The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support! 

Good Morning, Portland! We're looking at a cold week of coldness—mid-50s days and mid-30s nights. Bundle up, and remember that everyone in the Willamette Valley is just doing their best.

IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Oregon is now the first state to allow lawyers to skip the bar exam, although the alternative to the notoriously difficult two-day test requires hundreds of hours logged at a law firm apprenticeship, called Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination.

• School is still cancelled as the PPS teachers strike continues. Multnomah County Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards crunched some numbers:

OPB reports that Ammon Bundy once again failed to appear in court to answer charges of defamation made by a Boise hospital, St. Luke's. In 2022, Bundy and an associate, Diego Rodriguez, encouraged their followers to harass St. Luke's after local law enforcement took Rodriguez' grandchild there, citing welfare concerns. In August, Bundy was ordered to pay $52 million in damages to the hospital, but the St. Luke's says Bundy has continued his defamatory attacks online. In response to Bundy's failure to appear, an Ada County Judge issued another warrant for him and ordered his original $10,000 bond forfeited. The judge expressed shock, saying Bundy had emailed her to say he was too busy to attend court.

• Vivian McCall at our sister publication The Stranger has been writing a series of profiles of trans people who fled laws passed in red states this year. All of it is profound and useful reporting, but a new chapter dropped yesterday.

• Dan Savage is hosting a zoom on Thursday, inviting subscribers to join a meeting with he, Nancy Hartunian, and Mean Lesbian Boss to answer sexy questions and chat. Honestly, maybe better than chatting with Dan is the opportunity to chat with other Savage fans. You know you have something in common 😉.

IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• On Monday, the US Supreme Court released a code of conduct that the justices will follow, adapted from ethics already in use by a lower court. CNN reports that the code doesn't include an explanation of how the code should be enforced or who would enforce it. While the move was meant to restore faith in the judicial branch of US government—following several news stories, in recent months, about expensive, undisclosed gifts accepted by justices that may have influenced rulings—it has been almost universally panned as weak and ineffectual.

• In LA, a man allegedly hired a group of day laborers to dispose of his murder victim's remains. The laborers were like WTF no.

• On Wednesday, President Biden will meet with China's President Xi Jinping at the annual summit for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, in San Francisco. Pundits are pundit-ing that Biden will show leaders from the APEC that he can care about their interests and creating stability between their countries and the US, even as so much chaos unfolds in other parts of the world.

• In New Zealand, a conservation group's annual Bird of the Year contest has been overwhelmed with fans of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, voting for a specific bird: the pūteketeke. The show's host, John Oliver, encouraged his fans to vote for the bird, which he described as “weird, puking birds with colorful mullets.” He went on to describe the birds' mating dance, which he said he identified with: "They both grab a clump of wet grass and chest bump each other before standing around unsure of what to do next.” This could easily have been another situation where a celebrity ruined something, but Oliver actually asked the group Forest and Bird beforehand—so it all seems legit to me. The group did have to postpone its announcement to deal with the influx of votes.

• Happy cuffing season, everyone. RIP your peace of mind.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sam Strake (@samstrake)