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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! The art of playing games is not the hearts you break. It's bound to good love you make. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
• A group of around 1,000 gathered at the Justice Center and Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland to mark the second straight month of protests against police brutality toward Black Americans. A decidedly more calm night, Black and Indigenous speakers talked to the crowd about the country's systemic racism for much of the evening which kept substantial focus off of Trump's federal officers who have invaded the courthouse. Later that night protesters shook the fence surrounding the courthouse and lit small fires, inspiring the feds to shoot pepper balls into the crowd and later launch tear gas after the demonstration was labeled an "unlawful gathering" around 1:30 am. BUT WATCH OUT, GUYS! Because if Portland doesn't stop protesting (AKA getting mercilessly attacked for very small infractions and practicing our First Amendment rights), Trump is going to "clean us out!" LOL.
Trump on Portland: "We're not leaving until they secure their city ... if they don't secure their city soon, we have no choice — we're gonna have to go in and clean it out." pic.twitter.com/y9xg1fhnnO— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 29, 2020
• HOWEVER! As it turns out, the Trump administration has been in hush-hush talks with Gov. Kate Brown about a deal to phase out and remove federal officers from the courthouse. According to Brown, starting Thursday, Oregon state troopers will "provide protection for free speech and the security of the exterior of the courthouse with the Federal Protective Service." A small contingent of feds will guard the inside of the building.
BREAKING: Gov. Kate Brown has announced federal troop presence in Portland will be phased out beginning Thursday. State troopers will help protect the federal courthouse when they depart.https://t.co/UtyL3aqKoB— Dirk VanderHart (@dirquez) July 29, 2020
• MORE GOOD NEWS: Black leaders have convinced Gov. Kate Brown and other state officials to add a slate of racial justice bills to the upcoming special legislative session that will call for anti-racist reform in housing, health care, policing, and eliminate legalized slavery from the state’s constitution, which—YEP!—is still in there.
• The ACLU of Oregon has filed a motion of contempt after federal officers routinely continued targeted, injuring, and intimidating journalists and legal observers—the very day after a judge issued a restraining order against them. Our Blair Stenvick has more.
• On July 17, freelance reporter Andrew Jankowski was covering a protest and was arrested by Portland Police for the crime of doing his job. In this first person essay, Andrew describes what it's like to go to jail when you're a journalist.
• Don't miss this fascinating and scary report on the effects that the feds' tear gas is having on the menstrual cycles on some Portlanders.
• Portland Public Schools has announced that the first semester of the school year—at least until early November—will be entirely online due to the recent dangerous spike in coronavirus.
• Oregon passed its single day record for COVID-related deaths yesterday when 14 people reportedly passed away from the infection.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Today in Trump's dangerous lies: The president is insisting there are large coronavirus-free sections of the country (there certainly are not), even as health experts say at least 21 states need to take drastic measures to get the virus under control.
Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a mask — has tested positive for the coronavirus.https://t.co/o4yEGldZVo— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 29, 2020
• Trump also admitted he did not bring up the subject of paid bounties on the heads of American soldiers while on a recent call with Vladimir Putin... because why would he?
• Related: So not only did the Russians interfere in the 2016 election, they are doing their damned best to do the same thing in 2020, WHILE ALSO spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.
• Yesterday Attorney General (and Trump's shameless crony) Bill Barr battled Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee panel, hopelessly trying to defend his views on federal officer violence in Portland and beyond, his corrupt intervention in the Roger Stone case, his continued lies about vote-by-mail, and his ceaseless defense of his deranged mentor Donald Trump.
• According to Minneapolis police, the "Umbrella Man" who was seen smashing windows during the city's Black Lives Matter protests has been identified as a white supremacist who was trying to incite a race riot.
• Place yer bets! Joe Biden's campaign says that the candidate will be announcing his VP running mate sometime next week.
• Facebook CEO and emotionless replicant Mark Zuckerberg is slated to defend his soulless, society-crushing company Facebook today in an antitrust hearing before Congress.
• In very good Dua Lipa news (do you guys love Dua Lipa? I LOVE DUA LIPA!):
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 29, 2020
• You need some laughs, right? Then get your tickets now for the I, Anonymous livestream show featuring funny-as-all-get-out comedians including Arlo Weierhauser, Sean Jordan, and David Gborie coming at you TONIGHT Wednesday, July 29!
• Now let's squint hesitantly skyward at the WEATHER: Another sunny hot day with a high of 93!
• And finally, a sad waste of a perfectly good watermelon... but I'll allow it.