I, Anonymous Live! Featuring Matt Braunger, Arlo Weierhauser, Shain Brenden PLUS Kate Murphy!

Review: If You’re Looking For a Good Reason to Stan Billie Eilish, Her New Concert Doc Shall Provide

Billie Eilish: The Worlds a Little Blurry
Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry Apple TV+

There’s just something super sweet about watching a young artist get to collaborate with, or even just receive a nod of approval from the artist who inspired them. This gets some attention in Ariana Grande’s recent Excuse Me, I Love You doc, with the singer getting giddy when she’s told she got the approval of her inspiration Mariah Carey. It's a tender, full-circle moment.

Billie Eilish’s The World's a Little Blurry is a two-and-a-half hour concert documentary that showcases a similar full-circle moment between fan and idol: herself and Justin Bieber. The film recounts how she quickly went from normal teenager to world famous popstar with millions of followers. Similar to Bieber’s 2011 concert doc Never Say Never, The World's a Little Blurry begins with home footage of Billie and her brother Finneas playing “Ocean Eyes” in their home, and then getting very excited when they hear it played on the radio for the first time. It then fast-forwards to Billie in 2018, greeting excited fans outside a venue.

This film was apparently catered to me, and resonated strongly since Eilish is also a longtime Belieber. In particular I loved the scene in which Eilish recites every note of Bieber’s song “Believe” and “Fall.” There’s also some footage of the family hearing JB’s verse on Eilish’s “Bad Guy (Remix)” for the first time. Eilish’s mother discusses how much their family wasn’t in the “hater camp” when it came to JB, but rather acknowledged he was a young, talented artist who worked very hard, made mistakes, and grew from them while in the spotlight. Billie was “love sick” over Justin Bieber and a passionate fan of his music from the age of 12, and her mother Maggie tears up, pointing out what a full-circle moment it is to go from Eilish crying to his songs, to hearing him sing one of Billie and Finneas’ numbers… to getting to meet him, cry in his arms, and now becoming friends, despite Eilish still being a little starstruck when he calls.

The insanely thorough concert doc gives a glimpse inside the familial, romantic, and work life behind the artist’s music. Relationships are a big focus of The World's a Little Blurry—particularly her relationship with her brother/music partner Finneas, her parents, Justin Bieber, and her ex-boyfriend Q (AKA rapper Brandon Q Adams), a relationship she never acknowledged until the documentary. Throughout the movie we get to see how wild her life is now, and some of that is related to close ties to her fans. “I don’t think of them like fans ever. They’re not my fans, they’re like... part of me,” Eilish says.

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Wednesday! It's the I, Anonymous Show with Shain Brenden, Arlo Weierhauser, and SPECIAL GUEST Matt Braunger!

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HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Do you miss live comedy? ("YES!") Do you want to support the Mercury AND laugh your buttz off in the process? ("YES! YES!") Then this Wednesday's (March 3) I, Anonymous Show (Livestream Edition) is for you! Here's how it works: We get the funniest local and national comedians to riff and heckle the wildest, jaw-droppingly wrong, and uncensored I, Anonymous submissions from the famous Mercury column, and in return you get a jam-packed evening of laughs!

The previous I, Anonymous Shows have been wildly funny and entertaining (and included some fun audience participation!), so you truly do not want to miss this one! Joining your delightful host Kate Murphy (a Mercury "Undisputable Genius of Comedy") will be the following murderers' row of hilarious comedians:

ARLO WEIERHAUSER (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Portland's Funniest Person 2017, Lez Standup, Mercury Genius of Comedy, and former I, Anonymous Show host)

SHAIN BRENDEN (Mercury Undisputable Genius of Comedy, WW's Funniest Five, Portland's Funniest finalist, San Francisco Sketchfest, 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival)

• And the fantabulous MATT BRAUNGER (MADtv, NBC's Up All Night, BoJack Horseman, Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, The Late Late Show, Comedy Bang! Bang!)

Dang, folks! That is one helluva lineup right there! So if you need some guaranteed laughs, the I, Anonymous Show is the cure you've been looking for. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW for the livestream I, Anonymous Show—coming at ya THIS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, at 8 pm! IT'S A LAFF RIOT WE'RE TELLING YA!


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Cocktail To-Go Club: Nob Hill’s Snob-Free Bantam Tavern

“A Tequila Drink” lets you know what you’re in for.
“A Tequila Drink” lets you know exactly what you’re in for. Janey Wong

One of my college roommates used to throw in the phrase “it is what it is” with mock seriousness at any opportunity he got. It became the type of (unfunny) inside joke where you roll your eyes but can’t help but smile in spite of yourself. It sprang into my head the second I spotted the simply named “A Tequila Drink” at Bantam Tavern.

The cheeky straight-up-ness of the name had already sold me, but the list of ingredients definitely sealed the deal. The Tall Drink of Tequila combines Altos Plata, Combier d’Orange, guava and lime juice, orange flower water, and soda. I would’ve liked more of the guava to come through, especially since Bantam makes the guava syrup themselves. The drink’s floral notes are nicely subtle, however, taking care not to venture into territory where you feel like you’re drinking a perfume.

Along with “A Tequila Drink,” three other double cocktails are available to-go; the foursome is a greatest hits snapshot of the wider cocktail menu. Folx can carry out an Old Fashioned on draft, a Hernandez that features an in-house orange infused (via sous vide!) gin, or a chai-infused rum punch. “We hoped these specialty ingredients were flavors that people missed from going out and could re-create the experience at home if they don’t feel safe going out and just want to support their local spots,” says bartender Claire Vander Heide.

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Good Morning, News: Dems Axe $15 Minimum Wage, Myanmar Police Kill Protesters, and Oregon's Vaccine Plan

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.

A Myanmar protester stands before a line of military officers.
A Myanmar protester stands before a line of military officers. Hkun Lat / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Hopefully yesterday's boost of Vitamin D has made the first day of March feel less like an ominous reminder that it's been one whole year since COVID-19 hit Oregon and more a suggestion of sunny days ahead. If you can, try to get outside today and look at the tiny flowers popping out of the ground. Now, for the news:

- A $15 minimum wage mandate is no longer part of President Joe Biden's stimulus package before Congress. While the proposal passed the House of Representatives Saturday, Senate Democrats axed the plan Sunday, concerned that the Republicans' distaste for giving Americans an (almost) living wage in the middle of an economic meltdown would undermine the entire budget package.

- Myanmar military police killed at least 18 people Sunday by shooting into crowds of people peacefully protesting the country's month-long coup. The actions have been decried by the UN Office of Human Rights Office, while Myanmar officials threaten more deaths if people continue to oppose the military takeover in the streets.

- President Biden will not penalize Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for approving the killing of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was drugged and dismembered in October 2018. Biden is apparently too concerned with hurting the US' strong relationship with Saudi Arabia. This is a huge disappointment to people who support not killing journalists.

- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of corruption for attempting to obtain information from a judge about another case in which Sarkozy was involved in. He's been sentenced to one year house arrest. First Mary-Kate Olsen divorces his half-brother and now this?

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This Wednesday! It's the I, Anonymous Show with Special Guest Matt Braunger!

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HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Do you miss live comedy? ("YES!") Do you want to support the Mercury AND laugh your buttz off in the process? ("YES! YES!") Then the upcoming Wednesday, March 3, I, Anonymous Show (Livestream Edition) is for you! Here's how it works: We get the funniest local and national comedians to riff and heckle the wildest, jaw-droppingly wrong, and uncensored I, Anonymous submissions from the famous Mercury column, and in return you get a jam-packed evening of laughs!

The previous I, Anonymous Shows have been wildly funny and entertaining (and included some fun audience participation!), so you truly do not want to miss this one! Joining your delightful host Kate Murphy (a Mercury "Undisputable Genius of Comedy") will be the following murderers' row of hilarious comedians:

ARLO WEIERHAUSER (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Portland's Funniest Person 2017, Lez Standup, Mercury Genius of Comedy, and former I, Anonymous Show host)

SHAIN BRENDEN (Mercury Undisputable Genius of Comedy, WW's Funniest Five, Portland's Funniest finalist, San Francisco Sketchfest, 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival)

• And the fantabulous MATT BRAUNGER (MADtv, NBC's Up All Night, BoJack Horseman, Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, The Late Late Show, Comedy Bang! Bang!)

Dang, folks! That is one helluva lineup right there! So if you need some guaranteed laughs, the I, Anonymous Show is the cure you've been looking for. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW for the livestream I, Anonymous Show—coming at ya WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, at 8 pm! IT'S A LAFF RIOT WE'RE TELLING YA!


Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Portland: Pittock Mansion's Reopening, Black-Owned Shops, a New Food Cart Pod, and More

Portlands most famous house on a hill, Pittock Mansion, is back open for in-person visits! Be sure to mask up and reserve a timed ticket online.
Portland's most famous house on a hill, Pittock Mansion, is back open for in-person visits! Be sure to mask up and reserve a timed ticket online. Pittock Mansion via Facebook

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

We're back with more suggestions for activities and IRL events to help you give February a proper sendoff, from a Westside city hike linking the Hoyt Arboretum and the newly reopened Pittock Mansion to Black-owned businesses and brands to shop from to cap off Black History Month, and from a new Northeast food cart pod to visit to things to do on a day trip to Salem. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week, the best movies to watch this week, and our complete, ever-evolving guide to in-person things to do in Seattle

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Support local Black-owned businesses. For the last days of Black History Month (and every day after that), make a point of shopping from Black-owned brands and businesses based right here in Portland. An incomplete list of spots to hit up might include Cole and Dayna Reed's Greenhaus Gallery, which, in addition to displaying work by local artists on its walls, also sells things like woodcarvings, textiles, and vintage goods. If your home is a veritable greenhouse and you'd like to keep it that way, find new leafy friends and other gorgeous home accessories at EcoVibe Home, whose Northeast-native owner, Len Allen, runs the shop (along with the temporarily closed EcoVibe Apparel) with his wife, Dre. Speaking of plants, teen brother-sister duo Jaylen and Kyla Palmer make raised garden beds under the moniker J&K Partners, which they run via Facebook (send them a message to place an order). For a plethora of goods from Black makers in one parcel, check out With Love, From PDX, which curates gift baskets with themed products from nearly 100 local vendors. If you're in the market for some new reading material, stop by Broadway Books after checking out their list of books about the Black experience currently on its shelves, like Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham's Black Futures and Ijeoma Oluo's Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America.

Read on EverOut »


Good Afternoon, News: New Oregon Vaccine Timeline, Johnson & Johnson Approval, and Biden's First Airstrike

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johnson & johnson

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:

• HOT VACCINE NEWS: All Oregonians aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by July 1, according to the state's latest timeline. August is gonna be fucking lit.

• After a week of mixed messaging from City Hall, Hazelnut Grove residents have received some good news: The city will not be cutting its current services to the North Portland tiny home village for formerly houseless people in the "foreseeable future."

• Hector Calderon had Oregon's first documented case of COVID last year, and spent two months using a ventilator. KGW recently caught up with Calderon a year after he contracted the coronavirus—he's now recovered, and back at work as a school janitor in Lake Oswego.

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In Another Reversal, City Says Hazelnut Grove Can Keep Additional Services

A pathway through Hazelnut Grove.
A pathway through Hazelnut Grove. Alex Zielinski

After a week of mixed messaging from City Hall, Hazelnut Grove residents have received some good news: The city will not be cutting its current services to the North Portland tiny home village in the "foreseeable future."

That means the city will continue to provide trash pickup, porta-potty services, and an on-site storage unit to the village, which occupies a triangle of city-owned land between N Greeley and Interstate. Perhaps of most importance to the 17 formerly houseless residents who call Hazelnut Grove home, this also means the city will not be removing the chainlink fence that runs along the perimeter of the property and provides a sense of security to the villagers.

Residents were alerted to this news in a Thursday letter signed by Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Ryan, whose office oversees the Joint Office of Homeless Services and Portland Housing Bureau.

This update contradicts with plans announced by Wheeler late last week to sever these services by the end of March, in hopes of forcing residents to relocate. While the city has allowed the self-governed village to casually occupy the property since 2015, increased pressure from disapproving neighbors and a growing concern about potential environmental risks has motivated Wheeler to close the village.

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All Oregonians Will Be Eligible for COVID Vaccines by July

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Billy H.C. Kwok / Getty Images

All Oregonians aged 16 and older will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-summer, according to the state's latest timeline.

"Today marks a major turning point in Oregon’s vaccination program and our state’s ongoing fight against the coronavirus," said Pat Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), at a Friday press conference.

Oregon's updated vaccine rollout timeframe follows news of an uptick in vaccine shipments from the federal government and vaccine manufacturers. According to OHA, this expected increase will allow the state to have enough vaccine supply to give at least 3.5 million people their first doses by June 1.

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This Week In Portland Food News: Reel M Inn Tavern Is Back, Kansas City Barbecue Arrives, and Capri Sun Cocktails Are Coming

Portlands favorite fried chicken and jo-jos are back on the menu: Reel M Inn Tavern re-opens for takeout and outdoor dining this Saturday.
Portland's favorite fried chicken and jo-jos are back on the menu: Reel M Inn Tavern re-opens for takeout and outdoor dining this Saturday. Reel M Inn Tavern

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

This week brings some welcome news: A crew comprised of employees from Deadshot, Magna Kusina, and Pono Brewing are opening a tropical bar with boozy Capri Sun cocktails and fun Filipinx snacks in the former space of Bit House Saloon, and the well-loved dive Reel M Inn Tavern is slinging fried chicken and jojos once again. Plus, a new takeout- and delivery-only kitchen is serving up Kansas City-style barbecue, Diane Lam's fried chicken pop-up Prey + Tell gets a permanent home inside Psychic Bar, and a new taphouse with over a dozen food carts opens in Oregon City. Read on for that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
Bit House Collective
Deadshot bartender Natasha Mesa, Magna Kusina chefs Carlo Lamagna, Dante Fernandez, and Roberto Almodovar, and local brewery Pono Brewing are coming together to form a dream-team collaboration. The group will open their new project Bit House Collective, which they jokingly refer to as a "Michelin-starred dive bar," in the former space of the historic Bit House Saloon next Wednesday, March 3. You can look forward to a menu of playful drinks from Mesa, such as boozy Capri Sun-esque cocktails served in pouches, fancied-up flaming Dr. Peppers, and a gin-spiked version of buko pandan (a Filipinx "dessert salad" with coconut milk and fruit jelly). Some other draws? Beers from Pono Brewing, like a hazy pineapple IPA and a blackberry-raspberry stout, and Filipinx-inspired bar snacks, like crab fat gravy waffle fries and pineapple barbecue-glazed burgers with atchara (pickled papaya).
Southeast
Outdoor seating and limited indoor seating

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Review: Inside The Vigil's Dark, Delicate Horror

Dave Davis gives a dedicated performance as Yakov, a shomer disconnected from his faith.
Dave Davis gives a dedicated performance as Yakov, a shomer disconnected from his faith. IFC/The Vigil

Honesty in horror is tricky. It's a genre premised on misdirection and subterfuge, and horror films will often point in one direction only to sneak up from an entirely different direction. To balance that act with a truthful core and compelling narrative is rare and special, but that is what The Vigil does. The film, available on-demand starting today and the debut feature from director Keith Thomas, draws viewers into a well-constructed, honest house of horrors.

Taking place over one night in Brooklyn's Hasidic Borough Park neighborhood, The Vigil follows a struggling Yakov, played by a delicate yet dedicated Dave Davis. Yakov accepts a job to be an overnight shomer to watch over the body of a deceased man. He has never met the man, but he soon discovers more sinister forces threatening to consume him unless he can make peace with his past.



To be a shomer is to take part in the religious ritual of being present from the time of death until the burial. Yakov is disconnected from his faith, having left the community after a traumatic anti-Semitic attack. He insists he is only doing this for the money and even bargains up the price with his former rabbi, Reb Shulem, who begrudgingly agrees. The ever-charming Menashe Lustig plays the rabbi.

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THIS WEEKEND! Get Naked and Join the HUMP! Film Festival's ALL-NUDE Watch Party!

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HEY SMUT LOVERS! There are only TWO WEEKENDS LEFT to catch the 2021 HUMP! Film Fest, and this Saturday is extra special because we're throwing an ALL-NUDE WATCH PARTY in which you can watch the show buck-nekked along with tons of other nude HUMP lovers! For this one-time only offer, we've set up a Zoom room for you to join other HUMP fans—or you can watch the show clothed and by yourself... it's your choice! If you do decide to join, you gotta be in the buff, but don't sweat it, because there are rules that will keep you and your naughty bits safe. Read about it here!

As a reminder, HUMP! is the annual film festival where sexy amateur filmmakers share their lustiest five-minute dirty movies with the world. This delightfully sex-positive fest features all sorts of horny fun, including hardcore, softcore, live action, stop action, animated, musical, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, and genderqueer flicks that are guaranteed to have you squirming in glee!

So feel free to watch Saturday's screening with fellow nudies (or by yourself), but don't miss out on Sunday's screening where you can watch HUMP! with a select group of the festival's directors and performers, in which you can ask questions and get a real behind-the-scenes peek at how HUMP flicks are made. SO! MUCH! FUN! And, looking into the future, here's what you can expect for the final weekend of HUMP 2021:

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Good Morning, News: $15 Minimum Wage Hike Scuttled, Deadbeat Oregon Republicans, and the CPAC Superspreader Extravaganza!

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.

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.

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.

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Weekend Watch List: Night of the Kings, Minari on VOD, and More

Philip Lacôtes Night of the Kings, streaming via Northwest Film Center starting Friday, is this years official Oscar submission from the Ivory Coast.
Philip Lacôte's Night of the Kings, streaming via Northwest Film Center starting Friday, is this year's official Oscar submission from the Ivory Coast. Memento Films International

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

Buckle in for another COVID-era award show: the Golden Globes are streaming on NBC this Sunday. Though they're not without their share of controversy (see: Music, Emily in Paris), many of the nominees are worth watching and are currently streamable, like Nomadland and Trial of the Chicago 7. If you've already seen those and are looking for some fresh options, we've got picks for you, too, like Night of the Kings (streaming via Northwest Film Center) and Seventeen (streaming via Hollywood Theatre). We've also included some films playing in theaters at Living Room and, starting Friday, Century 16 Cedar Hills and Eastport. Plus, don't forget that the Mercury's amateur stoner short film fest SPLIFF is accepting submissions through March 5! And while we're giving reminders, be sure to get tickets for next weekend's Cinema Unbound Drive-In and its affiliated Portland International Film Festival

LOCALLY STREAMING: NEW & NOTEWORTHY
Night of the Kings
A young man is sent to a prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest ruled by its inmates and, as tradition goes with the rising of the red moon, must tell a story to the other prisoners. Learning the tragic fate that awaits him if he fails to engage his audience until dawn, he settles on the mystical life of the legendary outlaw Zama King. Philip Lacôte's Night of the Kings is this year's official Oscar submission from the Ivory Coast. 
Northwest Film Center
Starting Friday

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Good Afternoon, News: Equality Act Passes, Another Capitol Threat, and Oregon's Crybaby Republicans Run Home to Mama

Capitol police warn of a second attack from right-wing domestic terrorists.
Capitol police warn of a second attack from right-wing domestic terrorists. Tasos Katopodis / Getty News

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:

• Today in useless, crybaby Republicanism: Shortly after Gov. Kate Brown extended Oregon's state of emergency orders to May 2—because, hello, PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING—Republicans refused to show up to work (FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR), thereby grinding the legislature to a halt. However they did send a letter demanding that the Governor immediately reopen all schools to in-person learning... something that's decided by individual school districts, not Brown. To paraphrase Dean Wormer from Animal House, "Stupid and lazy is no way to go through life."

• Thanks to a quirky Oregon law, around 877,000 of us can expect to pay higher taxes on the stimulus checks we received last year. Of course, problems like that could be easily fixed by the state legislature, if obstructionist, crybaby Republicans would stick around and do the job voters pay them for.

• Speaking of being right on brand: Tusitala “Tiny” Toese—the Proud Boy and Patriot Prayer follower who was convicted of assault for attacking Portland protesters—has apparently been appointed as the "sergeant-at-arms" to protect meetings of the Clark County Republican Party.

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