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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's the last day of somewhat normal weather for a few days, so enjoy. I'm going to talk about the heat more later, but just wanted to suggest up top that y'all should really take advantage of the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHEES event, which will go through July. A boozy slushee is perfect for beating the heat...and it'll maybe even help curb some of the existential dread you might be feeling right now. And at only $8 a pop, you can get a couple of them, maximizing the heat and existential dread relief (at least in the short-term).

BUT! Drink responsibly, because hangovers really aren't good for dealing with heat domes or the anxiety of living in this moment in history. Can you tell I'm a ball of nerves? Let's get to today's headlines, and you'll see why. (But I'll throw some cute animal pics and a bit of optimism in here, too. Don't worry.)


• Okay, let's get this over with: It's about to get very hot. Current forecasts project temperatures as high as 103 degrees on Saturday, and an excessive heat warning has been put in place from Thursday until Sunday. We'll have more details soon about resources for people who need to get to a cool spot, but remember, don't wait. Heat exhaustion and stroke can come on quickly, and can be very dangerous or even lethal, especially for the most vulnerable community members. So, check on your neighbors and friends, and drink lots of water. 

Also, remember this heat event is an expected consequence of the climate crisis, which we are escalating by the day, but it's not too late to do something about it. However, turning this ship around will require action on every level of society. Pick an area to focus on and join the fight. 

• On a related note, the upcoming heat wave is going to amplify fire danger...right in time for the Fourth of July, everyone's favorite fire-risk holiday. While I understand the urge to light stuff on fire in the name of the USA (although, my urges aren't exactly based in patriotism), I am begging you not to light fireworks, campfires, or anything of that ilk. And if you'd rather listen to an official government source, the Portland Fire & Rescue Marshal just issued a burn ban, prohibiting recreational campfires, fire pits, yard debris and agricultural burning until further notice. But if you don't trust the government, listen to my pleas. And if you don't trust the government OR me, take a long look at all the beautiful trees in and around Portland and imagine them burnt to the ground. Nobody wants that. Don't light fires. 

• Okay, you might not know you had this question, but you DO: WHERE CAN PORTLANDERS GET DELICIOUS SANDWICHES AND COOKIES? (Specifically, chocolate chip cookies.) Our Andrea Damewood has you covered with eight great suggestions for the lunch dessert lovers among us. My personal fave is The Baker's Mark, but they always sell out so fast (of cookies, especially) that I am a little salty about them getting more press. However, they deserve it, and you deserve to try their sammies and cookies. Gatekeeping is OVER! 

• Dairon Asprilla, a breakout star on the Portland Timbers and the second-longest tenured member of the team, left Portland to return to his home country of Colombia. Asprilla has been on the Portland soccer team for a decade now, rising to prominence as an excellent attacking player only a few years ago. Read our Abe Asher's moving send-off to Asprilla here

• Look at these perfect otters! 


• With Monday's Supreme Court immunity ruling giving Donald Trump retroactive and future power to go full dictator mode, how could things get any worse for those who want to hold this guy accountable for his litany of sins? Well, they just did, because the former president's criminal sentencing for the Stormy Daniels hush money case has been delayed until September. Remember, this is the case that Trump racked up 34 felonies for at the end of May, and it involves a criminal conspiracy that he took place in while he was a candidate for president in 2016. So, even under the new, RIDICULOUS immunity rules, Trump still shouldn't be off the hook in this case. Alas, this delay is a win for him, and a big loss for everything good in the world. It doesn't mean he still won't get a big fat punishment, though.

• While Trump and his supporters dance with joy over the luck they've come into over the last few days, Biden's house of cards continues to fall at an increasingly rapid pace. Yesterday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat from Texas, became the first congressional Democrat to call on President Biden to step down from his reelection campaign. Doggett wrote in a statement that the president did not reassure voters of his capacity to beat Trump during last week's hellish debate. Instead, he "failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump's many lies." 

While Doggett may be the first elected official to explicitly call for Biden to withdraw from the campaign, others are starting to crack. In a TV interview yesterday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—always a Democratic Party loyalist—said it was legitimate to question Biden's capacity to continue running for office. Online, at least in my Twitter circle, it appears that enthusiasm is mounting for VP Kamala Harris to take over Biden's spot. 

Perhaps we'll find out more today after Biden's scheduled meeting with Democratic governors and congressional leaders. So far, he's been holding on, and making some pretty ridiculous excuses (like jet lag from a trip to Europe earlier in June) for his poor debate performance. Look, jet lag has set me back for a week before. Sometimes a stressful trip home to visit my parents a few states away will leave me bedridden for a couple days. But guess what? I'm not the president of the United States! I don't have to make split-second decisions about nukes or deal with any kind of crisis on that scale. The president needs to be able to form full sentences even if they just got off a plane from Europe. SOOO...we'll see. 

• In other presidential election news, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running a very misguided campaign for president as an Independent, was the subject of a damning Vanity Fair report earlier this week. The article alleged, among other things, that RFK Jr. sexually assaulted a former nanny and has eaten a dog. That latter allegation seems to be substantiated by a disturbing image that you can find in the Vanity Fair article, though he has apparently sidestepped both claims. Regarding the nanny's accusation, Kennedy said he's "not a church boy" but has "many skeletons in [his] closet." Obviously, her claim needs to be taken seriously and Kennedy should be rightfully condemned.

Also, does Cheryl Hines (Kennedy's wife who is best known for playing Larry David's fictional ex-wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm) not tire of living in a joke world? Enough is enough. Bro. Just go away already, PLEASE. 

• As heat waves impact people not only in Oregon, but across the country (Death Valley could see the highest temperatures ever recorded on Earth this weekend 😢🥵, and other parts of California will also sear), the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a new rule to protect workers from heat-related injuries. The rule would require employers to develop a plan in case of extreme heat, and it would particularly impact agricultural workers who spend long hours outside under the sun, often in extremely hot places like central California. Seeing as heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., this rule could be really meaningful for preventing serious injuries and death as the climate continues to warm. However, if Trump is re-elected, regulations like this will likely be scrapped. SO LET'S MAKE SURE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN!

• I promised you cute animals, and I will deliver. Here is a baby hippo getting a bath. Happy Wednesday, happy day off tomorrow, and please stay cool. If you're tempted to start a fire, get an $8 boozy slushy instead. LOVE YA, MEAN IT. 

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