Aug 26, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 530 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨 The Milwaukee Bucks are boycotting Game 5 of their NBA playoffs opening round against Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Go deeper.

📲 Follow the PM channel and stay up to date with Axios reporting throughout the day.

1 big thing: Laura threatens Gulf Coast
Photo: NOAA via AP

Texas and Louisiana are in grave peril tonight from the landfall of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm with the potential for "catastrophic" winds.

The big picture: Laura could be the first hurricane to make landfall as a Category 4 since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast in 2017.

  • “In my five years as governor, I don’t think I’ve ever had a press conference where I’m trying to convey the sense of urgency I’m trying to convey right now,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
  • This upcoming weekend is also the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall as a Category 3 along the Louisiana coast.

The National Weather Service warned today: "Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.

Graphic: NOAA

“Unsurvivable is not a word that we like to use,” said NWS meteorologist Ben Schott.

  • “It’s one I’ve never used before.”
2. Kenosha suspect arrested
Photos (clockwise from top left): Morry Gash/AP, Brendan McDermid/Reuters, Morry Gash/AP, Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Reuters

Arrest for last night's shooting: Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of two people during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Photos above (clockwise from top left): Protester kicks a smoke canister … Flares go off in front of a Kenosha County sheriff's vehicle … Protester in gas mask … Licensed massage therapist Dirk Ingram paints his boarded-up office: "It's gut-wrenching [to board up], but I need to make it beautiful."

Bonus: RNC preview
First lady Melania Trump speaks on the second night of the RNC. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

For convention night 3, the Trump campaign is most excited about a speech by civil rights activist Clarence Henderson, Axios' Alayna Treene tells me.

  • Henderson, who has long supported Trump, will share his personal story about how as an 18-year-old he joined the original four lunch counter sit-in protesters in Greensboro, North Carolina, in February 1960, and make the case for why he is backing Trump’s re-election.
  • They’re also eager to showcase Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist who was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party and later escaped house arrest and sheltered at the American Embassy in Beijing. Guangcheng will speak about the abuses of the Chinese regime.

Vice President Mike Pence will close out the night with an address from Fort McHenry, the site of a battle during the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

  • Pence will paint “a stark contrast” between Trump and Biden, and he'll use specifics on Trump’s record on the economy and foreign policy to show how far are apart they are, Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh tells Axios.

Other key speakers include:

  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas
  • Outgoing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany
  • Former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell
3. 1 smile to go: Zoom romance

Jordan and Brittany Tyler married in New Orleans in July. Photo: Jordan Tyler via AP

The first Zoom dates are turning into weddings, AP's Leanne Italie writes.

Jordan and Brittany Tyler of Allegan, Michigan, had each been divorced about a year when the pandemic hit. Neither had dated online. They signed up for Match.com.

  • "When the lockdown happened, an alert went off on my phone and it sounded liked 'The Purge' or something," Brittany said. "I thought: I'm going to die alone."

The two started texting March 18 and married in July. They spent much of quarantine together, after a romantic date March 24 at Jordan's place.

  • "I said, 'Hey, if you come have dinner with me, I'm stocked up on toilet paper. I'll give you a free roll,'" Jordan recalled.
  • He made gluten-free pasta from scratch and threw steaks on the grill. They watched "P.S. I Love You" — and shared a kiss two hours after meeting.
Mike Allen