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Republican Sen. Josh Hawley obsessing over child porn during his questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley obsessing over child porn during his questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! It's Thursday, March 23, and today in history: On this day in 1996, I was visiting Vancouver, British Columbia, where a seabird pooped his entire stomach onto my head. Now let's look at THE NEWS OF TODAY.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Potentially good COVID news! While the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant known as BA.2 has arrived in Oregon, experts agree that any surge we experience will not be serious enough to force the return of safety mandates. (You're still welcome to be safe on your own, tho!)

• As expected, the governor of Idaho has signed the legislature's shitty, Texas-style anti-abortion bill that will now officially ban the medical procedure six weeks into pregnancy—even though many don't even know they're pregnant by that time. Luckily Oregon's abortion providers and activists have been prepared for this bullshit, and THEY'VE GOT A PLAN. Find out more about it (and how you can help) in this great explainer by our Alex Zielinski.

• Meanwhile, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed some bills of his own—that will result in a much more positive result. He signed three examples of gun regulation, including one that prohibits the sale of firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds, another that targets "ghost guns," and one that will hit the brakes on anyone bringing weapons to school board meetings or election facilities with the goal of intimidation.

• If you're looking for some fantastic soul food and are interested in supporting a Black restaurant that's in turn supporting their community, don't miss Ja’Das Soulful Eatz' new brick and mortar location, reviewed and profiled by our Janey Wong! (Also... BANANA PUDDING!!)

• Here's a classic-style, good ol' fashioned rant that popped up today on the I, Anonymous Blog: A hiker is very upset indeed by the mountain bikers who blast by them screaming, "On your left!" and interrupting the solace of nature. And so? They are ranting about it!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• NATO is planning on sending troops to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia to bolster the military presence in the region, while Biden is attempting to rally support from the European Union to further help the effort in Ukraine. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the formal announcement today that Russia has committed war crimes against the Ukrainian people, and 7,000 to 15,000 Russian soldiers have already died in the invasion, leading many in the country to question Putin's leadership. From the AP story: "By way of comparison, Russia lost about 15,000 troops over 10 years in Afghanistan."

• It was day three of racist/misogynist questions from Republicans in the Supreme Court nomination process of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who easily batted down interruptions from rancid sack of mashed potatoes Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Sen. Josh Hawley's apparent obsession with child pornography.

• RIP Madeleine Albright, the first woman Secretary of State, has died at the age of 84.

• New Orleans has once again been pummeled by tornadoes, perhaps even one of the strongest on record, as overnight storms raced across the south.

• Okay, nobody panic, but... "Miley Cyrus' plane makes emergency landing after being hit by lightning." DON'T WORRY! SHE'S OKAY!

• It's the LAST WEEKEND to stream the hilarious, sexy, and hot HUMP! Film Fest 2022! Get those tickets here!

• And finally, are you planning on picking up a duck today? If so, don't be the asshole who does it wrong!

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