☕️ Happy Friday!
In a foreshadowing of how much uglier U.S. politics could get, top Democratic operatives are already talking about impeachment of Brett Kavanaugh as a 2020 campaign issue if he gets confirmed to the Supreme Court.
The impeachment talk reflects the conclusion of Democrats and Republicans close to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh's confirmation is more likely than not — and certainly more likely than it was 24 hours ago.
The war was embodied by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who rallied the GOP by caustically accusing Democrats: "What you want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020."
Be smart: If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats could be expected to question the legitimacy of his swing Supreme Court vote. Congress degraded itself yesterday. And the Trump White House of course has serious credibility issues.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has 48 hard "yes" votes, and needs 50 for a win, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie.
What's next: The Judiciary Committee is racing to vote at 9:30 a.m. today. The full Senate could start taking procedural votes Saturday, setting up a final vote as soon as Tuesday, per AP.
Takeaways from inside the hearing room, by Axios legal eagle Sam Baker:
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), during a break after testimony by Christine Blasey Ford:
We're living in different news universes, as we could see starkly last night, Axios managing editor David Nather writes:
Wednesday night, before the hearing:
Republican prosecutor Rachel Mitchell at yesterday's hearing: "What do you consider to be too many beers?"
P.S. "Kavanaugh has repeatedly said that he was legally allowed to consume beer as a prep school senior in Maryland."
The world wasn't buying what President Trump was selling at this week's UN General Assembly, Axios World editor Dave Lawler writes from NYC:
On climate change, Trump’s isolation was even starker:
San Francisco-based rivals Uber and Lyft are both looking to launch initial public offerings in 2019, the Financial Times' Shannon Bond and Nicole Bullock report (subscription):
From Axios Video, documentary footage in 1 Big Thing format:
Coming in Sunday's N.Y. Times Magazine:
"Will Florida’s Ex-Felons Finally Regain the Right to Vote?" by Emily Bazelon: "As former felons, more than 1.5 million Floridians are barred from voting, but a new referendum, Amendment 4, could restore that right — and shift the state’s electorate.
"The Crisis of Election Security," by Kim Zetter:
Patrick Kehoe, 23, an Irish man who missed his flight at Dublin Airport, was arrested yesterday for breaking down the jetway door and running after the plane on the tarmac to flag it down, AP reports:
I once almost missed a flight with ABC's Jonathan Karl, who pounded on the jetway door after it closed, and got a gate agent to come up and reopen it.