Happy Friday! What time is it? It's nine months to the day since President Trump was inaugurated. "A month after Hurricane Maria rolled across the center of Puerto Rico, the power is still out for [78% of people as the island works] to restore hundreds of miles of transmission lines and thousands of miles of distribution lines ... under a blazing tropical sun," AP reports.
Trump, appearing in the Oval Office yesterday with Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, was asked to grade the White House response: "I'd say it was a 10. ... I think [the storm damage] was worse than Katrina. ... I give ourselves a 10."
Sexual abuse in Hollywood. Social media abuse in Silicon Valley. Political abuse in the White House.
Dive into Twitter for a few minutes, and these can feel like the worst of times.
So everyone, and the GOP establishment in particular, seems hungry for moral clarity:
An implicit rebuke of the Republican president was the focus of blunt remarks this week by Sen. John McCain ("half-baked, spurious nationalism") and George W. Bush ("Bigotry seems emboldened").
Be smart: McCain and Bush have nothing to lose, and see themselves in the twilight of their closing careers. But it's stunning how few in power — and who want to stay in power — say anything like this in public.
These images provided by the U.S. Army show, from left, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga.
"Pollution kills at least nine million people and costs trillions of dollars every year, according to the most comprehensive global analysis to date, which warns the crisis 'threatens the continuing survival of human societies,'" The Guardian writes of the study, released by The Lancet medical journal:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "expressed confusion about rumors of his departure" during an interview with The Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender and Felicia Schwartz:
"The Senate adopted a fiscal 2018 budget resolution ... that House GOP leaders agreed to accept, a show of unity aimed at speeding consideration of President Donald Trump's plan to enact tax cuts," Bloomberg reports:
"In separate and unrelated appearances," the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker writes atop A1, "former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both warned that the United States was being torn apart by ancient hatreds that should have been consigned to history long ago and called for addressing economic anxiety through common purpose."
They didn't name Trump; didn't need to:
Former President Obama laughs with Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, during a rally last night in Richmond.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (left), U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (center), and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice join a panel discussion at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York yesterday.
One trait shared by recent sexual-assault scandals is that it took a major media event for many of the women to come forward with their stories — many decades after the fact, Axios graphic geniuses Rebecca Zisser and Lazaro Gamio write in their narrative with this stunning visual.
"A $20 Billion Startup Fueled By Silicon Valley Pixie Dust ... WeWork CEO Adam Neumann sells investors on his vision for communal workplaces — critics say it's an overvalued real-estate play," by Wall Street Journal's Eliot Brown, on A1:
"The right way to help declining places: Time for fresh thinking about the changing economics of geography" — The Economist's lead editorial:
Speaker Paul Ryan, during last night's 72nd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation white-tie dinner, which always draws top politicians, and includes a comedy routine for New York elite (via AP and NYT):