The Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh in hot seat | Social media execs face grilling | Stunning upset in Massachusetts

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Kavanaugh in hot seat, sidesteps questions on Trump pardons | Social media execs face grilling | Rubio, Alex Jones clash outside of hearing | Capuano loses in stunning upset | Trump rips NFL, Nike over Kaepernick ad | Why Kim Kardashian West was at the White House | Trump suggests changes to libel laws after Woodward book | 'Serial' season 3 coming this month


Hello and welcome -- it's The Brett Kavanaugh Show!:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is on Capitol Hill for the second day of his confirmation hearing.



On whether Trump can pardon himself: He wouldn’t give a definitive answer. "The question of self-pardons is something I've never analyzed... It's a hypothetical question that I can't being to answer in this context."

Kavanaugh weighs in on abortion: Judge Brett Kavanaugh said that Roe v. Wade has been "reaffirmed many times." His full answer: "Senator, I said that it's settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court entitled to respect. It has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years, as you know, and most prominently, most importantly, reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey."

This could be important in the Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE investigation: "Kavanaugh won't say whether a president could be subject to a subpoena (which could be relevant in Mueller probe) -- calling it a 'potential hypothetical.'"

Kavanaugh brings up Nixon in his first answer: "How politically savvy is Kavanaugh? Discusses U.S. v Nixon & respect for precedent as rooted in Constitution in answer to first question about what makes a good judge."

Live blog of updates:

Livestream of the hearing:



Why the protests abruptly stopped during the hearing: "Police and staff are keeping all seats for the public empty. No more public inside. There is a line outside, unclear if this is temporary. This is why you hear no more protests." Photo of the newly emptied seats:

The handmaids are back -- this is a powerful protest: Anyone who has read or watched "The Handmaid's Tale" will agree. Photo -- it's freaking me out:

Haha, just to lighten the mood: Via The Onion, "Embarrassed Brett Kavanaugh Can't Believe He Wore Handmaid Costume On Same Day As Protesters." Photo -- it's pretty funny:

Tidbit about yesterday's effort by Senate Dems to adjourn the hearing: "Sources [say] this is a coordinated effort by Senate Dems on the Judiciary Committee, and that it was discussed during the holiday weekend on a call organized by Schumer." (Via NBC's Frank Thorp V and Kasie Hunt) Keep in mind: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research The Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (D-N.Y.) has faced pressure from progressives to do more to try and block Kavanaugh.


It's already Wednesday! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to and on Facebook.



'Sooo while we have you both here, how do we get those blue verification checkmarks?'

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg are testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the social media platforms' efforts to prevent foreign influence in U.S. elections. Dorsey will later testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on allegations of anti-conservative bias on Twitter.



I had to Google 'band collar' but yes, definitely a band collar: [Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey] goes with no tie and a band collar." Photo:

Spotted at the hearing: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, whose content was removed on several social media platforms, including Facebook.

Yikes -- one of the most interesting exchanges happened outside the hearing: "Heated exchange between [Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Trump's Scarborough tweets unsettle his allies House passes bill that would sanction Chinese officials over Xinjiang camps Rubio: Coronavirus conspiracy theories could be used in foreign election misinformation campaigns MORE (R-Fla.)] and Alex Jones in the Senate hallway -- Jones crashes a Rubio interview and touches Rubio's shoulder. Rubio tells Jones not to touch him again, says he'll 'take care of you myself' rather than calling the police. Alex Jones called Rubio a 'frat boy,' Rubio insisted that he didn't know who Jones was. Rubio eventually left, telling the press they could stay if they wanted to interview 'this clown.' " Watch the spat -- it's pretty awkward:

Dorsey reads his opening statement off his cell and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrFISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition Rubio: Coronavirus conspiracy theories could be used in foreign election misinformation campaigns Justice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein MORE (R-N.C.) has thoughts: "Twitter's Jack Dorsey reading his opening statement off his cell phone; Sen. Burr makes a joke about how small that device is."

Live blog of updates:

Livestream of the hearing:



Flight quarantined at JFK -- I bet these passengers can't wait to get home: 

An Emirates flight from Dubai has been quarantined at JFK Airport in New York City after up to 100 passengers feel sick. What's the sickness?: Two passengers have high fevers and about 100 people are coughing nonstop. How many passengers were on board: 521. What they may have: Investigators are looking into whether passengers have the flu. Photos of the airplane:


A man drove into a Dallas TV station's office:

This morning, a man repeatedly drove into Fox affiliate KDFW-TV in Dallas. After shattering glass and causing paper to scatter, the man left his truck and "started ranting." Important to note: No one was hurt and the driver is in custody.

Here's a photo of the man's face during the incident:

Photos of the scene from a KDFT-TV reporter:


Spotted at the White House -- Kim Kardashian West is hoping to keep up with DJT: 

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West was seen at the White House this morning working to free a second nonviolent drug felon from person. Keep in mind: Kardashian West helped release another nonviolent drug felon earlier this year.


Well we knew this tweet was coming:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE ripped the NFL and Nike after Nike featured free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an advertisement. He tweeted: "Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!"

KEEP IN MIND: The NFL season kicks off tomorrow. It's unclear how any protests during the national anthem will be handled.



Bring me his head!:

This morning, President Trump suggested changing libel laws after excerpts of veteran journalist Bob Woodward's upcoming book were released. He tweeted: "Isn't it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don't know why Washington politicians don't change libel laws?"

IF YOU MISSED THIS BLOWUP YESTERDAY: Here's how the book excerpts rocked the White House:

TRUMP ACCUSED WOODWARD OF BEING A DEM OPERATIVE: Citing his aides who refute Woodward's book, President Trump accused veteran journalist Bob Woodward of being a Democratic operative. Trump's full tweet:



But third time's a charm!:

In an interview with The Daily Caller, President Trump said he doesn't expect a government shutdown at the end of the month over immigration. In Trump's words: "I don't like the idea of shutdowns. Ultimately, I can do it all in one year. I'd like to get the funding -- the full funding -- but we have done a lot of work. People don't realize that. I've done it very quietly. I don't see even myself or anybody else closing down the country right now."

AND LOOKING TO NOVEMBER: Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, signs of a blue wave for Democrats as lawmakers return to Washington.

LAST NIGHT -- A MAJOR UPSET IN MASSACHUSETTS: "Rep. Michael CapuanoMichael (Mike) Everett CapuanoInside the progressive hunt for vulnerable House Democrats Progressive mayor launches primary challenge to top Ways and Means Democrat Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm MORE has conceded to his Democratic challenger, Ayanna Pressley, in the Massachusetts primary, becoming the latest veteran lawmaker to go down against a progressive candidate in a stunning political upset." Details from The Hill's Melanie Zanona and Lisa Hagen:



Lol, this tweet really ruffled some feathers:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Washington, D.C.

Today: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoChinese lawmakers approve law allowing for stricter crackdown on Hong Kong The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for Iran nuclear projects | Top Dems says State working on new Saudi arms sale | 34-year-old Army reservist ID'd as third military COVID-19 death MORE is in Pakistan "to reset the relationship between the two countries." Context:

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with the U.S. ambassador to Finland.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueJustice Department investigating meat price increases: report 11,000 coronavirus cases tied to three meat processors: report The looming USDA deadline to guarantee access to school meals MORE.

12:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on a nomination. The Senate's full schedule today:

12:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate is expected to swear in Jon Kyl, who is filling the vacancy left by Arizona Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHow Obama just endorsed Trump Former Texas Rep. Sam Johnson dies at 89 Trump's needless nastiness and cruelty will catch up with him MORE's (R) death. Op-ed:

1:15 p.m. EDT: Weekly caucus luncheons in the Senate.

1:15 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the emir of Kuwait.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with congressional Republican leadership in the Roosevelt Room.

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

6 p.m. EDT: Anheuser-Busch is hosting the second annual Brew Across America Beer Festival in Eastern Market, D.C.



This morning: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg testify on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and what they are doing to prevent a repeat. Livestream:

Today: Day two of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. Livestream:



Today is National Cheese Pizza Day.


So simple, yet so beautifully crafted:
A college student created a fake McDonald's ad featuring a friend and him. He hung it at the local McDonalds and it's been hanging there for more than 50 days. Photo -- it looks pretty professional:


Debuting Sept. 20 -- Serial's back:

The award-winning podcast Serial by journalist Sarah Koenig is returning this month for a third season. The topic: Inside the criminal justice system. Keep in mind: Serial is the most-downloaded podcast ever. Details:


And because you made it this far, here's a dog who is *not* doing a good job at hiding how he feels about the kitten. If facial expressions came with captions...: