Axios
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The only story that matters?

Karin van der Wiel / NOAA / Princeton University / AP


In case you didn't see the N.Y. Times' two-column lead, "For Third Year, The Earth In 2016 Set Heat Record: Threat to Society and Nature is Rising — Scale of Shift Startles Scientists," it's getting hot.

Mr. President-elect, please Sharpie this:

"NASA's calculations suggested that the planet had warmed by well over a half-degree Fahrenheit from 2013 to 2016... the largest temperature increase over a three-year period in the NASA record, which begins in 1880 ... NOAA's records show only one other instance when global temperature records were set three years in a row: in 1939, 1940 and 1941. … 1941 now ranks as only the 37th-warmest year on record."
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Obama's history of the trillion dollar coin

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Obama sat down with the political podcast, Pod Save America, yesterday and discussed his "scariest moment" in the White House — the debt ceiling crisis of 2013:

  • "There were all kinds of wacky ideas about how potentially you could have this massive coin I mean... it was like some primitive — it was like out of the stone age or something. And I pictured rolling in some coin..."
  • "It gets pretty technical, but there was this theory that I had the authority to just issue... through the mint... this massive trillion dollar coin... and that on that basis we could try to pay off our U.S. treasuries."
  • "It was a very realistic possibility that we couldn't get the votes for that and that we couldn't get those debts rolled over... and at that point you were in unchartered territory."
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Trump's off-the-record jokes at Mike Pence party

Evan Vucci / AP

The president-elect, who flew down to Washington last evening for a fancy dinner honoring his prospective Cabinet, showed up unannounced at the Vice President's Dinner, a fundraiser starring Mike Pence (entree was duck) at the National Portrait Gallery.

He gave lengthy, no-teleprompter remarks that were closed to the press. But an Axios AM reader sent us a partial tape. (Don't forget to do that.) Trump was feisty, funny and all over the place. A sampler of what was on his mind, 36 hours before show time:

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Why so many uninsured? Price is about to find out

Carolyn Kaster / AP

One striking moment in Tom Price's testimony: The part where he wondered aloud why so many Americans still don't have health insurance, even under Obamacare, and what can be done to help them get it. He might start by reading this Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 27 million people who are still uninsured.

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Big in Business: Trump admin puts NAFTA on high alert

Eric Gay / AP

NAFTA renegotiations will be Ross' top priority

During confirmation hearings Wednesday, Commerce Secretary-nominee Wilbur Ross told Senators that "NAFTA [renegotiation] is logically the first thing" his department will address if he is confirmed.

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Why Trumpcare might sign you up for health insurance without asking

Greg Ruben / Axios

Republicans on the Hill are taking a close look at an idea they believe could actually expand health coverage: just enroll everyone in a health plan unless they opt out.

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Hot in Silicon Valley: Netflix growth and Lyft drivers

Elise Amendola / AP

Netflix surpasses expectations

The movie streaming service said on Wednesday that it added 5.8 million new paying subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016—much more than 4.5 million it predicted it would add this quarter. Netflix now has 93.8 million members (paying and non-paying) worldwide.

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Trump rounds out his Cabinet with Sonny Perdue

Evan Vucci / AP

Perdue will be nominated as Trump's Secretary of Agriculture, according to multiple media reports.

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Obama vs. Trump on the press

In the past 24 hours, President Obama and President-elect Trump have vocalized two nearly opposite sentiments about the press.

On treatment by the press:

The press has been extremely dishonest when it comes to me. — Trump in Axios interview Tuesday
You keep us honest and make sure we're accountable to the people who sent us here. — Obama at press conference Wednesday
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Oracle becomes third Silicon Valley co. sued by Labor Dept.

Peter Kaminski / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Labor Department has sued Oracle over allegations that the company is paying white men more than their counterparts, and is favoring Asian workers when hiring for technical roles.

The DOL said the company was prohibited from any such discriminatory practices, given the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives as a contractor with the federal government.

Why this matters: The lawsuit marks the third in a series of suits that the DOL has brought against a Silicon Valley company this year. In September, Peter Thiel's data startup, Palantir, was sued for allegedly discriminating against Asian job applicants. And Google was sued earlier this month for not providing data that the DOL wanted for a routine contractor audit.

Worth noting: Oracle spokesman Deborah Hellinger said that the lawsuit is "politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit." The company's co-CEO, Safra Catz, is on Trump's transition team and there has been buzz that Catz would be picked for a cabinet position as well.