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Ted Cruz abandons suffering Texans AGAIN—this time to help spread COVID at CPAC.
Ted Cruz abandons suffering Texans AGAIN—this time to help spread COVID at CPAC. Joe Raedle / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I'm tired of listening to you talking in rhymes, twisting around to make me think you're straight down the line. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

• In Republican drama queen news: Yesterday, shortly after Gov. Kate Brown extended Oregon's state of emergency orders to May 2—because, hello, PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING—crybaby Republicans staged another walkout (FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR), thereby grinding the legislature and the votes needed to help ALL Oregonians to a sudden halt. (Huh, I wonder what would happen to me if I repeatedly refused to show up to work?)

• In "light at the end of the tunnel" news: If all goes right, and the state gets the doses we expect, it's predicted that every adult in Oregon will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine by July 1.

• Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has cut all funding for Southwest Neighborhoods Inc.—a group overseeing 17 Portland neighborhood associations—after the organization was found to be mismanaging city funds. After learning of their fate, one member of the organization accused Hardesty of making the decision because she was "jealous," because "we pay more taxes than anyone else." OKAY, FRANCES, YOU CAN MOVE ALONG NOW.

• A federal judge has thrown out a Clackamas woman's lawsuit that was hoping to force the Miss America beauty pageant to accept transgender contestants.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• The House is ready to pass the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, but it's going to have be without the $15 minimum wage hike which was jettisoned from the package by the chamber's nonpartisan parliamentarian. However, our own Oregon senator Ron Wyden has a "Plan B" to push the minimum wage boost through Congress.

• After four years of coddling the corrupt Trump and then lambasting him for inspiring and encouraging the January 6 domestic terrorist attack on the nation's Capitol building, Senate Minority Turtle Mitch McConnell has flip-flopped again, saying that if the former president became the Republican nominee for 2024, he would "absolutely" support him. That's the one thing about hypocritical wafflers—they never change.

• After a year-and-a-half long battle, the Manhattan district attorney's office FINALLY has all of Trump's tax forms in their actual hands... which means it'll be roughly six-to-eight more months until Trump is fitted for his prison uniform.

• Looks like the CPAC conference (AKA the Republican Trump pep rally) this weekend is gearing up to be a full-fledged superspreader event as right-wing looneys laughed at the speaker's pleas to wear their masks.

• Yesterday Biden ordered a US airstrike on facilities used by Iran-backed militias after they had targeted American interests in Iraq.

• GOOD NEWS for my fellow LGBTQ peeps: The House of Representatives has successfully passed the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity in such areas as housing, jobs, education, public accommodations, and more! Now it goes to the Senate where it will need at least 60 votes in order to avoid a filibuster—unless, you know, Democrats rightly decide to nuke the filibuster off the face of the earth.

• Hours after a former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach was charged with two dozen crimes, including sexual assault and human trafficking, he was found dead at a Michigan rest stop after apparently committing suicide.

• Get ready to party HARD in the third installment of the Mercury Music Series, with a livestream concert from super fun Portland rapper/singer/producer FOUNTAINE, coming at ya on March 11! Snap up those tix, babies!

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• 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: Scattered showers today with a high around 48.

• And finally, ending this week and going into the weekend like....