Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Hurricane Irma: “The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history slammed into the easternmost islands of the Caribbean on Wednesday, killing at least two people and churning along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before possibly heading for Florida this weekend.”
* The House approved a disaster-relief bill for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, 419 to 3, though it looks like the Senate is poised to add quite a bit to the bill.
* Look for more on this on tonight’s show: “Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that it has discovered it sold ads during the U.S. presidential election to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.”
* The trial is underway: “U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, R-N.J., ‘sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford,’ federal prosecutors said Wednesday in its opening statement in the Democrat’s corruption trial.”
* This was unimaginably unwise: “A senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan apologized Wednesday for propaganda leaflets that superimposed a key Islamic text on a dog’s image. The leaflets distributed by U.S. forces in Parwan province, north of Kabul, on Tuesday depicted a lion, representing the U.S.-led coalition, chasing a dog with a section of the Taliban’s banner, containing a passage from the Koran in Arabic superimposed on its side.”
* This was actually a good hearing: “At this Congress’s first bipartisan public hearing on health care reform, after a year of Republicans drafting bills behind closed doors, health insurance commissioners from across the country testified to senators that the Trump administration’s multi-pronged sabotage of the Affordable Care Act is driving up rates and sowing uncertainty in their states.”
* It’s worth worrying about who Trump will replace him with: “Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, will step down in mid-October after three years at the central bank, the Fed announced on Wednesday. Mr. Fischer, 73, cited ‘personal reasons’ in a short resignation letter to President Trump.”
* Time to brush up on the blue-slip process: “Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said on Tuesday he would test whether a Senate tradition that his Republican colleagues used to thwart several of President Obama’s judicial nominees will actually be honored now that Donald Trump is in the White House.”
* In case you missed last night’s show: “The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed records from the Justice Department and the FBI pertaining to a salacious but unverified dossier over objections from the committee’s minority members, the panel’s ranking Democrat said Tuesday.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.