☕️ Good Tuesday morning. 28 days to midterms ...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
You think the insane flow of politics in your newsfeed, on your TV and lighting up your iPhone will slow when the Trump Show ends?
Axios' Sara Fischer explains why it's happening: Over the past two years, media companies have enjoyed high ratings and engagement from Trump coverage.
Why it matters: Now that a precedent has been set around these high returns, it's unlikely news outlets will cut back — meaning that the barrage of political content being created and absorbed during the Trump presidency will likely outlive this administration.
National newspapers and magazines are already staffing up for 2020 with some of their biggest field teams yet. The Washington Post is looking for six reporters and an editor to expand coverage of the 2020 presidential election, it will announce today. It's the paper's biggest presidential coverage team ever.
The Trump effect: The president's ability to attach himself to so many broad topics online, (mostly by tweeting so much), has pushed many apolitical topics, from sports and finance, to become political.
The bottom line: We are living in an era of unprecedented political drama. And data show that Americans are craving more of it.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The Kavanaugh confirmation fight has led to a huge increase in donations to both parties, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports:
One Republican strategist who's working on midterm congressional campaigns said: "Sure, Kavanaugh is animating white, college-educated women, but guess what? They were not voting for a Republican a month ago and they’re still not."
"A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier," Brookings' Homi Kharas and Kristofer Hamel report:
As of September, "just over 50 percent of the world’s population, or some 3.8 billion people, live in households with enough discretionary expenditure to be considered 'middle class' or 'rich.'"
When SpaceX launched a rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's Central Coast, both the night sky and social media lit up, per AP.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ceremonially swore in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the East Room last evening. He was joined by his wife, Ashley, and daughters Margaret (left) and Liza.
Below, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor listen to Kavanaugh.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Google permanently shut down the consumer version of Google+ yesterday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Google exposed the data of roughly 500,000 Google+ users this past spring, but didn't disclose the issue.
Axios' Sara Fischer reports that this incident may be the last time a major tech company can get away with hiding something like this for months. That's because of sweeping privacy laws that the EU began enforcing in May.
The bottom line: There's a vicious circle of uncertainty happening around innovation and regulation, and tech companies are caught in the middle of it.
HBO will announce today that "Axios," a four-part series of news specials we're co-producing with HBO Documentary Films, will debut two days before midterms — Sunday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT — and continue for all four Sundays in November:
The Washington Post published a surveillance image (above) showing its missing Saudi contributor, Jamal Khashoggi, walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a week ago, just before he disappeared, per AP.
"Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists."
Hillary and Bill Clinton announced a concert-style tour hitting four cities in the U.S. and Canada in November and December, and nine in April and May.
For the May 4 stop at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., tickets range from $59.50 to $375.00.
Fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg comforts Meghan McCain as she made a tearful return to ABC's "The View" for the first time since her father's death in August.
"President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush are delighted to announce the marriage of their daughter, Barbara Pierce, to Mr. Craig Louis Coyne," Bush's office announced.
Hope Hicks "has been named head of corporate communications for New Fox, the company to emerge after 21st Century Fox completes the sale of assets to Disney early next year." She'll move from NYC to L.A. (Variety)
SoftBank, the world's biggest tech investor, is expanding in D.C.:
"One special seed" and months of care by an Oregon commercial pilot produced a 2,170-pound pumpkin that won a global weigh-in in northern California, the fourth time his gargantuan plants were awarded top honors, per AP.