Opinion writer

* Alex Horton reports that President Trump truly is the world's pettiest man:

President Trump continued Wednesday to attack the late senator John McCain, even as a growing number of Republican senators rose to McCain’s defense, calling him an war hero and a patriot -- although most were careful not to criticize the president directly.

At a White House event at a tank manufacturing facility in Lima, Ohio, on Wednesday, Trump lashed out at McCain, saying, “I endorsed him at his request and I gave him the kind of funeral he wanted, which as president I had to approve.”

“I don’t care about this,” Trump continued. "I didn’t get a thank you. That’s okay. We sent him on the way. But I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”

Yes, why weren’t more people thinking of Trump, and thanking him? What is wrong with you, America?

* Heather Long reports that the Fed is not so optimistic about the economy in the near future:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday suggested it would not raise interest rates in 2019, a dramatic about-face that suggested the central bank’s worries about the economy are intensifying.

“Growth is slowing somewhat more than expected,” Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell said at a press conference. “While the U.S. economy showed little evidence of a slowdown in 2018, the limited data we have so far this year have been somewhat more mixed.”

The Fed cut its growth forecasts to 2.1 percent for this year and 1.9 percent in 2020, significantly below the White House predictions of 3.2 percent this year and 3.1 percent next. Powell refused to comment on the big gap between the outlooks for the future path of the economy, but most outside experts views Trump’s predictions as overly rosy.

This is going to make Trump confused. He doesn’t want them to raise rates, but he also wants everyone to believe that growth will be a gajillion percent as long as he’s president.

* Juliet Eilperin reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the impact its oil and gas leasing will have on climate change.

* Margaret Sullivan wonders why some of the Democratic men running for president get the kind of adulatory coverage that the women running can only dream of.

* Brian Ott argues that while Trump didn’t cause the Christchurch massacre and other events like it, his rhetoric does invite it.

* Ryan Cooper argues that the Democratic Party’s evolution all but guarantees that if Joe Biden runs for president, his reputation will be destroyed, which raises the question of whether he has fully reckoned with this evolution.

* Harry Enten charts the decline of Bernie Sanders’ popularity in recent months.

* Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett report on Sen. Brian Schatz’s plan to unite the Democratic Party.

* Molly Redden reports that while men and women hold about an equal number of committee staff jobs on Capitol Hill, the men get significantly higher salaries.

* Nicole Lafond reports that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin admitted that he sent his kids to a "chickenpox party" rather than have them vaccinated, because he's an idiot.

* And Deanna Paul reports that Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against Twitter for allowing people to mock him is itself eminently worthy of mockery.