🌞 Good Monday morning! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,058 words ... 4 minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Democrats plan to portray President Trump, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the three villains defining the three branches of government for the 2020 campaign.
The three targets are already apparent:
Pelosi's coming focus on McConnell emerged from Democratic divisions over how to run against the president, plus their fears that "Trump fatigue" could give their attacks diminishing returns.
Between the lines: Pelosi believes there's a ceiling on how much the party can shift public opinion on Trump, aides say, noting that his approval rating has remained steady.
A day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil plants, President Trump tweeted: "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification."
Why it matters: The attacks "provide stark evidence of the vulnerability of global crude supply in an age of disruptive technologies," Bloomberg reports.
In the first UAW strike in 12 years, about 46,000 hourly autoworkers are walking off GM factory floors and joining picket lines.
The context: UAW's GM members are steaming about GM's November decision to "unallocate" five plants in the U.S., Axios' Joann Muller reports from Detroit.
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said in a statement that it is still willing to work to reach a deal to build "a strong future for our employees and our business."
In Hong Kong, the protests are back — and violent.
Above, an anti-government protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by the police during a demonstration near the Central Government Complex in Hong Kong.
Crooks are cashing in on the CBD craze by substituting cheap and illegal synthetic marijuana for natural CBD in vapes and edibles such as gummy bears, an AP investigation found.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Thousands of environmental activists and politicians are descending on New York City in the coming days for rallies and a major summit. Almost certainly, they will use fossil fuels to get there, writes Axios' Amy Harder in her "Harder Line" column.
Joe Biden (left front in photo above) joins the congregation of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in singing “We Shall Overcome," on the 56th anniversary of a KKK bombing at the church that killed four black girls during the height of the civil rights movement.
The percentage of Afghans who rated their lives so poorly that they are considered "suffering" shot to a record-high 85% — a new record for the world since Gallup began tracking country-by-country well-being. (Go deeper.)
Ric Ocasek performs during the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2018. Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images
"Ric Ocasek, the songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the Cars, was found dead on Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan," writes the N.Y. Times.
Why he matters: His music "merged a vision of romance, danger and nocturnal intrigue and the concision of new wave with the sonic depth and ingenuity of radio-friendly rock."
Global Citizen — in partnership with Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm — today will announce a 10-hour, five-continent philanthropic concert on Sept. 26, 2020, that aims to be the largest and most viewed "cause event" ever.
The context: "Global Goal Live" is billed as a digital-age successor to Live Aid,
the celebrity-studded, transcontinental, 16-hour concert for African famine relief in 1985 — 34 years ago.
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