☕️ Good Sunday morning. Welcome to the new Sunday paper ...
Situational awareness ... "Record heat in California is no fluke, experts warn ... 143-mph 'fire tornado' that cut a path of destruction is an ominous sign of the future," per the L.A. Times' lead story:
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Republican officials have started calling the midterms the "Barbell Election."
That, in a nutshell, is why Trump headlined three boisterous "Make America Great Again" rallies in five days: Florida on Tuesday, Pennsylvania on Thursday and Ohio last night.
Despite Trump's polarizing effect, GOP congressional candidates are tying themselves to him to get his voters:
AP notes that Trump is "casting himself as the star of the midterms, eagerly inserting himself into hotly contested primaries, headlining rallies in pivotal swing states and increasing his fundraising efforts for Republicans":
But even top Republican officials say Trump has a mixed effect, because of the constant churn of controversial headlines:
Be smart ... An outside West Wing adviser told me: "Trump must be disciplined enough not to make it tougher in suburban districts, where his ego and deep denial could lead him to show up or dominate the news, delivering wins to Ds."
"Nina Tomasieski logs on to Twitter before the sun rises. Seated at her dining room table with a nearby TV constantly tuned to Fox News, the 70-year-old grandmother spends up to 14 hours a day tweeting the praises of President Trump and his political allies, particularly those on the ballot this fall, and deriding their opponents," AP's Sara Burnett reports from Chicago:
"[T]he screening has repeatedly and erroneously flagged Tomasieski and users like her":
"Since 1999, children have committed at least 145 school shootings. Among the 105 cases in which the weapon’s source was identified, 80 percent were taken from the child’s home or those of relatives or friends. Yet The Washington Post found that just four adults have been convicted for failing to lock up the guns used."
A boy dives off rocks into the sea at sunset in Quiberon, northwestern France.
Axios' Latin America expert, Michael McCarthy, a research fellow at American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, explains a stunning assassination attempt last night that used drones armed with explosives:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's leadership crisis reached new heights when a drone strike targeted the president during a live broadcast of his speech to soldiers.
Maduro, former leader Hugo Chávez's designated successor to the presidency in 2013, has survived longer than expected:
P.S. N.Y. Times: "[T]his appeared to have been the first assassination attempt on a head of state using drones."
"[A] new generation of wellness gurus, a network of podcasters centered in the Austin, Tex., area and Southern California[, is preaching a] gospel of health, wealth and contentment," Molly Worthen (@MollyWorthen), an associate history professor at UNC Chapel Hill, writes on the cover of the N.Y. Times' Sunday Review:
"Evolutionary psychology is the secular answer to the doctrine of original sin: a primordial explanation for the anxieties that haunt us even if we have a decent job and a functional family."
Why it matters: "The podcasters may offer a lesson to politicians and activists: to build a following, find a way to provide the sense of affiliation, daily rhythm and ultimate purpose that humans crave."
"Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change ... The consequences of inaction," by Nathaniel Rich:
Thanks for having breakfast with us. We'll have updates all day on Axios.com.