Good Sunday morning. Situational awareness: "California Senate Leader Kevin de León will announce an audacious bid to challenge fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Sunday," the L.A. Times reports.
We've learned that after months of frosty distance, President Trump picked up the phone yesterday and called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — ahead of a week when they absolutely have to work together on a budget, or risk losing tax reform.
I'm told the two speak behind the scenes more frequently than is leaked, with judges and tax reform as regular topics:
Be smart: This is a truce that both sides need — not a thaw, or a change in how they view each other. You can count on Trump to attack McConnell on Twitter again soon, and keep courting "Chuck and Nancy."
N.Y. Times columnist Nick Kristof writes that during his five-day visit to North Korea, he was struck by "the Confucian emphasis on dignity that makes officials particularly resent Trump's personal attacks on Kim."
Kristof also detected a "bizarre confidence that North Korea can not only survive a nuclear war with the U.S. but also emerge as victor":
New this morning ... "Amid a targeted lobbying effort, Congress weakened the DEA's ability to go after drug distributors, even as opioid-related deaths continue to rise, a Washington Post and '60 Minutes' investigation finds," by WashPost's Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein:
Athletes start in yesterday's swim race at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
"Wind-whipped flames blew up [again yesterday], prompting epic firefights to save two of California's signature tourist towns ... Calistoga and Sonoma," the S.F. Chronicle reports:
"Trump is on pace to sign more executive orders than any president in the last 50 years," per CNN:
Trump's executive order on health care Thursday, dismantling parts of the Affordable Care Act, "was the 49th executive order that Trump has signed ... The last president to sign that many executive orders through October 13 of his first year in office? Lyndon Johnson."
David Brooks, pointing to the California wildfires as a reminder of the founding of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905, has a worrying column showing that we're falling short of our predecessors on a grand scale:
Be smart: At this moment, there's a couple-times-in-a-century opening for a leader who can ignite that burst. They'll probably be young(ish), and we should be listening.
The day after landing in Canada, Joshua Boyle and his son, Jonah, 4, who has spent his whole life in captivity, play in the garden of Boyle's parents' house in Smiths Falls, Ontario.
"Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," the L.A. Times' Josh Rottenberg writes.
Maureen Dowd, in "Hollywood's Oldest Horror Story," quotes "a prominent male Hollywood producer": "Literally everyone in Hollywood is taking marshmallows to roast at his burning corpse."
"New characters give 'Thomas & Friends' a jolt of girl power," by AP Retail Writer Joseph Pisani: