We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Sponsored
Helping you create a space uniquely yours for work or play, with style and art, your way.
Custom framing, photo frames, printing on metal, paper and canvas.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, shortly after being tear gassed in July.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, shortly after being tear gassed in July. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

Good morning, Portland! And welcome to another viciously weird Portland news cycle—but first, let's get baked:

• Okay, so... it appears that Mayor Ted Wheeler... pepper sprayed a guy outside a McMenamin's in Southwest Portland?? According to a police report, the spraying occurred after the unknown person approached Wheeler unmasked and heckled him about eating in a tent outside the restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh, and former Portland mayor Sam Adams was there!

• In less fascinating but nonetheless consequential Portland mayor news, Wheeler also announced the appointment of a new chief of staff yesterday.

• A tragic series of hit-and-runs in Southeast Portland left one person dead and five others injured yesterday afternoon. A group of neighborhood residents managed to catch and encircle the driver, before turning him over to police. We still don't know who that driver was or exactly why he was driving so recklessly.

• A group of BIPOC lawmakers in the Oregon Legislature is pushing for frontline workers and incarcerated people to be among the next Oregonians to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. These groups "are disproportionately BIPOC, and by prioritizing frontline and essential workers and communities, we are centering BIPOC communities," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the state's Vaccine Advisory Committee.

• Two moderate Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have promised that they won't vote to eliminate the filibuster—a tool that allows the minority party to delay or block a lot of significant legislation from passing—while Democrats have control of the Senate. In other words: Get ready for Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republican trolls to completely stonewall the Biden administration's agenda, even after losing big-time in November.

• Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is focusing on kick-starting his climate change agenda this week—and that includes a ban on oil and gas drilling on federal land. Also on his agenda: Conserving more federal land and water, and creating a greenhouse gas emissions task force. These first steps, while symbolically important, won't deliver a swift decline in greenhouse gas emissions, and it's iffy whether he can pass significant climate legislation thanks to the stubborn Republican minority and moderate Democrats in Congress (see above).

• Remember... Donald Trump? It's been simply lovely not to see his face or hear his voice plastered all over the news this past week, but that might change soon—the House officially sent its article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate yesterday, and the impeachment trial is slated to start early next month.

• Curious which big corporations are perhaps not 100 percent evil (or at least know which way the wind is blowing)? CNN's put together this handy tracker of how Fortune 500 companies' political contributions have changed in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Support The Portland Mercury

• Fuck it, we'll end today with a cat video: