Today in 5 Lines
President Trump drew widespread condemnation for falsely claiming that 3,000 people “did not die” in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, and that Democrats inflated the death toll to smear him. “We cannot allow the devastation of our citizens to be questioned and we cannot allow response efforts to be politicized,” said Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló.
The House passed a trio of spending bills to fund part of the federal government. The package, which has already been approved by the Senate, now goes to President Trump for his signature.
In a statement, Senator Dianne Feinstein said she referred a letter on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to federal investigators. The specific contents of the letter are unknown.
Hurricane Florence brought rain and wind to the North Carolina coast this afternoon. The Category 2 storm is expected to make landfall Friday.
The Trump administration agreed to give parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border another chance to claim asylum.
The Race We’re Watching
The New York gubernatorial primary pits yet another incumbent, Governor Andrew Cuomo, against a left-wing challenger, Cynthia Nixon. While the race has generated lots of media buzz, it’s not expected to be an upset; the most recent public poll showed Cuomo leading by more than 40 points.
Polls close at 9 p.m. ET.
Today on The Atlantic
The State of the Union: The Atlantic’s October issue addresses the question: Is democracy dying?
‘Staggering Callousness’: President Trump’s denial of the death count from Hurricane Maria confirms that he’s never really seen the disaster as anything except a Democratic conspiracy against him. (Vann R. Newkirk II)
The NRA’s Catch-22: The NRA has argued that Botham Jean, an unarmed black man who was shot last week by a police officer, would still be alive if he carried a firearm. But when black men who carry firearms are killed, the NRA says nothing about the right to bear arms. (Adam Serwer)
What We’re Reading
Jimmy Carter Is Still Building Houses: At 93 years of age, the former president and his wife Rosalynn still set aside at least one week a year to build homes for those who need them. (Molly Ball, Time)
Those Who Can’t Evacuate: When Hurricane Florence makes landfall in eastern North Carolina, it will be the poor who suffer the most. (William Barber, CNN)
The Court Loses Its Center: If Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, there will be no need to cater to moderate justices because there won’t be any. That could lead to “a more honest” Court, writes Linda Greenhouse. (The New York Times)
When Water Is Too Expensive: In Atlanta, running water is so pricey that some families are forced to go without it. (Max Blau, The Bitter Southerner)