with Mariana Alfaro

WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden mentioned Donald Trump as much as Kamala Harris during his speech introducing her as his running mate here on Wednesday. That’s a reflection of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s desire to keep this election a referendum on the president as much as possible, even amid the history-making debut of the first Black woman and first Asian American to be a major-party candidate for vice president.

The former vice president noted that their first joint appearance, held in a mostly empty high school gymnasium near his house because of the novel coronavirus, coincided with the third anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville, where hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members defending a Confederate statue clashed with counterprotesters in the streets. A white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd, leaving a young woman dead and 19 others injured. Biden reiterated on Wednesday, as he has said countless times, that Trump’s comment afterward that there were “very fine people on both sides” is what prompted him to run for president.

“On January 20th, 2021, we're all going to watch Senator Harris raise her right hand and swear the oath of office as the first woman ever to serve in the second highest office in this land,” Biden said, “and then we're going to get to work fixing the mess that President Trump and Vice President Pence have created, both at home and abroad, through four years of mismanagement and coddling of terrorists and thugs around the world. … And we have a racial justice crisis that Donald Trump seeks only to inflame with his politics of racist rhetoric and division.”

Biden, 77, made clear that part of Harris’s appeal during the drawn-out selection process was her proven ability, as the former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, to prosecute a case. For the next 82 days, he wants her to take point in prosecuting the political case against the incumbent. “We have all watched her in the United States Senate go toe-to-toe with Trump officials trying to hide the truth, asking the tough questions that needed to be asked and not stopping until she got an answer,” Biden said. “And when none was forthcoming, it was obvious what the answer was.”

Harris also spoke almost as much about Trump as herself after Biden socially distanced himself from the lectern. “Let me tell you, as somebody who has presented my fair share of arguments in court, the case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut,” the 55-year-old said. “Just look where they've gotten us: More than 16 million out of work, millions of kids who cannot go back to school, a crisis of poverty and homelessness … a crisis of hunger … and, tragically, more than 165,000 lives that have been cut short, many with loved ones who never got the chance to say goodbye.”

The senator contrasted Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic with the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Barack Obama and Joe Biden did their job: Only two people in the United States died,” she said. “While other countries are following the science, Trump pushed miracle cures he saw on Fox News. While other countries were flattening the curve, he said the virus would just poof, go away, ‘like a miracle.’ There's a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It’s because of Trump's failure to take it seriously from the start, his refusal to get testing up and running, his flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks, and his delusional belief that he knows better than the experts. All of that is why an American dies of covid-19 every 80 seconds.”

The United States reported nearly 1,500 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest number of covid-19 fatalities in one day since mid-May. The country has now seen its seven-day average of newly reported deaths remain above 1,000 for 17 consecutive days. The Labor Department announced Thursday that about 960,000 workers filed for unemployment insurance last week. This is the first time that initial claims dipped below 1 million since March, but it’s also still more than the pre-pandemic record of 695,000, which had been set during the 1982 recession. All told, more than 28 million people are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) spoke for the first time as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate on Aug. 12. (The Washington Post)

A summer thunderstorm knocked out power in this area, but the lights stayed on inside Alexis I. du Pont High School thanks to a backup generator. The power outage felt like the latest metaphor for 2020, which has already required so much improvisation and adjustment from everyone. There was no crowd to applaud the speeches. Reporters had their temperatures checked, and answered a series of coronavirus screening questions, before being allowed to enter the building.

When Harris and Biden finished their speeches, the two appeared to wave and point at nonexistent people in the mostly empty gym. Unlike baseball stadiums, where artificial crowd noise is piped in and printed pictures of fans are put in seats, the gym was mostly empty and silent, except for journalists. But some things never change: The event started late, as was routine for both Biden and Harris rallies during pre-pandemic times.

Vice-presidential challengers historically go after the incumbent more forcefully than the person at the top of the ticket so that the presidential nominee can keep his hands a little cleaner. Harris plainly relishes that role. “He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden and then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground,” she said of Trump. “America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him, a president who is making every challenge we face even more difficult to solve.”

To be sure, Biden referenced Harris’s background as the daughter of immigrants. Her mother came from India. Her father came from Jamaica and taught economics at Stanford University. They met while protesting during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. “Her story is America’s story,” Biden said. “Different from mine in many particulars, but also not so different in many of the essentials.”

Harris, also, referred to her potential to break glass ceilings. Alluding to criticisms by some people close to Biden during the vetting process that she was too “ambitious,” California’s junior senator said: “Joe, I’m so proud to stand with you, and I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me, whose sacrifice, determination and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.”

Biden attacked the president over his refusal to meet with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) since House Democrats voted to impeach him last year. “Trump is on the golf course,” Biden said. “He hasn't even met with the leadership. He doesn't have time, it appears.”

Neither Biden nor Harris offered specifics during their speeches on Wednesday for how they would “build back better,” to use the campaign’s mantra. “The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan,” Biden declared, without much elaboration.

On taxes, health care and climate policy, Harris has staked out more liberal positions than Biden. Harris introduced legislation last month to provide monthly $2,000 payments to tens of millions of Americans, for example. She has also proposed banning evictions, foreclosures, rent increases and utility shutdowns until the pandemic is over. 

A spokesman for the Biden campaign declined to comment on whether the campaign supports Harris’s plans to respond to the contagion. “Biden’s economic plan for responding to the pandemic says that lawmakers ‘could include cash payments to working families’ as part of a broader package but does not specify an amount for the payment,” Jeff Stein notes. “Biden’s plan also pushes a ‘federal partnership’ with states and cities for rental relief ‘so no one faces evictions,’ but not an outright ban.” 

As Biden introduced Harris, he mentioned that Trump had called her “nasty.” Just as Trump called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman” during a debate in 2016, the president is complaining this week that Harris was “extraordinarily nasty” to Brett Kavanaugh after the nominee to the Supreme Court was accused of sexual assault in 2018. Trump also said Biden picking Harris caught him off guard because she was “very, very nasty” to him during the Democratic nominating contest.

“It's no surprise because whining is what Donald Trump does best, better than any president in American history,” Biden said. “Is anyone surprised Donald Trump has a problem with a strong woman or strong women across the board?”

After their event at the high school, Biden and Harris went to the Hotel Du Pont in downtown Wilmington. They held a virtual fundraiser in a ballroom that had been set up with jumbo screens. Biden announced during the event, which streamed on Zoom, that the campaign raised $26 million in the 24 hours after he announced Harris, including from 150,000 first-time contributors. The Biden campaign said afterward that more than 40,000 people watched the fundraiser live and that $9.6 million was raised by the end of the event. 

Biden launched his long-shot Senate campaign at the hotel in 1972 and celebrated the night of his upset victory – just weeks before his first wife and infant daughter died near here in a tragic car accident. Harris now has a Secret Service detail, with a motorcade of black Suburbans parked on a side street. Biden and Harris will appear together again later Thursday for a briefing on covid-19, and both are scheduled to deliver remarks.

She still must introduce herself to a lot of Americans who did not pay much attention to the Democratic nominating contest. A New York Times-Siena College poll in June found that 26 percent of registered voters had no opinion when asked to rate Harris, while 40 percent viewed her favorably and 35 percent viewed her unfavorably.

Her next chance to make an impression will come Wednesday night when she speaks to the Democratic National Convention. Harris, like all the other speakers, will appear virtually instead of going to Milwaukee, where it was scheduled to take place. Trump just announced that he will hold a campaign event in Wisconsin on Monday. He criticized Biden and Harris for “not even going to pay the respect of at least making a stopover.”

“Harris is expected to conduct most events virtually, as Biden has, but could also be deployed to some battleground states. While Biden has done a handful of in-person events, there is little expectation that he would increase that pace, given health concerns,” Annie Linskey and Matt Viser report.

Trump and his allies are struggling to find a focused attack on Harris. Harris was called a “phony” by Trump’s reelection campaign and a “far-left radical” by his surrogates. During a White House news conference shortly after the Biden-Harris event in the gym, Trump mocked Harris for her failed presidential campaign. “She said horrible things about him,” he said. “Now all of the sudden she’s running to be vice president saying how wonderful he is.”

“The messages varied wildly — casting her as both an overzealous prosecutor too tough on crime and an advocate for defunding the police, and as being so far to the left she would institute socialism as well as too moderate to satisfy her party’s progressive base,” Phil Rucker and Isaac Stanley-Becker report. “The scattershot nature of the intersecting lines of attack also underscored the lack of consensus within the GOP about how best to take on Harris. Considering Trump’s long history of misogynistic comments and his declining popularity among female voters, some Republican strategists suggested that he proceed with more caution when talking about Harris — and, better yet, leave it to surrogates who might deliver criticism on his behalf with more discipline and less personal baggage.”

More election news

Trump and House Republicans embraced a candidate who believes in QAnon and has made racist remarks.

“Trump on Wednesday tweeted that Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won her Georgia primary Tuesday evening, was a ‘future Republican Star,’ who was ‘strong on everything and never gives up — a real WINNER!’ The office of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who ignored multiple pleas from his members to wade into the primary to stop Greene — has said that he will seat her on congressional committees,” Rachael Bade and Isaac Stanley-Becker report. “The decision has left many House Republicans privately griping about irresponsible leadership, even as they do little publicly to challenge the party’s position or to state their opposition to Greene’s joining their conference if she is elected in November, as is expected, in a reliably Republican district. Greene promotes the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose followers believe Trump is battling a cabal of ‘deep state’ saboteurs of his administration who worship Satan and traffic children for sex. She has also made racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments, asserting that Black people are ‘held slaves to the Democratic Party,’ likening the election of the first two Muslim women to Congress to an ‘Islamic invasion of our government’ and calling George Soros, the liberal Jewish donor and Holocaust survivor, a ‘Nazi himself trying to continue what was not finished.’”

Trump says the Postal Service cannot facilitate mail-in voting because it cannot access emergency funding he’s blocking.

“Trump, who has been railing against mail-in balloting for months, said the cash-strapped agency’s enlarged role in the November election would perpetuate ‘one of the greatest frauds in history,’” Jacob Bogage reports. “Trump said he would not approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources, citing prohibitively high costs. ‘They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess,’ Trump said. … Trump’s remarks came hours after congressional Democrats intensified calls for more oversight of the agency and the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor and Trump ally. The effort comes after DeJoy ushered a wholesale reorganization of the agency’s executive ranks, restructured operations and instituted a hiring freeze on top of other cost-cutting measures already being blamed for significant mail backups. 

“In recent weeks, the Postal Service has warned states that long-standing classification practices for ballots and other political mailings may not be enough to ensure timely delivery for the November election, exacerbating Democrats’ fears that Trump is using the nation’s mail service to aid his reelection bid. Postal officials advised the nation’s secretaries of state to use high-priority first-class postage, which costs 55 cents an item, on election mail rather than the third-class, or bulk, rate of 20 cents typically used. … Bulk mail delivery takes three to 10 days, according to the Postal Service, while first-class mail delivery takes two to five days. But postal workers have long informally treated election mail — including voter registration materials, voter information and ballots — as first-class items, affording them privileges their 20-cent price point ordinarily would not allow.”

  • DeJoy still holds a multimillion-dollar stake in his former company, XPO Logistics, which is a USPS contractor, likely creating conflicts of interest. (CNN)
  • Mail-sorting equipment has been “removed” from post offices, leaving mail to “pile up,” a union leader said. Kimberly Karol, head of the Iowa Postal Workers Union, told NPR that USPS workers are beginning to see the harms of DeJoy’s changes.
A network of fake Chinese accounts has been posting videos bashing Trump. 

“The network is technologically advanced — using artificial intelligence to create faked faces for profile images — and nimble, producing videos at a pace of roughly one per day since mid-July. One video responded directly to a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for an Internet ‘clean’ of malign Chinese influence less than 36 hours after he made the speech last week,” Craig Timberg and Shane Harris report. “One three-minute video posted on YouTube by the network on Tuesday, titled ‘When I voted for trump, I almost sentenced myself to death,’ portrayed the president as bashing China and threatening to ban TikTok to bolster his reelection chances. … The video shows flattering images of [Biden]. … Though the posts regularly echoed official Chinese government propaganda, [the research agency] Graphika was unable to determine what relationship, if any, the network had with the Chinese government. Nor is it clear whether the intended audience was Chinese, American or a combination. U.S. intelligence officials said last week that Chinese officials were seeking to undermine Trump’s quest for reelection.”

A group collecting signatures to put Kanye West on the Montana ballot said they were doing so to “help Trump.” 

“‘You want to help Trump?’ one of the organizers called out Tuesday afternoon in front of the Yellowstone County Courthouse. ‘We're trying to take votes away from creepy Uncle Joe,’” the Billings Gazette reports. “A similar group of organizers were at MetraPark on Tuesday using the same pitch, calling out to fair-goers as they approached the gate, sometimes not even mentioning West’s name. … [One of the organizers] declined to give his name, saying he had been ‘told expressly to stay away from the media.’ He also declined to name the group that recruited him to gather signatures, describing them as clients of the West campaign.” West huddled in Colorado last weekend with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, per Reuters.

Since 2016, 11 states and D.C. have expanded voting rights for the currently and formerly incarcerated. 

Over a million currently and formerly incarcerated Americans have regained their right to vote since the last presidential election. Many still face barriers to voting, though, like outstanding fines and fees. For some of these Americans, November will be the first time they’ll be able to cast a ballot. (Brittany Renee Mayes and Kate Rabinowitz)

The coronavirus

Trump declared that a deal with Congress to deliver relief is “not going to happen.”  

“In declaring the whole process over, Trump used a news conference to criticize Democrats’ proposals for funding election preparations and the Postal Service as part of a broader spending measure. Those were among multiple issues that divided the parties during two weeks of negotiations that initially collapsed Friday before a failed attempt to revive them Wednesday,” Erica Werner and Jeff Stein report. “His comments came hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for the first time since the talks fell apart last week. But their conversation did not break the impasse, instead leading to another round of finger-pointing.” Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused the administration of “refusing to budge.” Mnuchin accused Pelosi of mischaracterizing their conversation.”

Trump also continued to press for the nation’s schools to bring children into classrooms and for athletes to fill stadiums. He even threatened to divert federal money from schools that don’t open. “Georgia reported 105 deaths Wednesday, marking its second triple-digit day in a row. North Carolina reported an additional 45 deaths Wednesday, tying its highest daily number, from July 29. Texas reported 324 additional deaths from the disease," Brady Dennis and Jacqueline Dupree report. "At Etowah High School in Woodstock, Ga., dozens of seniors packed together to pose side-by-side for a photo when classes began Aug. 3. Not a single smile was covered with a mask. Just over a week later, the students all have been sent home and the school is shut. … The increasing loss of life and the wave of joblessness the pandemic has created have not stopped a rebound on Wall Street. The S&P 500 nearly broke its all-time high on Wednesday, almost matching the record from February, before the coronavirus began hammering the United States.”

  • Scott Atlas has been informally advising Trump for weeks after the president saw him on Fox News. The Hoover Institution fellow, “unlike the government's medical experts who have advised Trump until now, has adopted a public stance on the virus much closer to Trump’s including decrying the idea that schools cannot reopen this fall as ‘hysteria’ and pushing for the resumption of college sports,” CNN reports.
  • CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, said he’s not sending his kids back to school because it's not safe. “Just over the past four weeks, the number of children infected in the United States has increased by 90% to more than 380,000 cases,” he wrote. “While some of that increase may be due to increased testing, younger kids starting to emerge from their homes for the first time also play a role. And, for much of the country, schools haven't even yet reopened.”

Quote of the day

“It’s easy for people who don’t work or who are retired from work to say, ‘If everybody would just do their part, we could get rid of this,’” said Nichole Cohen, a member of the school board in Lake Havasu, Ariz. “At some point, we are going to have to come up with an acceptable casualty rate, and nobody wants to have that conversation.” (News Herald)

“They don’t even treat us like humans anymore”: Grocery workers say morale is at an all-time low. 

“This spring, for the first time, Angel Manners found purpose and pride at the supermarket where she has worked the past decade. Customers praised her as a hero for putting herself at risk during the pandemic. Bosses boosted her hourly pay by $2. Suddenly, her job was essential. Nearly five months in, and it is all gone,” Abha Bhattarai reports. “‘Those of us who are left are really stretched thin — working so much harder for $11.50 an hour,’ [said Manners, 43, who processes vendor deliveries at a Meijer store in northern Kentucky]. Grocery workers across the country say morale is crushingly low as the pandemic wears on with no end in sight. Overwhelmed employees are quitting mid-shift. Those who remain say they are overworked, taking on extra hours, enforcing mask requirements and dealing with hostile customers. Most retailers have done away with hazard pay even as workers remain vulnerable to infection, or worse. Employees who took sick leave at the beginning of the pandemic say they cannot afford to take unpaid time off now, even if they feel unwell.” 

The nation wanted to eat out again. Everyone has paid the price.

“Data from states and cities show that many community outbreaks of the coronavirus this summer have centered on restaurants and bars, often the largest settings to infect Americans,” the Times reports. “In Louisiana, roughly a quarter of the state’s 2,360 cases since March that were outside of places like nursing homes and prisons have stemmed from bars and restaurants. In Maryland, 12 percent of new cases last month were traced to restaurants, contact tracers there found, and in Colorado, 9 percent of outbreaks overall have been traced to bars and restaurants. It is unclear what percentage of workers transmitted the virus among themselves, or to patrons or whether customers brought in the virus. But the clusters are worrisome to health officials because many restaurant and bar employees across the country are in their 20s and can carry the virus home and possibly seed household transmissions.”

Car salespeople have had to shift their tactics — no more handshakes, for one — and some have succeeded.

Mike McVeigh’s dealership in Pennsylvania “started to emphasize online sales and delivering automobiles to customers,” Todd Frankel reports. “That helped find new potential customers and ease some concerns about the pandemic. But the deals still needed to be closed, the paperwork and keys secured in a yellow folder that signified a pending sale. And that’s where McVeigh came in, an old-school salesman with reading glasses trying new ways of making it work wearing a face mask. ‘I didn’t know this was even possible,’ he said. ‘But I’m never going back to the old way.’” 

  • The pandemic will make movies and TV shows like nothing we’ve seen before. Expect no crowd scenes, few locations and limited romance. Hollywood is about to get really strange, writes Steven Zeitchik.
  • The Washington football team will play home games with no fans this season. Several other teams, including the New York Giants and Jets, have already said they will play in empty stadiums, per Les Carpenter. The NFL said less than 1 percent of its tests of players, coaches and staff members have been positive since they arrived for training camps, per Mark Maske
  • Southwest Airlines removed a family from a flight when their 3-year-old with autism was unable to wear a mask. The child doesn’t like his face covered, the mother told a Houston TV station, and she had a doctor’s note confirming as much. “They should have some kind of exemption,” the mother said. (Shannon McMahon)
  • A 10-year-old girl witnessed her mother’s fatal shooting while participating in a Zoom class. The girl’s teacher said she noticed something was wrong and quickly muted the girl moments before she saw her throw her hands over her ears. Then the screen went dark. The girl’s mother had been killed by her ex-boyfriend. (Jaclyn Peiser)

The U.N. warned that 23 countries have postponed elections or referendums and blamed the coronavirus.

The world continues its drift toward authoritarianism, and the secretary general predicts that the pandemic will make existing conflicts worse and create new problems around the globe. (Antonia Farzan)

  • India overtook Britain to have the fourth-highest death toll in the world, with 2.4 million confirmed cases and at least 47,000 deaths. (Jennifer Hassan)
  • New Zealand reported 13 new cases of community transmission this morning as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned that the tally is likely to increase in the coming days. Each of the new cases is linked to four members of an Auckland family who were the first New Zealand residents to become infected in more than three months. She said it is a good sign that the new cases are all part of the same cluster. (Farzan
  • Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte said he could be injected with Russia’s new vaccine as soon as May. But local experts say that date could be very unrealistic. (Regine Cabato)

The Trump presidency

The White House once again wants to ease rules to appease the president. This time it involves shower heads. 

“The Trump Administration wants to change the definition of a showerhead to let more water flow, addressing a pet peeve of the president who complains he isn’t getting wet enough,” the AP reports. “Publicly talking about the need to keep his hair ‘perfect,’ Trump has made increasing water flow and dialing back long held appliance conservation standards — from light bulbs to toilets to dishwashers — a personal issue. But consumer and conservation groups said the Department of Energy’s proposed loosening of a 28-year-old energy law that includes appliance standards is silly, unnecessary and wasteful, especially as the West bakes through a historic two-decade-long megadrought.” 

Bob Woodward’s new Trump book comes out Sept. 15.

The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, says “Rage” includes details about 25 personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “Trump provided Woodward a window into his mind through a series of exclusive interviews,” according to promotional materials. “Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses, as well as participants’ notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.” (Preorder here.)  

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s sexual misconduct rule will take effect after legal roadblocks failed. 

“A circuit court judge in the District of Columbia released an order Wednesday denying a request to stop the new rule and to block it as legal action continues. Attorneys general in 17 states and the District of Columbia have brought the lawsuit challenging DeVos' policy change, which mandates how colleges and K-12 schools must respond to reports of sexual misconduct,” Politico reports. “District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge Carl John Nichols wrote that, while state leaders have raised ‘serious arguments’ about the rule, ‘they have not established a likelihood of success on their claims, nor have they established that they are likely to suffer substantial irreparable harm pending further litigation.’”

Trump is considering replacing Mark Esper at the Pentagon after the election.

“One person said Esper has told people close to him that he intends to leave regardless of the election’s outcome, meaning he could exit the administration about two months before Trump does, if the president loses,” Bloomberg News reports. The two appear to have clashed over contradictions in the wake of the Beirut explosion. Trump blamed it on an attack, a claim Esper contradicted the next day by saying that all indications pointed to an accident.

A summer of unrest

Liberal prosecutors are facing backlash over lenient charges following civil unrest and looting. 

In Chicago, where police arrested more than 100 people after rampant looting early Monday devastated the city’s central business district, some local officials have blamed liberal policy changes by top prosecutor Kim Foxx for the shattered windows and raided shelves,” Katie Shepherd and Mark Guarino report. “[Foxx] has told reporters she stands by the reforms she has put in place, which include raising the standard for felony theft charges from a minimum of $300 to $1,000 in stolen goods. … Foxx’s raised bar for felonies has frustrated Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, who … has complained that repeat offenders are cycling through the court system due to reduced charges, low bail amounts and an inefficient electronic monitoring system. …

“In Portland, officers arrested dozens of people over three nights of raucous protests this past weekend. ... Most of those who were arrested, for disorderly conduct or interfering with a peace officer, will not be charged with a crime, according to a statement from Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt. Schmidt said his policy makes a clear distinction between a small number of agitators who engage in violence and destruction and the otherwise peaceful protesters who sometimes get swept up in mass arrests as police move to quell unwieldy demonstrations. … The decision opposes a recent call for harsher penalties from the police union. … Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said his officers will continue to make arrests when they witness crimes.” 

Federal agents tear-gassed hundreds of Oregon protesters who were blocking buses carrying ICE detainees. The crowd was trying to block officials from removing two Mexican immigrants who were detained while driving to work separately on Monday, said the founder of a local advocacy group. (Teo Armus)

Protests again turned violent in Richmond, where residents say the turmoil has eroded their support for the demonstrations. Some among a group of about 50 protesters vandalized downtown businesses and smashed windows at the city’s John Marshall Courthouse, causing what Mayor Levar Stoney (D) said was hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, Gregory Schneider and Laura Vozzella report. Some residents say the relentless weeks of demonstrations are taking a toll. For Janice Nuckolls, who considers herself a liberal Democrat, “the early thrill of marches and chanting has given way to dread, she said. Guns have become a common sight. People relieve themselves in yards and alleyways. Her husband tried to tell some of the protesters that he appreciates the cause, but that, ‘you know, we’re trying to sleep,’ said Nuckolls, 63, who is White. ‘And the response was, ‘No justice, no peace.’”

Social media speed read

Harris’s husband shared backstage photos:

Following Sarah Palin’s Instagram post on Tuesday, a 2016 GOP presidential candidate (and, briefly, Ted Cruz’s running mate) shared some advice for Harris:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will get only 60 seconds to speak during the Democratic National Convention. She had a poem to mark the occasion, and her second-grade teacher took notice:

A former secretary of the Navy celebrated Harris’s selection:

As Trump embraced a congressional candidate who supports QAnon, a CNN reporter offered a reminder that this is a feature, not a bug, of his tenure in office:

The deputy communications director for Trump’s reelection campaign attacked Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) after the lawmaker dismissed QAnon:

And Congress looks like a no man’s land, a reminder that no deal for a relief bill is in sight:

Videos of the day

Our correspondent Sarah Dadouch visited the port in Beirut a week after the explosion that killed more than 170 people. She was in her apartment, half a mile away, at the time of the blast:

Washington Post correspondent Sarah Dadouch visited the port in Beirut one week after a massive explosion killed more than 170 people. (The Washington Post)

Trump is reportedly workshopping attacks on Kamala Harris, which Stephen Colbert said is a “wonderful” use of the commander in chief’s time: 

“Late Night’s” Amber Ruffin listed the things Trump has “done” for Black America: