser guilty of financial shenanigans; and rapper (and Trump fan) Lil Wayne who was convicted on a weapons charge. Trump did not pardon himself, his ugly, terrible children, or pants-tugging creep Rudy Ghouliani—because all hell would've fucking broke loose. (Oh, and sorry "Tiger King.")
• Today in "your tax dollars at work": "Trump extended Secret Service protection to his adult children as he left office."
new york getting ready to indict pic.twitter.com/q4nTlOwkzZ— Sarah Lazarus (@sarahclazarus) January 20, 2021
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• The Oregon Health Authority advises that the state should continue using the Moderna COVID vaccine, even though 10 people in California and two in our state suffered severe allergic reactions following the injection. The OHA reminds everyone that these types of reactions are extremely rare, and I'm reminding you that the COVID vaccine doesn't grow on trees. If you can, get vaccinated and don't be weird about it.
• Just as a reminder that the Oregon Republican Party is absolute garbage, they issued a statement condemning the ten GOP lawmakers who voted in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, AND agreed with the idiotic conspiracy theories saying that the January 6 Capitol siege was planned and implemented by left wing groups.This is exactly why these people shouldn't be allowed to have nice things.
• A group of around 100-plus anti-police/anti-president protesters marched to Portland's Democratic headquarters today where windows were broken and arrests were made. Our Alex Zielinski was there and you can follow her on Twitter for a moment-by-moment recap.
Headed west on 7th towards Grand. Folks yell “take the bridge!” Front of march: pic.twitter.com/CVUXmKpSRO— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) January 20, 2021
• The Oregon Department of Education has lowered the bar substantially to allow elementary school students to return to in-person learning—even in counties such as Multnomah, where COVID cases are very high and rising. Whether parents will feel that it's safe enough to send their children back to school is another story.
• 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: A smidge of showers tomorrow with a high of 48.
• And finally... wake up, cat! Its Inauguration Day!
My cat when JLo broke into “Let’s get Loud” 😂 pic.twitter.com/HemrhcnFGU— Sarah Kaplan (@sarahkaplan48) January 20, 2021