The worst part isn't the slime, a fetid, ceaseless mucous drizzling from the doors, windows, and sundry other shattered orifices of vehicles that had the profound misfortune of traveling on the wrong stretch of US 101 yesterday. It's not all the unsightly pink flesh, writhing in agony and impending death, either. No, the worst part of a truck full of hagfish overturning yesterday is the fresh and novel knowledge—lodged now in your heart like a hatchet in a stump—that each and every truck you pass on an Oregon highway absolutely contains a discrete horror capable of corrupting your sleep for years or decades to come. How to live with that?
Big News: Remember the 48-hour rule, that loathed provision in Portland's police union contract that gave officers at least two days to get their stories straight after shootings before being forced to speak with internal investigators (as opposed to criminal investigators, for whom the Fifth Amendment applies)? The rule has been killed, but now Multnomah County DA Rod Underhill says it never mattered at all. Citing a 1984 Oregon Supreme Court opinion, Underhill says that cops can't be quizzed by Internal Affairs about a shooting until after a criminal inquiry has been completed, which routinely takes more than a month. The Oregonian reports that US Department of Justice attorneys, who'd been bitingly critical of the 48-hour rule, now agree.
The news from tony Laurelhurst: The neighborhood association wants cops to prioritize their streets for harsh crackdowns on homeless camps. "The Northeast Portland group submitted a proposed ordinance to city commissioners suggesting that police fine people who camp near a designated 'safe zone' up to $100 or jail them for up to 30 days," the O reports. This could set up a dangerous precedent, if it goes anywhere. Remember, Mayor Ted Wheeler recently brushed off the Montavilla Neighborhood Association's request that the city cease camp sweeps there altogether. Will he have the same reaction to a request that goes the other way?
Not that YOU need to be told, but gonorrhea is everywhere in Oregon these days. "Since 2012, cases have nearly tripled statewide, affecting just about every part of Oregon, including rural counties where infections have been traditionally low."
What's the Trump Administration been up to, you ask? Well the president is in France, shamelessly ogling the French first lady on camera.
Meanwhile, his personal attorney is calling strangers "bitch" and "bro" via email. EXCERPT, via ProPublica: "I’m on you now. You are fucking with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back , bitch.”
HEALTH CARE: Everyone's saying that Senate Republicans are close to having the 50 votes they need to bring an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill up for discussion, after a new version dropped yesterday. Apparently, if that happens, the bill is as good as passed.
There are two Republicans solidly against the bill at this point, for vastly different reasons. If one more defects, this thing is dead in the water. Here's a rundown of where people stand from the WaPo.
One person who's probably now on board? Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, who'd been a skeptic but saw millions more steered to her state under the new version of the bill.
We'll see. The Portland school board says it has four finalists it's considering for superintendent, after it's last foray into finding a schools chief collapsed in confusion.
A change in operators for a city-owned hydroelectric plant might cost the city boatloads, or it might create a windfall. As the O reports, the agreement is going forward without the financials of the thing hammered out.
I'll be biking all over Mount Hood this weekend. If you're planning on making news, save it for Monday. And have a great weekend!