Wiretap: U.S. blames Assad for horrific Syria chemical attack, but Trump also blames Obama

The U.S. blames President Bashar-al Assad for the horrendous chemical-weapons attack that may have claimed as many as 100 lives. Russia, meanwhile, comes to Syria’s defense, and Trump spokesman Sean Spicer casts blame on Barack Obama for not following through on his “red line” threat against the use of chemical weapons. The White House criticism comes despite the fact that Donald Trump had repeatedly warned at the time that Obama should not get more involved in Syria. Via The New York Times.

Survivors of the attack describe a “cruel scene,” at a hospital in which “Kids were all over the floor, some dead and others struggling to breathe. The noise of them trying to breath was loud, with foam all over their faces.” Via The New York Times.

Chinese President Xi Jinping does not play golf. But does that mean he won’t be able to take Trump out of his game when the two meet on Thursday at Mar-a-Lago? Via The New Yorker.

At Vox, they’re calling it Schrodinger’s AHCA. And the question is, can a bill be simultaneously dead and alive? And the answer seems to be yes, if you’re talking about the various iterations of repealing and replacing or not repealing and not  replacing Obamacare.

Kathleen Parker: Who is that masked man in the White House? He’s the one pretending that the Susan Rice “unmasking” is a spy scandal and not what it really is — an attempt to divert attention from Trump’s Russian problem. Via The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board writes a four-part editorial slamming Trump’s presidency, saying in the first — headlined “Our Dishonest President” — that “It is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation.”

From The National Review: Rich Lowry writes that a filibuster of Neil Gorsuch wouldn’t be the Senate’s worst filibuster, but it would be the dumbest.

Megan McArdle: How Democrats became the new party of “no,” and what it may cost them in the end (just ask Repubicans). Via Bloomberg.

As many as 18 advertisers have abandoned Bill O’Reilly in the wake of the New York Times’s report that Fox and O’Reilly had paid out $13 million to settle sexual and verbal harassment suits against O’Reilly. New York magazine is now reporting that O’Reilly’s future may be in Rupert Murdoch’s hands.

CNN had a major identity problem. It was the “breaking news” cable news station that had only so much breaking news to offer. And then Donald Trump happened. Problem solved. Via The New York Times magazine.

The new take on American cities. Just a few years ago, they were the go-to destination, crowded with single millennials and empty-nest baby boomers. Now, these same cities — with some exceptions, say Denver — are starting to hollow out. Via The Atlantic.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carol A. Lehman via Flickr: Creative Commons