1 big thing: Normal for a night ... "Behind the desk"
2. Our longest war
From President Trump's 25-minute address last night at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.:
Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate. ...
[N]early 16 years after September 11th attacks, ... the American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history — 17 years. I share the American people's frustration. ...
[T]he consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. ... We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq. ...
When I became President, I was given a bad and very complex hand, but I fully knew what I was getting into: big and intricate problems. But, one way or another, these problems will be solved -- I'm a problem solver -- and, in the end, we will win.
3. The president's paper
Bonus: Tweet du jour
4. Save that tape
Speaker Ryan to Jake Tapper last night at a CNN Town Hall in Racine, Wisconsin, immediately after Trump's speech:
"I believe it's going to be far easier for us to do tax reform than it was, say, for health care reform.
"It gets a little weedy, but one of the challenges we had with health care reform, particularly in the Senate, is we had to use the Senate rules to write that bill. And all the health care reform items that we want to put in the health care reform bill we couldn't because of these Senate rules, medical liability reform, interstate shopping. ... [T]he entire tax reform bill can go into one bill through the House and the Senate. So procedurally it makes it much easier."
5. Rare "operational pause"
"The Navy said ... the world's largest and most powerful armada will immediately pause operations for a fleet-wide safety review following the pre-dawn collision of a guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker that left 10 sailors missing near Singapore, the fourth naval accident in the Pacific this year." (L.A. Times)
Retired Army general Barry McCaffrey said on MSNBC that the accident series "signals a level of vulnerability and incompetence that detracts from our deterrence."
6. The collision of business, tech
"Dalio Says the U.S. Is the Most Divided Since 1937" ... "Billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio said [on LinkedIn that] he's 'tactically reducing our risk' because he's 'concerned about growing internal and external conflict leading to impaired government efficiency,'" Bloomberg's Katia Porzecanski reports:
"Dalio, whose views on ... Trump's administration have soured in recent months, said 'politics will probably play a greater role in affecting markets than we have experienced any time before in our lifetimes but in a manner that is broadly similar to 1937.'" Read his post.
Google's chief economist says that technology will help people transition into new roles, even as it changes the nature of jobs, Axios' David McCabe reports:
"Hal Varian noted that technology has made it easier for people to learn crucial job skills — while on the job. Drivers, he noted, no longer need to have a perfect grasp of a city's geography; they can learn as they go because technology exists to help with navigation. Online content, such as Khan Academy, can help teach new skills."
7. The conversation
Jon Meacham Op-Ed in N.Y. Times, "Why Confederates Should Go": "Those who took up arms against the Union were explicitly attempting to stop the American odyssey. While we should judge each individual on the totality of their lives (defenders of Lee, for instance, point to his attempts to be a figure of reconciliation after the war), the forces of hate and of exclusion long ago made Confederate imagery their own."
WashPost front page, "In [WashPost/ABC News] poll, clear disapproval of Trump response to Charlottesville," by Scott Clement and David Nakamura:
- U.S. adults: Approve of Trump's response to Charlottesville protests 28% ... Disapprove 56%
- Democrats: Approve 6% ... Disapprove 84%
- Independents: Approve 28% ... Disapprove 55%
- Republicans: Approve 62% ... Disapprove 19%
8. Celestial Super Bowl
Brian Williams had a great eclipse lead-in on his 11 p.m. MSNBC show, "The 11th Hour": "Just when we thought we run the show down here ... "
It was a rare day of community for America: to obsess about something non-Trump — something that was bigger than ourselves, and something that was terrifying to the ancients, but a diversion and fascination (and, yes, commercial opportunity) for us.
Of all the eclipse anchors, Fox's Shep Smith had by far the most fun, racing maniacally around the "Fox News Deck," his personal set, and having fun with the different brands of gum, cereal, etc., boxes that people were using for their eclipse-viewing gizmos:
"Gotta give us names on pets. C'mon: We love the pets! ... It's interesting that NASA has been able to place its logo next to the sun — see that over there. ... Tell us something amazing! ... No! No! Mr. Production Manager, remove the clouds!"
The networks branded the once-in-a-lifetime event:
- Fox News graphics heralded "FIRST COAST-TO-COAST TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN 99 YEARS."
- CNN — which at times had double "ECLIPSE CAM" boxes, with a tiny Wolf Blitzer head floating between them — dubbed it '"ECLIPSE OF THE CENTURY."
- CBS went picture-in-picture during ads, keeping the eclipse image live.
- ABC's coverage of 'THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE" included countdown clocks "TO END OF TOTALITY" and "TO NEXT TOTALITY."
- MSNBC called it "TOTAL ECLIPSE 2017."
- CNBC covered "THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE."
CNN got the last word, tracking the solar stunner after it was over on the U.S. mainland at 3 p.m. ET, with live cruise-ship coverage "Aboard Royal Caribbean in Atlantic Ocean" — from the Bermuda Triangle.
9. "Don't look!"
From the White House pool report by The Guardian's Ben Jacobs: "At approximately 2:39, the President initially gesticulated to the crowd below and pointed at the sky. As he did so, one of the White House aides standing beneath the Blue Room Balcony shouted 'don't look.'"
Last night on his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson called it "perhaps the most impressive thing any president has ever done." The WashPost's Callum Borchers says: "Carlson was surely joking." (He was.)
10. 1 fun thing
"Alabama starts atop AP poll for 2nd straight year," by AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo:
- "The Crimson Tide became the first program in 12 years to take the top spot in The Associated Press preseason media poll two straight years."
- "Coach Nick Saban's program has become the surest thing in sports these days. The Tide does not always win the national championship — just half the time over the last eight years — but is always in contention. Since 2008, only once has Alabama lost more than one game before bowl season."
The Top 25 (number of first-place votes):
- Alabama (52)
- Ohio State (3)
- Florida State (4)
- USC Trojans (2)
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- South Florida
- Kansas State
- Virginia Tech
- West Virginia
- Washington State
Others receiving votes: TCU 98, Utah 85, Notre Dame 65, Boise St. 37, NC State 26, Northwestern 25, Pittsburgh 23, Oregon 21, Houston 19, Colorado 18, UCLA 9, San Diego St. 9, BYU 5, Appalachian St. 4, Nebraska 4, Tulsa 4, Kentucky 3, Texas A&M 3, Michigan St. 1.
All politics is local ... L.A. Times front-page tease: "Trojans are ranked No. 4 among the top 25 college football teams, their top spot in the era of college playoffs."