🎬 Situational awareness: For the return of "Axios on HBO" on Sunday, I traveled to Salt Lake City to interview Sen. Mitt Romney, and to Berkeley for a whiteboard session with the economists behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "ultra-millionaire tax."
See a clip from my interview with Sen. Romney.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
The Trump administration is testing a novel strategy for dealing with controversy and possible illegalities: Pretend you have nothing to hide by blurting it out loud.
We had two doozies yesterday:
1) Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney just said it out loud at a White House briefing, connecting Trump's release of Ukraine aid with an investigation of corruption that included U.S. Democrats.
2) Amid rising charges of cronyism, Trump awarded one of his own resorts, Trump National Doral near Miami, the lucrative contract for next June's G7 summit.
We've seen the shout-it-out-loud strategy before:
Between the lines ... Last week's gambit was: "There is no whistleblower. There is no impeachment." From nothing to everything. Welcome to "The Trump Show."
Mark Zuckerberg spoke in public in Washington yesterday for the first time since his congressional testimony a year and a half ago, telling Georgetown students that the three biggest threats to free expression are:
By admitting that Facebook is part of the problem, Zuckerberg is trying to help defuse attacks from both the left and right.
Go deeper: "Mark Zuckerberg doubles down on free speech," by Axios' Scott Rosenberg.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The modernization of cars, trucks, planes and public transit could be one of the greatest re-orderings of civilization since the dawn of the horseless carriage, write Axios' Joann Muller and Alison Snyder.
What's next: The specter of disruption is triggering enormous R&D investment by automakers fearful of becoming the next Kodak, Blockbuster or Blackberry.
The share of Americans with no religious affiliation is rising significantly in tandem with a sharp drop in the percentage that identifies as Christians, AP's David Crary writes, based on new data from the Pew Research Center.
Both Protestants and Roman Catholics are losing followers:
From the lead editorial of The Economist:
The pithiest summary of Donald Trump’s foreign policy comes from the president himself. Referring to the mayhem he has uncorked in Syria, he tweeted: "I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!" Mr Trump imagines he can abandon an ally in a dangerous region without serious consequences for the United States. He is wrong. The betrayal of the Kurds will lead friends and foes to doubt Mr Trump’s America. ...
Human rights, democracy, dependability and fair dealing, however patchily honoured, are America’s most powerful weapon. If China and Russia had their way, might would be right. For the West, that would be a profoundly hostile world.
Some of America's most seasoned diplomats are warning that President Trump is severely wounding American diplomacy, writes Axios World editor Dave Lawler.
Driving the news: This rift is increasingly going public as career diplomats like Michael McKinley, Marie Yovanovitch and George Kent discuss Trump's Ukraine policy before the House's impeachment inquiry.
Residents of Ridgecrest, Calif., inspect a fault rupture in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
"A major California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake has begun moving for the first time on record," thanks to geological shifts after a series of quakes near Ridgecrest, Calif., earlier this year, reports the L.A. Times' Rong-Gong Lin II.
A major quake on this fault could "destabilize the San Andreas ... [causing] the worst shaking the Southern California region has felt since 1857, and [sending] destructive tremors through Los Angeles and beyond."
The New Republic's November cover story, "Treading Water," features writer Ben Ehrenreich’s journey as a crew member on a rescue ship searching for immigrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea:
Taken by Charlie Hurt at Nationals Park:
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