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Good Afternoon, News: Betsy Being Bad, Yelp Reviewers Beware, and IRS Under the Magnifying Glass

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by Wm. Steven Humphrey

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Add yet ANOTHER scandal to Independent candidate for governor Betsy Johnsons looooong list.

Add yet ANOTHER scandal to “Independent” candidate for governor Betsy Johnson’s looooong list. Betsy for Oregon

GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! Ummmmm… by the waaaay… if you were thinking of eating some delicious nachos between now and this weekend, hold your dang horses! Because starting next Monday July 11, it’s the highly anticipated return of the Mercury‘s NACHO WEEK, featuring inventive $6 plates of nachos from your fave local restaurants! Why eat crappy tortilla chips with microwaved cheese when you can have the Taj Mahal of Nachos?? Speaking of the Taj Mahal, here’s today’s Taj Mahal of NEWS ROUNDUPS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• “Independent” (read: shadow Republican) Betsy Johnson, who’s running for Oregon governor, has a laundry list of problematic past behavior (see this week’s POP QUIZ PDX for more), and today it was revealed she can add yet another to the pile. In 2013 Betsy rear-ended another car, injuring the other driver, but tried to get out of paying for the damage by claiming “legislative immunity.” (Basically forcing the tax payer to cover her shitty driving.) God knows what’ll happen if she gets into office.

• Bad news for those who love leaving shitty Yelp reviews: The Oregon Supreme Court has refused to grant ordinary folks the same free speech protections available to the media when it comes to criticism, opening the door to merchants to fight back against so-called “critics” who libel or slander the businesses. (I could tell you what constitutes both “libel” and “slander,” but I feel like this falls under the category of “not my fucking problem.” Good luck, shitty people!)

• No need to panic YET, but as of now six cases of monkeypox have been discovered in Oregon, and many more are expected in the coming weeks. Reminder, this virus is spread from close, skin-to-skin contact rather than through the air like COVID, and is therefore a lot less transmissible.

• Does the world need yet another production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard? When it’s produced by the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, then the answer is a resounding “HELL YEAH, IT DOES!” Our Suzette Smith has the review of this exciting new production which she says is “positively stuffed with meaning, movement, and energy.”

• All hail the triumphant return of the Mercury‘s Jenni Moore who’s back from maternity leave with another edition of the must-read HEAR IN PORTLAND. This week: A “don’t miss” edition of The Thesis, the Mississippi Street Fair, and an upcoming Portland visit from Giveon!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• Following a wave of resignations within his cabinet, UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he will be stepping down from his position—aaaaand of course he’s blaming everyone for his self-inflicted woes other than himself.

• The chief of the IRS is on the receiving end of some suspicious looks after it was revealed that two of Trump’s sworn enemies—former FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe—were BOTH targeted with supposedly “random” audits.

• WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty today in a Russian court to possessing cannabis oil, which she says was mistakenly packed into her luggage. The US is supposedly working hard to secure her release.

• Rest in peace to the great actor James Caan (The Godfather, Elf, Thief, etc) who has died at the age of 82, and besides all of his fantastic screen work also left us with one of the most important tweets ever written. (Put that on a shirt, baby.)

• And finally… find someone who loves your feet as much as this person.

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