Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 10.31.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Pittsburgh: “The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect could face more than 500 years in prison based on new charges. A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Robert Bowers on a slew of hate crime charges in connection with the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue during services Saturday morning, which killed 11 people.”

* Soon, our troop deployment at the border will be greater than our troop deployment in Afghanistan: “President Trump said that he is considering a significant increase to the number of military personnel along the border, two days after he unveiled plans to send 5,200 troops there.”

* Climate crisis: “The world’s oceans may be heating up faster than previously thought — meaning the planet could have even less time to avoid catastrophic global warming than predicted just weeks ago by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, ocean temperatures have been warming 60% more than outlined by the IPCC.”

* What an unsuccessful policy toward Iran looks like: “President Trump called on world leaders in September to slash their purchases of Iran’s oil before the imposition on Nov. 5 of major sanctions, the last major pieces of the administration’s blockade of the Iranian economy…. But less than a week before the crucial deadline this Monday, the campaign against Iran is facing severe challenges.”

* The long-sought “roadmap” is now available: “U.S. archivists on Wednesday revealed one of the last great secrets of the Watergate investigation – the backbone of a long sealed report used by prosecutor Leon Jaworski to send Congress the evidence that led to the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon.”

* Kansas: “Lawyers representing one of the men who plotted to bomb a mosque in Kansas in 2016 have argued that their client should receive a more lenient sentence because President Trump’s rhetoric during the 2016 election set a ‘backdrop’ that inflamed fears of Muslims among the president’s supporters.”

* This much borrowing when the economy is good is tough to defend: “The federal government is projected to borrow a total of $1.3 trillion this year, more than double the amount borrowed last year and the largest annual borrowing figure since 2010, according to new estimates released by the Treasury Department.”

* Rick Hasen’s new Slate piece recommending that Democrats “go nuclear on voting rights” should be filed away for future reference.

* Just when I thought the year couldn’t get weirder, I read this sentence: “If Tennessee electrocutes Edmund Zagorski on Thursday, it will be in an electric chair built by a self-taught execution expert who is no longer welcome in the prison system and who worries that his device will malfunction.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.