The Monday Morning Teaser

There will be a Sift this morning. (My wife’s surgery did happen on Thursday. It went well, and her recovery has been faster than we expected. As a result, the physical and psychological demands the situation places on me have been manageable without cancelling the Sift. Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern and wished us well.)

I think there’s even a pretty good Sift this morning. Like most of you (or at least the “you” I imagine), I’ve been wondering what the heck is going on in Portland. Unidentified feds in camo pulling US citizens into unmarked vans and driving off with them — what’s that about? How can they do that? What happens next?

There’s a story to tell here, and I think I’ve pieced it together. It starts with the military’s reluctance to suppress the protests in DC in early June, and the “success” (from Trump’s point of view) of deploying a motley assortment of armed federal agents with no insignia or other ID. At the time, many legal observers thought DC was special; the same thing couldn’t be done in a state without the consent of its governor. But now it is being done.

Based on Trump’s subsequent executive order protecting federal statues and monuments, DHS has put together the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), an inter-agency umbrella for assembling motley assortments of armed federal agents who operate under no particular rules. That’s who’s in Portland. If this works — where “works” means getting away with actions in a blue state that Fox News can make look good to Trump’s base in swing states — we can expect to see PACT’s little green men in the major cities of blue states all over the country. (Chicago or San Francisco, maybe.) And if Trump ultimately does respond to a lost or contested election with force, it won’t be the Army he calls in, because they won’t come. It will be some motley assortment of armed federal agents operating under no particular rules. (There are, believe it or not, 132,000 of them.)

Telling that story has turned into a long article, which I haven’t quite finished yet. But I think it’s worth your time. I should have it out around 10 or 11 EDT.

The weekly summary hasn’t commanded nearly so much of my effort. The virus continues to spread and Trump continues to ignore it. John Lewis died. And a few other things happened, none of which grabbed my attention like video of federal secret police abducting people off the street. The summary should be out by 1.

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  • Roger  On July 20, 2020 at 8:59 am

    my best to your wife

  • Laura Andy  On July 20, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I’m so glad to hear that your wife is responding so well! Best wishes for a continued smooth recovery.

  • Kathie Zeman  On July 20, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Thanks for the update on your wife, Doug. Happy news. Wishing you both good things to come.

  • Josh  On July 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Glad to hear the surgery went well!

  • Guest  On July 20, 2020 at 9:35 am

    So glad to hear she’s doing well, even better than expected, Doug. Best wishes!

  • Jacqueline (Bonin) Gargiulo  On July 20, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Glad to hear and pray all continues to go well for your wife.

  • MegLeSchack  On July 20, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    So glad to hear that surgery went well and Deb is healing well. Deb, do your physical therapy exercises consistently. My 2 hips and a knee attest to the value of the pt activity. 😋🥰🌺🌺🌺🦋

  • Michael Flanagan  On July 20, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Me too! Happy to hear that Deb is doing well.

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