☕️ Good Wednesday morning.
Situational awareness: "North Korea said it would ... potentially destroy its primary nuclear complex if the United States agrees to corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced in a joint press conference with Kim Jong Un," per CNN.
lllustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Republicans are privately worried about the risk unleashed by an explosive allegation of a teenage sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but still hope to push ahead to a final confirmation vote next week.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser, said last night through her lawyers that "an FBI investigation of the incident" should precede a hearing. It was one more uncertainty in a long list:
Behind the scenes, Republican senators toughened their stance and are hoping to hold a final vote by the end of next week.
Republicans say they still would be happy for Ford to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Monday. But they hope to resist demands for a further delay by Democrats and the accuser.
But a top Republican source told me that leaders view Ford's account as "not only unproven, but unprovable," and will not take the risk of an extended "pause."
Worthy of your time ... Anita Hill writes an op-ed for the N.Y. Times, "How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right."
P.S. First look: John Legend stars in a new digital ad, produced by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and promoted with other progressive groups, urging viewers to tell their senators to vote "no" on Kavanaugh.
Remember when the tax cut was going to be the issue that saved the GOP majority?
Now, in a twist, Dems are using the issue against the GOP, AP's Geoff Mulvihill and Bill Barrow report in a story posting later this morning:
Why it matters, per Axios' Alexi McCammond: If two bombshells warning of White House chaos don't change things, it's further evidence that Americans' opinions of Trump are set in stone.
P.S. Simon & Schuster announced that "Fear" sold more than 1.1 million copies through Week 1.
From Jonathan Swan's "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit yesterday:
"U.S. employers are boosting benefits — including bonuses [paid leave] and vacation time — at a faster pace than salaries," The Wall Street Journal's Te-Ping Chen and Eric Morath report (subscription).
Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is writing a book to be published by Alfred A. Knopf in spring 2020: "The Nation City: Why Mayors Run the World," about effective governing in a time of historic gridlock.
Emanuel, 58 — a former White House chief of staff and House Democratic leader — chatted with us yesterday as he strolled toward City Hall, pausing now and then to shout: "Hey, man! How are you, brother?"
In past decades, "mayors would go to Washington and say: 'Save us.' Today, we go to Washington and say, 'We're going to save you.'"
Emanuel has jammed days, including swimming at 5:30 a.m., but has begun work on the book by taking notes and talking to counterparts around the globe.
The N.Y. Times gave us permission to share with Axios AM readers the cover of yesterday's business section, devoted solely to a behind-the-scenes account of the purchase of TIME by Salesforce's Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, for $190 million.
Crooked Media and the smash "Pod Save America" podcast have built Vote Save America, which lets you check to see if you're registered to vote, register, pledge to vote, and find volunteer opportunities in your area.
This one goes out to Evan Allen ... From the cover of the N.Y. Times Food section, "Ranch Nation ... How one creamy, peppery salad dressing became America’s favorite flavor," by Julia Moskin:
If you have to ask: "It’s a combination of creaminess (from buttermilk, sour cream, sometimes mayonnaise) and herbaceousness (often parsley, thyme, dill), plus a long pull of allium (onion and garlic) and a shot of black pepper."