Tuesday Reads: 9/11 Anniversary, Hurricane Florence, and Political Storm Woodward

Good Morning!!

Today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

There’s a memorial ceremony going on in New York City, but Trump is in Shanksville, Pennsylvania for a Flight 93 event. I suppose he figured he wouldn’t be welcome in New York and he might get more votes out Pennsylvania. Anyway, this is a photo of his embarrassing behavior on arrival there.

This buffoon is not capable of acting appropriately in any situation. Remember when we had a dignified president?

Trump started the day with a series of tweets about his obsession with the Russia investigation and his campaign to destroy his own Department of Justice. NBC News:

President Donald Trump began the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by tweeting about the FBI, claims of possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The tweets, apparently rehashing reports on Fox Business Network and Fox News, came as the president was traveling to a scheduled appearance at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania — the site where one of the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, crashed into a field.

First, right after 7:00 a.m., Trump, appearing to quote from a Fox Business Network segment, tweeted, “‘We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible.’ @SaraCarterDC @LouDobbs.”

Lou Dobbs is a Fox Business anchor, while Sara Carter is a Fox News contributor. She posted an article Monday night alleging that officials from the FBI and Justice Department leaked information to the media.

Peter Strzok (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The “leak strategy” That the moron in chief and other idiots complained about was an effort by Peter Strzok to stop leaks from the FBI.

“The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media. The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American people,” Goelman said.

Read the tweets and more at the link. This is the “president.” he spends most of his time sitting around watching TV and tweeting ignorant nonsense and the rest ranting at his staff or at paid audiences at his Hitler-style rallies.

USA Today on the 9/11 ceremonies:

Seventeen years out from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the nation comes together Tuesday to mourn and remember a day that changed history.

The country watched in horror as hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The attack killed 2,996 people, making it the deadliest foreign attack ever on U.S. soil.

Ceremonies begin in New York City on the 9/11 Memorial plaza at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Family members of victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks, and they have been invited to participate in this year’s reading of the names.

President Donald Trump will pay tribute to the victims at a ceremony in western Pennsylvania. First lady Melania Trump will accompany her husband to the event.

The Shanksville ceremony will include the sounds of the Tower of Voices, a 93-foot-tall concrete and steel structure featuring a wind chime for each person on board with its own distinctive sound. The tower is the final phase of the 2,200-acre Flight 93 National Memorial.

The site is live streaming both events.

In other news, a powerful category 4 hurricane is bearing down on the mid-Atlantic coast and and another is bearing down on the Trump White House in the form of Bob Woodward’s book, which was released today.

From the ABC News 11 (Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, NC area): Hurricane Florence remains dangerous Cat 4 storm as it heads toward the Carolinas.

Hurricane Florence continues to be a dangerous Category 4 storm as it steams toward the U.S. East Coast, but a new wrinkle in the Gulf could affect its path.

It’s too early to know for sure, but a disturbance in the Gulf could form into Tropical Storm Joyce and potentially push Florence’s track northward — good news for many parts of North Carolina.

That’s just a possibility at this point, according to Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann.

So the situation is still fluid.

The Washington Post: Hurricane Florence: Watches posted as “extremely dangerous” storm churns toward Carolinas.

Large and violent Florence is continuing on a beeline toward the East Coast as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane. Catastrophic flooding and destructive winds are becoming very likely in the eastern Carolinas.

Forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern South Carolina and North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a strong Category 3  on Thursday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs.

The National Hurricane Center is warning of an “extremely dangerous” triple threat in the Carolinas and Virginia:

1) A “life-threatening storm surge” at the coast — a rise in ocean water over normally dry land.

2) “Life-threatening freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event” from the coast to interior sections.

3) “Damaging hurricane-force winds” at the coast and some distance inland.

Like Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas in 2017, Florence could linger over the Southeast for several days after landfall unloading 15 to 20 inches of rain and isolated amounts to 30 inches. The Hurricane Center said this “could produce catastrophic flash flooding.” […..]

More than 1.5 million people have already been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the storm, due to both destructive winds and storm surge which could place normally dry land under at least 10 feet of water.

Read more at the WaPo.

On the Woodward book, I highly recommend this review at Slate by Isaac Chotiner: Nobody’s Heroes: Bob Woodward’s new book presents Trump staffers as our last line of defense. We’re doomed.

Nearly 300 pages into Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, a West Wing aide named Zach Fuentes cautions fellow staffers. With depressingly familiar words, Fuentes informs his colleagues, “He’s not a detail guy. Never put more than one page in front of him. Even if he’ll glance at it, he’s not going to read the whole thing. Make sure you underline or put in bold the main points … you’ll have 30 seconds to talk to him. If you haven’t grabbed his attention, he won’t focus.” Some subjects, such as the military, do engage him, but the overwhelming picture is worrying and dire. Still, one could finish this passage and feel at least slightly relieved that people like Fuentes are aware of the reigning deficiencies in the White House, and doing their best to mitigate them.

Fuentes is merely an assistant to John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, but Kelly and James Mattis, the secretary of defense, are presented throughout Woodward’s book as being cognizant of the president’s extreme limitations and authoritarian instincts, and rather boldly willing to push back against their boss. This is why it’s probably worth mentioning that Fuentes wasn’t talking about Donald Trump; no, he was talking about John Kelly. And Woodward’s book—which arrived at around the same time as the already infamous, still-currently anonymous New York Times op-ed about the men and women in the executive branch supposedly working to protect America from Donald Trump—is as much a portrait of the craven, ineffective, and counterproductive group of “adults” surrounding Trump as it is a more predictable look into the president’s shortcomings. It’s not entirely clear how aware Woodward is of what he has revealed about the people he’s quoting at length. (Sources tend to come off well in his books.) But intentionally or not, Fear will make plain to the last optimist that, just as Republicans in Congress are unlikely to save us, neither are the relative grown-ups in the Trump administration.

(Emphasis added.) It’s a frightening but important read.

One more on Trump’s reactions to the book from Politico’s Annie Karni:  Trump’s assault on Woodward riddled with contradictions.

President Donald Trump has called journalist Bob Woodward’s book on his administration a work of “fiction” and a “scam,” claiming that quotes in the book are “made up” and that the author is a “liar.”

At the same time, sources familiar with his thinking said he is livid at his former economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and his former staff secretary, Rob Porter, for “leaking” to Woodward.

It’s difficult to rationally argue that the book could be both: fiction dreamed up by Woodward, and a betrayal by former top stewards of the administration, who shared with the famed journalist alarming details about how the White House functions.

But it’s not hard for Trump, who often spouts two opposing views intended for different audiences. And his supporters often soak up the contradictory claims just as readily as he spits them out, taking it all in stride.

More Trump insanity at the link.I’ll add a few more links in the comment thread. What stories are you following today?

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