🍁🍂 Good Sunday morning, and welcome to fall — the autumnal equinox arrived in the U.S. at 9:54 p.m. ET.
Republicans at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are edgy about yesterday's tentative agreement for Christine Blasey Ford, Judge Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The arrangement isn't really a gamble because Republicans have no choice, Jonathan Swan points out:
But the risks are blatantly obvious in an election year where women — and especially college-educated women — already loathe Trump and appear motivated to vote out Republicans.
Be smart: A former administration official said Republicans are "walking the tightrope of making sure not to piss off women for the midterms yet not alienating the base by ditching Kavanaugh."
"In a preparation session on Tuesday, [Brett] Kavanaugh faced more than a dozen White House aides in the Eisenhower building, during which aides played different senators for more than two hours," the WashPost's Seung Min Kim and Josh Dawsey report:
The bottom line: "Kavanaugh has complained about the stories focusing on his family and has grown 'incredibly frustrated' at times, in the words of one associate, but he has not sought to drop out of the running ... He has said privately and publicly that he is eager to testify."
Be smart, from Jonathan Swan: This leak from the (until now) closely guarded Kavanaugh prep room is extraordinary and damaging. It provides a big, sensitive target for Democratic questioning at Thursday’s hearing.
"[T]housands of immigrant families are experiencing ... increasing hurdles ... to take custody of sons, daughters and relatives who crossed the border on their own," AP's Gisela Salomon and Claudia Torrens report:
"[T]his information will now be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — something that did not occur in the past. ICE said this week that the agency has arrested 41 sponsors [adults who take custody of immigrant children] since the agencies started sharing information in June."
P.S. "Trump administration officials announced [yesterday] that immigrants who legally use public benefits like food assistance and Section 8 housing vouchers could be denied green cards under new rules," the N.Y. Times reports:
When "truth" melts: This ice sculpture of the word "truth" was installed yesterday by the artistic collaboration Ligorano/Reese, with the U.S. Capitol in the background, to protest the caustic state of politics.
California scooped up just under $1 billion from nearly 9,000 tax returns filed in 94301 (Palo Alto, home of Stanford and the "birthplace of Silicon Valley") in 2016 — more revenue than from any other ZIP Code in California, the L.A. Times' Melanie Mason reports:
Be smart: "Economists and politicians have long said that California’s volatile revenue base leaves the state at risk for a painful budgetary reckoning when the economy slumps."
Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate, and his wife, Miriam, have given $55 million in the last few months to groups dedicated to retaining Republican control of Congress, the N.Y. Times Jeremy Peters reports:
"Despite initially harboring qualms about President Trump’s leadership, the Adelsons have found much to like ... unflinchingly pro-Israel, unaccommodating to Middle Eastern adversaries and dedicated to deregulation and lower taxes."
"'Blue Boy' is getting a long-awaited makeover, and the public can watch as one of the world's most recognizable paintings gets ... some splashes of fresh paint ... in time for the eternally youthful adolescent to mark his 250th birthday," AP's John Rogers reports from San Marino, Calif.
Giving the painting its first substantial restoration in at least 97 years, the Huntington's senior paintings conservator, Christina O'Connell, will toil in the same area where "Blue Boy" has hung:
"'Blue Boy,' it turns out, ... had a dog until Gainsborough painted it out of the picture. The kid's furry friend was discovered in a 1994 X-ray."