Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein steps off Air Force One...

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Monday. Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Mandel Ngan

Climate of fear

A United Nations science panel projects worsening food shortages and wildfires, increased sea levels, more frequent heavy rains and heat waves, and a 3-degrees Celsius rise by the century's end. 

U.S. government reaction is muted — and the reason is clear. The Trump administration expresses skepticism that a proposed sharp reduction of fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission by UN member nations together, as called for in Monday's report, could be done and rescue the planet. The U.S. last year withdrew from the Paris climate accords.

Last month, the administration issued an environmental impact statement  related to fuel-efficient vehicles. It assumed an even more dire 7-degree temperature rise by 2100. To avoid this fate, though, would require measures "not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible," the statement said.

There was no call to action.

His lips to Rod's ears

Trump flew to Florida Monday with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to the Russia probe. Recently, the career Justice Department official was reported to have discussed removing Trump under the 25th Amendment. Even before then, Trump allies in Congress were pressing to impeach Rosenstein over an alleged lack of access to law-enforcement documents.

In an appearance at an International Association of Chiefs of Police gathering in Orlando, Trump said: "We had a very good talk." Before boarding the plane to the event, he said they "get along very well" and he doesn't plan  to fire him. 

What you get when you fall in love?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his few hours on the ground in Pyongyang added up to a "good trip" and that he discussed with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un another summit between him and Trump.

But Kim's big concession seemed to be inviting inspectors to a defunct nuclear test site other outsiders have already seen. "This is almost them reselling the same car to the Americans," Andrea Berger, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told NBC. "We're not inspecting a new action or a new facility. They already dismantled the site."

Trump recently said he and Kim "fell in love" despite earlier nuke threats.

Forever shrill 

Trump's partisan shrieks in recent days against views held by millions of citizens have been as nasty and divisive as any president's in memory. 

In Kansas he called Democrats — whose registrants are estimated at 43 million nationwide — the "party of crime" and an "angry, left-wing mob," words that others in the GOP began to parrot.

On Monday, he accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh's accusers of conspiring in a "hoax," changing his tune from statements made before Kavanaugh was sworn in. Later, he added a bitter taste to a swearing-in ceremony for the new judge by apologizing to Kavanaugh and his family "on behalf of the nation" for a confirmation process he said violated "every notion of fairness, decency and due process."

Last week Trump got busy with fevered attacks on potential 2020 challengers such as senators Cory Booker of New Jersey ("destroyed" Newark) and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts ("Pocahontas" again), and former Vice President Joe Biden ("another beauty"). 

What else is happening:

  • Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates requested proposals from an Israeli company to create  fake online identities in efforts against GOP rivals and Hillary Clinton, the Times reports.
  • Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice is floating a possible Senate run against key Kavanaugh backer Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
  • The side door connecting the Oval Office and Fox News is getting more use with the network's hiring of longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks.
  • Former GOP Secretary of State Colin Powell says Trump has replaced "we the people" with "me the president."
  • Voters in 69 battleground districts narrowly prefer Democratic House candidates, a Washington Post-Schar School survey finds. 

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