News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is 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.
Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, a congressional GOP candidate who says she was abducted by aliens when she was a child, said she doesn’t want to be defined by her extraterrestrial experience.
“It has nothing to do with what I have done,” Rodriguez Aguilera told The Associated Press in an article published Friday. “It happened when I was 7 years old.”The Hill
The candidate is considered a long shot in the race to fill the House seat in Miami that’s being vacated by outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R), according to the AP. However, she was endorsed by the Miami Herald last week for the GOP nomination.
President Donald Trump reportedly offered to buy Italian sovereign bonds during a White House meeting last month with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Trump offered to help finance Italy’s 2019 public borrowing, when the Rome treasury is scheduled to issue about 400 billion euros ($462 billion) worth of debt.CNBC
In 2016, American intelligence agencies delivered urgent and explicit warnings about Russia’s intentions to try to tip the American presidential election — and a detailed assessment of the operation afterward — thanks in large part to informants close to President Vladimir V. Putin and in the Kremlin who provided crucial details.
But two years later, the vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent, leaving the C.I.A. and other spy agencies in the dark about precisely what Mr. Putin’s intentions are for November’s midterm elections, according to American officials familiar with the intelligence.
The officials do not believe the sources have been compromised or killed. Instead, they have concluded they have gone to ground amid more aggressive counterintelligence by Moscow, including efforts to kill spies, like the poisoning in March in Britain of a former Russian intelligence officer that utilized a rare Russian-made nerve agent.New York Times
There are still roughly 700 children who were separated from their parents at the border that were not reunified with those parents by the Trump administration, as new court filings reveal the slow pace of reuniting the trickiest family separation cases.
That figure includes more than 40 children who are 4 years old and younger.
While the administration maintains there is a suitable explanation for each of those cases, the filing makes clear that a large share of those children remain separated because their parents were deported without them.
To date, 1,923 out of 2,654 children identified as separated from their parents have been reunified, the administration says.CNN
Tom Frieden, who led the CDC for eight years during the Obama administration, was charged this morning with sex abuse, forcible touching and harassment, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department.
Frieden, who also led New York City’s health department for eight years under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, turned himself in this morning. A law enforcement official said he is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 55-year-old woman in October.Politico
Two top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Friday sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting information about President Trump’s July summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The two senators asked Pompeo to provide “all classified and unclassified cable traffic, memoranda of conversations, interpreter’s notes and policy directives related to the meeting, and if no such documents exist, to confirm so.”The Hill
“[O]ur questions over what commitments President Trump made on behalf of the United States during the private, two-hour meeting remain unanswered…We make this request only as a direct result of the extraordinary and, to our knowledge, unprecedented circumstances of President Trump’s two hour, one-on-one meeting with a leader identified as a threat to the United States by President Trump’s own National Security Strategy,” Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote.
Michael Cohen’s guilty plea Tuesday shook up believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory, who had previously believed special counsel Robert Mueller was secretly working with President Donald Trump, not investigating him.
QAnon supporters believe in clues from “Q” that posit a world where Trump is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with a global pedophile cabal. In Q’s telling, Mueller is working hand-in-hand with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump to stop Democrats.
Along with the conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on the same day, the Cohen plea left QAnon believers questioning whether they had been wrong to place all their hope in an anonymous internet poster.The Daily Beast
The old myth that August is slow in politics is dead and gone. It’s canceled. And I’m going to show you — through GIFs! — that this week proved it.CNN
A Friday Bonus Note from the “Must Read” File
But to really get the feel for the Trump administration’s end, we must turn to the finest political psychologist of them all, William Shakespeare. The text is in the final act of what superstitious actors only refer to as “the Scottish play.” One of the nobles who has turned on their murderous usurper king describes Macbeth’s predicament:
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.
For the moment, the Republicans will not turn on Trump. They fear a peasant revolt, many of them; they still crave favors; they may think his castle impregnable, although less so if they believe what the polls tell them about some of its tottering walls. But if they suffer a medieval-style slaughter on Election Day, the remnants of the knights of the GOP will know a greater fear than that of being primaried. And at the moment when they no longer fear being swept away in 2020, when the economy may be in recession and the Mueller probe is complete with revelations whose ghastliness would delight the three witches of the Scottish play, they will suddenly turn on Trump. Act V of this play will also have a non-linear finish.
And what of Trump himself? In this respect he will be like Macbeth. Where Nixon, who was a statesman, saw the inevitable and resigned, this president is more likely to go down spitting defiance. As for the rest of us, Macduff says to the cornered king just before their final death grapple:
live to be the show and gaze o’ th’ time.
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit
‘Here may you see the tyrant’
And so it will likely be, as Americans gaze back and wonder how on earth this rare monster, now deposed, ended up as their president.The Atlantic