Houston needed this!

The Houston Astros made history last night winning their first World Series Championship. Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle describes the Hollywood ending! Astros beat Dodgers in Game 7 to win World Series. “Houston needed this!” tweets Ann Maloney. Indeed: Mark Collette, Dug Begley and St. John Barned-Smith of the Houston Chronicle report, Flood-weary fans exult at Astros World Series win, decades in the making. Tweets Collette, “Almost as if, with each swing of their bats through the playoffs, they were blasting away the city's sodden wreckage.”

Also celebrating: some mattress customers. As ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports, Gallery Furniture owner “Mattress Mac” Jim McIngvale to give Houston Astros fans $10 million in rebates. He writes, “Houston business mogul Jim McIngvale, who owns Gallery Furniture, told ESPN he'll be giving back more than $10 million in purchases made from when he announced in May that he would rebate fans who spent more than $3,000 on mattresses and beds if the team won it all.”

But wait, there’s more: Also reported in the Chronicle, Carlos Correa proposes to girlfriend Miss Texas USA Daniella Rodriguez after World Series win.

Russian hacker hit list

Shane Harris tweets, “Trump has been skeptical of a Russian hand in the DNC hack. Intel agencies were not. Now, neither are prosecutors,” linking to the story by The Wall Street Journal’s Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber, Prosecutors Consider Bringing Charges in DNC Hacking Case. “Wow--DOJ has identified >6 members of the Russian government involved in the DNC hacks, could bring charges in 2018,” tweets Natasha Bertrand.

“AP got its hands on the ‘hit list’ of the Russian hackers who got Clinton campaign emails,” tweets Nicholas Riccardi, who links to Russia hackers had targets worldwide, beyond US election, by AP’s Raphael Satter, Jeff Donn and Justin Myers. Tweets AP, “Clinton campaign was at center of a vast, Russia-linked hacker hit list,” adding, “Just another day at the office: Hackers targeting US election clocked Moscow work hours.” “Quite an overnight AP story on Russian hacking efforts,” says Chris Geidner.

“It's all about the Rubles, baby,” tweets Tripp Mickle, who links to the reporting from The Wall Street Journal’s Georgia Wells and Deepa Seetharaman, Russian Ads Targeted Facebook Users by Profile. Tweets Doug MacMillan, “New dump of Russian ads by Congress reveals targeting by race, religion and interests like gun ownership.” Jeffrey Sparshott highlights, “Social media ‘in many ways seem purpose-built for Russian disinformation techniques.’” 

Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Karoun Demirjian of The Washington Post also report on the story, in Russian ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign. Tweets Christian Prenzler, “Wow. These are worse than I expected, this is absolutely terrible.” “Pretty sure I saw these shared. But it's the American political consumer themselves that have become so gullible,” says Jeremy Breningstall. Tweets Thom Dunn, “Every Trump supporter I know shared posts from these pages…they’ve all blocked me for saying ‘That looks suspicious.’”

“These times are exhausting,” tweets Jim Malewitz. We’re also learning that A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest. That’s from Claire Allbright of The Texas Tribune. Tweets Rhys Blakely, “Amazing: for $200 in Facebook ads Russia engineered a protest & a counter-protest outside a Texas Islamic center.”

White House fear & loathing genre

Speaking of exhausting, Hours after Trump calls US justice system 'a laughing stock,' White House denies he ever did, reports CNBC’s Christina Wilkie. Tweets Daniel Drezner, “I see that @PressSec has abandoned all pretense and is just straight-up lying now.”

“This @gabrielsherman contribution to the WH Fear & Loathing genre is just....wow,” says Nicholas Riccardi, who links to Gabriel Sherman’s piece in Vanity Fair, “You Can’t Go Any Lower”: Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment. Tweets Sherman, “On Tuesday, Trump vented to Bannon in phone call about Kushner's role triggering Mueller investigation.” Kelly McCartney’s prediction: “He's totally gonna quit.” “A Shakespeare drama unfolding,” says Keri Douglas.

Meanwhile, In Call With Times Reporter, Trump Projects Air of Calm Over Charges, according to The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker. Tweets Spencer Ackerman, “I'm not mad, I'm not in trouble, I'm really popular and I just called you because I thought you should know.” And Ben Pershing suggests, “Tomorrow Trump should call WaPo to push back against NYT: ‘I'm actually not calm at all.’”

Also, “Trump claimed the Steele dossier cost $12,000,000. It cost $168,000,” tweets Ken Vogel. He links to the report from  Mark Hosenball of Reuters, Ex-British spy paid $168,000 for Trump dossier, U.S. firm discloses. Tweets Blake Hounshell, “Fusion GPS took $1.02 million from Perkins Coie and paid Christopher Steele's firm only $168,000?” Vogel adds, “Doesn’t seem like a lot for 6 mos of research.” 

And this morning, after much speculation and the news that Sam Clovis, Trump’s nominee for USDA’s top scientist, confirms he has no hard science credentials, as reported by Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post, came word that the Trump nominee for top Agriculture post withdraws amid Russia probe. That’s the report from CNN’s Evan Perez, Jeff Zeleny, Manu Raju and Dan Merica.

Wait, what?

Harry Cheadle tweets, “from House GOP tax plan via WSJ. Woof,” linking to Republicans Stick With Big Corporate Tax Cuts in House Bill, by Richard Rubin of The Wall Street Journal. Tweets Matt O’Brien, “Look at how Republicans are trying to simplify the … wait, what was that?” “Medical expense deduction, gone. Student loan interest deduction, gone,” tweets Rubin.

Media news

The scoop from Alexandra Steigrad of Women’s Wear Daily, Condé Nast to Close Teen Vogue, Cut 80 Jobs and Lower Mag Frequencies. Tweets Cassie Smyth, “Teen Vogue is so vital right now, there are so many other magazines that I wouldn't mind going over it.” Harry McCracken says, “I never thought I’d say this, but: Oh no, not Teen Vogue.” But Lily Herman notes, “Ugh, the fun of a misleading headline. Conde is shuttering Teen Vogue's PRINT edition, which is still so very sad.” “This is awful. Glad @TeenVogue will continue online (and don't let me see another old white man LOLing about this),” says Clare O'Connor.

Earlier, Brian Stelter and Aaron Smith of CNN reported, Top NPR editor on leave amid reports of harassment. And then, as Stelter tweets, “BREAKING: NPR head of news @MichaelOreskes has resigned. He says ‘I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt.’” Tweets S. Mitra Kalita, “He's out. Tragically, we'll never know what could have been for the careers of those women in his path.”

“A Different Level of Crazy”: Is Civil War Breaking Out in The Wall Street Journal Over the Editorial Board’s Coverage of Mueller? That’s from Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo. Nicholas Jackson asks, “Will more top reporters and editors flee the WSJ to distance themselves from its batshit crazy editorial page?”

Fats goes out in style

“Big night down on Caffin Avenue as Fats gets sent off in style,” tweets Gordon Russell, who links to the coverage in the New Orleans Advocate, At Fats Domino second line in New Orleans, a special send off for legend.

Thursday round-up:

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