🏀 Good Saturday morning. The last perfect bracket in any of the major online contests — picked by Gregg Nigl, a 40-year-old neuropsychologist in Columbus — went bust in the second game of the Sweet 16 when Purdue beat Tennessee, 99-94, in overtime.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Beto O'Rourke, who announces for president today with three rallies in Texas, is a sign of changing Lone Star politics: Republicans have started to lose their grip, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports from El Paso.
Texas hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976; earlier predictions that demographic trends would turn the state blue have fizzled. But now there's more evidence of change:
Texas Democrats point to congressional wins that they weren't expecting in 2018, like Collin Allred and Lizzie Fletcher, who both defeated Republican incumbents.
O'Rourke would force Trump's campaign to spend heavily in Texas.
⚡Breaking ... Joe Biden's spokesman said the former vice president does not recall kissing a Nevada political candidate on the back of her head in 2014, per AP.
A few times a week, I tell you something is "worthy of your time" — I hope you'll actually click and read (or at least skim) the full text. But this is one that I'm excited for you to read — fascinating science and history; something for young people to aspire to; a discovery to chat about with the scholars in our life.
The New Yorker's Douglas Preston, in "Annals of the Former World" (so good!), says this appears to be "the most important paleontological discovery of the new century ... A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth."
Preston, on what happened on impact: "The energy released was more than that of a billion Hiroshima bombs ... Much of the material was several times hotter than the surface of the sun, and it set fire to everything within a thousand miles."
Across industries, the U.S. has become a country of monopolies, Axios Future Editor Steve LeVine writes:
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16 (first row, center, behind the "E" of "House") attends a Friday for Future youth rally in Berlin, Germany, yesterday.
What's new: "U.S. defense and intelligence contractors [know] it will be difficult for them to do new business with Saudi Arabia until MBS takes responsibility for the Khashoggi killing," WashPost columnist David Ignatius writes after interviewing more than a dozen knowledgeable American and Saudi sources.
Why it matters ... "Khashoggi may have accomplished in death what he never achieved in his writing: He has backed MBS into a corner."
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, asked by Fox News' Jesse Watters about Trump's mood, during a "Watters World" interview taped to air at 8 tonight:
He has been very easy to work with this week. He's been very smiley. ...
I was in the White House this week; he served me hors d'oeuvres. That was a first. ... [A] little pigs in a blanket, some meatballs. ...
He gave me a Diet Coke; he was very happy. It was my first [time] in nine years serving, of hors d'oeuvres from the president. Which is safe to say, very good mood.
Candace Bushnell's next project is a book for young women of the #MeToo era, AP reports:
"In the spirit of Bushnell's Carrie Bradshaw, Marin becomes a columnist, writing 'Rules for Being a Girl' in the high school newspaper."