New York Times: “Democrats took control of the House this year promising to use legislation and investigations to check President Trump. But facing substantial roadblocks to each, they are increasingly opposing him in a different way: Eight months into their majority, the House is going to court at a tempo never seen before.”
“Fighting in courtrooms as much as in hearing rooms, the House has already become a party to nine separate lawsuits this year, while also filing briefs for judges in four others. More lawsuits are being drafted, according to a senior aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
Washington Post: “From straws to wind turbines to socially conservative issues, Trump is deliberately amplifying public tensions by seizing on divisive topics to energize his base, according to campaign aides and White House advisers. The president is following much the same strategy that he pursued in 2016 — inserting himself into the issues his supporters are already discussing, and using blunt us-against-them language without regard to nuance or political correctness.”
“As Democrats debate policy, Trump has sought to force his potential rivals to defend the most far-reaching cultural ideas circulating within their party.”
“While Trump’s campaign aides have proactively pushed his politically incorrect message with creative and at times tongue-in-cheek marketing, the president has caught some of his advisers off guard by crudely inflaming culture wars on heavier topics such as race, abortion and immigration.”
“President Trump considers himself a branding wizard, but he is vexed by a branding crisis of his own: how to shed the label of ‘racist,’” the Washington Post reports.
“As the campaign takes shape about 15 months before voters render a verdict on his presidency, Trump’s Democratic challengers are marking him a racist, and a few have gone so far as to designate him a white supremacist.”
“Being called a racist has led Trump in recent days to lash out — in tweets and in public comments — behavior his advisers and allies explain as the natural reaction of anyone who does not consider himself a racist but is accused of being one.”
James Stewart: “Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.”
“The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.”
“So one of my first thoughts on hearing of Mr. Epstein’s suicide was that many prominent men and at least a few women must be breathing sighs of relief that whatever Mr. Epstein knew, he has taken it with him.”
CBS News has learned that the morning of Jeffrey Epstein’s death there was shouting and shrieking from his jail cell. Guards attempted to revive him while saying “breathe, Epstein, breathe.”
“Congress is the latest to start investigating Epstein’s apparent suicide over the weekend, with new reports raising questions about the federal jail where he was being held.”
Politico: “The nation was gripped after the North Carolina rally by the moment when a ‘send her back’ chant broke out as Trump went after Somali-born Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, an American citizen. But some Trump supporters were more fixated on the casual use of the word ‘goddamn’ — an off-limits term for many Christians — not to mention the numerous other profanities laced throughout the rest of the speech.”
“The issue has recently hit a nerve among those who have become some of the president’s most reliable supporters: white evangelicals … The group was key to Trump’s 2016 win, helping bolster his standing in critical swing states, and Trump likely needs to maintain that support if he wants to win a second term. But some are growing fatigued with the irreverent language that often seeps into Trump’s rallies and official events.”
“National security adviser John Bolton voiced the Trump administration’s full-throated support of the new British prime minister’s push to leave the European Union, saying the US even supports a no-deal Brexit during a visit to London to fortify the once strained US-UK relationship,” CNN reports.
“Hong Kong’s airport suspended check-ins for a second straight day on Tuesday as protesters again disrupted its operations, hours after the city’s embattled leader pleaded for order amid escalating chaos,” the New York Times reports.
“Hundreds of demonstrators occupied parts of Hong Kong International Airport’s departures and arrivals halls on Tuesday, and some used luggage trolleys to block travelers from reaching their departure gates. The Hong Kong Airport Authority closed check-in services in the late afternoon, saying in a statement that operations had been ‘seriously disrupted.’”
Washington Post: “Trump enjoyed overwhelming support from white evangelicals in 2016, winning a higher percentage than George W. Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney. That enthusiasm has scarcely dimmed. Almost 70 percent of white evangelicals approve of Trump’s performance in office, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center poll.”
“Interviews with 50 evangelical Christians in three battleground states — Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — help explain why. In conversation, evangelical voters paint the portrait of the Trump they see: a president who acts like a bully but is fighting for them. A president who sees America like they do, a menacing place where white Christians feel mocked and threatened for their beliefs. A president who’s against abortion and gay rights and who has the economy humming to boot.”
“The Trump administration’s next round of tariffs on Chinese imports will for the first time target an array of apparel, and those shopping for women’s and girls’ clothes are more likely to see higher prices,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“All Chinese clothing and shoes face tariffs of 10% starting Sept. 1, but the value of women’s and girls’ clothing and shoes imported from the country is more than twice that for men and boys.”
However, on the other hand, “the White House on Tuesday said it would delay imposing tariffs on Chinese imports of cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, and certain types of footwear and clothing until Dec. 15, significantly later than the Sept. 1 deadline President Trump had repeatedly threatened,” the Washington Post reports.
The announcement, which came from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, likely ensures that Apple products and other major consumer goods would be shielded from the import tax until at least December, potentially keeping costs on these products down during the holiday shopping season.
President Trump said that he was delaying some tariffs on Chinese imports ahead of the Christmas season to stem their potential impact on holiday shopping, CNBC reports. Said Trump: “We’re doing this for the Christmas season. Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers.” He added: “But so far they’ve had virtually none. But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it, so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”
“Tens of thousands of people rallied Saturday against the exclusion of some city council candidates from Moscow’s upcoming election, turning out for one of the Russian capital’s biggest political protests in years,” ABC News reports.
“After the rally, which was officially sanctioned, hundreds of participants streamed to an area near the presidential administration building to continue with an unauthorized demonstration. They were confronted by phalanxes of riot police and the arrest-monitoring group OVD-Info said 136 people were detained.”
“Ivanka Trump has quietly been calling lawmakers since the El Paso and Dayton massacres to gauge their openness to movement on gun legislation when Congress returns,” sources familiar with her conversations tell Axios.
“This is another sign that President Trump might support new gun control measures, despite the opposition of conservatives in his orbit.”
“Despite massive amounts of money being pumped into the economy by both fiscal and monetary policy, U.S. growth is slowing, not accelerating,” Axios reports.
“Last year Congress signed a 2-year agreement to increase spending $300 billion, in part to pull the economy out of its slow-growth malaise following the financial crisis and put the U.S. back on track for 3% annual growth or higher.”
“But 2019’s slowdown in GDP growth has shown that even hundreds of billions in deficit spending combined with trillions in tax cuts and bond buying aren’t enough.”