Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• In case you somehow missed it, last night's first presidential debate between Trump and Biden was an explosive diarrhea-filled garbage dump powered by Trump's constant lies and interruptions, in which he proclaimed that the "Portland Sheriff" (he means the Multnomah County Sheriff) supports the president (he definitely does not). He also gave the thumbs-up to white supremacist/ Portland-hating organization Proud Boys, telling them to "stand back and stand by"—which presumably gives them the okay to attack the left as soon as he wins the election on November 3. (At least that's the way the gleeful Proud Boys are interpreting it.)
Just like he didn't know who the KKK were and who David Duke was. Right. https://t.co/HngAN4Slx7— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) September 30, 2020
• Well, here's a major goof-up: When Portland city officials agreed to allow local police to be deputized by the Feds this past weekend to patrol the Proud Boys, they say they had no idea that the designation would last until the end of the year. Mayor Wheeler then asked the US Attorney to remove their deputy status (AKA a license to be as violent as they want to protesters)—but guess what happened: Now the Republican US Attorney has refused and 56 members of the Portland Police will remain deputized and free to continue gassing protesters and beating down journalists to their hearts' content. AND THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT.
• So who put this federal deputization thing into motion? According to this reporting from OPB, it was Travis Hampton, the head of the Oregon State Troopers, who was assigned to police the protests by Gov. Kate Brown. From OPB:
“It came from the state police,” said Portland Police Bureau Deputy Chief Chris Davis. “The way I heard about it was Travis Hampton called me and said that this was happening as part of the plan for this past weekend’s events. That conversation was not phrased in a way where it sounded like a request. It sounded like that was the direction that he was going. That would have been well within his prerogative as the person put in charge of that event by the Governor.”
Some of these police officers are also federal agents https://t.co/qdjK4kXUWa— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) September 30, 2020
• Need more proof that America's police unions are the primary driver of cop brutality and making sure their officers can regularly get away with murder? Portland's police union have introduced a 2022 ballot initiative that if approved would restrict freedom of assembly—a First Amendment right—in order to squash future protests.
• Alan Swinney—the Trump supporter that runs with the white supremacist Proud Boys crowd—has been arrested on a dozen criminal counts including felony assault and unlawful use of a weapon during recent right-wing attacks on protesters in Portland.
Proud boy Alan Swinney was arrested this morning. 6 misdemeanors, 6 felonies and $535,000 bail. All his chargers are for acts of violence. Stand back and stand by! pic.twitter.com/h1mTlzEtJt
— Alissa Azar (@R3volutionDaddy) September 30, 2020
• If you're smelling a hint of smoke in the air, you're not wrong—an air quality advisory is in effect for parts of central and southern Oregon due to the spread of wildfire smoke, but other than a couple of hazy days ahead, the Portland area should be okay.
• Want to use cannabis to calm your shit down, but you're scared you won't get anything done? Check out these solid pro tips from a longtime weed smoker for avoiding “couch lock” and actually being productive while using pot—and it's all in the Mercury’s Cannabis Guide 2020!
IN NATIONAL NEWS
• After last night's tumbling, flaming shit-tire of a debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it will be "adding new tools to maintain order" in the upcoming meet-ups between Trump and Biden. (Hopefully one of the tools will be a Hannibal Lecter face mask.)
• Meanwhile Republicans are hilariously scrambling to distance themselves from the president's white supremacy remarks—though that's a hard needle to thread when they've happily supported his white supremacy for the past four years.
• Trump and his cronies did their fair share of cheating before the debate, spreading online conspiracy theories that Joe Biden was going to use performance enhancing drugs (he didn't) and a hidden earpiece (he didn't).
• You know you had a bad debate when the slobbering sycophants at Fox & Friends are saying you did a terrible job.
"Puzzling," "arrogant," "unhinged," "bully," "classic Trump" — those were some of the words a focus group of undecided swing state voters used to describe President Trump's debate performance. https://t.co/BFFyuT83qN— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) September 30, 2020
• The Kentucky attorney general has been given a deadline of Friday to release the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case, in which the AG has admitted the only charge he recommended to the jury was "wanton endangerment" instead of... you know... "MURDER."
• This will certainly turn out well: "Mississippi governor lifts mask mandate except for schools."
• '70s pop star/icon Helen Reddy—singer of the feminist anthem "I Am Woman"—has died at the age of 78.
• If all this news is making you hungry, check out the estimable Suzette Smith's "Takeout Club" column, in which she shares her picks for the tastiest takeout food of the week (including an almost unheard of $5 Portland sandwich)!
• Need some laughs? Then DO NOT MISS this Thursday's (Oct 1) livestream edition of the I, Anonymous Show, featuring a panel of nationally-beloved comedians riffing on the weirdest and wildest submissions from our famous I, Anonymous column and blog! It's HILARIOUS, and you need that.
• The WEATHER REPORT: Another sunny, but hazy day tomorrow with a high of 85.
• And finally, glad they've got that settled.
Just confirmed, debate #2 is a just a fist fight in a Chili's parking lot
— omeedmalek (@OmeedMalek) September 30, 2020