News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
From The Hill
“The Daily Show” took aim at Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday, using clips of the host’s past statements going after former President Obama for pushing to normalize relations with Cuba to mock him over his support for President Trump‘s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In a 40-second video released by “The Daily Show,” Hannity’s statements attacking Obama for relaxing U.S. diplomatic policies with Cuba are shown side-by-side with his praise for Trump’s rhetoric and policy toward North Korea, portraying the Fox host as arguing with himself.
A conservative Christian and longtime culture warrior, Pence shares many of Southern Baptists’ faith commitments and some of their political views. With more than 15 million members, Southern Baptists are the country’s largest evangelical denomination, and more than 80% of white evangelicals voted for the Trump-Pence ticket.
But as Pence prepares to address nearly 10,000 delegates — called messengers — at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting here on Wednesday, a small but significant slice is opposing his appearance.
Younger Southern Baptists in particular — a rising force with the election on Tuesday of J.D. Greear, 45, as the new president of the denomination — are wary of appearing too close to the GOP and detracting from their main mission: winning souls for Jesus.
A man has been indicted on charges of threatening to murder two prominent liberal senators — Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders and California Democrat Kamala Harris — as well as to harm participants in the “March for Our Lives” gun control rally held on the National Mall in March.
The five-count grand jury indictment of Nicholas Bukoski was revealed Wednesday by the Washington D.C. branch of the U.S. District Court. It contains few details of the alleged threats but indicates they all occurred on March 24, the day of the rally.
The indictment was issued in April but held under seal until late last week, when Bukoski was taken into federal custody, and wasn’t revealed publicly until Wednesday.
From Foreign Policy
A senior advisor to the State Department appointed just two months ago has been quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine whether they are loyal to President Donald Trump and his political agenda, according to nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials.
Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist-turned-wine blogger under the name “Vino Vixen,” has reviewed the social media pages of State Department staffers for signs of ideological deviation. She has researched the names of government officials to determine whether they signed off on Obama-era policies — though signing off does not mean officials personally endorsed them but merely cleared them through the bureaucratic chain. And she has inquired about Americans employed by international agencies, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations, asking their colleagues when they were hired and by whom, according the officials.
From The Hill
The United Kingdom’s House of Commons burst into laughter on Monday after Conservative MP Crispin Blunt asked Prime Minister Theresa May to choose between President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking: “Trudeau or Trump?”
“I’m not sure what activity he’s asking me to undertake with either,” May said amid laughter.
Another member of parliament can be heard in a video of the exchange, yelling, “Kiss, marry?”
“Moreover if one was being really pedantic, one would have to say that the honorable gentleman’s question did not contain a main verb,” House of Commons Speaker John Bercow chimed in.
Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.
The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia’s largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of Russian President Putin.
From The Daily Beast
Leaving aside my usual critiques of Trump, which are, as you may have noticed, colorful, varied, and pointed, let’s give the president a fair assessment of his week’s activities, and thanks and credit where thanks and credit are due.
Of course, we start when Trump fled the humid confines of Washington, D.C., jetting to Quebec to blow up the G7 summit and take a massive political and rhetorical dump on some of our longest-standing and closest allies. But I’m playing nice, so thank you, Mr. President, for adopting 19th-century trade policies that combine both raging economic illiteracy and inevitably adverse outcomes for America. Well done.
A Rare Wednesday Bonus Note From the “#MPRRACCOON Has Been Rescued and Is Safe and Sound So We Can All Relax Now” File
(h/t to RememberSekmeht for the link)
From Star Tribune
Thousands of concerned citizens around the world who watched, waited and hoped for the best for the plucky raccoon that scaled a St. Paul skyscraper Tuesday, woke up Wednesday to news of a happy ending.
She made it.
The scrappy critter completed his climb in the cover of darkness and reached the roof of the UBS Plaza about 2:30 a.m., said Laurie Brickley, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections, which includes Animal Control.