Good Wednesday morning. Situational awareness: A White House official, confirming a WashPost report, tells me the top tax rate in the GOP package will be cut from 39.6% to 37%. "We never intended to raise people's taxes," the official told me. The rate cut is designed to compensate for lost deductibility of state and local taxes, and should make up the difference in most places besides California and New York, the official said.
Axios is at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor today for the Midwest launch of our Smarter Faster Revolution, aimed at college students. My guests include TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot, raised in a single-parent household in Detroit, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who will announce that Detroit's Entrepreneurs of Color Fund is tripling in size. RSVP here.
President Trump is in a political slump after last night's shock victory by Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the special U.S. Senate race in Alabama, a state Trump won by 28 points.
Trump: "I was right!" ... The president tweets at 6:20 a.m.: "The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!"
Be smart: The Trump Republican Party, which includes virtually all elected GOP officials and all party leaders, is stuck in an old, white, Christian, male box.
The establishment now has even more reason to resist Steve Bannon's effort to intervene in primaries nationwide. Tensions within the party are guaranteed to rise.
Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, texts me the leadership/establishment read on the GOP loss:
The result gives Dems adrenalin heading into the midterms. The N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, pointing to suburbanites and African Americans driving Moore's victory, write in their "Takeaways":
One of my savvy Axios colleagues didn't believe the polls out of Alabama. (Final Real Clear Politics average: Moore +2.2.)
The pithiest tweets:
Best cable exchange, post-midnight on CNN:
Key exit poll results, via WashPost:
In case you missed our alert last night during the Alabama slam ... Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was the victim of a fake news hit yesterday, and has turned over to Capitol Police a document that purports to detail lurid sexual harassment accusations by a former staffer.
In Santa Barbara County, fire burns canyons and ridges above Bella Vista Drive near Romero Canyon, as the fight to contain a wildfire continues in Montecito, Calif.
L.A. Times A1, "Skirball fire traced to encampment: Blaze was accidentally ignited at a homeless camp near L.A.'s most affluent homes. There are no suspects."
Some of Facebook's early champions are now its sharpest critics, says AP Tech Writer Barbara Ortutay:
Why it matters: This rough year for the tech industry opened with concerns about fake news and "filter bubbles," segued into pressure on Facebook and Twitter to clamp down on trolling and online harassment, and ended with congressional hearings into Russian use of the platforms to meddle in the election.
Facebook said in a statement: "We've done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we're using it to inform our product development. ... We are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made."
Top searches in D.C.:
Top U.S. searches:
Top 10 "how to" searches:
How to make slimeHow to make solar eclipse glassesHow to watch the solar eclipseHow to watch Mayweather vs McGregorHow to buy BitcoinHow to freeze your creditHow to solve a Rubik's CubeHow to make a fidget spinnerHow to cook a turkey in the ovenHow to screen record
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a speech and Q&A with State Department employees, says a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is at least three years away — unlikely before 2020, "and that's pretty ambitious," per N.Y. Times.
Sunday's N.Y. Times Magazine is a special issue dedicated to the reckoning on our culture of sexual harassment, including:
Variety cover story ... "How New York Times Reporters Broke Hollywood's Biggest Sexual Harassment Story," by senior film and media writer Brent Lang:
Reliving 2017 in 30 images ... Astronomy seemed to meet the nation's politics with the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
First reviews of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," in theaters Friday, came off embargo yesterday ... Bottom line from Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy: "Far from the last or the least."