The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Big haul for O'Rourke | Senators press Trump to get tougher on Saudis | Kavanaugh tensions linger

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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  



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'RourkeJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 O’Rourke rockets to second place on CNN analysts' 2020 Dem rankings, Harris remains first Biden to discuss 2020 bid with family over holidays: report MORE (D-Texas) raised more than $38 million in the third quarter for his Senate campaign against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke rockets to second place on CNN analysts' 2020 Dem rankings, Harris remains first Senators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown Biden to discuss 2020 bid with family over holidays: report MORE (R-Texas). How many donors: More than 800,000.

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.


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 TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed 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:

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.

TIDBIT -- REPUBLICANS' SECRET WEAPON: Using Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Comey’s remarks about Trump dossier are not credible, says former FBI official MORE and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force On The Money: GOP senator floats options to prevent shutdown | Republicans stunned by Trump shutdown threat | Schumer insists Dems won't budge on wall | Pelosi expects fierce fight over Trump tax returns | Trump warns GM won't be treated well after layoff Will Congress score headlines or legislative wins in next session? 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."


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 and on Facebook




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."


"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."

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."

"Media companies are pulling out of a Saudi investment conference because of growing outrage over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey."

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



[Senate's] out for summer. [Senate's] out forever:

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.



Go home, Michael:

Hurricane Michael has battered the southeast, with at least 11 people killed so far.

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."




There was another royal wedding today:

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank were married at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle this morning.

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:

Photos of her dress:

Obviously, Prince George and Princess Charlotte stole the show: Photos of the two having a blast:

Photos of some of the celebrity guests:

Andrea Bocelli performed: Watch:

Livestream of the wedding:



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 KavanaughChief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation Doug Jones: Carmakers 'scared to death' over Trump tariffs McCaskill: 'Kavanaugh spectacle' made the difference in midterm loss MORE's confirmation, but lingering tensions from one of the bitterest fights in recent Senate history are proving difficult to soothe."



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.



Welcome to existence!:




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 DavisGOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules Democrats make legislative gains over GOP in redistricting battle Midterm results shake up national map 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: 




6 p.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 Biden, Kamala Harris pose for photo together amid 2020 speculation O’Rourke rockets to second place on CNN analysts' 2020 Dem rankings, Harris remains first MORE campaigns for Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyHatch warns Senate 'in crisis' in farewell speech Dem senators Heitkamp, Donnelly urge bipartisanship in farewell speeches Schumer gets ready to go on the offensive MORE (D-Ind.) in Hammond, Ind. Livestream:

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.



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.

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: