Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 10.10.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Gulf Coast: “Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm – just shy of a Category 5 and the strongest ever to hit that part of the state in recorded history.”

* Huh: “The Dow Jones plummeted by 818 points on Wednesday, closing at 25,608 and marking the worst day for the index since August 2016. The S&P 500 closed 3.3 percent lower, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled by 4 percent for its worst day since Brexit. Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’ or volatility index rose to its highest level since April.”

* The “zero-tolerance” aftermath: “Federal officials insist they are reuniting families and will continue to do so. But an Associated Press investigation drawing on hundreds of court documents, immigration records and interviews in the U.S. and Central America identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families – without notifying their parents. And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially.”

* Related news: “Federal drug-trafficking prosecutions along the southwestern border plunged to their lowest level in nearly two decades this summer as the Trump administration launched a ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on illegal immigration that separated thousands of children from their parents.”

* Kavanaugh: “Ethics complaints filed against Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the weeks leading up to his confirmation to the US Supreme Court are still live, and they’re being transferred to another judicial circuit, according to a letter made public Wednesday from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.”

* Does anyone take Trump’s assurances seriously? “President Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. would “get to the bottom of” the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as some Hill lawmakers pointed fingers at the Saudi government and vowed congressional action.”

* The Richard Pinedo case we’ve been following: “A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a California man to six months in prison and six months of home confinement after he pleaded guilty to a felony identity fraud charge tied to Russian troll activity that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign.”

* He’s not just a former lobbyist for polluters: “Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, repeatedly engaged with inflammatory content on his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past five years, including some in the past month.”

* Ross may have a problem: “A dispute over a court-ordered deposition of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross headed back to the Supreme Court on Tuesday night after a federal appeals court denied the Trump administration’s request to block the testimony.”

* New reporting on why Trump ousted the director of the Office of Personnel Management: “The Trump administration asked its head of federal personnel to step down over tensions regarding the future of his agency, according to several sources familiar with the decision.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 10.10.18