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The Daily 202: These amazing and improbable stats show why the Nationals’ World Series championship is so special

The Nationals celebrate beating the Astros in Game 7 to win the 2019 World Series on Oct. 30. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

with Mariana Alfaro

With Mariana Alfaro

THE BIG IDEA: The Nationals trailed the Astros 2-0 at the start of the seventh inning of Game 7 on Wednesday night, but they won 6-2 and now return to Washington with the first World Series championship in franchise history.

It’s a fitting coda to a Cinderella season that ended with a triumph over the baseball establishment every bit as improbable as President Trump’s 2016 victory over the political establishment.

With the benefit of hindsight, as the long-shot victory suddenly feels somehow inevitable when it never was, it couldn’t have happened any other way. In seasons past, the Nationals earned their reputation for choking. This year, the underdogs played best when their backs were up against the wall.

-- In this postseason, the Nationals came from behind to win five do-or-die games, including the last two. Losing any of these five would have ended their season. No team in the history of baseball has ever staved off elimination by coming from behind more than three times in the playoffs. The Milwaukee Brewers led the Nationals 3-1 in the eighth inning of the wild-card game. The Nats won 4-3. The Los Angeles Dodgers led the Nationals 3-1 in the eighth inning of the final game of the divisional series. The Nats won 7-3 in 10 innings. The sweep of St. Louis in the National League Championship Series, while remarkable, was atypical.

-- Las Vegas bookies had the Astros as 2-to-1 favorites when the World Series started last week. Houston won it all two years ago and entered this October with 107 wins – the best regular-season record in baseball.

-- No team has ever won the World Series after losing all of its home games, as the Nationals did on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All four victories came at Minute Maid Park in H-town. The Nationals are not just the first team in the history of baseball to win a title with four victories on the road. If you broaden it out to include hockey and basketball, as well, no team has ever won a best-of-seven series entirely on the road. This includes 1,420 match-ups across the MLB, the NHL and the NBA. Isabelle Khurshudyan notes that the Astros even had the benefit of playing under American League rules while in Houston, which let them use AL rookie of the year favorite Yordan Alvarez as their designated hitter.

-- The Nationals had a 19-31 record on May 24. Their chances of winning the World Series at that point were 1.5 percent, per Dave Sheinin and Sam Fortier.

Since then, including playoffs, the Nats have gone 86-43 — two wins for every loss — and have the best record in baseball,” Thomas Boswell notes. “In 1914, another team was 12 games under .500 and then rallied to get to the World Series. No other team in the 105 years since has come from so far below .500 to reach as many as the Nats’ 93 wins this year. That team was known then and is still known now by only a nickname since it went on to win the World Series: the Miracle Boston Braves.”

The Nationals’ mantra became: “Let’s go 1-0 today.” This mindset allowed them to spray champagne in the clubhouse last night for the fifth time in six weeks. Some players stayed up all night partying on the third floor of the Four Seasons in Houston in a private room protected by two security guards.

-- Baseball is a young person’s game. It chews up the muscles in your arms and spits you out. But the Nationals just won the World Series as the oldest team in the entire league. While Juan Soto’s 21st birthday got a lot of attention in the stands at Nats Park on Friday night, the average age among all the players on the roster is 31. Relief pitcher Fernando Rodney is 42. Kurt Suzuki is 36. Ryan Zimmerman is 35. All played important roles in the postseason. “Viejos” means “old men” in Spanish, and these older guys embraced that term as they set out to prove that age is just a number.

Howie Kendrick, 36, hit not just the pivotal two-run homer last night but also the grand slam that beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the divisional series three weeks ago. Kendrick has just become the first player to ever hit multiple go-ahead home runs in the seventh inning or later of an elimination game during a single postseason.

“Kendrick wasn’t supposed to be the hero,” writes Chelsea Janes. “The Nationals first acquired him from the Philadelphia Phillies … in a post-waiver deadline deal that cost them a minor league left-hander and nothing more. They signed him to a two-year deal before the 2018 season — figured he would be a nice bench piece to have around. When he ruptured his Achilles’ that season, his career looked as if it might be over. Men his age don’t always bounce back from injuries like that.”

But bounce back he did. And last night he was bouncing around the dugout. If you’ll permit me to make a dad joke, even though I don’t have kids: This is Howie do it.

-- Thank God for cortisone shots. Max Scherzer, 35, couldn’t start on Sunday as planned because he couldn’t move his right arm. His neck spasms and nerve irritation were so bad that he couldn’t get dressed on his own. But the cortisone injections loosened up Mad Max enough to throw 103 pitches last night – allowing only two runs through five innings.

-- Stephen Strasburg, 31, is the first pitcher to ever go 5-0 in any postseason, and that includes three of the five elimination games. He was voted Most Valuable Player in this World Series – which get him a free 2020 Corvette – on account of his sick stuff in Games 2 and 6. In those two starts, over 14 1/3 innings, he gave up only four total runs with 14 strikeouts and three walks. “In Game 6, he was the first pitcher to allow two or fewer runs while going 8⅓ innings since Curt Schilling in 1993,” Sam Fortier notes.

Watch as fans celebrated the National’s first World Series title in franchise history on Oct. 30. (Video: The Washington Post)

-- A parade honoring the team is set for Saturday afternoon. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that it will begin at 2 p.m. at the corner of Constitution Avenue NW and 15th Street. The parade will then proceed east along Constitution Avenue NW and end on Pennsylvania Avenue NW at 3rd Street NW, where there will be a rally.

-- One small disappointment: Last week, I ordered a Baby Shark costume for Halloween as an homage to the catchy children’s tune that has become the team’s unofficial anthem after Gerardo Parra picked it as his walk-up song to impress his daughter Aaliyah. Alas, the shark costume hasn’t arrived in the mail yet. If it’s here by Saturday, though, I will wear it to the parade.

-- Looking forward, this team could soon come apart. Our Nats beat writer Jesse Dougherty explains: Anthony "Rendon becomes a free agent Thursday morning. Strasburg could, too, if he uses an opt-out clause in his contract. Zimmerman, with this club since its first season in Washington, has an uncertain future with the team. Kendrick, Hudson, Matt Adams, Brian Dozier, Asdrúbal Cabrera and Gerardo Parra will hit the open market. But they will always be linked, from Scherzer on down to Javy Guerra, from ownership to the clubhouse staff, as the group that shocked everyone but themselves.”

-- A final thought: Bryce who?

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-- At least 73 people died in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province after a fire broke out in a train. Shaiq Hussain reports: “The fire erupted when a cooking gas stove exploded as passengers were preparing breakfast while the train was underway … The train was heading from the southern port city of Karachi north to Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, and many of the passengers were from a religious organization dedicated to preaching, known as Tablighi Jamaat ... Passengers often bring their own cookers to make meals on the cheaper trains."

National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman testified Oct. 29 during a closed-door congressional hearing of the impeachment inquiry. (Video: Reuters)


-- White House lawyer John Eisenberg moved the rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to a classified server after Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman expressed alarm about the content of the call. Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Greg Miller report: “Vindman told Eisenberg, the White House’s legal adviser on national security issues, that what the president did was wrong … Scribbling notes on a yellow legal pad, Eisenberg proposed a step that other officials have said is at odds with long-standing White House protocol: moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it … Vindman’s account marks the first known instance in which a witness before the impeachment inquiry has provided a firsthand account linking Eisenberg to the decision to move the problematic transcript to a highly classified server. … Former Trump national security officials said it was unheard of to store presidential calls with foreign leaders on the NICE system but that Eisenberg had moved at least one other transcript of a Trump phone call there. ...

House impeachment investigators on Wednesday evening announced they have asked Eisenberg and a fellow White House lawyer, Mike Ellis, to testify Monday. … After the call, Vindman hurried to Eisenberg’s door, bringing with him his twin brother, Yevgeny, an ethics attorney on the National Security Council. Ellis, a deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council, also joined the discussion… Vindman read out loud notes he took of the president’s call. ...

Three weeks earlier, Vindman and another senior official [Fiona Hill] had gone to [Eisenberg] after a contentious July 10 meeting in which they said European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland had pushed two Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s political rivals, including former vice president Joe Biden, whose son Hunter served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company. Sondland’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said Wednesday that his client did not mention the Bidens in the July 10 meeting or any other discussions about Ukraine policy."

-- Tim Morrison, who is set to testify today about what he has witnessed as the senior National Security Council official handling Russian affairs, is leaving his White House post. He replaced Hill as the president's top Russia adviser in July. Carol D. Leonnig, John Hudson and Reis Thebault report: “Morrison has been on the job for about 15 months ... Morrison could be a key witness ... ‘After more than a year of service at the National Security Council, Mr. Morrison has decided to pursue other opportunities — and has been considering doing so for some time,’ a senior administration official said in a statement Wednesday. ‘We wish him well.’ … William B. Taylor Jr., acting ambassador to Ukraine, testified last week that he first learned U.S. military aid was being leveraged on a promise by Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political foes in an early September phone call with Morrison. … Taylor mentions Morrison’s name 15 times in the arresting 15-page opening statement of his congressional testimony. Morrison told Taylor he had a ‘sinking feeling’ after learning of a conversation between Trump and Sondland..."

-- Democratic investigators formally requested testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton on Nov. 7. It’s not clear whether he’ll comply.

-- As depositions continue, the House is on track today to pass the set of rules governing the next phase of the impeachment inquiry. Elise Viebeck, Karoun Demirjian and Rachael Bade report: “The White House plans to invite a group of GOP lawmakers to meet with Trump before the roll call in an additional move to ensure ‘no’ votes … Democrats were expected to lose at least one member — Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) — a moderate who was elected last year to represent a longtime Republican district. Pelosi’s leadership team spent the day working a handful of Democrats who were also up in the air, with one senior Democratic official predicting they could lose two to four lawmakers.” (Republican and White House officials are worried that Rep. Francis Rooney, a retiring Florida Republican who has found the impeachment depositions disturbing, might defect.)

-- Senate Democrats expressed frustration with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan during his confirmation hearing to become ambassador to Russia. Karen DeYoung reports: “Sullivan appeared headed toward Senate approval … even as Democratic lawmakers questioned his professed lack of curiosity or pushback against policies on Ukraine he indicated he opposed. At a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sullivan deftly offered benign responses to questions on what he knew about President Trump’s conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. … Sullivan generally agreed with bipartisan assessments of the threat posed by Russia, ranging from cybersecurity to Middle East expansion. … Going to the heart of the impeachment inquiry, he was asked whether it was ‘ever appropriate for the president to use his office to solicit investigations into his domestic political opponents.’ Sullivan said: ‘I don’t think that would be in accord with our values.’

Democrats were particularly eager to ask Sullivan about why he recalled the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and did not stand up more forcefully for the foreign service in general. … Sullivan agreed with Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), and with Yovanovitch’s own testimony, that she had ‘served capably and admirably’ in the Ukraine job. But [Mike] Pompeo, he said, told him that ‘the president had lost confidence with her,’ and he was designated to deliver the news to her. … Menendez asked whether Sullivan knew Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was ‘seeking to smear’ Yovanovitch. ‘I believe he was, yes,’ Sullivan said. But he said he did not push for a State Department statement supporting her. His own uncle, William H. Sullivan, the last U.S. ambassador to Iran, had been removed when then-President Jimmy Carter lost confidence in him over policy differences."

-- Vindman also told lawmakers that NSC staffer Kash Patel fed Trump disinformation about Ukraine. From Politico: Vindman was told “at the last second” not to attend a debriefing for Trump about Zelensky because the president believed at the time that Patel, a longtime staffer to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), was actually the NSC’s top Ukraine expert. “Vindman testified that he was told this directly by his boss at the time [Hill]. Hill told Vindman that she and [Bolton] thought it best to exclude Vindman from the debriefing to avoid ‘an uncomfortable situation,’ he said. … It helps explain why the president tweeted on Tuesday that he’d never met Vindman despite his clear interest in Ukraine — senior officials have said that Trump directed them to consult with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on matters of Ukraine policy. And Vindman’s exclusion sheds even more light on the unusual steps top NSC officials were taking as early as May to avoid angering or annoying Trump on Ukraine issues — and the unusual level of access Patel had to the president.”

-- NSC staffers are worried the president will sour on the entire office given that so many of its members are cooperating with the investigation. CNN reports: “Already a bumpy workplace under Trump, the National Security Council's career civil servants now find themselves under fresh scrutiny from an already-skeptical President and his inner circle … Sources familiar with the situation at the council say there is a sense of anxiety among some staffers as they see their colleagues and State Department officials being called to the Capitol Hill to testify in the ongoing impeachment inquiry that has prompted unfounded personal attacks from Republican lawmakers, some in the West Wing and even the President himself.”

-- Follow the money: Ex-Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.), who played a pivotal role in Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, is back. He's playing a radically different role in Trump’s case. State Department official Catherine Croft testified that she received “multiple calls” from Livingston urging Yovanovitch’s firing during her time detailed to the National Security Council as a director from August 2015 to July 2017. “Livingston did not respond to messages seeking comment sent through his firm, the Livingston Group," Mike DeBonis and Anu Narayanswamy report

"Lobbying records indicate he has worked for multiple entities with ties to former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who lost a presidential bid earlier this year. … Two groups with ties to Tymoshenko … have both hired the Livingston Group … The firm was first hired by Ukrmetalurgprom, a steel industry trade group, in April 2018 for a three-month period and then again in September 2019 on a one-year contract at a $20,000-a-month retainer. And in June 2018, Innovative Technology & Business Consulting hired Livingston’s firm for a $50,000-a-month retainer for a year. Livingston’s firm played a key role in arranging a visit that Tymoshenko made to Washington in December, during which she met with administration and congressional officials.”

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is concerned about the appetite of voters for a drawn-out impeachment process. From the Atlantic: “Without detailing specific plans, Pelosi left the clear impression that the impeachment process will conclude sooner rather than later, and its focus will be more narrow than broad. She refused to answer when asked directly whether any eventual articles of impeachment will cover issues beyond Trump’s interactions with Ukraine and the administration’s defiance of subpoenas from the committees investigating them. Some House Democrats have advocated for articles that address everything from family separations to emoluments. … Though Pelosi is vague on just how much longer the inquiry will go on, she expressed concern about Americans’ appetite for a lengthy process. ‘How much drama can the American people handle?’ she asked. ‘Where does the law of diminishing returns set in? Where is the value added not worth the time?’”

-- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised Trump to lay off Republican senators on impeachment. He appears to be complying. From Politico: “The president is largely laying off senators with difficult calculations to make in the coming months, declining to lobby the likes of GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Marco Rubio of Florida, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Johnny Isakson of Georgia. And he’s largely laying off [Mitt] Romney after suggesting he should be impeached and calling him a ‘pompous 'ass.' Instead, White House officials are leaning on Trump’s impromptu meetings at the White House and his direct calls to Republican senators including Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and John Kennedy of Louisiana."

Federal appeals court nominee Lawrence VanDyke grew emotional, reacting to a letter against his confirmation by the American Bar Association on Oct. 30. (Video: Senate Judiciary Committee)


-- Lawrence VanDyke, one of Trump’s judicial nominees, cried during his confirmation hearing when asked about a damning letter from the American Bar Association. Hannah Knowles reports: “Colleagues found Lawrence VanDyke to be ‘arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice,’ the chair of an ABA committee wrote in the scathing letter, the result of 60 interviews with lawyers, judges and others who worked with the Justice Department attorney. Acquaintances also alleged a lack of humility, an ‘“entitlement” temperament,’ a closed mind and an inconsistent ‘commitment to being candid,’ the letter said. It deemed VanDyke ‘not qualified’ for a spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. … One charge was particularly upsetting to VanDyke himself: The ABA’s report that he ‘would not say affirmatively that he would be fair to any litigant before him, notably members of the LGBTQ community.’ Asked if that was correct, the nominee struggled almost 15 seconds to find his words. He started to cry.”

-- Acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan, who was planning on stepping down today, said he’ll stay on the job “if necessary” to wait for Trump to pick his successor. Nick Miroff reports: “At the conclusion of a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday on global terrorism threats, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) asked McAleenan if he was prepared to stay in the job until Trump finds a new secretary. ‘I hope a plan for the successor is imminent, but if necessary I will stay on to ensure a smooth transition,’ McAleenan said. Co-workers have scheduled a farewell party for McAleenan on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he spent most of his career. … Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) asked McAleenan about reports this week that the White House could attempt to rewrite the order of succession at DHS to install hard-liner Ken Cuccinelli at the head of the department, devising an elaborate workaround to rules established by the Vacancies Reform Act. … ‘In your final hours as acting secretary, do you have any plans to change the current line of succession at DHS?’ Rice asked. McAleenan said he could not discuss ‘pre-decisional deliberations,’ but when pressed by Rice, he told her “I have no plans to do that.””

-- Meanwhile, Republican senators are warning Trump that he can’t legally appoint Cuccinelli to McAleenan’s seat. From Politico: “‘The White House would be well advised to consult with the Senate and senators before they take any decisive action that might be embarrassing to Mr. Cuccinelli or to the White House itself,’ said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who called the attempt to fill the top role at the department without Senate confirmations a ‘concern.’ … Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he has heard 'doubts' about Senate Republicans' appetite to see Cuccinelli elevated and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said ‘he’d have difficulty being confirmed’ to a permanent slot and that putting him in an acting role would be ‘a problem.’”

-- While the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the third time since July this week, Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the board is done reducing borrowing costs for now. Heather Long reports: “Fed leaders have stressed that they do not see a recession on the horizon. Instead, they have sought to portray these rate reductions as ‘insurance’ cuts that are meant to give the economy extra protection in a world of rising uncertainty. The central bank lowered the benchmark interest rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent. The move should trigger mortgage, auto and personal loan rates to fall, making it cheaper to borrow money. Home prices and home sales have ticked up somewhat since the Fed began lowering rates in late July.”

-- Chile cancelled the international conference where Trump hoped to sign a trade deal with China. David Nakamura and Brady Dennis report: “President Sebastián Piñera announced the cancellation as his administration struggles to suppress growing demonstrations in the capital over issues of inequality in one of South America’s wealthiest nations. As many as 1 million protesters took part in a peaceful march over the weekend, while smaller protests have turned violent, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency in several major cities. Trump was scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Santiago from Nov. 15 to 17. White House officials said he was planning to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping in a bid to lock in details of a ‘phase one’ trade pact that could ease tensions between the economic powers and lay the groundwork for a bigger trade deal next year.”

-- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the deal with China is now likely to be signed in November, per the Times.

-- Missouri’s top health official said the state monitored detailed personal information about Planned Parenthood patients, including their periods, to identify failed abortions. Yasmeen Abutaleb and Emily Wax-Thiboudeaux report: “Randall Williams, the state health director, said his goal was protecting patient safety. But critics called it an invasion of women’s privacy and demanded his resignation and an investigation by the governor. Williams, an OB/GYN, testified as part of a week-long state hearing to determine whether the state’s lone abortion clinic can keep its license, the Kansas City Star reported. Williams said he had a state health inspector review information that included medical identification numbers, dates of procedures and the gestational ages of fetuses. The review also included the date of each patient’s last period but did not include their names, the Star reported.”

-- Rep. Katie Hill’s (D-Calif.) estranged husband told his parents that he was hacked before nude pictures of the congresswoman were published online by conservative website Redstate, which led to her resignation. From BuzzFeed News: “In a message to supporters, Hill called the incident a ‘coordinated campaign carried out by right-wing media and Republican operatives,’ as well as her 'abusive husband,' Kenny Heslep. It's unclear what role Heslep — who is currently in the middle of a divorcing Hill and has publicly accused her of sleeping with a male staffer — may have played in the scandal, but his father told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday that Heslep believed he had been the victim of hacking before the images were released. … When asked if his son had a role in distributing the images, he added: ‘He says no.’ Fred Heslep also said his son did not reach out to authorities after suspecting he was hacked.”

-- Hill is expected to give her last House floor speech today after the impeachment proceeding vote.

-- Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) faces growing blowback after voting “present” on the House resolution to acknowledge the genocide in Armenia. from NBC News:: “Omar's ‘votes and actions ... do not represent the best of American or Muslim values,’ said Van Krikorian, the co-chair of the Armenian Assembly of America. ‘Innocent people were and are being slaughtered, and there is a universal need to defend the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, not to stand with or defer to the murderers.’ Krikorian said his organization would request a meeting with the freshman Democrat to ‘clarify her views.’ In the statement to CNN on Tuesday night, Omar said she believes ‘accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount.’ She went on to say those goals ‘should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics,’ adding that a ‘true acknowledgement of historical crimes against humanity’ would also include the transatlantic slave trade and mass killings of Native Americans.”

-- The parents of Harry Dunn, the U.K. teenager who was killed in a crash allegedly involving the wife of a U.S. diplomat, are now planning to sue the Trump administration. From ABC News: "After announcing last week that they would be taking legal action against the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Dunn family spokesman, Radd Seiger, revealed on Tuesday that they will also bring claims against [Anne] Sacoolas in the United States 'for civil damages' as well as the Trump administration 'for their lawless misconduct and attempt to cover that up.'"

-- Trump tweeted a photo of Medal of Honor recipient James McCloughan – a former Army medic credited with saving the lives of 10 men in Vietnam – with his face edited out and replaced by the dog who chased down ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Alex Horton reports: “The conservative site Daily Wire tweeted the image Tuesday with McCloughan removed. … A White House spokesman declined to comment. McCloughan, 73, could not be reached for comment. Jeremy Boreing, the chief operating officer at the Daily Wire, dismissed emailed questions about whether the altered photo originated from his publication. McCloughan saw the photo as an attempt to herald the dog’s actions in combat, he told the New York Times.”

2020 WATCH:

-- Twitter will ban all political ads ahead of the 2020 election. Tony Romm and Isaac Stanley-Becker report: "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the move in a series of tweets, stressing that paying for political speech has the effect of ‘forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people.’ The ban marks a break with Twitter’s social media peers, Facebook and Google-owned YouTube, which have defended their policies on political ads in recent weeks. … Twitter’s announcement covers ads intended to influence elections, including ballot measures, as well as those that address ‘issues of national importance.’ The new rules will be applied globally, published by mid-November and take effect later in the month, Dorsey said. … The decision illustrates a sharp symbolic rift between Dorsey and one of his peers, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who on Wednesday stood by his company’s controversial policy that essentially allows politicians to lie in ads during the tech giant’s third-quarter earnings call.”

-- Struggling to raise money and losing support in the polls, Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-Calif.) campaign announced significant staff cuts and redeployments. Matt Viser and Michelle Ye Hee Lee report: “The decision by Harris, who is now focusing her campaign almost solely on Iowa, is a major shift for a candidate who once seemed well-positioned to capitalize on two of the most energized groups in the Democratic Party: women and African Americans. While the senator hails from California, one of the nation’s largest states and one that has long served as a cash cow for Democrats, she is struggling to raise funds. ... Harris campaign manager Juan Rodriguez wrote in a memo ... that he was taking a pay cut and that the staff of the Baltimore-based campaign headquarters would be reduced. In the coming weeks, he added, field staffers would be moved out of New Hampshire, Nevada and California and relocated to Iowa."

-- Elizabeth Warren said she will “of course” consult with Bernie Sanders about her soon-to-be-released plan on how she’s going to pay for Medicare-for-all. From CNN: “‘I'm glad to talk to Bernie about this,’ Warren told reporters after a campaign rally in Durham, New Hampshire. … Sanders, who authored the Medicare for All legislation, said in an interview with CNBC published Tuesday that he did not believe a full financing plan was necessary 'right now.' But he has, both in 2016 and more recently, released white papers articulating a set of potential pay-fors. On Wednesday afternoon, the Biden campaign hit Sanders -- and Warren, without naming her -- in response, saying in part, ‘When you're running to take on the most dishonest president in American history, Senator Sanders and others who back Medicare for All have to preserve their credibility.’"

-- In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) incorrectly claims that Hillary Clinton said she is being “groomed” by the Russian government. Clinton actually suggested she’s being groomed by Republicans. Glenn Kessler writes: “‘They are also going to do third-party again, and I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,’ Clinton said. ... ‘She is a favorite of the Russians,’ Clinton added, still not saying who she was talking about. … While Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name, her staff later said that she was referring to [her] in her comments. … Gabbard pushed back hard against Clinton’s statements. … Within a 24-hour news cycle, Clinton’s staff made it clear she was talking about the GOP, not the Russians, eyeing Gabbard as a possible third-party candidate. A simple listen to the podcast confirmed that. In other words, this was all cleared up 12 days before Gabbard published her opinion article, making the inaccurate version of ‘grooming’ statement the very first sentence. So there’s little excuse for getting this wrong.”

-- Barack Obama is headlining a fundraiser for the DNC in Silicon Valley on Nov. 21. From Recode: “Ticket prices to the event run to as high as $355,000 to ‘chair’ the event and as (relatively) low as $10,000 to simply attend the afternoon reception. The event will be hosted at the home of Karla Jurvetson, a psychiatrist and ascendant Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley who gave almost $7 million to Democratic groups last cycle.”


Winning the World Series is bringing Washington together:

Some fans were quick to note the influence family has had over these Nats:

And a current D.C. resident congratulated the city's team for its hard-fought win: 

Trump also thanked conservative website the Daily Wire for a photoshopped image of him giving a medal to the dog involved in the ISIS raid, announcing that the pup will be at the White House soon:

The Pentagon released aerial footage of the raid that killed the founder of the Islamic State:

The Russians and the Trump campaign are complaining about Twitter’s new ad policy:

Two White House reporters don't expect White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to depart any time soon: 

Liberals called this image ironic:

Elizabeth Warren's plans are inspiring Halloween costumes: 


“There’s no point in dwelling on how bad the situation really is,” said new Medal of Honor recipient Master Sgt. Matthew Williams, downplaying his brave actions that saved American soldiers during the Battle of Shok Valley in Afghanistan. “You’re better served to focus on what needs to happen and move toward that goal.” (Dan Lamothe)



The Trump campaign debuted a new ad in the middle of the World Series:

Stephen Colbert announced that Nancy Pelosi will stop by his show after today’s impeachment vote:

In light of Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation, Sam Bee took a look at the complicated laws that are supposed to battle revenge porn:

And Seth Meyers remembered the time Trump couldn’t pronounce the word “origins”: