😎 Good Thursday morning, and welcome to August!
The Smart Brevity on last night: Joe Biden survived but didn't dominate.
A Biden adviser tells me: "[I]t was everybody versus Biden ... Never threw a first punch, but didn’t let himself be a punching bag."
Sen. Kamala Harris of California has established herself as a frontrunner, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports from the debate site:
No matter what anyone said, Harris turned the fire back on Biden, Axios' Alayna Treene adds.
Another good night ... Cory Booker arguably surpassed Harris as Biden's primary antagonist, Axios' Zach Basu writes in his "4 big takeaways":
Trump campaign statement: "Another win for President Trump."
The debate showed Joe Biden's long career has its liabilities, Axios managing editor David Nather writes:
Biden had to step back from Obama:
P.S. An unrehearsed moment ... As Biden and Kamala Harris greeted each other onstage, he could be heard saying: "Go easy on me, kid."
What we talked about ...
... and what we wondered:
Former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and former Sen. Sam Nunn — co-chairs of the nonprofit Nuclear Threat Initiative — give Axios readers a sneak peek at a big talker they have coming in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs:
Even after decades of reducing their arsenals, the United States and Russia still possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons — over 8,000 warheads, enough for each to destroy the other, and the world, several times over ...
[A]rms control has withered, and communication channels have closed ... [O]utdated Cold War nuclear postures have persisted alongside new threats in cyberspace and dangerous advances in military technology (soon to include hypersonic weaponry, which will travel at more than five times the speed of sound).
Why it matters: "The United States and Russia are now in a state of strategic instability; an accident or mishap could set off a cataclysm."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Amazon has made a series of investments, acquisitions and R&D moves in the smart home industry, allowing it to capture first-mover advantage in "surveillance capitalism," one of the most important new markets on the planet, writes Axios' Erica Pandey.
Speaking to Axios, Amazon says that its speakers and cameras can be turned off at will and come with lights that signal when they are recording. It also says customers can log onto portals and delete whatever they want.
By this time next year, AT&T’s WarnerMedia, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Disney and Apple will all have streaming video services, taking on Amazon, CBS, Hulu and Netflix, Bloomberg Businessweek's Felix Gillette and Gerry Smith write:
The bottom line: "The success of Netflix’s model — charging a monthly fee for a large amount of ad-free, on-demand programming ... — has inspired millions of people to cancel their pay-TV service and get their home entertainment online."
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Democrats in Iowa and Nevada want to boost participation in next year's caucuses by opening them up to telephone voting. Hacking-spooked Democrats have worked to protect the process from interference, but some experts still see notable risks, Axios cybersecurity expert Joe Uchill writes.
Caucuses are complex processes, typically requiring hours of participation by each voter. That’s prohibitive for many, especially in places like Las Vegas, where a tourism-based economy forces many to work non-standard hours.
The state parties are taking steps to limit the phone vulnerabilities: Both states will require in-person signup to receive credentials for the phone caucus.
The bottom line: Doubts fueled by an angry runner-up could endanger public confidence.
President Trump's rally in Cincinnati this evening will be a test for both candidate and crowd, AP notes:
Woodstock 50, marking this month's 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1969 festival, is officially canceled, AP music writer Mesfin Fekadu writes:
Woodstock will still celebrate 50:
While most of the other candidates finished their closing statements at last night's debate by giving their website addresses, Joe Biden tried to get fancy:
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