The omen.

Federal stormtroopers are in Portland rousting protesters. The president has a new pandemic strategy; he’s ignoring it. Not my problem, people! The other day I was riding down a residential street and saw a man outside, taking a smoke break. Above the waist: Oxford-blue shirt and tie. Below the waist: Some sort of shorts so flimsy they may have well been boxers. In one hand, a cigarette, in the other, his phone. His posture said: I am so sick of this shit.

So are we all, my friend. Someone messaged me the other day to tell me her boss had taken a shit during a Zoom call. Carried the laptop into the can with her and took care of business. No one said a word, because: The boss.

“Surely she thought she was on audio only?” I replied. “I mean, otherwise…” What conclusion could you draw from behavior like that? That she has dementia? My correspondent had no explanation. Needless to say, neither do I.

There’s a comet in the sky now, too, which would normally be something to marvel over, and it is, but on top of incompetent governments, played-out American workers and shitting-on-Zoom bosses, it feels like an omen. Like the star of Bethlehem, or the red comet in the Game of Thrones books that announces dragons are in the world again.

Today I spent an inordinate amount of time researching recipes for deep-fried tofu. Kate was coming for dinner, and I wanted to do a fake-chicken sandwich. It turned out OK. Concentrating on one stupid thing like a tofu marinade at least made a certain kind of sense.

So I took a bike ride. I looked at the water:

And I looked at the lighthouse, strictly ornamental:

I imagine there’s some sort of weather-recording equipment up there. All the charming details of seafaring – charts, maps, lighthouses – are now obsolete. GPS changed everything. On the other hand, maybe someday an electromagnetic pulse will take care of GPS, and we’ll be adding bulbs to that thing.

The weekend’s journalism was two versions of the same story, both about how fucked this stupid virus situation is. In the WashPost, and in the NYT. It’s the usual. In the Post:

The fumbling of the virus was not a fluke: The American coronavirus fiasco has exposed the country’s incoherent leadership, self-defeating political polarization, a lack of investment in public health, and persistent socioeconomic and racial inequities that have left millions of people vulnerable to disease and death.

And in the Times:

Over a critical period beginning in mid-April, President Trump and his team convinced themselves that the outbreak was fading, that they had given state governments all the resources they needed to contain its remaining “embers” and that it was time to ease up on the lockdown.

In doing so, he was ignoring warnings that the numbers would continue to drop only if social distancing was kept in place, rushing instead to restart the economy and tend to his battered re-election hopes.

Casting the decision in ideological terms, Mr. Meadows would tell people: “Only in Washington, D.C., do they think that they have the answer for all of America.”

This is the world we live in. Let’s take it on for another week.

Posted at 9:48 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

62 responses to “The omen.”

  1. Heather said on July 19, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    Wait, someone took a shit on a Zoom call and no one said anything? I’m sorry, that is fucked up, even if they are the boss. One reason I’m glad I’m freelance. If the power dynamics are such that you can’t speak up when someone is dropping kids off at the pool *on camera*, that is a sign it is not a healthy situation. Was it at the White House?

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  2. beb said on July 19, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    That is a lovely picture of the lake. You caught the sparkle of the light reflecting off the water. Then in the distance there are faint shafts of light coming through the clouds. Blow it up 16×20″ and have it framed!

    Dorothy posted a long, heartfelt story at the of the last thread. Soldier with PTSD going off the rails and hurting everyone. There’s so much other crap going on that stories like this don’t make the news. I’m sure that a lot of people are having problems like this.

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  3. Mark P said on July 19, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    I think I’ve said before, somewhere, that our problem is that no one really has any experience that they can remember with a pandemic, so no one really knows what has to be done to control it. At least no one in the general sense, and no one in the White House in particular. Epidemiologists know, but no one listens to them. At least no one in the general sense, and no one in the White House in particular. People have to be told what to do, without someone else undermining the experts’ advice.

    This is where Trump’s abysmal ignorance and stupidity really bit us hard. He has no idea at all how to deal with this pandemic, and no interest in it. He just wants things to be the way they were before. That’s why he pretends things are the way they were before. Magical thinking. If he says things are OK, then things are OK. He’ll just close his eyes and hide under the cover, and when he comes out, it will all have been a dream. You know, we are really expecting too much from this guy. He simply cannot do any better. We’ve known this from the beginning, but until now, his incompetence hasn’t really killed many of us.

    I think this is also the first time in a long that leadership in the White House could have made a difference in a serous situation. It could have literally saved lives. If Trump had listened to the experts (I know that’s a ridiculous and absurd notion; the whole idea is a fantasy.) things could have been done. A strong shutdown for a month (maybe), lots of funding for testing and tracing, followed by mandatory face mask wearing and social distancing, and a very, very controlled reopening could have slowed the virus to a manageable level. There would still be cases, but at a low, controllable level. I think if the right actions had been taken, we really would be essentially over the pandemic in the US by now. Yes, it’s a fantasy.

    It’s really hard to know what to expect. It’s as obvious as a hair-sprayed combover that things are worse now than they were four or five months ago, and no one is going to accept another shutdown at this point with Trump bleating about every child must go to school. So, maybe we are going to continue to see more and more cases, and more and more deaths, for the foreseeable future. The pandemic may be a fixture in American society at least until after the inauguration of a new president.

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  4. basset said on July 19, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    This might work for that tofu recipe… haven’t accumulated enough pickle juice to actually try it but it looks good:

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  5. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 12:49 am

    I made a chicken sandwich with pickle juice using the juice from Grillo’s Italian Dill Pickles from Costco. I bought some out of curiosity a few months ago and was hooked. They come in a plastic tub and they have all the usual dill pickle ingredients but they also have grape leaves in the brine. I give them a ten out of ten. And the pickle juice is perfect for brining a chicken breast or a slab of tofu. Trust me on this.

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  6. Lance Zaklan said on July 20, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Hi,long time reader, second time commenter. I actually live in Portland. Least you think I’m some hipster wannabe, I grew up here, which means I’m the usual well meaning white liberal who had no idea growing up that Oregon was founded as a white only state…

    Portland is just fine, no chaos except for that generated by the police and the feds (especially the feds) and a small group of very angry people. The Oregonian (paper of record, although generally middle/right wing) ran an article yesterday which showed everything fine, even though the federal government is painting Portland as out of control. Myself I just bicycled through downtown early today, and while the county and federal buildings look a little funny and some of the downtown parks are cordoned off, everything was just fine.
    Generally, if you aren’t downtown (or near the police union hq) after 10pm one would not know anything is going on.
    Persons are being snatched up in unmarked vans in the late evenings by federals (not clear which branch, although am thinking the heckle and jeckle variety, where do people actually sign up to be one of these gigs?).
    For me, this is beginning to feel like the some latin american country (chile comes to mind in a fit of hyperbole). I usually don’t comment, but i feel it’s important that someone speak up. This reminds me of that a lot of my friends who prophesied dire things on trump’s election. At the time, I was sure that democracy would still work, just an anomaly. Now, I’m not so sure. And very unfortunately, the canadian border is now closed.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on July 20, 2020 at 3:27 am

    Dorothy, sorry to read about the disturbed veteran. I have a neighbor who lets her like-47 year old son live with her in between his prison sentences. He’s back, flying his drone over my house again, as he did last fall when he crashed it into my house siding. The man came back from prison fat, and he was skin and bones when he was sent back. He rides a tiny child’s bike and plays with remote control cars in the street, besides that fucking drone. Now, I have seen a veteran go off his nut inside the VA building in Toledo, but never saw a vet act out like your neighborhood guy. The guy I saw exited the hall from the doctors’ wing, rip up his paperwork, start cussing loudly and kicking the shit out of a trash can/stylish waste basket. Regular Toledo PD officer subdued him professionally and took him somewhere. Who knows if the war messed up his head or he is simply a psychotic?

    Yeah, Trump says Biden is not mentally fit to be prez, Biden stays in his basement, and then he hints he will not accept a defeat in November. Of course a military company will “storm the Bastille” and wheel that orange fuck out in a wheelbarrow if he pulls that kinda shit.

    Wife Carla Lee is having a hard time in the rehab hospital. She’s not healing well and fast enough to be where is supposed to be in that regard on her pathway to having another knee implant operation/procedure. She is nervous and depressed. Where she is, that is not the problem. Excellent care, constant instant response from the call-bell; it’s just she is tired and wants things to go a little faster. I go every day to see her; it’s just 15 minutes away, but after so many days she has to move to a less-critical care place, like a regular nursing home.

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  8. Jim said on July 20, 2020 at 5:45 am

    The *stormtroopers* are Eric Prince` mercenaries . His sister Ms DeVos asked him to do it for Mr Trump . (being polite) .

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  9. Suzanne said on July 20, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for the poppyseed grinder suggestions yesterday. I tired to respond but nothing showed up. I want to make a German marbled poppyseed cake (Marmorierter Mohnkuchen) And it takes a lot of poppyseeds, 3/4 cups, too much to patiently grind in a mortar & pestle thing.

    But poppyseeds are so tiny, I fear a regular spice grinder won’t do the trick but I also don’t want to spend more than about $10-$15 for one.

    First world problems, I know, but I have been COVID/Trump stress baking lately.

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  10. alex said on July 20, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I missed the meltdown on Fox with Chris Wallace but here are some highlights:

    Perhaps the best moment is where Wallace deflates the “cognitive test” that Trump has been bragging about acing. Wallace took the same test and aced it too, as would likely any fourth-grader.

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  11. Peter said on July 20, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I couldn’t watch the whole Chris Wallace interview – my head would have exploded – but the whole exchange over Biden wanting to defund the police was cringeworthy. Our Leader didn’t expect to get called out on his lie, although this wasn’t the first time that happened during the interview. He gestures and threatens, and when Wallace doesn’t back down, he demands to see the paperwork, so he can prove to Wallace….that it isn’t there.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 20, 2020 at 8:52 am

    In honor of John Lewis, may I commend to any and all the reading of “Pillar of Fire,” the third book in Taylor Branch’s “America in the King Years” trilogy? Following “Parting the Waters” and “At Canaan’s Edge” you start the third on the verge of Selma, and get a good recap of the last half of “Canaan” as events hurtle towards the known yet unknown climax of crossing that bridge, and starting a journey we’re still on . . . even if without John Lewis to lead us.

    There’s so much about voting and how it has been restricted and limited and forbidden, well within the living memory of, well, at least most of us here on this feed! The narrative reminds me, at least, of both how far we have and have not come, but also that this all isn’t coming from nowhere. It’s all, including Portland, part of the incompleteness of the resolution of 1965 and the disappointments and compromises from then through King’s assassination (and Bobby’s) in 1968 that laid the rotting foundations of our current need for renovation and reconstruction. It’s like going back in the design notes and realizing a decision to skip a step or use cheaper materials in 1965 are why your floors are sagging and walls are cracking in 2020. It doesn’t make you feel better, exactly, but it helps you understand why it’s happening, and points towards what to do about it.

    (Perhaps Deborah can do us a better architectural metaphor than that, but it’s what this all makes me think about.)

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  13. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2020 at 9:41 am


    Thank you for the on-the-ground report from Portland. I’ve worried since its creation that the Department of Homeland Security might morph into a version of the secret police. It’s terrifying to see this take place in a major American city.

    The fixation on Chicago’s gun violence by Fucks News and the rightwing echo chamber has led a couple of distant acquaintances to contact me to see how we’re surviving. I respond that, generally, our violence is limited to a handful of neighborhoods many miles from our house. Our murder and assault numbers are hideously high, but the kind of remedies tRumpy and Barr and the douchenozzles at Fucks aren’t likely to do anything but make it worse.

    And who the hell is the preznit to say he’ll have to wait and see before he accepts the results of the November election? Folks, we have to absolutely bury this repugnant asshole and his corrupt political party. The GOP needs to be beaten like a government mule. . .a pummeling on the order of Nixon vs. McGovern and Reagan vs. Mondale, but in reverse.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on July 20, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Since Trump says so many idiotic things all the time, one particular idiotic thing he recently said isn’t gaining much traction that I can see: He says he won’t sign another coronavirus relief bill unless it includes a payroll tax cut.

    Meantime, Senate Republicans are obstructing an extension of unemployment payment enhancement.

    If they do push through some sort of payroll tax cut, I will do the same thing with any extra money in my paycheck that I did with my stimulus: Give it to a local food bank. But that’s not the point. This is:

    How incredibly, abysmally stupid do you have to be to want to, in a crisis like this, take money away from unemployed people and give it to people who still have jobs? That’s obviously, demonstrably, the 180-degree opposite of what should be done.

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  15. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 11:09 am

    The spice grinder Basset recommended looks so cool. I love very simple tools like that but right now a 35 dollar spice grinder purchase a little frivolous. I will keep that link handy.
    I make a batch of sixteen blueberry scones yesterday morning. There are three of us in the household. The scones were gone by 9 pm. Maybe today I’ll do some strawberry scones or the NYT plum torte. So many nice summer fruits around right now.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I try to avoid conspiracy theories, but the shooting yesterday of the son and husband of a federal judge at her home in New Jersey is kind of freaky. The judge has been assigned the Jeffrey Epstein/Deutsche Bank case. Epstein “committed suicide” in custody. Now the judge who’ll hear testimony has been targeted for assassination.

    November 3 can’t get here soon enough.

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  17. Deggjr said on July 20, 2020 at 11:35 am

    The purpose of the payroll tax cut is to defund Social Security. Social Security is supported through payroll taxes. No Federal Income Taxes go to Social Security (beyond FIT on Social Security benefits).

    I have an April 2010 Social Security statement that says “In 2016 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2037 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted.”

    The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund was $2,360,705M as of April 30, 2010. It was $2,838,213M as of June 30, 2020. The various dire predictions don’t seem to be coming true. So President Trump wants speed up the defunding process for Social Security and probably also Medicare.

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  18. Deborah said on July 20, 2020 at 11:50 am

    This guy is terrific Hope the link works.

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  19. 4dbirds said on July 20, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    The poop on Zoom made me laugh so much. I always say, “I’ve can’t be surprise anymore” and damn there goes someone who says “Hold my beer”. I made this tofu recipe a few days ago and it was delish.

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  20. Sherri said on July 20, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    If only the stormtroopers were Erik Prince’s mercenaries, then they’d be gone when 45 is gone! No, the stormtroopers are Border Patrol, the same thugs who have been terrorizing immigrants for years.

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  21. Jakash said on July 20, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    It seems like a remarkable indication of the state of the union right now that everybody is not ranting about the Wallace interview yesterday that Alex referred to @ 10. But I will! 😉

    The President of the United States said, when asked whether he would accept the results of the election: “I have to see.” How is that anything other than treason — even just suggesting that he might not accept the results of an election? The fact that he did it in 2016 doesn’t make this any easier for me to understand.

    Also, his remarks about the test that he’s been bragging about “acing”, evidently a basic cognitive test, examples of which are all over the place online, were aye-yi-yi! Trump flatly stated “You couldn’t answer many of the questions” to Wallace. That, by itself, is a delusional assumption on his part. But the fact that he’s been bragging about this test is just through-the-looking-glass stuff. As Wallace noted, one of the “hard” questions that Trump was referring to is apparently to count back from 100 by seven.

    I mean, c’mon, it’s been evident that the Emperor has no clothes from the get-go. (“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” e.g.) But to have his nakedness so blatantly exposed on national TV like that is chilling. Yet, the nation just rumbles on, trying to pretend that he’s simply garden-variety stupid and 99th-percentile evil, when he shouldn’t be allowed to operate a taco truck, let alone a nation in a pandemic. And we grudgingly proceed to marvel at whatever the next outrage will be.

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  22. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    In one of the contract jobs I had last year I had to find providers for exams for veterans who were applying for medical benefits. Mostly I looked for audiologists, but I also searched for psychiatrists and clinical psychologists to test for traumatic brain injury. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment was one of the tests they used. I looked at the test and thought someone would have to be in pretty rough shape to not pass. Draw a clock face? Identify a rhinoceros? Trump finding anything on that test “hard” is pathetic. Most of the TBI vets passed, according to one of the psychiatrists I spoke to.

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  23. Deborah said on July 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    And rest assured there will be more outrages, lots more. I’m beginning to think that’s the campaign strategy, just to get everybody talking about him even if it’s negative. Or something. I don’t get it.

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  24. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Distraction has been Trump’s strategy all along.

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  25. Kath said on July 20, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    Poop comes up a lot on my Zoom calls, but usually in the context of an angry little voice in the background saying “Daddy, I have to go poopy now!” My friend’s team has started having their conference calls at 9 pm because by then all the kids are in bed.

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  26. Sherri said on July 20, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    The Battle of Portland.

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  27. Charlotte said on July 20, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    I mean, is anyone surprised that the party who have been advocating dismantling the government for decades are incapable of using govt. appropriately during several concurrent emergencies?

    Having cut my teeth on the AIDS crisis right out of college, I’m finding myself enraged all over again — but now! with fascism!

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  28. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    During a phone call with a recruiting company person the other day one of my cats decided to walk on the piano keys. She prefers the bass notes so there was a definite aura of foreboding.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    That test sounds like a common dementia test. Both my parents-in-law had Alzheimer’s, and there was a certain point where they could no longer answer those questions. Gotta say, though, even in my youth counting backwards by seven would be slow going.

    Just when you think you have no more outrage left, he finds new ways to outrage us. I’m so saddened by the judge losing her son.

    Not to brag, but last night I baked a batch of box brownies. They were delicious.

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  30. Deborah said on July 20, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Sherri, that Bellingcat link is excellent, very informative.

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  31. basset said on July 20, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Just left Costco, ours doesn’t have those pickles.

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  32. beb said on July 20, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Trump commits so many outrages every day it’s hard to build up any outrage. Trump has been saying some version of “I’m not leaving” since he was first elected. The Chris Wallace interview was something that should have been done long ago — forcefully pushing back on the President’s lies.

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  33. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Costco seems to have some regionalism to their inventory. Someone in Kentucky was telling me how delicious their three fruit preserves are and we’ve none of those here in CA. If they were not perishable I’d send you some Grillo’s Pickles. I don’t think they’re a California product.

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  34. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    I looked at the Grillo’s website. They’re made in Boston and sold nationally at Target, so you could try your local Tarzhay. You can also get a Grillo’s Pickles t shirt at Urban Outfitters.

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  35. Peter said on July 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    This morning Trump announced that based on the success they’ve had in Portland, he will be sending the Van Squad to Chicago.

    This should be interesting.

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  36. Deborah said on July 20, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Oh goodie back in Chicago just in time for the van goons.

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  37. Dexter Friend said on July 20, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Mooch, a native of Belfast, now living with his young family in Portland, called in to my fave XM channel with a report. He, who grew up right in the middle of The Troubles, said this daily demonstration thing was winding down and would have cooled all the way down, but then Trump’s storm troopers fired it up to a blaze. He said he was not sure if the reports that that majority of the troopers are from the Border Patrol are really accurate. Nobody’s really sure…except that they are non-trained violent go-getters. Mooch said The Troubles were nothing at all like this Portland thing, not as consistently violent.

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  38. David C said on July 20, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    Now that Mango Mussolini has announced his intentions, how hard can it be to track his little green men, meet them at the airport, bus station, or Enterprise car rental joint and arrest their asses before they can cause any trouble.

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  39. Deborah said on July 20, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    New Trump ads which I haven’t seen say you aren’t safe in Biden’s America. As if we’re safe in Trump’s America.

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  40. Sherri said on July 20, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    David C@38, for that to happen, the police would have to not be in favor of the goon squad being there. While the police chief in Portland wouldn’t meet with the Acting DHS Secretary, the police union head did, and the goon squad and the police in Portland do appear to be acting together.

    Police officers have been acting in defiance of police chiefs and mayors throughout the protests, like flouting the restrictions on the use of tear gas that are in place in both Portland and Seattle. For that matter, Seattle has a clear policy on the use of pepper spray, set up long before these protests, and it has been routinely ignored.

    You want to understand where defund the police comes from? Because incremental reform has failed. Consent decrees, body cams, policies – years of work, and police officers still demand authority without accountability.

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  41. LAMary said on July 20, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    “Consent decrees, body cams, policies – years of work, and police officers still demand authority without accountability.”
    And they get it. The unions threaten a police strike and everyone caves.

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  42. Sherri said on July 21, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Buried deep in this article about the thugs coming to Chicago is this:

    The president of CPD’s largest union had pushed for the federal government to help fight crime in Chicago as recently as Saturday, sending Trump a letter.
    “I am certain you are aware of the chaos currently affecting our city on a regular basis now,” John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, wrote in a letter that was posted on the FOP’s Facebook page. “I am writing to formally ask you for help from the federal government. Mayor Lightfoot has proved to be a complete failure who is either unwilling or unable to maintain law and order here.”

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  43. ROGirl said on July 21, 2020 at 4:43 am

    I had been thinking about the Portland storm trooper invasion as Trump’s version of the Reichstag Fire in 1933, and I heard a talking head bring it up on TV yesterday.

    And he wants to send more goon squads to Chicago and Detroit because antifa and democrats.

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  44. Deborah said on July 21, 2020 at 7:27 am

    This is clever, I read that Portland protesters are showing up with leaf blowers to blow the tear gas and pepper spray back at the goons.

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  45. Little Bird said on July 21, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Those ads showing violence and talking about Biden’s America? They were filmed in trumps America.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Fascinating. Kanye West’s campaign HQ in Cody, Wyoming. Okay then.

    And the news in my neck of the woods is that the dark prince of Perry County, Larry Householder, is going down hard. US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio & FBI doing a press conference at 2:30 pm that bumped the governor’s planned 2:00 pm coronavirus update to tomorrow — $60 million in bribes and RICO action around a $1 billion nuclear reactor deal which starts picking my pocket January 1st. Much of the Ohio GOP senior leadership implicated . . . and this could indeed be the brick Moses drops onto the scale to tip Ohio away from Ramesses.

    The malign impact of Householder in this neck of the woods cannot be overstated, and rarely can be gotten on the record, because he’s that scary, and always ready to deliver on threats. None physical that I’ve ever heard, though he likes to try to intimidate in person just by means of bulk, but he’s had a vise grip on Perry County and now on the Ohio House for decades. Lots of schadenfruede on both sides of the aisle this am.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 21, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Backstory (and we’ll see if I can get away with two links in a post):

    This truly could turn enough independents and turnable Republicans in Ohio to shift this state for Biden. A huge development not yet getting national play, but it will. Seriously, I’m talking most of the Ohio GOP core leadership going down, and hard, over $60 million in bribes to push through a $1 billion public trough deal rammed into the state constitution.

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  48. basset said on July 21, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Nancy, what’d you end up doing on the tofu sandwich? I will be on a pickle search expedition later today… we have two Publix, two Kroger, a Sprouts and an Aldi all within three miles of the house, gotta be something out there. our part of town seems to be right in the perfect grocery store demographic.

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  49. Deborah said on July 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    You folks talking about pickle juice on a chicken sandwich, how does that work? Seems like the bread would get all soggy.

    I’m trying to think of some food to take on our road trip back to NM. I’m still low carbing it, so no bread or crackers for me. I’m really sick of prosciutto, salami, hard boiled eggs and cheese, had a lot of that on the trip out. We don’t want to stop at restaurants or even grocery stores while we’re traveling to limit our exposure to the virus. I need to come up with stuff that’ll stay good for 3 travel days in the cooler. If anyone has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated.

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  50. Sherri said on July 21, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    If the Lincoln Project remains true to what they say here, then I welcome them. And they’re certainly doing amazing videos.

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  51. Charlotte said on July 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    If there’s a grape leaf in the pickles, sounds like they’re fermented (not vinegar)? Common trick to tuck a grape or blackcurrant leaf into your pickle ferment to keep them crispy. Easy to do at home! Cucumbers + 5% salt brine + grape leaf, in a clean container. You can add garlic and dill, or I like a Persian version with tarragon, garlic and a little hot pepper.

    And Debrorah — the leaf blower trick was a staple of the Hong Kong protests. As were umbrellas. It’s a global effort, this pushback against fascism. Good to see IG photos from several of my cohort — the white moms — from Portland last night.

    Here in MT, we’re just trying not to die by tourism.

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  52. Jakash said on July 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Interesting report, Jeff. I surely hope you’re right about the effect on the election. Also, in my experience, two links always go through. Also, “A city is built of brick, Pharoah. The strong make many, the starving make few. The dead make none.” One of my favorite scenes…

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  53. Sherri said on July 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    In view of other people, Rep Ted Yolo (R-FL) encountered AOC and called her disgusting and a fucking bitch because he disagreed with her.

    It’s so annoying when women won’t know their place.

    Meanwhile Tom Cotton tweeted out video of people burning some paper plates and cardboard on what are apparently the concrete steps of the federal courthouse in Portland, and talked about protestors trying to burn down the courthouse, so unidentified federal goons are obviously called for to violate the Constitutional rights of protestors. Obviously, he’d prefer to send the 82nd Airborne, but I guess the Pentagon wasn’t too keen on the idea.

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  54. basset said on July 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Deborah, you soak the tofu in pickle juice before you cook it. Trying to eat up the standard grocery store pickles in the fridge right now so we’ll have juice to use on the tofu.

    If those Costco pickles are fermented, they may be in the cooler rather than on the shelf. I’ll look again.

    And, Charlotte, 5% salt brine? Is that 5% by weight, just salt and water? That’d be pretty close to the brine we use for meat, soak it for a day or so before cooking.

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  55. Charlotte said on July 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Basset — I thought it was 3%, which is what I think I usually use, but looked it up before posting — And yes, by weight. I like grams because I’m bad at math and it’s easier!

    If you’re interested in fermented pickles, there’s a food writer from the UK named Olia Hercules who has a bunch of really interesting recipes. She’s Ukranian — I did her fermented tomatoes last year and they were slightly odd, but delicious. (I also bought a really handy Korean fermentation box on Amazon, makes it all really easy.)

    Outing myself as kind of a fermentation geek …

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  56. Deborah said on July 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Sherri, another good link, I think the Lincoln Project is doing a terrific job. If what they said in that article is true, it sounds like they’ve had their come to Jesus about how craven the Republicans have become. I sure hope so.

    Here’s something I’ve noticed about life in the time of Covid, my fingernails seem to be growing at an amazing pace. It seems like I have to trim them every other day. I keep them super short, never get manicures (only had about 3 my whole life). A manicure lasts me about a day, so not worth the expense.

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  57. beb said on July 21, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I have nothing against The Lincoln Project but why are Democrats depending on Never-Trump Republicans for hard hitting, anti-Trump political ads? Aren’t there Democrats with the wit and incisive voice to create Democrat ads that attack Trump so successfully?

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  58. JodiP said on July 21, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Deborah, I googled low carb food for road trips and came back with a ton of options. I will let you browse since you know what you like to eat!

    I listen to Make Me Smart every day, and Monday’s episode had news about the post office. Molly and Kai (all fans refer to them like we’re friends) talked about the post office being everything right now as rely on them to deliver so much stuff and we prepare to vote by mail. Shockingly, Trump appointed a major donor as post master general with millions of dollars invested in alternate delivery services. This guy, of course wants to run the PO more like a business. I hadn’t heard about this before. I don’t have hours to read the news, so I miss a lot. I worry about what’s being done in all the agencies that just gets buried.

    On an up note: Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick is doing a short podcast on Justice Ginsberg’s law school women classmates! You can listen to part one right now!

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  59. Sherri said on July 21, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Mike Solan, the Seattle police union head, is calling for the federal stormtroopers to come to Seattle. This is the video he made for his campaign for union president, which he won with by a 2-1 margin.

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  60. Deborah said on July 21, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I got my hair cut, yay! Chicago weather is more mild than I expected, thank goodness, more humid than NM obviously but not oppressively hot and humid. And seems like that will continue for the duration of our trip. I got to go to Bloomingdales and get some needed items and there were hardly any other people there, everyone wearing masks. Lots more people on the street than in NM obviously. A mix of mask wearing and non-mask wearing but at least it’s outside so a little less stressful. Went to Whole Foods, everyone wearing masks. Tomorrow I have a dr appt, so hopefully that will be fine. We leave early Friday morning to go back to uncle J’s then we leave there for NM on Sunday. While it’s great to spend some time in Chicago, I’m looking forward to being back in sparsely populated NM.

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  61. LAMary said on July 21, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Grillo’s pickles are in the refrigerated section and yes they have a grape leaf in the brine. That brine worked well to marinate a chicken sandwich, so I’ve got high hopes for tofu.

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  62. beb said on July 21, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    A frequent question about Trump is: Stupid or evil? I always opt for both. But with the post office I think it is evil all the way. Destroying it has been a long standing Republican goal and this new Postmaster General is turning two day delivery into two week delivery. I enter some media rate mail into the PO on June 29. It was received at the Detroit Distribution center on July 2 and finally left the building on July 20th. With delays like that voting by mail is going to be a shambles.

    I have a theory why Trump keeps going on about a cognitive test he took. His father have Alzhimers before he died and I suspect Trump lives in fear of becoming the dottering idiot his father did. But also the test is one to detect mental deterioration from things like strokes. We still don’t know why Trump was rushed to Walter Reed last fall, people suspect he had a mini-stroke. Haing him take that test would support that theory. And he does seem more unhinged since them.

    Hump day, or as I like to call it: let’s eat that annoying camel.

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