PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Peter Thiel, a billionaire investor and Trump supporter, told Fox News' "'Tucker Carlson Tonight" Monday of his concerns about 2020 Democratic candidates, saying he's "most scared" of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as she's "talking about the economy."

"Almost all the others are equally unimpressive in the sense that it’s all identity politics of one flavor or another, and I wouldn’t want to rank how unimpressive they are, since that would be forcing me to rank the different identities and which one’s more privileged and more special ... But I think Elizabeth Warren’s the dangerous one."

The big picture: Warren has outlined a plan for "economic patriotism" that leans on green manufacturing and industrial policy for clean energy, which she says is about "creating and "defending good American jobs."

  • A Warren policy that's very relevant to Facebook board member Thiel is her proposal to break up Facebook, Google and Amazon. She's pledged to prohibit companies with more than $25 billion in revenue from acting as operators and users of a platform and installing regulators to break up already-closed mergers.
  • Warren has also proposed a 2% tax on wealth exceeding $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion. And she plans to introduce a 7% tax on companies' profits over $100 million if elected in 2020.

Go deeper: Peter Thiel says FBI, CIA should probe Google

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Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.