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 LOCAL NEWS:
• Finally, some positive COVID news! Starting this Friday, the Portland metro area—meaning Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties—will move from Oregon's "extreme risk" category for COVID-19 restrictions, into the slightly less worrisome "high risk" category, thanks to a recent decrease in coronavirus infections. What does this mean for you and local businesses? Our Blair Stenvick has an easy, breezy explainer!
The Portland area is moving from "extreme" to "high" risk in the state's COVID-19 restriction matrix soon. Find out more about what that means here. https://t.co/IlUYl9paFl— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) February 9, 2021
• Tough news for Portland grandparents: "All COVID-19 vaccination appointments for seniors were snapped up online in first 2.5 hours."
• You hate to see it (which is to say, "you LOVE to see it"): Oregon US Attorney Billy Williams—who was appointed by Trump and teamed up with and supported the ultra-violent Feds during last summer's protests—is stepping down after being asked to do so by the Biden administration. BYE, BOI!
• Looking for some pop culture that was made during (and reflects) our current hellscape? Our Blair Stenvick's newest edition of "Streaming the Pandemic" reviews the COVID-set horror flick Host—and it looks pretty good!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• House managers kicked off today's SECOND impeachment trial for Donald Trump by showing an absolutely harrowing video of right-wing domestic terrorists attacking the nation's capitol on January 6. This was followed by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who gave an emotional description of how he was trapped with family members in the Capitol as dangerous Trumpists flooded the building. Dems then made the very convincing case as to why it's not at all unconstitutional to make a former president... you know, actually pay for his crimes. It's too bad most Senate Republicans have already made up their utterly corrupt minds!
House impeachment managers just dropped one of the most damning videos of the Jan. 6 riots we’ve seen, providing a jaw-dropping illustration of one of the darkest days in American history.— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) February 9, 2021
Here is the first of two parts: pic.twitter.com/VPOeNFU11v
• And then Trump's lawyers—one of whom actually sued the former prez last year HAHAHAHAAA!—were given the floor, and... well, what can you say, other than you get what you paid for. They rambled incoherently for awhile, blamed the Democrats for the insurrection, and claimed the impeachment trial will likely cause a civil war and is "disenfranchising" Trump voters... ummmm, like Trump did to people of color during the election? OH MY GOD WHO HIRED THESE LOSERS?
TRUMP: Get me the finest legal mind for my impeachment trial— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 9, 2021
THE LAWYER WHO SHOWED UP: pic.twitter.com/e98JaZExB9
Stunning: Castor says "we changed" our presentation because the House case was so "well done," which perhaps explains why Castor has seemed to be aimlessly vamping. Promises to answer the House arguments later, seeming to acknowledge he did not do so in the past 45 minutes.— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) February 9, 2021
• In an effort to improve the distribution of the COVID vaccine to those who have been historically ignored, the Biden administration is shipping doses directly to community health centers in underserved areas with an eye on racial equity—a small, but necessary first step.
• Sorry, weirdo conspiracy theorists, but another one of your nutzo, racist claims has been debunked by investigators for the World Health Organization who say that it's "extremely unlikely" that the coronavirus was originally leaked from a lab.
• However, this actually was leaked from a lab: "The world's first 3D printed lab-grown rib-eye steak is unveiled."
Call me old fashioned, but I think people should hunt for their own 3-D printed meat with their own 3-D printed gunshttps://t.co/XLMzuufbcU— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) February 9, 2021
• In "SPAAAAAACE" news: Congrats to the United Arab Emirates' science program whose spacecraft "Hope" has successfully entered orbit around Mars where it will study the planet's atmosphere.
• RIP to the fabulous diva and cofounder of the Supremes, Mary Wilson, who has died at the age of 76.
• DO YOU LOVE SOMEONE? Then submit your FREE Mercury Reader Valentine which will be published online for all the world to see! Valentines will remain on the site until Feb 17... but you can enter yours now!
• Let the bells ring and the confetti fall! The HUMP! 2021 Film Festival is NOW STREAMING ONLINE, featuring an array of hot 'n' horny amateur dirty flicks submitted by hot people like YOU. Get your tickets pronto!
• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: A cloudy day tomorrow with a high around 45—but get ready for some freezing weather come Thursday... and possible snow Friday?
• And finally, maybe Trump should hire this ZOOM CAT LAWYER to defend him? He literally can't do any worse.
“I’m here live, I’m not a cat,” says lawyer after Zoom filter mishap— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) February 9, 2021
“I can see that,” responds judge pic.twitter.com/HclKlAUwbM