👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ The Senate voted 51-49 to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Republican Lisa Murkowski voted not to advance the nomination. She called the cloture vote “a mistake,” saying Kavanaugh is “not the best man for the court at this time.” Flake told reporters he would support Kavanaugh on the final vote, “unless something big changes.” A final floor vote is expected to take place on Saturday. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
🗳 How senators voted. (Politico)
2/ Susan Collins will support Kavanaugh’s nomination, effectively ensuring enough votes for his confirmation. During a lengthy speech, Collins said the confirmation process has “been in steady decline for more than 30 years,” with Kavanaugh’s nomination hitting “rock bottom.” She said it’s her “fervent hope” that Kavanaugh will “work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court.” Collins added that “the MeToo movement is real,” that “it matters,” is “needed and it is long overdue,” but that Christine Blasey Ford’s “allegations fail to meet the more-likely-than-not standard” and “I do not believe that these charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court.” (CNBC / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post)
- A group of Mainers have raised more than $2 million for Collins’ future Democratic opponent. (Crowdpac)
3/ Joe Manchin will also vote “yes” on Kavanaugh’s nomination, announcing his decision immediately after Collins. Manchin is a Democrat up for re-election in a red state. Machin said he had “reservations about this vote given the serious accusations against Judge Kavanaugh and the temperament he displayed in the hearing,” but “found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the Constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him.” (Axios / The Hill)
4/ Kavanaugh said that he “might have been too emotional” during his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, arguing that he will be an “independent, impartial judge” in an op-ed he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. (Wall Street Journal)
- The American Bar Association is re-evaluating Kavanaugh’s “well-qualified” rating. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the ABA referred to “new information of a material nature regarding temperament” stemming from Kavanaugh’s hearing. (Business Insider)
5/ Trump mocked former Senator Al Franken for folding “like a wet rag” and resigning following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct last year. (New York Times)
The U.S. trade deficit widened to 6.4% to a six-month high of $53.2 billion in August despite the White House slapping China with $200 billion worth of tariffs. (CNBC)
The Trump administration plans to pay Mexico $20 million to deport migrants from their country in order to prevent them from reaching the U.S. (ABC News)
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