And now for the news
We're kind of a fan of starting off the Daily with some lighter fare, and we have The Omaha World Herald to thank for today's appetizer. "Warning: Pot makes you mean to your pets," concludes Philadelphia Inquirer's John Timpane, sharing this latest amazing headline: Omaha dad finds pot brownies, eats 4 of them, says mean things to cat. Yes, that is a real headline, and it's already received 10,000+ shares. "And I'm suddenly thankful nothing I've said to a cat has ended up in a police report, or the newspaper," confesses Albuquerque Journal's Dan McKay. "Apparently cats in Omaha have something to worry about," John Celock of The Celock Report. "This and Zombie Weed-Eating Sheep are my favorite news stories of 2016," decides Bustle's Jenny Hollander. We especially agree with the takeway from Tad Vezner of St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Best part of this story is 1st comment: 'Kevin, did you just ruin your journalism career or did you just make it?' We vote for "make it." Kudos, Mr. Kevin Cole!
Disclaimer: The above gif is not at all related to the story, but it's what came up when we searched for "cat pot brownie," okay?
All right, fine, back to politics:
- In further confirmation of previous suspicions, we learn from the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. withheld its cash payment to Iran until that nation freed their American prisoners. "Obama: 'We Don't Pay Ransom for Hostages' ... Lots of ppl having trouble w truth these days," observes National Journal's Josh Kraushaar.
- The Associated Press sources say Trump campaign chairman is tied to undisclosed foreign lobbying, which leads The Huffington Post to pontificate on the unhappy campaign of Paul Manafort. "This anecdote about Manafort cautioning against the taco bowl tweet is amazing," declares The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick.
- You may be surprised to learn the speechwriter who wrote Patricia Smith's RNC speech about Benghazi may also join the ranks of GOP defectors voting for Hillary Clinton in November.
- But because Clinton has developed a recent allergy for pressers and would rather do her own podcast, one Chicago Tribune columnist decided to matters into his own hands. "Hillary hates press conferences. So I used her campaign podcast to create MY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE CANDIDATE!" chirps Chicago Tribune's Rex W. Huppke.
- Three out of 5 Texan Trump supporters want secession if Clinton is elected.
- Trump casinos' tax debt was $30 million. Then Chris Christie took office. "NJ got 17 cents on the dollar from Trump. I guess this is what he'd do with America's creditors?" muses Politico's Julia Ioffe.
- When asked about being down in the race, a Trump adviser replied, "Says who?" ... which led to this awkward exchange.
- The Hill claims Trump voiced distrust for U.S. intelligence just hours before his classified briefing.
- And of course, Trump's latest reshuffle of his staff, "in his own image." More on that in our media section!
- Also, Aetna's CEO reportedly threatened to pull out of Obamacare if the Feds opposed their Humana merger.
And in non-politics, Brazilians are angry now that holes are emerging in American swimmer Ryan Lochte's story about getting mugged in Rio.