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.
Yes, it’s as bad as you thought it was. Maybe worse.
That’s the unmistakable message about President Donald Trump and his administration from the early pieces of Bob Woodward’s chronicle — titled “Fear: Trump in the White House” — of the first year of the billionaire businessman’s presidency. The image Woodward casts of Trump is of a petulant child, deeply insecure about, well, everything. His staffers — from Defense Secretary James Mattis to chief of staff John Kelly and on down — spend most of their time a) keeping Trump in the dark for, in their estimation, the good of the country and b) running him down in meetings he isn’t in. Trump seems, by turns, annoyed by being left out of the loop and indifferent to it. And most importantly, the President seems entirely unaware of how incredibly out of his depth he actually is.CNN
Woodward’s book, which comes in at just under 500 pages, is due out next Tuesday. But even in these passages, virtually every suspicion (of those paying attention) about the problems with Trump and the utter dysfunction of his White House is confirmed.
The White House on Tuesday said it is “closely monitoring” an imminent major Syrian regime attack on rebel holdouts in Syria’s Idlib province—a military action that would defy admonitions from President Donald Trump and other senior U.S. officials.
“President Donald J. Trump has warned that such an attack would be a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict and would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the statement, which specifically cited the roles of Russia and Iran in what could be the last major offensive of Syria’s long and bloody civil war.Politico
The father of a student killed in the February school shooting in Parkland, Fla., said Tuesday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh refused to shake his hand when he tried to introduce himself at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, tweeted that he tried to meet Kavanaugh and shake his hand during a break on the first day of Kavanaugh’s hearings.
“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended,” Guttenberg said. “Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”The Hill
With a tweet complaining that indictments of two congressmen “by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department” put GOP seats at risk, President Trump guaranteed a confirmation minefield for any future attorney general.
Driving the news: Trump tweeted, referring to indictments of Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.) for insider trading and Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) for misusing campaign funds: “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff.”Axios
The tweet rattled even key Republicans:
A senior Justice Department official said: “It was a very concerning tweet. It shows how POTUS thinks DOJ should be used: As a weapon against enemies and a tool to win elections.”
Referring to the two congressional indictments, the official said: “Both cases are not even close, the facts are very bad.”
One of Washington’s most respected Republican lawyers said: “Like everything else, he shoots first and then asks questions later. So in his … mind he thinks he can find someone to take the job who will be confirmable and rein in Mueller. So he’ll force out Sessions and then find there’s no one who will take the job who the Senate Republicans can support.”
Families filled sandbags, took patio furniture inside and stocked up on batteries and bottled water as the Gulf Coast prepared Tuesday for Tropical Storm Gordon, which was forecast to become the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.
Just hours before the storm was expected to come ashore, a few people remained on the beach, soaking in the sun before the tropical rain bands became more numerous. Others did their familiar pre-storm preparation rituals, including the staff at The Hotel Whiskey in Pass Christian, Mississippi, only about a block away from the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel restaurant planned to stay open Tuesday evening as usual, fortified by sandbags to keep out torrential rains, the manager said.
“All the outside furniture has to come in, but honestly it’s not even a freak-out kind of hurricane, so we’re not super-stressed right now,” Ashley Peeples said around midday Tuesday.
A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire Mississippi and Alabama coasts with predictions Gordon would become a Category 1 storm. The National Hurricane Center predicted a “life-threatening” storm surge of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) along parts of the central Gulf Coast.AP
A poll out Tuesday shows Democratic congressional candidates with a clear advantage over Republicans just two months before Election Day.
In the Washington Post-ABC News poll, registered voters said they favored a generic Democratic candidate over a Republican one 52 percent to 38 percent. The same poll showed Democrats with just a 4-percentage-point advantage in April, and with a 12-point advantage in January.
The new poll shows a slight enthusiasm gap in favor of Democrats, with 80 percent of self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents saying they are absolutely certain to vote, compared with 74 percent of self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Among Democrats who said they did not vote in the 2014 midterms, 63 percent say they are absolutely certain to vote in November.Politico
A security source tells CNN that the man was carrying a bag which caught fire. It was later learned that the bag contained a plastic bottle with flammable material.
“The man harbors extremist ideology, according to initial examination,” the source told CNN.
No casualties or damages were reported.The Hill