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! For those who haven't been getting enough soaking rain in your life, today is your day. Expect steady dampness all day long, with a high of 57, and an increasing chance of wet pants. And now here's your steady downpour of NEWS.


• In a lengthy (and often cantankerous) city council meeting yesterday, three out of five commissioners shot down Commish Rene Gonzalez' ping-pong ball of an anti-homeless ordinance that he introduced last week and changed on almost a daily basis before yesterday's vote. In an attempt to put some sharp, bloody teeth in Mayor Wheeler's proposal (that was trying to avoid legal action against the city), Gonzalez first proposed fining poverty-stricken homeless campers $500 per citation and up to six months jail time, and later changed it to a $1000 fine (!!) and no jail time. (I think Commissioner Gonzalez has trouble comprehending what "poverty" means.) In any case, the council voted in favor of Wheeler's new homelessness ordinance (with additions from Commissioners Rubio and Mapps), which in line with the current law allows homeless people to camp in public when there's no city-provided shelter available, while also banning the use of propane fires, blocking private entrances, and other illegal activities. And so, once again, a terrible, cruel, and thoughtless plan from mayoral wannabe Gonzalez blows up in his face. It's almost like he doesn't know what he's doing and isn't fit for holding public office, isn't it?

• A 56-year-old driver was arrested on the charge of vehicular homicide outside of Seattle for striking and killing a motorcyclist—but get this: The driver is blaming the death on his Tesla's autopilot driving system which he says was in use at the time. This follows Tesla's December move to recall more than two million of their vehicles in order to fix a defective autopilot system, which despite the name, does NOT allow drivers to operate Elon Musk's killing machines hands-free. Please make a note of it.

• In other car crash news, a woman is suing Portland, Multnomah County, and the state for $3.66 million after she drove through a six-inch deep pothole in Southwest Portland, and allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury after being "jolted" from her seat. The woman has since incurred $66,000 in medical bills and could be looking at having to pay at least $100,000 in the future, on top of losing time at work and personal suffering. 

• Not so "secure" now, are you, homeland?

• Lovers of overrated fast food franchises rejoice: If all goes according to plan, you may be enjoying (?) three new In-N-Out burger locations in the Portland area (if not Portland proper). Flipping the bird to neighborhood concerns, Beaverton agreed to grant In-N-Out conditional approval for a new location on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, while another of their burger joints is scheduled to open in Ridgefield, Washington, and most recently, perhaps even inside a former east Vancouver Rite Aid. This is a good thing, because perhaps mediocre burger lovers will finally wake up to the fact that In-N-Out is, at its very best, simply "OKAY, I GUESS" and stop clogging those poor neighborhoods with traffic and greasy paper wrappings. (Look, I don't hate "fun and life"... YOU hate "fun and life.")


• Welp, buckle up, folks! (And by "folks," I mean anyone interested in seeing if our democracy turns into an autocracy.) The Supreme Court is hearing, and will decide if their boi Donald Trump can claim presidential immunity for trying to overthrow the 2020 election. Their ultimate decision will indicate how soon the former prez will land in a Washington court to face election interference charges—oh, and if future presidents dictators will also be able to skirt the law for their own power-mad whims. 🤷‍♂️

• In other "WHAAAAT THAAA FAAAACK??" courtroom news, the New York Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of accused serial rapist/movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and has ordered a new trial on the grounds that his previous conviction was based on testimony that was unrelated to his case, and should not have been admitted. If there's any good news here, it's that Weinstein will not be released from prison anytime soon, because he's currently serving a 16-year sentence for yet another rape that he committed in California.

• Meanwhile, in Trump's current criminal "hush money" trial in New York, the National Enquirer's hilariously named former boss, David Pecker, is taking the stand for a second day, and is giving testimony about how this bastion of journalism fabricated stories to hurt Hillary Clinton, while squashing other articles in order to get Trump elected in 2016. But we're also keeping an eye on whether Judge Juan Merchan will smack Trump down for violating a gag order in which he wrote horrible social media posts about witnesses in his trial. 🍿

• More protests and arrests on college campuses across the nation, as students speak out against their university's tacit approval of Israel's genocide of the Palestinian people. Particularly spicy demonstrations broke out at the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin (where creepy Gov. Abbott is facing backlash following arrests), and Emerson College in Boston where a whopping 108 protesters were arrested.

• And now the 🤔 headline of the day: "Florida Couple Sorry for Waving Guns Outside Day Care: ‘We’re Not Bad People’."

• And finally... today in "And we would've gotten away with it, too...."