🦁 Happy Friday, and welcome to March.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Even before Robert Mueller has delivered his final communiqué, Democrats have activated a new phase in the Trump-Russia wars that ultimately could prove more damaging to the president than the special counsel's investigation:
What Democrats are planning:
Democrats expect all that may serve as a Rosetta Stone to arguable "high crimes and misdemeanors," touching off an impeachment process.
Coming attractions: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said the committee will hear from Felix Sater, a Russia-born executive who worked with Cohen on Trump Tower in Moscow, in an open hearing on March 14, per AP.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass — author of "A World in Disarray" — writes this Smart Brevity for Axios on the failed North Korea summit, which ended abruptly, with no joint statement or communiqué:
One of the fancy parks in D.C. Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images
In a vivid new example of stark income inequality in the U.S., the dogs of wealthier households live better lives than those with lower-income owners, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
What's new: Dog parks are getting fancier and fancier, with bright green artificial grass to play on and splash pools to cool off in.
Why it matters ... These dream canine playgrounds are only in certain areas:
People boat along River Road in Guerneville, in Sonoma County, Calif., after the Russian River reached its highest level in 20 years, cutting off towns and inundating communities.
Michael Cohen testified that during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump threatened legal action against his colleges and high school if they released his grades or standardized test scores. Cohen provided this artifact:
U.S. factories are installing record numbers of robots, and elite universities, endowed with huge new contributions, are adding vast centers to study artificial intelligence, report Axios' Steve LeVine and Kaveh Waddell.
Why it matters: The twin trend lines suggest a still-robust competition with China to dominate technologies of the future.
HBO CEO and Chairman Richard Plepler and Turner President David Levy are stepping down, writes Axios' Sara Fischer.
⚡Phil Musser is named vice president of government affairs, running the D.C. portfolio for NextEra Energy, the world's largest producer of wind and solar energy.
"Doing Business in an Activist World," the annual business and politics study from Global Strategy Group shows that Americans tend to have pre-existing notions about the political leanings of certain brands.
People of both parties — Democrats at 38%, Republicans at 35% — are just about as likely to boycott brands over their social beliefs, but their targets skew similarly partisan.
"Dozens of community and nonprofit theaters across the U.S. have been forced to abandon productions of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' under legal threat by Broadway and Hollywood producer Scott Rudin," AP's Mark Kennedy writes:
"Anger over the move has triggered an online revolt using the rallying cry #BoycottRudinplays."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo and Aïda Amer/Axios
Former Nats star Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies — the richest contract in the history of American team sports, Axios' Kendall Baker writes:
By the numbers: In total value, the contract surpasses the deals signed by Giancarlo Stanton ($325 million) and Manny Machado ($300 million).
Be smart: The Nats offered him a 10-year, $300 million contract, which would have given him a higher AAV than the one he signed.
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