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Sen. Joe Manchin received a lot of corporate donations just before torpedoing Bidens Build Back Better legislation on Fox News. HMMMMMM.
Sen. Joe Manchin received a lot of corporate donations just before torpedoing Biden's "Build Back Better" legislation on Fox News. HMMMMMM. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! You can't keep runnin' away from love 'cause the first one let you down. And though others try to satisfy you, baby, with me true love can still be found. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Oregon health officials are warning everyone that the coming surge of the Omicron variant will touch all of us in one way or another—even those who've had two doses of the vaccine, which experts say is no longer sufficient. According to University of Washington COVID-19 forecaster Ali Mokdad, from this morning's story in the O:

Whether they are vaccinated or not, people will almost certainly contract the variant if they don’t take social distancing seriously, avoid indoor gatherings, and wear a heavier-duty mask, such as an N95, Mokdad said.

People who have received a third shot are better protected, but not immune, while even a regular dose of shots is effective at reducing the risk of serious illness.

• Meanwhile, Governor Kate Brown has extended Oregon's COVID-19 state of emergency for six more months due to the growing concern of the Omicron variant.

• While Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day was yesterday, you can still honor the memory of the (at least) 126 houseless people who died in 2020 by helping those who are alive and struggling right now. Here's a great list of ways to start.

• The Oregon Secretary of State is asking inexperienced, fair-weather Oregon fan Nicholas Kristof to provide more documentation to make sure he actually meets the three-year residency requirement needed for his run for the governor's seat. One item of contention: Kristof voted in New York state as recently as 2020.

• Sorry, sports fans: The NBA has postponed Thursday's game between the Blazers and the Brooklyn Nets because so many of the Nets players have contracted COVID, they don't have enough players to take the court.

• Looking for a new fave coffee and lunch spot? Don't miss the deliciousness of Portland Cà Phê and those great bánh mì sandwiches! Jenni Moore has the review.

• Pandemic or no, it was still a great year for music! Check out our expert list of 2021's favorite albums as chosen by Mercury culture writers!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• There's been a noticeable drop in COVID cases in South Africa, which could indicate that their earlier massive surge of Omicron cases have peaked and are on the decline. Meanwhile, in America, hospitalizations due to the virus are on the rise, stressing already stressed-out health care workers. I'll just leave the first sentence of the story right here: "Every morning in the Minneapolis metropolitan area, 200 to 400 people wait in an emergency room for a bed to come open."

• Despite the ignorant treachery of Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrats and the White House are refusing to give up on Biden's social safety net legislation and will return to the negotiation table, saying that a new vote will hopefully take place in January.

• Very much related: Before Sen. Joe Manchin blew up Biden's "Build Back Better" legislation on Fox News, he received a lot of money from corporate donors who wanted him to oppose the idea.

• Your move, Portland:

• The NHL may reportedly be pulling out of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, due to COVID ravaging their national team.

• You want to find the perfect gift while also supporting local businesses, yes? YES! Then don't miss the Mercury's Holiday Gift Guide, featuring only the coolest gifts and where to find them... locally!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: More rain is likely today with a high of 49. And so far, we're still a GO for possible snow on Christmas!

• And finally... GUYS. C'mon... it's not funneh!