Oct 12, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Facebook confirmed for the first time today that hackers who stole the keys to millions of accounts used some of them to access a wide variety of personal information about users. The breach affected 30 million people. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Fightin' words

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

America's fresh wave of tough-guy politics, coupled with protests that harass unpopular public servants who appear in the public sphere, has encouraged a dramatic escalation in political rhetoric.

Why it matters: Norms are hard to create, and easy to unravel. The shock factor of hearing grown men use such charged metaphors may have worn off, but that doesn't mean Americans have to resign themselves into accepting this as normal.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial candidate, Scott Wagner, is featured in a new video where he tells his opponent:

  • "You better put a catcher's mask on your face because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes because I'm going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania."

Flashback to Wednesday: Eric Holder said Michelle Obama's "when they go low, we go high" slogan was too soft, and should instead be:

  • "No, when they go low, we kick them... When I say we kick them, I don’t mean we do anything inappropriate, we don’t do anything illegal, but we have to be tough and we have to fight."

Between the lines: Politicians are not to blame for the actions of others, but they can do their part to cool the rhetoric in these abnormally heated times.

  • Remember: In the past two years, we've had a gunman attempt to assassinate Republicans on a baseball diamond, and a white supremacist kill a woman with his car in Charlottesville.

What's next: Rep. Steve Scalise, who was nearly killed on that diamond, has pushed back on the recent rhetoric:

  • On Holder: "As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country. I refuse to stand for it. Democratic leaders need to condemn, rather than promote these dangerous calls to action."
  • On Wagner: "These comments are totally unacceptable. As I’ve said many times before, there is absolutely no place in our politics for this kind of rhetoric."
Bonus: Pic du jour

This before and after shot of a Panama City neighborhood is just one example of Hurricane Michael's devastation.

Photos: Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.

Go deeper: More before and after pics

2. What you missed
  1. American pastor Andrew Brunson is to be released from custody in Turkey and allowed to travel to the United States, a move that could end a crisis. Go deeper.
  2. Beto O'Rourke raised more than $38 million in the third quarter, all from individual contributions, he announced this morning. Go deeper.
  3. Congo's Ebola outbreak is getting worse due to simmering war. Go deeper.
  4. Trump officials want to demote the UN ambassador job out of the Cabinet, a move that would be in keeping with recent Republican presidents. Go deeper.
  5. Jamie Dimon: There's an "extensive list" of geopolitical risks that could hurt U.S. economic growth. The list.
  6. P.S. ... A number of companies and individuals are backing away from doing business with Saudi Arabia until more answers are provided on the whereabouts of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Go deeper.
3. 1 food thing

"The food industry is grappling with just how far to bend to consumer whims about chemicals—even when those whims seem clueless. And this is giving America’s food scientists indigestion," the WSJ's Annie Gasparro and Heather Haddon report:

  • "Food scientists refined the recipes for many common packaged foods over decades to reduce spoilage, contamination and costs."
  • "Now some of the same researchers say they are being told to get rid of ingredients just because consumers can’t pronounce them."
  • "Food scientists at some companies have been caught off guard by executive mandates to reverse their work."
  • For example: "Mars’ head of color science [has] spent hundreds of hours experimenting with radishes and red cabbages to make red Skittles without the artificial dye Red 40."

Bite in.

Mike Allen