This Week in the Mercury


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

House Republicans are maybe on the verge of promoting a path to legal status for many undocumented immigrants, but the party's more calculating members warn it would be a dire mistake to make progress like that ahead of this year's midterm elections. It might upset too many Republicans!

Remember how sentencing reform was supposed to ease swelling in Oregon prisons? It hasn't worked, yet, if it's going to. The Department of Corrections is asking for $90 million in the legislative session that begins next week to handle a larger-than-expected inmate population.

Speaking of the session, it's seeming less and less likely it will have much to do with the controversial Columbia River Crossing. Gov. John Kitzhaber sent a letter yesterday calling legislators to act on an Oregon-led version of the $2.8 billion bridge project, but Senate President Peter Courtney tells the the O that Washington needs to come back into the fold.

The country's insane and growing income inequality is invoked more and more, these days, but calls to increase the $7.25 federal minimum wage have found no traction in Congress. So President Obama's going to do it himself—sort of. The president plans to sign an order upping the minimum wage to $10.10, but only for federal contractors. (Guess how John Boehner feels about it.)

Want to know more about that plan? And get some straight talk on climate change? Fan of lengthy and egregious bouts of insufferable clapping? There's a television/Internet/live-tweet event tonight you're almost certainly interested in.

In Ohio, the snowmen make themselves. Or try at least. They lack bodies and sentience so don't make it very far. Still though, not bad for something without a body or sentience. Good show, snowmen.

One thing about the protracted contract dispute between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers: It's certainly made school board meetings more interesting.

One of the better places to kick back and relax all day with friends—maybe enjoy a beer—in bustling, cosmopotlitan New York City? McDonald's. Really any McDonald's. “You feel lonely and bored when you are home,” one man tells the New York Times. “Here you talk with these friends.”

A North Carolina police officer who allegedly shot an unarmed and discombobulated young black man seeking assistance after a car crash will face criminal charges, after all.

Now, it's the South's turn for extreme cold. We get to welcome back the drizzle.

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RIP, Pete Seeger.

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