☕️ Good Thursday morning, and welcome to a day that your children's children will talk about.
Brett Kavanaugh is hopping mad about the late wave of allegations against him and will be charged up for this morning's hearing, sources close to him tell Jonathan Swan:
Be smart: The view from inside is that if Kavanaugh comes across as awkward, stiff, and evasive — as he has in previous public appearances — he's toast.
President Trump has been all-in to back Kavanaugh. But he equivocated yesterday, saying he'll only know after hearing Ford:
A source involved with the Kavanaugh confirmation said that Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor who'll question the two witnesses, will "play a more critical role than people realize in getting into Dr. Ford's story."
Everyone involved in Kavanaugh's confirmation was blindsided by the specificity of the sworn testimony produced yesterday by Michael Avenatti.
The bottom line: If Kavanaugh sounds unconvincing in his hearing, or screws up under questioning, he's almost certainly cooked.
"Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a key swing vote, told colleagues in a private meeting that she was troubled by the latest accusations," the N.Y. Times reported:
Brian Fallon of the progressive group Demand Justice told me: "The looming hearing has given senators something to 'punt' to in the face of all the allegations in the last few days. After the hearing, there won't be any more cover."
Michael Bloomberg's spending on House races in the midterms has passed the $80 million he promised for the cycle and is heading toward $100 million as he sees an increasing chance for Democrats to win control, Axios has learned.
Bloomberg showed his power on the world stage yesterday with his second annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum (and a companion One Planet Summit), which drew an astonishing roster that included 70 heads of state, in town for the UN General Assembly, and 200 CEOs.
During a day's end interview with Axios, Bloomberg showed that in addition to his global passions that dominated the forum — trade and climate — he also has strong views and expertise on national issues for a possible White House bid:
On his heavy midterm spending for women: "We should have a better balance — I've always been in favor of that in business and everything else."
In this photo, Clarke Gayford sits with daughter Neve as his partner, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaks at yesterday's Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York.
Arden told AP she's a breastfeeding mother and needs to keep her daughter alive:
Now you know: "Ardern is just the second elected world leader in modern times to give birth while in office. The last female politician to give birth while heading a government was the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto," in 1990.
Memorable big-picture commentary about these epic times, from L.A. Times TV critic Lorraine Ali, pegged to the Cosby sentencing and Kavanaugh hearing:
"Google executives, after months of mostly avoiding the harsh spotlight put on their internet peers, are being grilled in Washington this week," the N.Y. Times' Daisuke Wakabayashi and Cecilia Kang report:
For this week’s TIME cover story, contributor Irin Carmon visited Sweden "to understand what the country most focused on gender equality might teach the U.S.":
Trump, winding down his jaw-dropping 81-minute presser in New York yesterday:
"I always like to finish with a good one. Elton John said when you hit that last tune and it’s good, don’t go back. ... I’ve seen — have you ever seen? They do great. They’re great. They hit the last tune and everyone goes crazy."
"Then they go back for an encore, right? And they don’t hit it. And they leave, everyone leaves. And they say that wasn’t a very good concert was it? Let’s go."
"Murphy Brown" is back tonight (9:30 p.m. ET, CBS) ... "The hit sitcom set in a TV newsroom, which spanned the Reagan, Bush and Clinton presidencies with a decidedly left-leaning bent, returns ... as a Trump-era palliative," USA Today's Gary Levin writes: