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.
President Donald Trump is canceling across-the-board pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government, citing the “nation’s fiscal situation.”
“We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” the president wrote in a letter Thursday to congressional leaders.
Under Trump’s policy, roughly 1.8 million people won’t get an automatic pay boost next year, including Border Patrol and ICE agents.
Most civilian workers were slated to receive 2.1 percent increase under a years-old government formula. But the president argues that pay raises should be tied to “performance,” rather than “across-the-board” increases.Politico
Roberta McCain, John McCain’s 106-year-old mother, is expected to attend the services for her son at the Capitol, the National Cathedral and the Naval Academy, according to McCain aides.
She is expected to attend the formal ceremony at the US Capitol honoring her son’s life and service to the nation on Friday morning. The late senator will lie in state at the US Capitol.
Roberta McCain is also expected to attend McCain’s memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington Saturday, where former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush will deliver eulogies, as well as a private memorial service for her son at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.
The McCain matriarch was a frequent presence on the campaign trail when her son sought the presidency in 2008. A spirited woman, even in her advanced age, Roberta McCain has consistently traveled, including taking a trip to Europe in her 90s.CNN
The way President Donald Trump handled Sen. John McCain’s death was “disturbing,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Thursday.
“It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain. It pisses me off to no end. And the way he handled the passing of John is just — it was disturbing,” Graham said, appearing on CBS News on Thursday morning.Politico
Federal investigators have provided ample evidence that President Trump was involved in deals to pay two women to keep them from speaking publicly before the 2016 election about affairs that they said they had with him.
But it turns out that Mr. Trump wanted to go even further.
He and his lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen, devised a plan to buy up all the dirt on Mr. Trump that the National Enquirer and its parent company had collected on him, dating back to the 1980s, according to several of Mr. Trump’s associates.
The existence of the plan, which was never finalized, has not been reported before. But it was strongly hinted at in a recording that Mr. Cohen’s lawyer released last month of a conversation about payoffs that Mr. Cohen had with Mr. Trump.The New York Times
Last week, President Donald Trump watched Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News and got mad. That’s not exactly news, but what happened next was news. The president tweeted a message of support for South Africa’s hard-pressed white farmers.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo
to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.”
Trump’s tweet had the usual effect: It has swung liberal-minded Americans to exactly the equal and opposite point of view from the president’s. Trump thinks it’s bad for South Africa to seize land from white farmers without compensation? Then it must actually be good!
But the tweet also had a second effect, this one much less usual: It seems to have actually changed real-world policy for the better. On Tuesday, South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) party withdrew “for further consideration” a bill that would have authorized uncompensated land confiscations.The Atlantic
The US State Department is extending the ban on US citizens traveling to North Korea for another year, according to a State Department official.
The ban, which was set to expire Sept. 1, restricts US passport holders from traveling to or through North Korea. However, the official said that “individuals who wish to travel to or within North Korea for extremely limited purposes,” and whose travel is in the US national interest, can apply for a “special validation” from the State Department.
“The safety and security of US citizens overseas is one of our highest priorities,” the spokesman said.CNN