Today is May 9, and here are the stories I am watching:
FROM THE RIGHT
President Trump riffed on his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential election, making jokes at the expense of three of the current Democratic contenders and hoping that Democrats quickly “pick somebody” to run against him. Trump appeared to doubt whether South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg could handle complex negotiations with economic rival China. “I want to be in that room, I want to watch that one,” he said. Trump also expressed concern that several foreign leaders want former Vice President Joe Biden to be president. “Of course they do, so they can continue to rip off the United States,” Trump said. “Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie [Sanders], I’ll take any of them.”
The president also mused about the recent fortune of former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, saying the Texas Dem’s poll numbers appear to be “falling like a rock.” At the rally, Trump also announced his administration would allocate $448 million in federal aid to communities in Florida affected by last year’s Category 5 Hurricane Michael, all while blasting Democrats standing in the way of his policies. He also called the political crisis in Venezuela “disgraceful.”
MY TAKE: I listened to the rally for about 15 minutes, and it sounded a lot like 2016 when he was stumping about building a wall. Only this time, he said nothing about stopping the people from coming in. Trump has failed miserably at the border, whether it’s his fault or not will be up to voters. But he has to do something, soon.
North Korea fired at least one unidentified projectile from a western region north of Pyongyang on Thursday in the country’s second such launch in less than a week, according to South Korean military reports. The launch occurred around 4:30 p.m. local time from the North’s Sino-ri missile base, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. The base is located around 130 miles north of the border with South Korea.
MY TAKE: They want Trump out of office, and this is why you see NK and Iran acting out again.
At the border…
Migrant surge at US-Mexico border tops 100,000 for second month in a row
More than 100,000 migrants were apprehended or turned away at the southern U.S. border with Mexico in April for the second month in a row, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday. In the figures released by immigration officials, 109,144 people were encountered trying to enter the U.S. illegally last month. Of those trying to cross, 58,474 were with families, and 8,897 were unaccompanied children. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost told senators Wednesday that apprehension numbers were “off the charts,” and she’s had to divert agents to care for children detained at the border. At his rally in Florida, Trump defended his characterization of the situation at the border as a “national emergency and said Democrats “don’t mind [the] crime” illegal immigrants bring to the U.S.
MY TAKE: Ready to vote for me in 2024?
And finally, from the RIGHT: China threatens retaliation if Trump hikes tariffs
U.S. and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to resume trade talks as President Trump’s threat to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent looms.
In Beijing, Chinese officials said Thursday they will retaliate if Trump follows through on his threat, but they offered no specific details. Tension between the two countries further escalated this week after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Chinese of reneging on commitments they’d made earlier.
MY TAKE: Boy, has this been going on for a while now, or is just me?
FROM THE LEFT
A Republican backlash has followed the decision by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, scooped yesterday by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. in relation to the Russia investigation.
It’s the first known congressional subpoena of one of President Trump’s children, and sets up a fight that’s unprecedented in the Trump era: A Republican committee chair pit against the Republican president’s eldest son.
A source close to Don Jr. tells Swan: Don is a private citizen, who has already been cleared by Mueller after a two-year investigation. He has done 8-9 hours of testimony in front of Senate Intel already and 27 hours of testimony in front of various committees in total.
When he originally agreed to testify in front of the Senate Intel Committee in 2017, there was an agreement between Don and the Committee that he would only have to come in and testify a single time as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they’d like, which Don did. Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious P.R. stunt.
MY TAKE: This is all to rattle the president, as I have said for a long time.
ALSO…The three students who disarmed a gunman in a Colorado school shooting leapt up from their desks without a word and with no thought for their own safety when they spotted the gun, one of the young men recounted to AP:
They slammed the teenager, a classmate of theirs, against the wall and struggled with him when shots rang out. Kendrick Castillo, who led the charge, slumped to the ground.
His close friend, Brendan Bialy, wrestled the gun away and called out to Castillo. There was no response, Bialy told a roomful of reporters on Wednesday as he recalled what happened the previous day at STEM School Highlands Ranch. “Kendrick went out as a hero,” Bialy said. “He was a foot away from the shooter and instead of running the opposite direction he ran toward it.”
MY TAKE: School safety! DML2024 will promise school safety a priority.
ALSO...Voters narrowly made Denver the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, per AP: Decriminalization led by a slim 51%, according to preliminary figures on Tuesday’s election. Why it matters, from Denver Post: “While efforts are afoot to get psilocybin-related measures on the ballot in Oregon and California in 2020, Denver hosted the first-ever U.S. popular vote.” Denver’s Initiative 301 attracted no organized opposition.
MY TAKE: Lets make cocaine legal too, and pain killers, and heroin. This way everyone can get stoned.
FROM THE MIDDLE
House panel votes to hold Barr in contempt. The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt as the Democratic-led chamber and President Trump continued on a collision course over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Before the vote, Mr. Trump asserted executive privilege over materials demanded by the panel.
MY TAKE: And the grass is greener where you water it. And the sun rises in the east. And Monday follows Sunday. Same ole’ story.
ALSO…Small mortgages get harder to come by. Smaller mortgages have become rarer as lenders cater more to high-end borrowers. That is making homeownership more elusive even in places where prices are otherwise affordable for low- and middle-income buyers.
MY TAKE: The American dream is now defined by how many free services one can scam. Legit living is no longer obtainable.