😎 Happy Wednesday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,316 words ... 5 minutes.
It might seem like improvisational madness when President Trump tells American citizens in Congress to "go back." But those close to Trump say there's a lot of calculation behind his race-baiting, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes.
The rough calculation goes like this:
The bottom line: Trump sees the four progressive women in The Squad as perfect foils until he gets a Democratic nominee to run against.
The big picture ... Sad but true: Trump associates predict more, not less, of the race-baiting madness.
Unlike their reluctance on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership were eager to make a public spectacle of President Trump's racist comments, Axios' Alayna Treene reports from Capitol Hill.
What happened: In a blistering floor speech, Pelosi described Trump's tweets as "disgraceful," "disgusting," and "racist," prompting Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins to demand her words be "taken down."
For history ... WASHINGTON (AP) — Divided House votes to condemn Trump's "racist" tweets against Democratic congresswomen of color, over GOP opposition.
The bottom line: The chaotic scene underscores deep divisions within Congress over when, if ever, to hold Trump accountable.
Showing how vulnerable President Trump's challengers are to vagaries of news cycles, online interest in 2020 Democrats plunged over the past week as attention turned to Jeffrey Epstein, women's soccer and, of course, Trump's racist tweets.
Why it matters, from Axios' Neal Rothschild: It's a reminder of the president's stranglehold on public attention. He's capable of single-handedly steering news cycles, with his attacks on Democratic congresswomen of color as Exhibit A.
Tomas Mladenov is illuminated by his phone as a Saturn V rocket image is projected on the Washington Monument to mark Saturday's 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Elon Musk's Neuralink, which is "developing a next-generation brain-computer interface, unveiled what [it] billed as a significant advance toward a therapeutic device," writes the Wall Street Journal (subscription):
Why it matters: "The goal is to use the platform to treat neurological conditions like movement disorders, spinal-cord injury and blindness."
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a motor taxi driver gets his hands washed at an Ebola screening station in Goma.
What's new: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's staff is recommending a cutback on inspections at nuclear reactors, AP's Ellen Knickmeyer reports.
The nuclear power industry has prodded regulators to cut inspections, saying facilities are operating well and inspections are a financial burden.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Online retail sales growth has decelerated for four consecutive quarters and may keep slowing, according to data from FTI Consulting's U.S. Online Retail Forecast, reported by Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin.
President Trump's assault on the Fed took a turn this summer, Christopher Condon writes in Bloomberg Businessweek:
"Candidates interviewed for the governor job this year have been asked whether they would support a rate cut if they were on the board now."
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
"Game of Thrones" stormed into the Emmy record books yesterday, "scoring an astounding 32 nominations — the most ever for a series in a single year," per Variety.
Disclosure: "Axios on HBO" is in its second season.
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