☕️ Good Monday morning ...
If you're in D.C. ... Please join me at 8 a.m. tomorrow for breakfast and an Axios News Shapers conversation about vaping and other hot issues with FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. A high-school student will join us to give a reality check. RSVP here.
Brett Kavanaugh's allies plan to aggressively contest what they call the "foggy memories" of his accusers — an approach that's likely to lead to nasty confrontations at Thursday's showdown hearing on his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Republicans see two silver bullets, one for each case:
As part of this strategy, Kavanaugh plans to aggressively contest the Yale allegation, sources tell Jonathan Swan.
Swan's whip count: Kavanaugh's future rests partly with Republican senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. But the senator who most worries Kavanaugh strategists is Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is retiring and has ripped Trump (and been ripped by Trump).
See the letter Christine Blasey Ford sent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, released yesterday by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
The second allegation against Kavanaugh was reported by The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, who teamed up on an exposé that forced the resignation in May of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
A Kavanaugh statement called the allegation “a smear, plain and simple.”
The Judiciary Committee said: "The committee’s majority staff learned the allegations made by Deborah Ramirez about Judge Kavanaugh from this evening’s New Yorker report."
Huge weekend for Jane Mayer, who writes in the new issue of The New Yorker about what she calls an "incendiary" forensic analysis of online activity in the 2016 election:
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor of communications at the University of Pennsylvania, will be out Oct. 3 with a new book, "Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President — What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know” (Oxford University Press).
Why it matters: "The book ... may well reignite the question of Trump’s electoral legitimacy. The President’s supporters will likely characterize the study as an act of partisan warfare."
People navigate floodwaters caused by Hurricane Florence near the Waccamaw River in Conway, South Carolina. Floodwaters are expected to continue to rise in Conway over the next two days.
Below, Jason Johnson (left) and homeowner Archie Sanders work to build a temporary levee to hold back floodwaters in Conway.
"China and the United States imposed new tariff hikes on each other’s goods [today] and Beijing accused Washington of bullying, giving no sign of compromise in an intensifying battle over technology that is weighing on global economic growth," writes the AP.
What's next: The Trump administration is planning to launch a major, "administration-wide," broadside against China, focused in part on cyberattacks, Jonathan Swan scooped in Sneak Peek.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called President Trump Friday to say that the tweets attacking Christine Blasey Ford were not helpful and that they could cause new problems, per the WashPost's Seung Min Kim and Josh Dawsey.
Interest in growing in the problem of surprise medical bills in the media and on Capitol Hill, with a bipartisan group of senators drafting legislation to crack down on the problem, writes Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman in a column for Axios.
P.S., As the midterms approach, many Republicans are doubling down on largely unpopular ideas like repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting Medicare, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports:
"911 centers across the country are struggling to hire enough operators, slowing the time it takes to answer calls," USA Today's Paul Davidson writes:
Premiering on PBS on Oct. 1 (a week from today) ... "Dark Money" follows Montana journalist John S. Adams as he follows the increasingly murky trail of money influencing the state's elections.
Per the release: "Dark Money has its national broadcast and streaming debut on the PBS documentary series POV and pov.org on Monday, October 1 at 10 p.m. ... POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, now in its 31st season."
Tiger's comeback ... "A 1-over-par 71 was good enough to capture the Tour Championship, the season-ending tournament on the PGA Tour schedule and one that gave Woods his first victory in more than five years," ESPN's Bob Harig writes.
"Woods is now the favorite to win next year's Masters."