Friday, August 16

ByKevin Sheekey

For your weekend reading, just imagine how history might be different, and today might be better:

Obama and Biden’s Relationship Looks Rosy. It Wasn’t Always That Simple. (New York Times)

The eight years are the stuff of buddy-movie lore — “a shotgun marriage that gradually turned into a love story.”

Still, Biden’s simmering ambition was a source of unease for both men. David Plouffe shut down an early move made by Mr. Biden as vice president to assemble a presidential team-in-waiting.

Plouffe blocked Biden’s attempts to court the party’s West Coast fund-raising elite and rejecting an attempt to hire Kevin Sheekey, a veteran Democratic operative.

In 2016, Obama quietly pressured Biden to sit out the race, partly because he believed Hillary Clinton had a better chance of building on his agenda, and partly because he thought Mr. Biden was in no shape emotionally following the illness and death of his son Beau in May 2015.

It’s Official: July 2019 was World’s Hottest Month on Record, U.S. Climate Agency Confirms (New York Times)

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed an earlier report by the European Copernicus Climate Change Service that July 2019 was the world’s hottest on record, eclipsing July 2016 as the hottest.

The record heat was felt in most parts of the globe, the agency said, including parts of North America, southern Asia, southern Africa and much of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. There were no record cold July temperatures anywhere.

Trump remembers playing Risk and that it was the only way to get Europe: Trump Shows Interest in Buying Greenland (Bloomberg)

The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real-estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the discussions, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark early next month, although the visit is unrelated, these people said.

2020 Poll Alert: Fox News Poll Shows Trump Losing to Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris (The Hill)
Biden 50 – Trump 38
Sanders 48 – Trump 39
Warren 46 – Trump 39
Harris 45 – Trump 39

Israel Update: Following Day of Widespread Criticism, Israel to Allow U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to Visit on ‘Humanitarian Grounds’ (Jewish Insider)

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Weekend section.

Best of late night.

On the U.S. stock market dropping 800 points Wednesday, suffering its biggest loss of the year:

“The stock market dropped 800 points! The graph was intense, it looked like a heart monitor, before you buy an Olive Garden Lifetime Pasta Pass, and after you buy an Olive Garden Lifetime Pasta Pass.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“I’m not saying the economy is in trouble, but right now giving money to John Hickenlooper’s campaign is a better investment.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“The stock market has been swinging like a tetherball in a typhoon. It’s all because of fears of an economic downturn. In fact, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers puts the odds of a recession at about 50-50. So, you can just flip a coin — no, wait, save the coin! You’re going to need it to buy potable water in the afterscape.”
— Stephen Colbert

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