🍂 Welcome to autumn. Today’s Smart Brevity count: 1,181 words ... 5 minutes.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
More momentum built yesterday among Democrats for impeachment proceedings than on any other single day of the Trump presidency.
What's happening: Pelosi meets today with her six committee chairs leading different strands of the Trump investigation.
Pelosi, who has tried to tamp down impeachment fever, talked privately yesterday with lawmakers and allies about where they are on impeachment in light of the Ukraine revelations, to gauge whether there is a broad shift within the caucus, sources tell Axios' Alayna Treene.
Between the lines: You could see the dam breaking Sunday, when House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff took a newly aggressive stance on impeachment — comments he made, Axios reported, after consulting Pelosi.
The backdrop: All of this is unfolding while Trump is in New York meeting with foreign leaders at the UN General Assembly.
Why Ukraine is different: Axios' Zach Basu points out that the Mueller investigation played out through press reports and occasional indictments across two years — softening the blow from the most damning revelations.
What to watch: House Democrats meet today, and members will be swarmed by reporters. On Thursday, Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, will testify in open session before the House Intelligence Committee.
🗞️ How it's playing ... WashPost lead story: "Trump ordered hold on military aid days before calling Ukrainian president" ... N.Y. Times lead story: "TRUMP IS ACCUSED OF FREEZING AID DAYS BEFORE CALL."
Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to unveil a wealth tax that's even more aggressive than Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "ultra-millionaire tax," sources tell me.
Between the lines: Sanders has proposed massive spending ($16 trillion on climate alone), and so has to show a little revenue to add credibility to his proposals.
Stories about Joe Biden generated millions more interactions on social media than any other 2020 Democrat last week after the firestorm over President Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate him, writes Neal Rothschild via NewsWhip data exclusively provided to Axios.
At left is Mayor Pete Buttigieg in late spring. At right is Mayor Pete yesterday.
"Around the globe, a relentless campaign is targeting journalists because of the fundamental role they play in ensuring a free and informed society," writes N.Y. Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger in an op-ed.
Why it matters: "By threatening to prosecute journalists for invented crimes against their country, President Trump gives repressive leaders implicit license to do the same."
Republican lobbyist Bruce Mehlman says in a memo to clients that what we're in isn't a broad "techlash," but instead the targeting of "a few specific dominant players ... and significant platforms (Uber/Lyft, Airbnb, Twitter)."
Britain's Supreme Court ruled this morning that the ongoing suspension of Parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is unlawful.
Why it matters: It's the latest in a series of blows for Johnson, who indicated earlier this week that he had no intention of resigning if he lost the case, per The Guardian.
After a decade of booming enrollment by students from China, American universities are starting to see steep declines as political tensions between the two countries cut into a major source of tuition revenue, AP reports.
Why it's happening: University administrators say trade conflicts and U.S. concerns about the security risks posed by visiting Chinese students appear to be accelerating a trend that's also driven by growing international competition, visa complications and the development of China's own higher education system.
"Since Trump’s inauguration, a Washington Post analysis shows, nearly 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who were in office in January 2017 are gone or leaving because of election losses [and] retirements." — WashPost's Rachel Bade
The Australian state of New South Wales is using new technology to catch drivers on phones, AP's Rod McGuirk reports from Canberra.
A six-month trial of two fixed cameras checked 8.5 million vehicles and detected more than 100,000 drivers with their hands on phones, including one driver who was using a phone and iPad simultaneously.
How it works: The units use artificial intelligence to exclude drivers who are not touching their phones. Photos that show suspected illegal behavior are referred for verification by human eyes before an infringement notice is sent.