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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 — Presented by Citi — O'Rourke raises $38M in third quarter | Turkey claims to have evidence journalist was killed | Senators want Trump to ramp up pressure on Saudis | Kavanaugh tensions linger in Senate | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Princess Eugenie's royal wedding | H Street Festival this weekend | How millennials are killing American cheese  

 

25 DAYS UNTIL THE ELECTION

Why Beto must have a big grin on his face this morning:

'Yup, that's me!' 

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO'Rourke's mom discusses past Dem votes after labeled 'lifelong Republican' by son Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Julián Castro says he’s 'likely' to run in 2020 MORE (D-Texas) raised more than $38 million in the third quarter for his Senate campaign against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown O'Rourke's mom discusses past Dem votes after labeled 'lifelong Republican' by son Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (R-Texas). How many donors: More than 800,000. http://bit.ly/2CF36oV

Some context to the $38 million: A presidential campaign that raised that much money in a quarter would be doing well. This is a Senate campaign.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR CRUZ: Via The Dallas Morning News, new polling suggests that Cruz has a healthy lead over O'Rourke. For example: A new Quinnipiac poll shows Cruz leading by 9 points. http://bit.ly/2yzVBeB

 

How Democrats are struggling right now:

Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, "Democrats have a major edge when it comes to support among female voters, but they have struggled to lock down another key voting bloc: Latinos." Why Dems are surprised: "many on the left have been hoping that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE's hard-line immigration policies and heated rhetoric will lead to a surge of energized Latinos at the polls in favor of Democrats on Election Day." What to expect: http://bit.ly/2OlXINJ

REPUBLICANS ARE HOPEFUL IN BLUE STATES: Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, Republican strategists are holding out hope that the GOP can make gains in some of the bluest states in the country. Which states: Oregon, Minnesota and Connecticut. http://bit.ly/2QMD5Hg

TIDBIT -- REPUBLICANS' SECRET WEAPON: Using Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event MORE and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP strategist says Trump could want border wall fight to continue to excite base McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' MORE (D-Calif.) in TV ads to rally Republicans to the polls. 

Mannn, this quote is amazing: From Republican strategist Ana Navarro: "It's all about energizing the Republican base. If you are a Republican -- man, woman, child or house plant -- you are genetically predisposed to detest Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary is not far behind." https://politi.co/2NDZ6pC

 

Happy Friday! It suddenly feels like fall in D.C.  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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook

 

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

New details on the missing Saudi journalist -- Turkey says it has evidence he was killed:

Via The Washington Post, "The Turkish government has told U.S. officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul this month, according to U.S. and Turkish officials." About the recordings: "The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said." https://wapo.st/2Cd7sCv

TIDBIT FROM CNN'S JAKE TAPPER:

"WaPo reported: 'Before Khashoggi's disappearance, U.S. intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him, according to a person familiar with the information.'

I asked [Office of the Director of National Intelligence]: Why wouldn't the US warn him? 

ODNI: No comment." http://bit.ly/2Eigxwz

REACTION ON CAPITOL HILL: Top Republican senators are hoping the Trump administration will "act on the Senate's request for the White House to conduct a statutorily required investigation into whether Saudi sanctions are needed." Some lawmakers are going a step further: Lawmakers are "talking about a possible clampdown on the military-to-military relationship that would include nixing arms sales and withdrawing support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen's civil war." http://bit.ly/2ISHPIH

REACTION FROM MEDIA COMPANIES -- TOP EXECS PULL OUT OF A SAUDI EVENT:
"Media companies are pulling out of a Saudi investment conference because of growing outrage over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey." https://cnb.cx/2yx0Sn7

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY: The Wall Street Journal has a good primer video to catch you up. Watch: http://bit.ly/2CbZFF5

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

[Senate's] out for summer. [Senate's] out forever:
--> http://bit.ly/2PqggZv:

The Senate has left for the month, allowing vulnerable senators to hit the campaign trail before Election Day. Why now: Senate leaders struck a deal yesterday to vote on a package of 15 judges, allowing them to recess until after the midterms. Did we see this coming?: Not really. The Senate was scheduled to be in session until Oct. 26. http://bit.ly/2A7T39t

 

LATEST WITH HURRICANE MICHAEL

Go home, Michael:

Hurricane Michael has battered the southeast, with at least 11 people killed so far. https://wxch.nl/2OknEJz

The worst part -- those numbers are expected to rise: "Some of the hardest-hit communities have yet to report any fatalities, and although officials said they hoped they would find survivors, a resigned gloom was setting in throughout the disaster zone." https://nyti.ms/2yC5wA8

Watch: http://bit.ly/2EhES5O

 

IN LIGHTER NEWS

There was another royal wedding today:

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were married at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle this morning. http://bit.ly/2EfPQsl

Princess Eugenie didn't wear a veil: Eugenie decided to show the scar on her back from surgery as a child. Instead of a veil, she wore a diamond and emerald tiara borrowed from the Queen. Photo -- it's stunning: http://bit.ly/2C9s3YB

Photos of her dress: http://bit.ly/2QO56hQ

Obviously, Prince George and Princess Charlotte stole the show: Photos of the two having a blast: https://on.today.com/2CektvY

Photos of some of the celebrity guests: https://cnn.it/2ISvOmu

Andrea Bocelli performed: Watch: http://bit.ly/2pOxDIr

Livestream of the wedding: http://bit.ly/2yA1Tec

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Wounds are still healing:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Republican and Democratic senators say they're ready to move on from the fight over Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE's confirmation, but lingering tensions from one of the bitterest fights in recent Senate history are proving difficult to soothe." http://bit.ly/2RHZ17I

 

SPOTTED

I knew I smelled musk:

Tesla founder Elon Musk was spotted at the White House yesterday for meetings but did not meet with President Trump. It's hard to compete with Kanye West and Kid Rock. http://bit.ly/2NDT6gP

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Welcome to existence!:

Details: https://cnn.it/2PAMNfS

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out.

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

11:55 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves Washington, D.C. for Springfield, Ill.

2:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House for a campaign event in Ohio.

2:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Congressional candidate Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Big haul for O'Rourke | Senators press Trump to get tougher on Saudis | Kavanaugh tensions linger The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence Congress allows farm bill to lapse before reauthorization deadline MORE in Springfield, Ill.

5:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters in Cincinnati.

6:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the 2018 Indiana Republican Party Fall Dinner at the JW Marriott Indianapolis.

10:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

Noon -- 7 p.m. Saturday: The H Street Festival in Washington, D.C. Details: http://bit.ly/2NEAqxd 

 

 

WHAT TO WATCH

6 p.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Pollsters: White college-educated women to decide if Dems capture House Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight MORE campaigns for Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Dems outraising Republicans in final stretch of midterms Trump Jr. to stump in Indiana for Pence’s brother and governor hopeful MORE (D-Ind.) in Hammond, Ind. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Pwesye

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Lebanon, Ohio. 

Sunday: President Trump will appear on CBS's "60 Minutes." Keep in mind: The interview was reportedly taped Thursday. http://bit.ly/2ybe9lS

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Gumbo Day.

 

We like bougie cheese, apparently:

Via Bloomberg's Lydia Mulvany and Leslie Patton, American cheese sales are declining in the United States. Even restaurants are now opting for higher quality cheese. Who is getting blamed (or credited, you decide): Millennials. https://bloom.bg/2RKd8JN

For example: "Wendy's is offering asiago. A&W's Canada locations switched to real cheddar. McDonald's is selling the Big Mac's soft, orange square of American cheese with a version that doesn't contain artificial preservatives. Cracker Barrel ditched its old-fashioned grilled cheese. So did Panera Bread, replacing American with a four-cheese combo of fontina, cheddar, monteau and smoked gouda. The result: higher sales."

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a baby donkey prancing in the field: http://bit.ly/2NAtf9j