Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,136 words ... 5 minutes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Small-dollar political donations have exploded this campaign cycle, thanks largely to technology that lets candidates target potential donors with cheap ads and through easy-to-use online donation platforms, Axios' Sara Fischer writes.
Alexa is going to let users donate to presidential campaigns, Bloomberg reports.
Online fundraising platforms, like ActBlue for Democrats and now WinRed for Republicans, will also be key to driving small-dollar donations.
The big picture: Small-dollar donations have been notoriously hard to trace back, but some of these online fundraising platforms are helping to bringing some transparency to that process.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with key senators and then visited President Trump at the White House yesterday, amid an increasingly dense maze of Washington probes and crackdowns, Axios' Scott Rosenberg and Ina Fried report.
The big picture: This was Zuckerberg's first visit to the capital since March 2018, when he defended Facebook in tense public testimony.
Zuckerberg's goal: Get across the points he'd made in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this year, where he argued that the internet needs new rules covering "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability."
Senators' goals varied:
What's next: The company faces deadlines in coming weeks to produce documents for inquiries by the Justice Department, the FTC, the House Judiciary Committee, and a coalition of attorneys general from nearly every state.
The red and blue stripes on the cover of The Economist's climate issue are a data visualization representing the world’s average temperature for every year from 1850 to 2018, compared with the average in 1971-2000.
This is the view from the Washington Monument's observation level.
Construction began in 1848 and took nearly 40 years.
Struggle between Congress and Executive Branch ... House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, arguing that the whistleblower complaint should be turned over to Congress, as is generally required by law:
I don’t think this is a problem of the law, I think the law is written very clearly. I think the law is just fine. The problem lies elsewhere. And we’re determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is, to make sure that the national security is protected and to make sure that this whistle-blower is protected.
"Last year’s graduates with a bachelor’s degree averaged about $29,200 in student loan debt — a record in the USA," USA Today's Chris Quintana reports.
Why it matters: "A few decades ago, it was unusual to graduate with a lot of debt."
"Saudi Arabia is pressuring wealthy families to buy in to the initial public offering of its state oil company, as part of a plan to achieve the $2tn valuation coveted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman," the Financial Times reports (subscription).
The popularity of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, up for re-election Oct. 21, was already deflating under the disillusionment that often hampers incumbents on the idealistic left, Axios World editor Dave Lawler writes.
Trudeau, 47, apologized repeatedly for three images of him in blackface, but admitted he was "wary of being definitive" about whether more might surface.
Courtesy Wing Aviation
Wing Aviation — a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent of Google — is collaborating with FedEx Express and Walgreens to launch a drone delivery service next month in Christiansburg, Va., near Virginia Tech. (FedEx release)
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are going al fresco tonight for the second state dinner of this presidency, when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be welcomed to the Rose Garden, AP's Darlene Superville reports.
Dinner centerpieces feature more than 2,500 roses from California in shades of yellow, and Australia's national flower, the golden wattle.