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The evidence is piling up: Trump's iron grip over the GOP has been institutionalized

Republican officialsare rendering an unequivocal verdict: They want to cement former President Trump's politics and policies into the foundation of the GOP for many years to come.

Why it matters: The debate over Trump's post-election hold on the GOP is over — it has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.


The evidence is overwhelming: 

  • House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, a Trump critic, is expected to get booted from leadership next week for saying Trump's claims of an illegitimate Biden victory are lies and destructive. 
  • Trumpian voting restrictions like Georgia's are now being debated in Texas, Florida, Arizona, Iowa and other states.
  • The Trump positions on trade and immigration — both of which broke with Bush-era orthodoxy — are now the Republican positions.
  • The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 violence have gone mostly silent, and in at least one case turned on Cheney. 
  • The entire House GOP leadership will soon be full-throated Trumpers. 
  • House Rs expect Trump-backed candidates to crush his critics in contested primaries. 
  • State-level Republican leaders are often as — or more — Trumpian than national leaders, and in many cases will control redistricting.

Trump senior adviser Jason Miller tells Axios Trump rallies are likely to "start as soon as late spring or early summer."

  • Miller said Trump "has already begun to vet and endorse candidates for 2022, with an eye toward electing not just Republican candidates, but America First Republican candidates."
  • "His endorsement lifts candidates above the pack and often clears the primary field," Miller said. "The general election endorsement provides access to 'Trump voters' not normally accessible to Republicans."

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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