Today's edition of quick hits:* Hurricane Matthew: "The U.S. was steeling itself for Hurricane Matthew as the monster storm pounded Haiti on Tuesday and set its sights on the Sunshine State and the Carolinas. State of emergencies are in effect in Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina and millions of coastal residents were warned to get ready to evacuate, some as soon as Wednesday."* Syria: "Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Russia on Tuesday for pointedly ignoring the Syrian government's use of chlorine gas and barrel bombs against its own citizens, and he left little hope for an early resumption of talks with Russia about a cease-fire."* We've been keeping an eye on the Ben Barlyn case for years: "A former Hunterdon County assistant prosecutor who claims he was fired for alleging that Gov. Chris Christie's administration dismissed an indictment because it involved supporters of the governor has received a $1.5 million settlement from the state in his whistleblower lawsuit."* Speaking of New Jersey: "Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York agreed to falsely explain the mysterious lane closings at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 as a traffic study to try to 'put an end' to the growing scandal, the admitted culprit behind the scheme testified in federal court here on Tuesday."* How long do we have to wait until the next Filipino election? "If it's Tuesday, Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, must be swearing at President Obama. In a profanity-laced speech in Manila, Duterte lashed out once again at the U.S. for criticizing his self-proclaimed 'drug war,' saying Obama can 'go to hell.' The European Union, he added, 'better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.'"* President Obama has a new piece in the Huffington Post on the Supreme Court: "Their obstruction underscores a fundamental misunderstanding of the way our government should work. Sure, they're blocking Merrick Garland -- and maybe scoring a political point or two -- but in doing so they are failing the American people. By hobbling the Supreme Court for what could be a year or longer, Republicans are eroding one of the core institutions of American democracy. This cannot be the new normal."* A prominent #NeverTrump Republican is stepping away from his microphone: "Influential conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes announced on Tuesday that, after more than two decades on the air, he is stepping down at the end of this year to 'pursue new opportunities.'"Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
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