☕️ Good Sunday morning.
Situational awareness ... The N.Y. Times' David Sanger reports: "In one of the darkest moments of the Vietnam War, [Gen. William Westmoreland] activated a plan in 1968 to move nuclear weapons to South Vietnam until he was overruled by President Lyndon B. Johnson, according to recently declassified documents cited" by Michael Beschloss in "Presidents of War," out Tuesday.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
It's going to get worse. Virtually every major American institution is being radicalized — or being reshaped by the radicalization of our public lives, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes:
You see this in the traditional media, where the cable news networks are racking up record ratings around the sideshow of politics. Reporters, who previously kept their personal views private, suddenly pick sides on Twitter.
You see this on social media, especially Facebook, where the algorithm pumps endless partisan, emotional garbage into our faces all day, every day. People then jump to Twitter to duke it out.
Tragedy is quickly radicalized:
Even normal, trivial, pass-the-popcorn stuff gets radicalized:
Be smart ... All the incentives on social media and in politics favor the radical: If you want clicks, viewers, donors, followers, retweets or votes, there’s no market for moderation or the middle.
For more than five tense minutes, Vice President Pence — presiding over the 50-48 Senate vote for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as the 114th Supreme Court justice — intermittently banged the gavel and said over shrieks from demonstrators: "The sergeant at arms will restore order in the gallery."
The last word ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the WashPost's Seung Min Kim: "I want to thank the mob, because they’ve done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base."
For the conservative legal movement, the swearing-in of Brett Kavanaugh "is a signal triumph, the culmination of a decades-long project that began in the Reagan era with the heady goal of capturing a solid majority on the nation’s highest court," the N.Y. Times' Adam Liptak writes.
The center may be gone, the WashPost's Bob Barnes reports:
Melania Trump tours the Egyptian pyramids and Sphinx in Giza, Egypt, on the final stop on her four-country tour through Africa.
The first lady told reporters before heading back to Washington: "I wish people would focus on what I do, not what I wear.”
Above, activists occupy the Contemplation of Justice statue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Below, an anti-Kavanaugh flag at the Austin City Limits music festival.
"The #MeToo movement has sent dozens of once-powerful Hollywood players into exile, but few of them have been placed in handcuffs or jail cells. And it's increasingly apparent that the lack of criminal charges may remain the norm," AP's Andrew Dalton reports from L.A.:
Why it matters: "The lack of prosecutions stems from a clash between the #MeToo ethos, which encourages victims to come forward years or even decades after abuse and harassment that they've kept private, and a legal system that demands fast reporting of crimes and hard evidence."
"Turkey has concluded that Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent journalist from Saudi Arabia [who contributed to The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section], was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week by a Saudi team sent 'specifically for the murder,'" the WashPost's Kareem Fahim reports from Istanbul."
"Khashoggi, a former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and adviser to its former head of intelligence, left the country last year saying he feared retribution for his growing criticism of Saudi policy," Reuters reports.
That's the Salt Lake Tribune headline over the news that beginning in January, Mormons will be obligated to spend just two hours at church on Sunday instead of the current three.
Why it matters: "This change is meant to balance the roles of church and home in teaching Mormon principles."
This photo shows a chicken house near Livingston, Calif.
In November, California will vote on Proposition 12, which would set size requirements on coops and cages used to contain breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens, AP reports.