Menéndez Here to Stay, Obama in Brazil, and Sánchez Wants Change

Today, Donald Trump will overrule his national security advisors and decline to certify the Iran nuclear agreement. Doing so would reopen a volatile debate, but wouldn’t necessarily end the deal. The administration is also poised to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those who cite moral or religious objections. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nate is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and strike the Gulf Coast over the weekend. But that’s not the storm we’re most worried about this morning. During a photo op on Thursday evening with his highest-ranking military aides, Trump alluded to this being the “calm before the storm.” When asked to elaborate, he said: “You’ll find out.” Cue the scary music here. Listen -- can we please not treat our national security as though it were a cliffhanger at the end of an episode of some ridiculous TV show? In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s a pretty somber and scary time in the country. So, can we drain the Sharknado-type conjecture from the Oval Office swamp? The president is hosting a Hispanic Heritage Month event today at the White House. If any of you go, try and get some clarity on this “calm before the storm” stuff, would ya? We’ll let the rest of you know who attends when we’re back on Tuesday. Oh, yeah! We’re going dark on Monday for Indigenous People’s Day. But don’t worry. We leave you with A LOT to read below. So let’s get to it. Here’s your Friday calm before the storm...

  • Michelle Obama criticized for comments about a lack of GOP diversity, but numbers don’t lie.
  • Barack Obama tells Brazil they can change the world.
  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has special loophole to travel on private planes.
  • Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA) says it’s time for new House leadership.
  • Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) successfully quashes racist video game.
  • Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wants answers from Ivanka and Jared on their emails, while Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) goes after their security clearances.
  • NAACP sues the Commerce Department over Census 2020 preparations.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda lines up Latin superstars for hurricane relief medley. Escucha la canción.
  • Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) mum on what he’ll do if convicted on corruption charges.
  • Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) calls on airlines to continue to help those affected by Las Vegas shooting.
  • Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards announces bid for local office.
  • Lawmakers not happy with administration’s apparent lack of attention to cybersecurity.
  • Black Lives Matter sued again.
  • The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. talks about covering this White House.
  • Harvey Weinstein says he’ll see NYT Editor Dean Baquet in court.
  • Judge orders former Congressman William Jefferson be released from prison.
  • Congressmen Rubén Kihuen (D-NV) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) talk about their trajectories from undocumented immigrants to members of Congress.
  • CHC Chair Congresswoman Michelle Luján-Grisham (D-NM) wants to stop medical “surprise” billing.
  • Joy-Ann Reid continues to shine on MSNBC.
  • The Beat DC’s Brenda Arredondo talks to Native American activist Samantha Eldridge about being a POC in advance of Indigenous People’s Day.
  • CNN has a new breaking news politics reporter.
  • Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says emotional well-being and loneliness are big public health concerns. 
Brenda Arredondo