With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve
THE BIG IDEA: If Donald Trump doesn’t have anything presidential to say, maybe he shouldn’t say anything at all.
An instinct to counterpunch often leads Trump to try putting out fires with gasoline. That does not always best serve his, or the country’s, interests. This weekend brought two fresh illustrations that the president may say it best when he says nothing at all.
Be careful what you wish for: Trump tweeted 24 times about Puerto Rico on Saturday and Sunday. But most of the messages attacked local leaders, ripped media coverage of the humanitarian disaster as “fake news” and praised the “GREAT JOB” his team is doing.
Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, drew Trump’s ire after she spoke at a news conference Friday about the “horror” she saw in her city’s flooded streets. “I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives,” she said.
Around 8 a.m. Saturday morning, apparently reacting to cable news coverage of this comment, Trump tweeted from his luxury golf club in New Jersey that Cruz had been “told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”
“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help,” he added later. “They want everything to be done for them . . . Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates, people are now starting to recognize the amazing work that has been done by FEMA and our great Military.”
-- Then, on Sunday, Trump publicly contradicted Rex Tillerson. A day after the secretary of state, on a visit to Beijing, said that the administration has direct lines of communication with North Korea, the president tweeted that his chief diplomat is “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.” “Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done,” Trump wrote.
This is just the latest in a string of presidential put-downs. “Perhaps the sharpest dissonance occurred in June, when Tillerson publicly called on a Saudi Arabia-led bloc of Arab nations to immediately cease their blockade of neighboring Qatar, which they had accused of terrorism financing,” Karen DeYoung notes. “He urged ‘calm and thoughtful dialogue.’ Barely an hour later, Trump called the blockade ‘hard but necessary’ and said he agreed with the Saudi accusations.”
-- It’s not just Tillerson: Trump has repeatedly made comments that undercut his underlings when they are trying to help him. After national security adviser H.R. McMaster denied that Trump shared secret information with the Russians, the president acknowledged that he had and defended his right to do so. After James Comey got fired, White House aides said it was because of the FBI director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation. Then Trump sat down with Lester Holt and told the NBC anchor that he had the Russia investigation on his mind. The president spent weeks attacking his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, as weak. In each case, Trump might be in a better position today if he had kept his thoughts to himself.
Trump has also problematized relations with his should-be allies on the Hill by assailing Mitch McConnell out of the blue. During the debate over health care, Republicans would push for Trump to take a more hands-on role in pushing the legislation. But they’d often come to regret when he did, most memorably when he described the bill that passed the House as “mean.”
-- In the Bible, reticence is a virtue. “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent,” we are told in Proverbs 17:28. “With their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”
An Americanized version of this saying, often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain, is that it is better to remain silent and appear foolish than to speak and remove all doubt.
Or as Winston Churchill purportedly said, “We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.”
-- Some current and former administration aides say privately that their jobs would be easier, at times like this, if Trump just stayed out of the way. Trump probably would have been better off if he deferred to his national security team on North Korea and allowed his surrogates — from the FEMA administrator to the OMB director and treasury secretary — to defend his response to Maria.
Instead, all three of those guys were forced to explain on the Sunday shows what the president meant with the tweets. On “Fox News Sunday,” FEMA director Brock Long — using Trumpian hyperbole — said Puerto Rico is “the most logistically challenging event that the United States has ever seen.” Asked about the president’s tweetstorm, he replied: “You know, we can choose to look at what the mayor spouts off or what other people spout off, but we can also choose to see what's actually being done, and that's what I would ask.”
Allies of the administration distanced themselves. “Every minute we spend in the political realm bickering with one another over who’s doing what, or who’s wrong, or who didn’t do right is a minute of energy and time that we’re not spending trying to get the response right,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Mayor Cruz tried to take the high road. Instead of responding forcefully to Trump’s attacks, she tried Sunday to refocus the discussion to getting tangible assistance for her constituents. “All I did last week, or even this week, was ask for help,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Democrats cited the tweets to argue that race might be a factor in Trump’s apparent indifference to the misery of Puerto Ricans. “Given the president's history on race,” Bernie Sanders said on CNN, “I think we have a right to be suspect that he is treating the people of Puerto Rico in a different way than he has treated the people of Texas or Florida.”
For his part, Trump was defiant. He presided over the Presidents Cup golf tournament in New Jersey on Sunday. During an awards presentation at the end of the day, he acknowledged the victims of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. He dedicated the trophy to “all those people who went through so much.” Then he added, “But we have it under really great control.” “A man in the crowd shouted: ‘You don’t give a [expletive] about Puerto Rico.’ But Trump fans cheered,” David Nakamura reports. (He is scheduled to fly to Puerto Rico tomorrow.)
-- As he closes the door to a diplomatic solution, Trump continues to ratchet up his rhetoric vis-à-vis Pyongyang. He’s now repeatedly threatened to destroy North Korea. Every time the regime has responded with another provocation. Trump comes back with a new nickname or harsher rhetoric, further boxing himself in.
Kori Schake, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution who served in key policy roles at the White House, Pentagon and Foggy Bottom during George W. Bush’s presidency, explained why Trump’s “fire and fury” threat was so dangerous back in August. Her piece for the Atlantic is as relevant today as it was seven weeks ago. This is the key paragraph:
“In 1949, the United States withdrew its military forces from the Korean Peninsula. Secretary of State Dean Acheson then gave an important speech defining American national-security interests — which notably excluded Korea. … It’s not the drawing down of U.S. forces but rather Acheson’s speech that is commonly cited as the signal of American abandonment of South Korea. Words matter: Acheson didn’t cause the Korean war, but his words are remembered as the provocation. Words especially matter between societies that poorly understand each other’s motivations and intentions, as do North Korea and the U.S. We can afford to be sloppy in our formulations among friends, where cultural similarity or exposure give context, but neither of those circumstances pertain with North Korea.”
IF YOU READ ONE STORY ON NORTH KOREA:
-- “A North Korean ship was seized off Egypt with a huge cache of weapons destined for a surprising buyer,” by Joby Warrick: “Last August, a secret message was passed from Washington to Cairo warning about a mysterious vessel steaming toward the Suez Canal. The bulk freighter named Jie Shun was flying Cambodian colors but had sailed from North Korea, the warning said, with a North Korean crew and an unknown cargo shrouded by heavy tarps. Armed with this tip, customs agents were waiting when the ship entered Egyptian waters. They swarmed the vessel and discovered, concealed under bins of iron ore, a cache of more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades. … The Jie Shun’s final secret would take months to resolve and would yield perhaps the biggest surprise of all: The buyers were the Egyptians themselves.
“A U.N. investigation uncovered a complex arrangement in which Egyptian business executives ordered millions of dollars worth of North Korean rockets for the country’s military while also taking pains to keep the transaction hidden, according to U.S. officials and Western diplomats familiar with the findings. The incident, many details of which were never publicly revealed, prompted the latest in a series of intense, if private, U.S. complaints over Egyptian efforts to obtain banned military hardware from Pyongyang, the officials said. It also shed light on a little-understood global arms trade that has become an increasingly vital financial lifeline for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the wake of unprecedented economic sanctions.”
-- Following the recommendation of Washington, Italy has become the fifth country to expel its North Korean ambassador. (Anna Fified)
IF YOU READ ONE STORY ON PUERTO RICO:
-- Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico’s mountainous Utuado region remains inaccessible — leaving residents there trapped and quickly running out of food and water. Samantha Schmidt and Arelis R. Hernández set the scene: “If aid and essential resources have been slow to reach Puerto Rico as a whole, getting help to isolated communities such as Utuado has been taking even longer. In these rural neighborhoods, tucked between mountain ranges and nestled along murky river beds, there is no telecommunication. [Mountaintop] houses are surrounded by landslides, shredded structures are scattered down mountain slopes. … [and] pilots can’t land in many nearby spots, making it unclear how authorities will reach people before the road infrastructure is repaired, which could take months. . . . These are the U.S. citizens for whom the mayor of San Juan has been crying, the people who say they have been forgotten and betrayed by their government in Washington … as they struggle to survive.
- The food shortage is growing dire. “Fuljencio Guzman and his 12-year-old son, Kelvin, lost their home, [and are] staying next door[.] A pantry showed the family’s only remaining nourishment: one can of beans, a few cans of tomatoes, saltine crackers and a few potatoes. Even if they could reach the nearest grocery store, they have no cash to buy food, and no banks or cash machines in town are functioning.” They are limiting themselves to one meal a day.
- “Residents are cut off from civilization, in some places at least a four-hour walk to the nearest store. … [One 58-year-old woman] walked for about two hours just to reach an accessible road. [She had been staying with her mother, who] only has enough fuel to use her generator for two more days. She and her neighbors are forced to drink ‘water from the mountain or from the sky,’ she said. . . . Another resident, Migdalia Guzman, said she thinks the U.S. government doesn’t realize there are communities up here, away from the cities and the television cameras. ‘I think they think no one is here,’ Migdalia Guzman said. ‘But there are a lot of people here.’”
-- CNN's Leyla Santiago, who is from the island and has been reporting there since Maria made landfall, said that journalists have arrived in some towns before relief workers. “They have no power, no medical attention, no food,” she said Sunday on “Reliable Sources.” “Help is not arriving.”
-- The Pentagon said over the weekend that 55 percent of the island still does not have access to drinking water.
-- Puerto Rico's governor promised a surge of supplies is on the way. Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said Sunday that more than half a million barrels of diesel fuel and nearly a million barrels of gasoline would reach the island in the next two days. He also said that the Defense Department had increased its footprint on Puerto Rico to 6,400 people, from roughly 4,600 two days earlier, with more coming. (New York Times)
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- At least 50 people are dead after a gunman opened fire on a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. At least another 200 people were injured before the shooter was killed by authorities. Witnesses reported hearing automatic gunfire from the high floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, where police then confronted the suspect on the 32nd floor. The shooting occurred near the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival that attracted 30,000 attendees.
"Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said police believe the suspect, a local resident, was a “lone wolf” attacker. He did not identify the gunman and declined to give further details. A search was underway for a woman described as the suspect’s 'traveling companion,' he added." Derek Hawkins and Travis M. Andrews have the latest on this developing story.
Video taken by a TucsonNewsNow reporter:
-- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) appeared on “60 Minutes” to describe his horrific shooting and how he came back from it. Mike DeBonis reports: “‘The first thing that came to mind, I prayed to God: Please, don’t make my daughter have to walk up the aisle alone,’ Scalise recalled. … As Scalise laid in the outfield, he recalled hearing Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) urging him to hang on as police subdued the shooter. … Jack Sava, the surgeon who led the trauma team that treated Scalise, said the lawmaker was ‘hovering on the border between life and death.’ … Cameras captured scenes of Scalise undergoing inpatient rehabilitation — including some of the first steps he took on his own, with only crutches. During his recovery, CBS reported, Scalise lost 50 pounds and had metal plates implanted to rebuild his pelvis.” Scalise added that “It was clear [the shooter] had a political agenda.”
GET SMART FAST:
- Clashes during the Catalan independence vote on Sunday left more than 800 people injured, as Spanish police sought to thwart participation in a referendum vigorously opposed by the central government in Madrid. Footage from Catalonia showed helmeted police dragging voters from the polling booths, while others were targeted by batons or rubber bullets in attempt to thwart participation. (William Booth)
- Three Americans — Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young — won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine “for their work on molecular mechanisms that control circadian systems,” Ariana Eunjung Cha reports. “In announcing the winner in Stockholm on Monday, the prize committee said they elucidated how a live form's ‘inner clock’ can fluctuate to optimize our behavior and physiology.”
- Canadian authorities said the man who stabbed an Edmonton police officer on Saturday, before driving off and striking four pedestrians with a U-Haul truck hours later, was in possession of an ISIS flag. Both attacks are being investigated as acts of terrorism. (Kristine Phillips)
- Two women were stabbed to death at a train station in Marseille on Sunday afternoon. French authorities said they have killed the attacker and are investigating the incident as a terrorist attack. (James McAuley)
- The man accused of coordinating lethal assaults on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi will stand trial today in federal court. Abu Khattala, a 46-year-old Libyan man who formerly led an extremist anti-Western militia, is the only person to face trial in the U.S. for the attack. (Spencer S. Hsu)
- Facebook plans to hand over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads to congressional investigators today. Mark Zuckerberg did not specify the type of ads or content it will share. (New York Times)
- The death toll from Mexico’s earthquake has climbed to 361, as emergency responders continue to dig through the rubble in Mexico City and nearby neighborhoods that were rocked by the 7.1-magnitude quake. (AP)
- Paris implemented its first citywide car ban this weekend, with city officials allowing only emergency vehicles and buses to use roadways. The car-free day was part of the city’s push to curb air pollution and reduce car traffic. (NBC News)
- A Michigan woman who is refusing a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son says she will “most likely” go to jail this week for noncompliance. But it’s a risk she appears willing to take: “I can’t give in against my own religious belief,” she said in an interview this weekend. She has until Wednesday to change her mind. (Kristine Phillips)
- O.J. Simpson plans to live in Las Vegas after being released from prison yesterday. He is on parole for an armed robbery that occurred in Las Vegas a decade ago. (ABC News)
- School officials in California are warning parents that flutes and recorders given to children through a nonprofit music program may have been contaminated by semen. A male music teacher who visited various schools on behalf of the nonprofit program is under investigation. (Amy B Wang)
- Marilyn Manson put his tour on hold this weekend after two large, gun-shaped stage props fell and injured him during a performance in New York. Fans said Manson was dancing and singing to his rendition of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)." (Amy B Wang)
COURT IS IN SESSION:
-- The Supreme Court begins its new term today, with a majority-conservative bench prepared to tackle a range of issues. Robert Barnes reports: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told Georgetown University law students recently: ‘There is only one prediction that is entirely safe about the upcoming term, and that is: It will be momentous.’ A trio of cases that will probably be heard before the end of the year form the nucleus. At issue: Whether the court for the first time will find that a state’s electoral districts were gerrymandered with such a partisan skew that they violate the Constitution. Whether prosecutors must seek a judge’s permission before securing cellphone tower records that contain months of details about a person’s whereabouts. Whether a wedding vendor whose religious beliefs do not condone same-sex marriage must comply with a state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
-- The ramifications of the gerrymandering case could be enormous, with as many as 20 House seats open to court challenges if Wisconsin’s map is struck down. The New York Times’s Michael Wines reports: “The historic nature of the question is underscored by a swarm of briefs — 54, totaling perhaps a thousand pages — filed by those with an interest in the outcome. … [E]xperts say they have little idea whether the court will slow or stop runaway gerrymandering — or indeed, whether it even wants to be a traffic cop. …The court itself has agreed that some partisan gerrymanders could violate the Equal Protection Clause."
-- For the second weekend in a row, Trump stoked controversy over whether NFL players would take a knee during the national anthem, demanding that athletes “[r]espect our Flag and our Country[.]” (John Wagner)
-- Many NFL players still chose to engage in some form of demonstration yesterday, but things were beginning to normalize. Cindy Boren reports: “[T]he strongest message of the day came when Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders arrived for the 4:25 p.m. game in Denver wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed: ‘Everybody vs. Trump.’ Cam Newton of the Panthers raised a fist after he scored a rushing touchdown against New England. About 30 members of the San Francisco 49ers — who had not played since Sept. 21, before Trump's comments about the league and kneeling players during a speech in Alabama — took a knee for the anthem. Their teammates stood behind them with hands on kneeling players’ shoulders and the other over their hearts. … Otherwise, the early games were marked by players who, for the most part, remained standing.”
-- NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported that Trump called Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones four times in the locker room on Monday to implore his team not to kneel for the anthem. In the end, the Cowboys knelt before the anthem and stood for the song itself.
-- Ohio Gov. John Kasich hinted that he would consider leaving the GOP. “If the party can't be fixed … then I'm not going to be able to support the party,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party the way that I see it … And I have a right to define it, but I'm not going to support people who are dividers.” Kasich emphasized, however, that both parties needed to grapple with “ideological currents pulling them away from the center,” and said he had “no idea what the Democrats are for.”
THE ROAD TO 2020:
-- Dave Weigel has a look at early Democratic outreach efforts in Des Moines: “The weather was unseasonably warm, the steak seasoned just right and the Democrats were nervous. At the inaugural Polk County Steak Fry, their party’s rising stars confirmed every bad thing that Iowa had heard about their leaders[:] ‘It’s a knife to my heart that there are some in the Democratic Party who just want to write off districts like mine,’ said Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), ‘that think we should just be flown over.’ It was a stark message for an event designed to set up Iowa’s Democrats for a comeback. … Instead, the event became a friendly airing of grievances about the direction of the country under [Trump]. In her remarks at the steak fry, Bustos described how in her state, as in Iowa, rural voters fell away to Trump because they felt ignored by Democrats. . . . 'The heartland is far from Trump Country,' she said. “I saw too many forgotten corners of our country — frankly, too many places forgotten by our own party. You know what? We can never let that happen again.”
-- Congressional Republicans are zeroing in this week on passing a budget, a necessary prerequisite for taking up tax cuts. Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports: “House GOP leaders have the votes needed to pass their budget this week . . . The House Freedom Caucus has told leadership it will vote for the budget, even though they hardly love it, because they want to get moving on tax cuts. … Moderate members have been more difficult to appease. They resent having to take a tough vote for steep spending cuts that will never actually happen, simply to satisfy the conference's more conservative members. … The Senate will have a tougher time[.] … Republicans are paying close attention to the perennially challenging senators: John McCain, Susan Collins, and Rand Paul.”
-- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on ABC’s “This Week” that the administration “can’t guarantee” a tax cut for to every middle-class family. “It is our objective that the entire middle class will get a tax cut,” he said. “You cannot make guarantees because every single person’s taxes are different, people take advantage of different things.” “This really is about the middle class and the corporate tax rate, for the president,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
-- Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP — which provides low-cost health insurance to 9 million children — to expire. Valerie Strauss reports: “Amid unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress allowed the CHIP deadline to pass without action. States still have some CHIP money available, but if Congress does not act quickly to restore the program, they will start to run out. Several states and the District of Columbia are expected to drain CHIP funding by the end of this year and many more by March 2018 …”
-- Some key House Republicans are coming out against the DACA deal that Trump struck with “Chuck and Nancy.” Politico’s Rachael Bade and Heather Caygle report: “A GOP working group formed by House Speaker Paul Ryan held two meetings last week to discuss immigration, and sources say there was virtually no support among members for Trump’s tentative DACA deal with Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Multiple House GOP sources (said) that Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico must be part of any discussion about DACA. That would completely contradict the accord struck by the president and Democratic leaders[.]” Meanwhile: “[Pelosi] and her team are pressuring GOP leaders to act now — well before Trump’s reprieve for the program ends in March.”
THE NEW WORLD ORDER:
-- Chilling: "'Nazi!’ ‘Stasi!’: In German state where the far right won big, cozy political culture quickly turned toxic,” by Griff Witte and Luisa Beck in Magdeburg: “For years, debate in the parliament of this east German state capital on the banks of the Elbe flowed as languidly as the cool waters of the river on a clear autumn’s day. But then, in March 2016, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party stunned the cozy local political establishment with a second-place finish. Ever since, the currents in the state parliament have boiled and churned … transformed into a forum for seething exchange. When climate change comes up, AfD members interject that it’s a hoax. If there’s a debate over funding for the elderly, the far-right party demands to know why refugees are getting money that it says should be going to German senior citizens. Issues that were never on the state parliament’s priority list, such as the wearing of burqas among members of the very small Muslim population … have crept onto the agenda.”
-- Russia’s recent military exercise demonstrated its ability to conduct “the sort of complex, large-scale operations … that would be part of any all-out war with the United States in Europe,” per the New York Times’s Eric Schmitt: “Western officials said the military maneuvers, known as Zapad, Russian for ‘west,’ far exceeded in scope and scale what Moscow had said it would conduct, and tracked more closely to what American intelligence officials suspected would unfold, based on Russian troop buildups in August. … Russian armed forces assimilated new technology and integrated information better than in the past to improve the military’s lethality. … Russian drones have proliferated to the point that they are now a part of almost every exercise.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda had some cutting words after Trump criticized San Juan's mayor:
She has been working 24/7.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) September 30, 2017
You have been GOLFING.
You're going straight to hell.
Fastest golf cart you ever took. https://t.co/5hOY23MBvQ
Sunday’s cover of the New York Daily News played up the conflict:
A BuzzFeed News writer mocked Trump's dedication of a golf cup to the victims in Puerto Rico:
a cup in which to drink the clean water they still do not have https://t.co/evaD7KUroH— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 1, 2017
From the former director of the Office of Government Ethics:
Lovely day for misusing pubilic office to promote your golf club @realDonaldTrump as MayorCruz wades in filthy flood water to save Americans— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 1, 2017
From a former Obama speechwriter:
There has not been a single crisis, disaster, or attack that Trump has not lied about extensively.— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) October 1, 2017
House Democrats are stepping up their response to the Maria recovery:
Natural Resources Committee Democrats call for an oversight hearing on the Trump administration's Puerto Rico and USVI relief efforts. pic.twitter.com/oWITbwAEK1— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 1, 2017
Anti-Trump GOP strategist Ana Navarro offered this suggestion:
Ppl of 🇵🇷, if you flee devastation & come to mainland, hope you settle in a swing state- FL, PA, OH... Register to vote & don't forget this! https://t.co/bkKYlZOKg1— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) October 1, 2017
Kim Kardashian weighed in on Trump's tweet directing Puerto Ricans to avoid "fake news":
They don’t have power to watch the news!!! Please stop tweeting & golfing while people are dying! Please step up & help! https://t.co/AP8PnapWaO— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 30, 2017
The Toronto Star's Washington correspondent questioned Trump's claim that "being nice" to Kim Jong Un hasn't worked for 25 years:
From Clinton's former secretary of defense:
If diplomacy prevents just one soldier from having to die on the battlefield, it is worth the energy— William J. Perry (@SecDef19) October 1, 2017
The president's son ridiculed John Kasich's suggestion that he may need to consider leaving the GOP:
"May need to" ???— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 1, 2017
LOL, he did that a year ago. https://t.co/ewl1hnlaHB
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recognized protesting NFL players:
Let's remember why NFL players started kneeling. They are talking about the need for criminal justice reform and police department reform.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 1, 2017
Roger Stone celebrated completing his congressional testimony:
And one president wished another a happy birthday:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- Politico Magazine’s Tim Alberta has a profile of Scalise out this morning: “What you must understand about Scalise, a sports nut who’s obsessive about the LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints, is that he possesses a childlike love for the game of baseball. … ‘Love this. Love playing a kid’s game—and in a big league ballpark,’ Scalise says at the rehab facility, still in disbelief about missing out. … It wasn’t easy, surviving a high-caliber gunshot wound and fighting his way back to work in less than four months. But in some sense the hardest work remains. When the echo of Thursday’s applause begins to fade, Scalise will be left coping with the scar tissue—physical and emotional—that accompanies this near-tragedy. … Much as he loves the game, Scalise isn’t sure he’ll ever be able to play baseball again. … But Scalise isn’t feeling sorry for himself.”
-- The New York Times's Alex Burns sings the praises of the ultimate swamp creature: Amtrak's "Acela.” An apt description from GOP thinker Bill Kristol: ‘”If you haven’t ridden the Acela while trying to prevent your Dunkin’ Donuts coffee from spilling,’ Mr. Kristol wrote in an email, ‘while also pretending to ignore nearby riders, who include three McKinsey consultants energetically discussing their spreadsheets, two Europeans vividly lamenting the state of America, and a lawyer sharply berating a junior associate for his failings, have you really lived life in the New York-D.C. corridor to the full?’”
-- The New Yorker, “Gloria Allred’s Crusade,” by Jia Tolentino: “It would seem that we have entered a new era of women’s empowerment, were it not for ample evidence to the contrary. … [Still], the world has changed since Allred first started practicing. She has anticipated, and helped create, a variety of cultural shifts: the advent of unapologetic, mainstream, professionalized feminism; a valuation of victimhood; a broad embrace of personal branding; a tabloid energy that consumes even the White House; a society in which ordinary women have begun to feel confident accusing powerful men who abuse them.”
-- In the wake of Roy Moore’s primary victory in Alabama, Republican strategists are worried that no politician – can control Trump's base (not even him). The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins writes: “While the GOP’s class of professional strategists are generally ambivalent at best when it comes to the president, they had taken a certain comfort in believing that he was fully in command of his base. The assumption allowed them to draw conclusions about what his voters wanted, how to cater to them—and how to avoid drawing their wrath. But Alabama fully punctured the illusion that Trump was in control. For all the race’s idiosyncrasies … it seemed to reveal that there was a limit to his supporters’ loyalty.”
-- The Wall Street Journal, “The Man Who Exposed College Basketball,” by Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Andrew Beaton and Brian Costa: “Three years ago, [Marty] Blazer had no contacts to speak of in college basketball. Last week, he was Cooperating Witness-1 in criminal charges unsealed against coaches at major college sports programs[.] … Mr. Blazer’s central role is even more remarkable given that he didn’t have a relationship with any of the four assistant coaches charged in the investigation[.] … The investment adviser cooperated for almost three years, including a close partnership with undercover agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation[.] … They said Mr. Blazer, 47 years old, helped dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in dozens of recorded meetings[.]”
-- The Wall Street Journal, “In Georgia, Jimmy Carter Has North Korea on His Mind,” by Jonathan Cheng: “[E]veryone else at Maranatha Baptist Church knew that the former U.S. president’s Sunday school lesson would be special: It fell on his 93rd birthday. … But Mr. Carter seemed to have his eyes fixed further afield in his lesson. Above all, he said, he was focused these days on North Korea.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
“Johnson: Access to health care a 'privilege,’” from WISN Milwaukee: “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson on Friday morning told a group of high school students that they don't have a right to health care, food and shelter. … ‘Do you personally consider healthcare as a privilege or a right?’ one student inquired. Wisconsin's junior senator did not hesitate: ‘I think it's probably more of a privilege.’ He continued: ‘Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, we have the right to freedom. Past that point is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us to afford those things.’”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
“One in five reporters lives in NY, DC or LA,” from Axios: “Bob Schieffer, the longtime CBS News correspondent, appeared on ‘Face the Nation’ Sunday to discuss his new book, titled ‘Overload.’ The interview included a striking fact about how news has changed in the digital age: ‘In 2004, one out of every eight reporters lived in NY, DC or LA. Today, it's one in five.’ … As Schieffer points out, much of the country isn't getting any local news they can trust and as a result is turning to Facebook and other sources for information. ‘We're at the very beginning of what's going on now in this digital age that's taken the place of print. It's affected nothing more than the way we get the news.’”
Trump has a morning “deregulation summit” followed by a meeting with the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi, Maine and New Hampshire. He will then welcome and meet with the prime minister of Thailand before a dinner with congressional Republicans.
Pence will join the president for his summit, the governors meeting and his working lunch with the Thai prime minister. Pence will also give a speech at the RNC gala in the evening.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Mark Zuckerberg reflected on his mistakes to atone for Yom Kippur: “For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better. For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- The morning will be a bit cold in D.C., but it should be followed by beautiful weather. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “It starts off chilly, with many locations in the 40s, but we can shed the jackets by the afternoon as most of us reach at least the low 70s and a few spots get up around 75.”
-- The Nationals concluded their regular season with an 11-8 loss to the Pirates. (Jorge Castillo)
-- Ed Gillespie, the Republican in the Virginia gubernatorial race, won the backing of a prominent business group after privately pledging to oppose any transgender bathroom bill. Laura Vozzella reports: “The gubernatorial candidate ‘vowed to oppose bills like North Carolina’s HB2 that would threaten Virginia’s reputation as an open and welcoming Commonwealth,’ Jim Corcoran, president of the Northern Virginia Chamber, said in a written statement announcing the endorsement by the organization’s political action arm, Novabizpac. … Don Blake, president of the Virginia Christian Alliance, said he was surprised and upset to learn that Gillespie promised the business group he would oppose bathroom bills.”
-- A D.C. Council fight over allowing dogs in certain outdoor establishments is heating up. (Peter Jamison)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Alec Baldwin reprised his role as Donald Trump for the season premiere of SNL:
SNL’s Michael Che criticized Trump as a “cheap cracker” for his reaction to Hurricane Maria:
The Post fact-checked Bernie Sanders’s claim that the world’s six richest nations have as much wealth as half the global population:
Former congressman Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who served eight months in prison for tax fraud, formally announced his congressional campaign:
And the first same-sex couples in Germany said “I do” after Parliament legalized same-sex marriage in June: