Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

    • The president has no public events scheduled today.

Hurricane update:

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Cat 2 storm, but she is still a deadly, life-threatening storm. Don't be a hero and don't put other people's lives at risk when they have to come save you. If you've been told to evacuate, you should find somewhere safe.

NOAA's National Weather Service said in a tweet that its "weakening" only refers to maximum winds. The wind field has expanded and "storm surge potential are still at catastrophic levels."

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The storm is expected to make landfall tonight and early tomorrow.

But the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday evening that the storm is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to the Carolinas as it approaches the coast Thursday and Friday.

Even though there are millions of people in the path of a deadly storm and cities faced with ruin, the media and the Democrats are hard at work finessing an anti-Trump angle and here it is:

“This is a scandal. At the start of hurricane season—when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA’s inadequate recovery efforts—the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in a paper statement released Tuesday night – points he reiterated in an interview Wednesday morning.

Not so fast says FEMA.

The $10 million from FEMA did not come from the agency's disaster relief budget, the agencies noted. "DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs," said FEMA spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton.

And again:

“It does not come out of the disaster relief fund that funds everything behind me and in the field so it's a non-issue for us at this moment,” administrator Brock Long said this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America," gesturing to workers at computers at FEMA headquarters in Washington.

And now a word from Google

Think about how much information Google has about you, either through your Android phone, your gmails, your internet searching, and You Tube watching--to name a few Google properties. Now watch this video from Breitbart and ask yourself if you are comfortable with this much communication power vested in one giant entity...who hates you.

KavaNOPE roundup:

$1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh

Sen. King to vote 'no' on Kavanaugh

Not really. New emails show Kavanaugh's involvement in controversial nomination

LOGAN ACT ALERT

Kerry admits to meeting Iranian officials over nuclear deal

Kerry: ‘We Knew That Assad Had Kept Some’ Chemical Weapons

Historical picture of the day:

LOVE THESE GUYS! Members of the rap group Run-DMC pose at the second Annual MTV Video Music Awards, Sept. 13, 1985. Left to right: DMC, Run, and Jam-Master Jay. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani)

Other morsels:

FDA takes 'historic action' on youth e-cigarette 'epidemic'

6 people are dead after shooting spree in California

Pussy Riot activist reportedly being treated for possible poisoning

‘Unconstitutional on its Face’: Judge Slaps Down Nearly 100-Year-Old Gun Law in California

F-22 stealth fighters intercept Russian strategic bombers near Alaska for the second time this month

Video shows Weinstein's hands-on encounter with rape accuser

Willie Nelson to headline rally for Beto O'Rourke

Joy Behar quickly backtracks after saying ‘God forbid’ ‘sociopath’ Trump ‘lives another 20 years’

Norm Macdonald: Jimmy Fallon Said His Producers Were Crying About His ‘Tonight Show’ Appearance

Slaughterhouse Owner Avoided $1.3 Million In Federal Payroll Taxes By Hiring Illegal Immigrants

Mollie Tibbetts murder suspect wants taxpayers to fund legal battle

Reddit bans QAnon conspiracy theory forums

'60 Minutes' producer Jeff Fager fired after sending CBS reporter 'unacceptable' message

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

This sounds bad: Gas explosions ripped through dozens of homes and businesses in Essex County, Massachusetts, this afternoon.

At least 39 explosions have been reported, according to Fox News.

Residents in the aforementioned towns that are serviced by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts "should evacuate their homes immediately if they have not already done so," police advised.

The Methuen police chief said there are so many fires “you can’t even see the sky.”

It's so bad, police have ordered evacuations in three towns.

“Residents in the affected towns of Lawrence/North Andover/Andover who have gas service from Columbia Gas should evacuate their homes immediately,” police said. “Gas lines are currently being depressurized by the company it will take some time.” Adding, it’s “far too early to speculate on cause.”

Watch Live:

 

 

Senator Feinstein has apparently created tension on the Senate Judiciary Committee because she won't share a letter from a California constituent who is making apparent #MeToo accusations about Brett Kavanaugh.

This 11th hour Hail Mary is downright embarrassing. 

The letter took a circuitous route to Feinstein, the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. It purportedly describes an incident that was relayed to someone affiliated with Stanford University, who authored the letter and sent it to Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat who represents the area.

Accusations in a secret letter (about something that Kavanaugh supposedly did in high school) are so damaging -- so explosive, Sen. Feinstein had to refer the matter to the FBI.  So I guess everyone can just let their imaginations run wild.

What in the world could Kanvanaugh have done in high school that would require the FBI to investigate it?

Democrats are insane.

... or maybe he didn't.

ThinkProgress is getting some much-deserved mockery for running a speculative piece suggesting this is Brett Kavanaugh's #MeToo moment.

"Brett Kavanaugh has a mysterious #MeToo problem"

The first paragraph is all you need to read. SHOT!

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have committed a very serious crime — possibly even a sex crime. Or maybe he didn’t. That’s what we just learned from an extraordinarily vague press statement by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Now for the chaser.

And this is great.

It works in so many cases!

Obama founded ISIS ... or maybe, he didn't.

BUSH DID 9/11 ... or maybe, he didn't.

Maybe, ThinkProgress's Ian Millhiser should wait to reveal his breathless speculation until there's at least a modicum of evidence to back it up. But what do I know?

You'll have to click past a couple of YouTube ads, but it's worth it.