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
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Saturday downplayed renewed scrutiny over whether President Trump knew in advance about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election, saying “nobody’s going to be surprised.”
Issa was pressed by Fox News’s Neil Cavuto during an interview on whether Trump could face legal consequences if proof emerges that he knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that was billed to Donald Trump Jr. as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for Trump.
“If he’s proven to have not told the whole truth about the fact that campaigns look for dirt, and if someone offers it, you listen to them, nobody’s going to be surprised,” Issa told Cavuto. “There are some things in politics that you just take for granted.”
“You don’t think this has any long-term impact?” Cavuto pressed. “He wouldn’t be the first politician, or president for that matter, to maybe just misrepresent things?”
“Businessmen listen to almost everyone who might be helpful, and by the way, they make pragmatic decisions about how to make bad stories go away,” Issa replied.
For almost a month, an Indianapolis church put a caged Holy Family on its lawn to protest US immigration policies. Now, the display looks a little different.
A group of episcopal priests removed statues of Mary, Joseph and Jesus from inside the chain link fence on Wednesday night. What they put in: a 5-foot-tall mirror with a familiar phrase on top: #EveryFamilyIsHoly.
The Rev. Steve Carlsen, dean and rector of Christ Church Cathedral, said the idea they want to convey is simple.
When visitors walk by and see their reflections inside the cage, they can imagine what detained or separated families at the US-Mexico border might be feeling.
“It comes down to something so simple: can we make a compassionate, imaginative leap of putting ourselves in another’s shoes,” Carlsen told CNN.
The California Carr wildfire has claimed the lives of two firefighters over the last three days, destroyed 500 structures swept into the flames, and remains only 5% contained according to Cal Fire.
Why it matters: The Carr fire is one of 22 fires blazing through California this weekend. Though 3,410 fire personnel have been battling over 80,000 acres of flames from the Carr fire alone, the fire could reach more heavily populated areas before firefighters are able to control it as it remains mostly uncontained.
A U.S. judge on Friday rejected a last-ditch effort by gun control groups to block the Trump administration from allowing the public to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns, declining to intervene just days before the designs are expected to go online.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, denied the request for an order by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence at a hearing, saying he would state the reasons for his decision in a written order to follow.
At the hearing, the judge said he was sympathetic to the gun control groups’ concerns but questioned their legal standing to intervene in the case.
Accused Russian sleeper agent Mariia Butina met in January with the head of a Russian government-affiliated cultural center that authorities have long suspected of being a front for recruiting young American spies.
Authorities believe the meeting with Oleg Zhiganov, the longtime director of the Russian Cultural Centre, was one of several pieces of evidence that Butina was a flight risk, and a judge recently agreed. But Butina’s attorney insists the get-together was nothing more than a nice dinner out between two Russian expatriates who had met a few times at the embassy, where Zhiganov serves as first secretary.
“As far as I know, they went out to dinner that one time,” Butina’s defense attorney, Robert Driscoll, told POLITICO. “And she might have known him from events at the embassy.”
Zhiganov’s identity, previously unreported, was confirmed to POLITICO on Friday by a source familiar with the investigation.
A federal judge said Friday she will appoint an independent monitor to keep tabs on the conditions migrant children are kept in after they are detained along parts of the southern border.
“There continue to be persistent problems,” US District Judge Dolly Gee said in a status hearing at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, adding, “There seems to be disconnect between what both sides see at these facilities.”
The judge said she wants an independent monitor to report the facts to her directly, “to cut through disputes over what is happening on the ground.”
The move comes a day after the deadline for the government to reunite families separated at the border, and amid public outcry over those separations and the alleged ill treatment of some children in government-run detention facilities.
A Saturday Bonus Note From The “Ya Think?” File
In a divided U.S., therapists treating anxiety are hearing the same name over and over: Donald Trump
“Is he gonna blow us all up?”
So inquired one of Elisabeth LaMotte’s patients recently, fretting out loud about the volatility of U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions during a therapy session at her Washington practice.
It was a rhetorical question — one that predated Trump’s threats of a showdown with Iran this week. But if the question wasn’t meant in earnest, the politically induced anxiety LaMotte is hearing about from her clients certainly is, says the founder of the D.C. Counselling and Psychotherapy Center.
She refers to it as a “collective anxiety” among patients who feel on edge about how potentially dire the president’s decisions could be.
“There is a fear of the world ending,” she said. “It’s very disorienting and constantly unsettling.”
A Saturday Bonus Bonus Note From The “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” File
— The Hill (@thehill) July 28, 2018
The First Ever Bonus Bonus BONUS Note From The “Florida Man” File
A man made a beer run into a Florida convenience store carrying a live alligator with its mouth taped shut.
Video posted by television station WTLV shows the unidentified man walking into the Jacksonville store holding the gator with his right hand.
He walks with the gator toward the counter, asking, “Ya’ll aint out of beer are you?”
File this under: Sh!t that happens when you’re from Duval, Florida.#OnlyinDuval OnlyinDuval.com #Oidstreetteam Robby Stratton & Raj Patil Igersjax
Posted by Only in Duval on Friday, July 27, 2018