I'm in. Let's do this

Brian Manzullo responds to the announcement on SNL this weekend, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Tom Hanks 'partner' for presidential race (13,000+ shares), as reported by Erin Jensen in USA Today. NPR’s Doreen McCallister also shares the story in  'America Needs Us': Johnson And Hanks Announce Presidential Bid On 'SNL' (25,000+ shares), a piece that highlighted this highly relatable quote from Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost: “I know I said this last week, but this week was crazy!”

A Michael Moore fever dream

In Donald of Arabia, POLITICO’s Blake Hounshell writes, “The images on TV and on Twitter looked like a Michael Moore fever dream — and Democrats couldn’t stop harping on the ‘curtsy’ Trump made as he accepted an award from the Saudi king, just as Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush did before him.” Tweets Michael Kruse, “Trump is offering, in short, a war on terror without the pretense of idealism, @blakehounshell writes.”

Carol Lee’s piece for The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. Pledge $100 Million to World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, is getting a lot of attention, with 53,000+ shares. “Guys we're in the upside down world,” tweets Hayley Krischer. But Jake Tapper notes, “People should be precise when discussing the World Bank's Women Entrepreneurs Fund - it's not $ controlled by Ivanka.”

Meanwhile, of Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia this weekend, NBC News' Ali Vitali reports, Donald Trump to tell Muslims: 'We are not here to lecture' (20,000+ shares), and The Telegraph shares Donald Trump's Saudi Arabia speech: eight key points. Also this weekend, Donald Trump touched a glowing Saudi orb and confused the internet, as Newsweek's Harriet Sinclair reports.

WELP 2.0

Back home, we learned that Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation (69,000+ shares), as Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg reported in The New York Times about a hundred years ago or this past Friday. And, as Andrew Katz notes, “TO BE FAIR: Trump loves two scoops,” linking to the Times piece and breaking news from Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post, Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say (40,000+ shares). “WELP 2.0,” as Ben Collins puts it.

And, “Well this is likely to be super popular,” says Michelle Cottle of the scoop from Jonathan Swan at Axios, Trump budget to slash entitlements by $1.7 trillion (14,000+ shares). Damian Paletta reports in the Washington Post, Trump to propose big cuts to safety-net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits (22,000+ shares). “Funny. I don't remember this campaign promise,” says Cottle.

Don't hate read this

CNN’s Jackie Wattles reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a briefing in Saudi Arabia without US press. Tweets Jeffrey Goldberg, “I can't remember a single time in which a U.S. secretary of state banned American reporters from a press conference.” Meanwhile, Mallory Shelbourne of The Hill writes that, on Sunday, Jason Chaffetz said individuals leaking information to the press should go to jail. Getting lots of retweets was Richard W. Painter’s recommendation: “Let’s start with the guy who leaked the FBI Director’s letter by posting it on the Internet last October.”

At The Hollywood Reporter, Lacey Rose and Marisa Guthrie have the exclusive as Billy Bush Breaks His Silence on Trump, the 'Access Hollywood' Tape, NBC and a Comeback Plan. Ryan Mac issues the challenge: “don't hate read this. don't hate read this. don't hate read this. don't hate read this. don't hate read this. don't”

And, uh, this is a headline: Anderson Cooper apologizes for conjuring image of Trump defecating on his desk (12,000+ shares), as reported by Kristine Guerra in the Washington Post.

Holla holla for a good lawyer

“Ja Rule better holla holla for a good lawyer. Fyre Festival under federal investigation, via @nytimes,” tweets Matt Johnson, linking to In Wreckage of the Fyre Festival, Fury, Lawsuits and an Inquiry, the story from Joe Coscarelli, Melena Ryzik and Ben Sisario at The New York Times. Says Yeganeh June Torbati, “Obviously I immediately dropped everything I was doing to read this.” And Ariel Bogle tweets, “A thorough account of the Fyre Festival wreckage. May the stories never end.”

In happier music news, the Billboard Music Awards were presented last night, and Lisa Respers France of CNN recaps What you missed, while at TIME, Raisa Bruner takes a look at the Best and Worst Moments.

American stories

Vann R. Newkirk II tweets, “I spent months investigating lives touched by lead poisoning in the 90s NOLA housing projects. Here's the story,” linking to The Lead-Poisoned Generation in New Orleans in The Atlantic. Says Newkirk, “Theirs is an instrumental story to understanding environmental justice today & how lead destroys communities.” Tweets Andrew Giambrone, “If you don't feel outraged after reading this deeply reported story about NOLA by @fivefifths, you're doing it wrong.” 

In The Orange County Register, Teri Sforza, Tony Saavedra, Scott Schwebke and Lori Basheda report on How some Southern California drug rehab centers exploit addiction. Meanwhile, in For Kensington librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job, “Columnist @MikeNewall shares firsthand account of how Kensington librarians are waging fight to combat opioid crisis,” tweets Stan Wischnowski, referring to  Mike Newall’s new column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Daniel Rubin calls it “A gunpoint-vantage column,” and Audrey Watters tweets, “Next time some Silicon Valley tech type says ‘Google has replaced libraries,’ show ‘em this.”

Over and out

Erin Caughey tweets, “Aka humanity over…” and who can blame her? The subhead is “Don’t panic: The seeds are still safe and secure,” but the headline is an attention getter. Brian Resnick’s piece for Vox, The Arctic “doomsday” seed vault is supposed to ensure the future of humanity. It just flooded (30,000+ shares), references reporting from Damian Carrington at The Guardian, Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts (248,000+ shares), which notes, “No seeds were lost but the ability of the rock vault to provide failsafe protection against all disasters is now threatened by climate change.”

And finally, Dave Nyczepir says this is “The coolest thing you'll read today.” Check out The ‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Is Dimming Again (10,000+ shares), by Marina Koren in The Atlantic. “Firing sequence initiated,” tweets Ed Yong.

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