☕️ Good Saturday morning.
Breaking: A 29-year-old Horizon Air worker took off last night "in one of the airline’s Q400 turboprops at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and crashed on an island in south Puget Sound after being coaxed by air-traffic control to try to land and trailed by two fighter jets." (Seattle Times)
1 big thing ... Post-Charlottesville poll: Race relations sink
As police gear up for tomorrow's first anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville melee that erupted from a Confederate monument protest, attention is going to potential clashes between racists and opponents, not signs of grace or healing.
- Alas, the mood matches the data: A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted with the University of Virginias' Center for Politics finds that most believe race relations have deteriorated under President Trump.
Key kindings, from Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball:
- "Americans offered more mixed opinions on race relations looking back on President Barack Obama’s presidency, with roughly equal numbers saying race relations got better or got worse during his presidency."
- As was the case a similar poll last September, "few showed support for white nationalists and neo-Nazis."
- "On the flip side, about a third of respondents did not express clear support for seemingly settled social issues, like support for interracial marriage."
The bottom line: "Americans generally showed a good deal of consistency on these questions between September 2017 and now."
- "[A] majority of Americans both last year and now opposed the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces."
2. 🌊 Dems surf enthusiasm wave
In special elections since President Trump took office, Democrats have consistently outperformed Republicans compared to the parties' usual vote totals in regular elections, AP's Bill Barrow reports:
- Beyond percentages, AP compared special-election raw vote totals to what Republicans and Democrats received from the same electorates in 2016.
- "Democrats got a higher proportion than Republicans of the party’s usual presidential vote in eight out of 11 elections. They exceeded Republicans in 10 [of] 11 races when comparing the special election totals to the most recent House or Senate race involving the same electorate."
In this week's U.S. House race in Ohio, Republican Troy Balderson's 101,500-plus votes amount to less than half of Trump's total in the district, and just 40% of what former Rep. Pat Tiberi received in his last re-election.
- But Democrat Danny O'Connor pulled in almost 62% of Hillary Clinton's 2016 total.
3. Tim Cook's talk with Trump
President Trump tweeted last evening that he was having dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the president's club in Bedminster, N.J., and praised Cook for "investing big dollars in U.S.A."
- We hear that Cook planned to talk about trade/tariffs ... worker training announced earlier at White House ... coding education ... immigration.
P.S. "Trump, who is loath to admit to sleeping — let alone taking time off — has spent his [supposed vacation] week away mixing downtime and golf rounds with meetings and dinners, intent on projecting the image that he's been hard at work," AP's Jill Colvin and Jonathan Lemire report.
- "[H]e's surrounded by a clutch of unofficial Bedminster advisers, who have unusual levels of access to a president with the propensity for mixing business with leisure."
- "Does he actually play golf at Bedminster or at his better-known Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida? Yes, but it's hard to say how much. The White House won't say, and reporters are barred from getting close enough to see."
From a pool report by L.A. Times' Eli Stokols: "POTUS has one event on his schedule today, a photo op with bikers at his Bedminster estate at 2:30 p.m."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Amid a hot spell, giant panda Pu Pu sits on wood at the Shenyang Forest Wild Zoo in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, China.
- The giant pandas Pu Pu and Fa Fa are celebrate their fourth birthday with a double-layered ice cake made with purple cabbage juice.
4. Anti-Kavanaugh campaign fizzles
"Democrats are likely to watch helplessly [this fall] as the Senate confirms Trump’s second Supreme Court," WashPost congressional reporter Sean Sullivan writes from Orono, Maine:
- What's new: "Democrats have all but acknowledged that they are unable to stop the Senate from confirming ... Brett M. Kavanaugh."
- How we know: "Moderate Republican senators such as Susan Collins of Maine, the most closely watched GOP swing vote, are sending strong signals that they will back Kavanaugh. Several Democrats facing difficult reelections this year have indicated they are open to voting for the judge."
- "[L]eaders of the resistance are already delivering post-mortem assessments and blaming fellow Democrats for a looming failure."
Be smart: "The fizzling of the campaign to block Kavanaugh underscores the relative weakness of the Democrats, who had promised their political base a pitched battle to protect the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling."
5. Scooter vigilantes
Fed-up Los Angeles locals are setting electric scooters on fire, tossing them into trash cans and burying them at sea, the L.A. Times' Laura Newberry reports:
- "They've been crammed into toilets, tossed off balconies and set on fire. They’ve even been adorned with dangling bags of dog droppings."
- "As cities like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills struggle to control a rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-minute scooters, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices.
The Instagram twist: "These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public.
6. 1 shop thing
Retailers are marketing directly to kids with personalized messages on their smartphones, WashPost national retail reporter Abha Bhattarai reports on the Sunday Business cover:
- "Children and preteens are more connected to the Internet than ever, which means retailers are looking for new ways to ... sell ... directly to young shoppers on their phones, tablets and laptops."
- "[C]ompanies are flocking to Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps to reach children with personalized messages."
The Snapchat factor: "Nearly 1.5 million children age 11 and under have active Snapchat accounts, according to data from eMarketer, which expects continued double-digit growth in coming years. (Snapchat requires that users be at least 13.)"
- "The social media platform ... has emerged as a holy grail for retailers in search of young consumers.
- "That is especially true ... during back-to-school seasons, where last year users spent an extra 130 million hours ... to chat with friends and connect with popular brands such as Vans, Hollister and Michael Kors."
Also big for reaching tweens: YouTube.
P.S. Amazon "allows children as young as 13 to create their own logins."
- "Parents can either set spending limits or ask to approve all purchases."