Good Monday morning. Situational awareness: The party congress continuing in Beijing this week shows Xi Jinping, China's strongest leader in decades, has "an iron grip on power and a strategy to reach global preeminence," Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister and now president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, writes in the Financial Times: "The inference is we will see Mr Xi in office through to the 2030s."
Breaking: Mueller investigating Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group, per NBC News.
NFL: AP counted 22 players protesting during anthems yesterday.
The Trump administration this week will make its official declaration of the opioid crisis as a national public-health emergency, and President Trump will speak Thursday on combating the epidemic.
Why it matters: The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot — who wrote a memorable piece about heroin in West Virginia, "The Addicts Next Door" — writes in this week's issue that Trump's upcoming moves are "a welcome, but belated, response to a problem that has been growing inexorably for nearly two decades."
Be smart: The opioid crisis has hit hard in Trump country — rural areas, and economically depressed white communities. For Washington, it's been out of sight, out of mind for too long — and a reminder of the blinders we have in the bubbles, which also delayed recognition of Trump's heartland strength.
"The Democratic National Committee gathered [in Vegas] over the past week with one worry on every activist's mind: We'd better not lose the Virginia governor's race" 15 days from now, the WashPost's Dave Weigel and Ed O'Keefe write on A1:
Be smart: I live in Virginia and covered Old Dominion politics in my well-spent youth, so I hear a lot about this race. The Real Clear Politics average has Northam, the Democrat, ahead by 5.8 points. Most people I talk to in both parties assume he'll win: Gillespie is the underdog because Trump plays so poorly in "vote-rich Northern Virginia."
Sen. John McCain this weekend retweeted a N.Y. Times article, "McCain in Twilight: An Unfettered Voice Against Trumpism," calling him "elder statesman and truth-teller."
In an interview about the Vietnam War's legacy aired on C-SPAN last night, McCain said: "[W]e drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. That is wrong. That is wrong."
P.S. Sheryl Gay Stolberg wries in the Times piece: "As he walks the halls of the Capitol, often surrounded by reporters .... McCain is his usual irreverent, prickly self. ... But he has grown thinner in recent weeks, and sometimes looks fatigued. Those who know him well see the cancer treatment wearing on him."
This post-wildfire story by the San Francisco Chronicle's Trisha Thadani makes you think ... "As flames barreled toward their homes, devouring block after block, residents had 15 minutes — in some cases, 15 seconds — to grab what they needed."
"All three committees looking into Russian interference — one in the House, two in the Senate — have run into problems, from insufficient staffing to fights over when the committees should wrap up their investigations," the N.Y. Times' Nicholas Fandos writes on A1:
Be smart: Mueller was always going to be the last word. Turns out he may have the only definitive word.
Rising on the right ... Trump said during a press avail last week: "Your real Russia story is uranium and how they got all of that uranium -- a vast percentage of what we have. That is, to me, one of the big stories of the decade."
Ethanol is hot like it's the Iowa caucuses. It may be October in an off-cycle year, but President Trump is suddenly facing unusually intense pressure from Midwestern politicians and ethanol companies to keep his campaign promises on this issue, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her weekly "Harder Line" energy column:
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) tweeted a Scientific American article that's worth pondering during your commute ... "The Secret to a Better Night's Sleep: A Sense of Purpose? Intriguing new research suggests a positive sleep role for a meaningful life":
Developing a sense of purpose in life may simultaneously convey other benefits ... in addition to better sleep. Research has linked experiencing purpose in life to a variety of other positive outcomes including better brain functioning, reduced risk of heart attack, and even a higher income. A person with a greater sense of purpose in their life would surely be better off while also serving as a positive example in the lives of those they know.
WeWork, the office-space giant serving startups, plans to open coding academies in all 237 of its global coworking locations (55 cities), Axios' Steve LeVine scoops:
"Envisioning a day when millions of drones will buzz around delivering packages, watching crops or inspecting pipelines, a coalition is creating an airspace corridor in upstate New York where traffic management systems will be developed and unmanned aircraft can undergo safety and performance testing," AP's Mary Esch reports:
"Exit the Expressway ... Once So Chic and Swooshy, Freeways [in-city highways] Are Falling Out of Favor: Several cities face pressure to tear down the 1960s-era mega-roads and reinstate pedestrian-friendly streets," by N.Y. Times' Steven Kurutz: