Nov 20, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

👢 Good morning from Dallas, where I'll moderate conversations about American cities and veterans in the workforce, beginning at 8 a.m. at The Room on Main, 2030 Main St.

1 big thing: AI is coming for white-collar workers
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Data: The Brooking Institution. Chart: Axios Visuals

While robots upend blue-collar factory work and trucking in the middle of the country, AI and machine learning are poised to take over white-collar jobs in superstar coastal cities, Axios' Erica Pandey and Kim Hart write.

  • Why it matters: No one is immune to the shockwave of automation.
  • "AI will be as central to the white-collar office environment as robotics has been to the production economy," said Mark Muro, policy director of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program.

A new analysis out today from Brookings overlays the keywords in AI-related patents with job descriptions to get a more detailed understanding of which jobs are most likely to be affected by AI — and where.

  • Industries at risk: Carmakers and clothing makers are using AI for advanced manufacturing on production lines — that’s far more complex than the routine, task-oriented automation that most robots power. Digital services like software publishing and computer system design also show high exposure, along with professional services like purchasing, and agricultural work.
  • Cities highly exposed to AI disruption: Established or emerging tech hubs like San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Boulder and Huntsville. Also agricultural centers like Madera and Salinas in California, and logistics and advanced manufacturing hubs like Greenville, S.C.; Detroit; and Louisville.

Workers ranging from radiologists to legal professionals and marketing specialists could find themselves with drastically diminished roles.

  • Those with bachelor's degrees will be much more exposed to AI than their less-educated counterparts, countering the longtime recommendation that more education will insulate workers from this disruption.
  • Men and workers who are white and Asian American have more exposure than other demographics due to their overrepresentation in technical, engineering and professional roles.

Between the lines: States like Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska may be hit from both ends of the spectrum. Blue-collar workers there could be displaced by robots while white-collar workers are hit by AI and machine learning.

2. ⚖️ Impeachment hearings Day 3: 11½ hours in 1 minute
Jennifer Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman are sworn in. Photo: Alex Brandon/Pool via Getty Images

Firsthand witnesses appear ... Day 3 of impeachment TV was the longest yet, with four witnesses in two hearings, AP writes in its takeaways:

The two morning witnesses each were on the July 25 phone call in which President Trump prodded Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden:

  • Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, in military uniform adorned with medals, considered the call "improper."
  • Jennifer Williams, an adviser to Vice President Pence, said the call "involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter."
  • Axios highlights.
"Ranking member, it's Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please." Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In the day's second hearing, ending at 8:29 p.m., Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, was a Republican-called witness. But he praised Joe Biden, rejecting "conspiracy theories" by Trump and allies, AP reports:

  • 🎥 "The allegations against Vice President Biden are self-serving and non-credible." Video.

Axios' Alayna Treene reports from inside the chamber:

  • Volker repeatedly said he did not remember or recall events that others who were in the same room did. He said that reading their testimony jogged his memory.
  • This appeared to frustrate House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who grilled Volker on why he was changing his testimony.

Volker testified alongside former White House national security official Tim Morrison, who said he didn't believe that anything illegal occurred on the call. But he was worried about political ramifications if the contents leaked.

  • 🎥 Video: Tim Morrison explains why conditions for Ukraine aid gave him "sinking feeling."
  • Axios highlights.

How it's playing ...

The New York Times
3. ⚖️ Day 4: What to watch
Gordon Sondland arrives on the Hill for a closed-door deposition on Oct. 17. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Today's testimony (starts 9 a.m. ET) by Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is likely to be the week's most crucial, Axios' Alayna Treene reports:

  • Why he matters: Sondland has spoken with President Trump about the political investigations central to the impeachment inquiry. So he gives the committee the chance to grill someone with firsthand knowledge of what Trump himself knew, and when he knew it.

Both sides think they can get a bite out of Sondland, age 62:

  • Democrats think he is the key line connecting Trump to a quid pro quo.
  • Republicans will belabor Sondland's description of his knowledge of any conditions for Ukraine aid as "presumed."

🥊 Real-time response: Stepping up its engagement, the White House sent reporters a steady stream of emails, seeking to undermine witnesses' credibility.

  • Trump said at a Cabinet meeting: "[Y]ou have a kangaroo court headed by little Shifty Schiff."

Clicker: White House's official Twitter account attacks Vindman as he testifies.

4. Pic du jour
Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

A portrait of former House Speaker John Boehner was unveiled yesterday in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall, and will hang in the Speaker’s Lobby.

5. 2020 Attention Tracker: Mayor Pete's Iowa air superiority
Pete Buttigieg snaps a selfie with students after speaking Monday at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Photo: Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Rather than riding a swell of media attention or a viral moment, Pete Buttigieg has ascended to the top of Iowa's Democratic presidential primary polling by channeling a huge fundraising haul into TV ads, Axios' Neal Rothschild reports.

  • Why it matters: With $2.3 million spent so far on Iowa TV ads, more than 100 staffers on the ground and 20 field offices, Buttigieg's investment reflects his campaign's huge bet on Iowa's Feb. 3 caucuses.

Buttigieg's national polling continues to lag way behind Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

  • But only billionaire Tom Steyer (at $7.1 million!) has spent more on TV ads in Iowa, according to a Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis on FiveThirtyEight.
  • Sanders, who has raised $10 million more than Buttigieg this cycle, is just slightly behind him in Iowa, spending $2 million on TV ads.
  • Biden has spent $820,000 and Warren just $200,000 on Iowa TV so far.

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6. Trumpification of Elise Stefanik
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) listen as Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) talks to reporters after Marie Yovanovitch testified last week. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) opposed President Trump on Putin, women, tariffs, the travel ban and the border wall. Then impeachment made her a star Trump defender and fundraising juggernaut, Axios' Alayna Treene and Stef Kight report.

  • Why it matters: Stefanik, 35, has become the youngest, most moderate example of voter-driven Trumpification of the GOP.

The big picture: Stefanik won her first term in 2014, then the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, and built a reputation as a moderate.

  • But her fierce defense of Trump during the impeachment hearings — along with her attacks on House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff — has made her a champion among the pro-Trump community.

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7. AMA calls for total ban on vaping products
Photo: Tony Dejak/AP

The American Medical Association called for a ban on e-cigs and vaping devices, and will lobby for state and federal laws, regs and legal action.

  • Why it matters: The doctors’ group said the action was prompted by the recent U.S. outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping. (AP)
8. America’s war over natural gas hits home

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a major utility are locked in a standoff over natural gas that’s been years in the making, writes Axios' Amy Harder.

  • Why it matters: The battle is leaving thousands of New Yorkers without access to the fuel — the starkest repercussion yet of fights brewing across the country over oil and gas pipelines, and their role in fueling climate change.

Keep reading.

9. Debate night in America
Graphic: AP

The fifth Democratic presidential debate, hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post, runs 9 to 11 p.m. ET at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
10. 🔔 The future of doorbells

Amazon has considered adding facial recognition technology to its Ring doorbell cameras, according to a letter to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), per AP.

  • Facial recognition is a "contemplated, but unreleased feature."
Mike Allen

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