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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Gird your loins for a rainy week, starting today (with a high of 45), and lasting through at least Saturday. (It's almost like it's late February or something!) Also don't forget to also gird your loins for the 2024 HUMP! FILM FESTIVAL which kicks off this coming weekend, and is getting very close to selling out! And finally, since you're already girding, gird your loins for some NEWS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland's villains are at it again: In their continuing stubborn battle to ruin all the progressive momentum since George Floyd was murdered by cops in 2020, a local lawyer working on behalf of the police union is pushing for a ballot measure that would gut the new, independent police oversight board that a whopping 82 percent of voters wanted. The bullshit measure would take away the oversight board's power to fire cops, and be limited to reviewing just the conduct of non-supervisory cops. Don't put up with this: check out the story from our Courtney Vaughn, which should infuriate you enough to take the appropriate action, and help shut this shit down.

• A man on a bicycle who stopped in a bike lane to look for a lost possession was allegedly struck and killed on Southeast Belmont on Sunday by a driver who tried to escape on foot, but was caught by bystanders. According to witnesses, "the man who was struck was thrown about 40 to 50 feet away" as the "bike flew up, leaving tread marks against a nearby concrete wall." The victim died of his injuries, and the suspect is being charged with first-degree manslaughter and reckless driving.

• A felon acting as a security guard (who had no training or certification) at a 7-11 near Portland's airport was charged in 2022 with second degree murder after shooting a customer who was arguing with the cashier. Now the family of the deceased is suing the 7-11 for paying the uncertified guard off the books, and allowing him to keep his gun (which felons are not allowed to have) inside the store. 

• Local theater company Shaking the Tree is one of the most interesting companies in town, and have staged another banger of a production called We Wrote This With You in Mind, which according to our Suzette Smith, "even if you're not a fan of poetry you can surely understand the horror" of the possession that can overcome an artist.

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today about another bullshit example of Republican snowflake laws, this time in Florida and Texas that contend that social media companies are somehow restricting assholes' right to free speech by taking down or restricting their insecure, racist (don't forget homophobic and misogynist!) screeds on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

• To the surprise of no one, Republican Nikki Haley was somewhat trounced by nearly bankrupt criminal Donald Trump in the South Carolina primary, but... but... BUT! It should be noted that she still won a solid 39.5 percent of the vote, which means there's a healthy number of Never Trumpers out there ready to rain on his corrupt parade this coming November.

• In other Trump news, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel announced today she'll be stepping down from her job after the former prez endorsed a new slate of leadership for the party (which includes his feckless daughter-in-law Laura Trump). Meanwhile, Trump is desperately trying to appeal the $464 million judgment leveled against him in his New York civil fraud case, which if you add on the $83.3 million judgment in a defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, means that he currently owes the courts.... [grabs old calculator out of the bottom desk drawer]... beep-boop-beep-boop-beep... a whopping $547.3 million! But it gets worse for him because, appeal or not, Trump must still quickly put up $464 million in either cash or bonds. All together now, HEE-HEE-HEE!

• Because they simply can't help themselves, Republicans have shot themselves in the foot once again, because of the ridiculous Alabama in vitro fertilization ban that recognizes frozen embryos as actual children (who won't go to sleep when you tell them and can't help but cause disturbances at restaurants). Now, facing a backlash that will certainly damage the GOP in nationwide elections, Alabama lawmakers are furiously trying to cobble together new laws that would only recognize the embryo as a child when its implanted in a woman's uterus. (I'll be surprised if you can have that cake and eat it too, idiots!)

• And finally... this week, be a Maisy—not a Leo.