- Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,498 words ... 6 minutes.
Air Force One taxies at LAX yesterday. Photo: Gina Ferazzi/L.A. Times via AP
President Trump today plans to revoke California’s landmark emissions standards, setting up another sweeping legal fight with the nation’s largest state that may echo beyond his presidency.
This could snuff out any hope automakers had of avoiding a bitter legal fight between the administration and California, Axios' Ben Geman writes.
The backdrop: Trump, who spent the night in L.A., kicked off a Golden State moneymaking swing yesterday with a $3 million Bay Area luncheon, followed by a $5 million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, per AP.
The bottom line: The landscape on California issues would shift overnight if a Democrat wins the White House — but Trump rightly sees the state as unwinnable.
Israel's two main political parties were deadlocked in early results after yesterday's voting and Benjamin Netanyahu — who in July became the country's longest serving prime minister — faces an uphill battle to hold on.
Axios contributor Barak Ravid, the senior diplomatic correspondent for Israel's Channel 13 News, sends us this cheat sheet from Tel Aviv:
Go deeper: The latest from Barak on the ongoing deadlock.
With "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15," Beto O'Rourke saw a bigger spike in online attention than any other 2020 Democrat in the first three debates, Neal Rothschild writes from NewsWhip data provided exclusively to Axios.
Why it matters: O'Rourke nailed the perfect issue at the perfect moment.
Stories about O'Rourke generated more interactions on social media following last week's debate than for any other candidate in the previous two debates.
The big picture: While online interest in mass shootings typically lasts just three weeks after the event, activism around gun violence has been more sustained than usual since the August massacres.
The U.S. counted 862,000 abortions in 2017, the lowest level since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973, reports the AP.
Why it matters: Fewer women are becoming pregnant, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
Corey Lewandowski's grudging, impudent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday may have wound up bolstering Speaker Pelosi's hands-off approach to impeachment, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Instead, Democrats once again showed their frustration at Trump's brazen strategy of simply refusing to cooperate with Democrats' probes.
In one victory for Democrats, Lewandowski confirmed as "accurate" the Mueller report's account that Trump had asked him to direct then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller's investigation. Trump said that if Sessions would not meet with Lewandowski, Lewandowski should tell Sessions he was fired.
The big split: A division remains between Democrats who want to move toward impeachment regardless of how it plays politically — and those focused on preserving the House majority, and a broad enough public appeal to win the White House.
Between the lines: Many Democrats still think there's an impeachment case to be made, but that investigations and court rulings need to run their course.
Weeks shy of 95, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn't believe he could have managed the presidency at 80, AP reports.
"I hope there's an age limit," Carter said with a laugh as he answered audience questions during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Cokie Roberts, who inspired generations of women journalists during 40 years at the top of NPR and ABC News, died at 75 yesterday after battling cancer.
From a family statement:
Born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on December 27, 1943, Cokie was — first and foremost — a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend. ...
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, journalist, author and professor Steven V. Roberts, her children Lee Roberts and Rebecca Roberts, her grandchildren Regan, Hale and Cecilia Roberts and Claiborne, Jack and Roland Hartman, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. ...
We are hopeful that Cokie now goes to join her parents, former Members of Congress Hale and Lindy Boggs, her siblings Barbara, Tom and William, who predecease her, and her God.
A new generation ... Below, on Aug. 27, Cokie stopped by the ABC bureau in D.C., then had lunch at Bombay Club with Axios White House reporter Alayna Treene (left) and Emily Karl, who graduated from Northwestern in June.
On March 31, ABC's Jonathan Karl, a New York Post alumnus who has known and covered President Trump longer than any other White House reporter, will be out with "Front Row at the Trump Show," about their decades of sparring.
"The Eli Manning era is over. The Giants on Tuesday benched their franchise quarterback and will start rookie Daniel Jones on Sunday in Tampa," writes the N.Y. Post's Paul Schwartz.