Nov 22, 2017

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good Wednesday morning, and happy getaway day. An encouragement for a head start on resolutions, which flashed above Roy and me as we dogged the run at Orangetheory Fitness: "Yesterday you said today."

Bulletin ... "A United Nations war crimes tribunal convicted Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general, ... of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims during the breakup of Yugoslavia." (N.Y. Times)

1 big thing: You have no privacy

Uber's belated announcement of a "2016 Data Security Incident" — the hack of personal information about 57 million Uber users around the world —is the latest in a barrage of breaches that shows we can't count on any privacy, regardless of how personally cautious/paranoid we are.

  • Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, admitted in a blog post that Uber failed "to notify affected individuals or regulators last year."
  • The CEO added: "We are changing the way we do business."
  • Bloomberg says Uber "paid hackers $100,000 to delete info, keep quiet."

USA Today compiled figures on other massive breaches. Consider the union of all these users — it's virtually everybody:

  • Yahoo: 1 billion (Dec. 2016)
  • Equifax: 143 million (Sept. 2017)
  • Target: 110 million (Nov. 2013)
  • LinkedIn: 100 million (May 2016)
  • Home Depot: 53 million, (Sept. 2014)
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management: 21.5 million (July 2015)

Be smart: This is a creeping change in our society — not based on any one announcement or event. But these breaches, which the targeted corporations have repeatedly tried to conceal and understate, show that all of us have either had private data captured and resold underground, or will soon enough.

2. Behind the curtain

A source close to Trump tells Axios' Jonathan Swan what led to the president's statement yesterday boosting Roy Moore, delivered on the South Lawn as the first family headed to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving:

  • "He basically said we can't lose an Alabama seat when we've got such a slim majority already. ... Said he doesn't know what's true and what's not, but some of the stuff is clearly political. You've got Gloria Allred somehow involved. You've got a guy who's been in the spotlight for decades and run for office a bunch of times, and this never comes out until four weeks before an election."
3. Repercussions from Charlie Rose

There was no "if true." Reflecting quickly changing times, Charlie Rose's "CBS Morning News" co-hosts delivered unsparing denunciations of their former friend and colleague, hours before CBS announced his firing: Norah O'Donnell: "This has to end. ... This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand, and more generally the safety of women. Let me be very clear. There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive and I've been doing a lot of listening."Gayle King: "I really am reeling. I got 1 hour and 42 minutes of sleep last night — both my son and my daughter called me. Oprah called me and said: 'Are you OK?' I am not OK. After reading that article in the [Washington] Post — it was deeply disturbing, troubling and painful for me to read."P.S. "Rose's swift firing clouds CBS morning show's future," by L.A. Times' Stephen Battaglio, on A1: "CBS News President David Rhodes' decisive — and rapid — action reflects heightened responsiveness from companies as more women come forward with allegations against prominent media and entertainment industry figures in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal."

Bonus: Pic du jour

German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who this week was unable to assemble the coalition needed to form a government, and now is contemplating a snap election — attends a plenary session of the German parliament Bundestag in Berlin yesterday.

4. Trump's "virtual wall"

"President Trump's vision of a 'big, beautiful' wall along the Mexican border may never be realized. ... But in a systematic and less visible way, his administration is following a blueprint to reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States," the WashPost's Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff point out on A1:

  • "[F]ederal officials are wielding executive authority to assemble a bureaucratic wall that could be more effective than any concrete and metal one."
  • "The administration has moved to slash the number of refugees, accelerate deportations and terminate the provisional residency of more than a million people."
  • Why it matters: The moves could change the U.S. immigration system "for generations to come."
  • "Trump administration officials say they are simply upholding laws their predecessors did not and preserving American jobs."
5. New dereg move: Win for cable, wireless

The FCC's plan to roll back Obama-era net neutrality rules will allow internet providers to block or throttle content or offer paid fast lanes as long as they tell their customers, Axios' David McCabe reports:

  • The FCC's argument is that broadband providers are spending less on their networks because of the rules, something that is disputed by supporters of the rules.
  • FCC officials say lifting the blanket ban on "fast lanes" will be good for consumers but also for web services that would have to pay for preferential access.
  • Why it matters: The decision to lift the rules will open the door to internet providers charging customers more when they want to access a website, or giving them discounts to access content the provider produced.
6. U.S. shuns global trade, opens door to China

Axios' Chris Canipe and Steve LeVine visualize trade as a proxy for geopolitical influence in Asia — what happens with President Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Explore, share the graphic.

7. Where we are: "Good-ish" growth forecasts

Leo Abruzzese, global director of public policy for The Economist Intelligence Unit, promising "Good-ish times for the global economy," in the magazine's "The World in 2018" special:

  • "Global output in 2017 grew at the fastest pace since 2010, but the year was hardly buoyant. Global growth (at market exchange rates) chugged along at 2.9%, below the 3% that was once considered just average."
  • "Growth in 2018 will be a bit slower, at 2.7%, but that hides a more encouraging reality: all of the big economies, developed and emerging, will be moving ahead."
  • "America and the European Union will both grow by a respectable 2% or so, Brazil and Russia are out of their latest recessions, once-tigerish Asian economies such as Indonesia and Malaysia will muster a peppy 5%, and India will race along at nearly 8%."
  • "Only debt-ridden China looks genuinely worrying, but the masters of the Middle Kingdom will still stoke enough demand to push growth to nearly 6%."

See more from The Economist's "The World in 2018."

8. Mugabe successor returns from exile

"Zimbabwe's former vice-president, whose sacking led to the shock resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe, will be sworn in as the new president on Friday," BBC reports:

  • Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, will fly home today.
  • The end of Mugabe's 37-year rule sparked wild celebrations across the country late into the night.
  • "The announcement that the 93-year-old was stepping down came in the form of a letter read out in parliament, ... abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him."
  • "Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary." Ha!

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... David Mushakwe, a car electrician in Harare: "I just want to say to His Excellency: 'Go and rest now, our father. We still love you. But we're happy today. We're hoping now for a better future.'"

9. Coming attractions

First lady Melania Trump and Barron Trump, 11, greet a 19½-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin at the North Portico on Monday. AP's Darlene Superville says the tree will be displayed in the Blue Room:

  • "The White House grounds superintendent and the chief usher, who oversees the residence, picked out the tree during a September scouting trip."
  • "The tree for the Blue Room usually arrives the day after Thanksgiving, but it was delivered early this year to accommodate the Trumps, who [left yesterday for] their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida."
  • "While the Trumps are away, a small army of volunteer decorators and florists from around the country will descend on the White House on Friday and spend the holiday weekend transforming the 132-room mansion for Christmas, complete with a tree in every public room."
10. 1 historic thing: 54 years ago today

AP Was There ... Nov. 22, 1963: "The Associated Press is republishing a version of its report ... It is published as it was originally, and contains an error in the first paragraph, which refers to Kennedy as the 36th president, instead of the 35th.


DALLAS, TX., NOV. 22 (AP) - President John F. Kennedy, thirty-sixth president of the United States, was shot to death today by a hidden assassin armed with a high-powered rifle.

  • Kennedy, 46, lived about an hour after a sniper cut him down as his limousine left downtown Dallas.
  • Automatically, the mantle of the presidency fell to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native Texan who had been riding two cars behind the chief executive.
  • There was no immediate word on when Johnson would take the oath of office. ...
  • The new president, Lyndon Johnson, and his wife left the hospital ... Newsmen had no opportunity to question them. ... One witness, television reporter Mal Couch, said he saw a gun emerge from an upper story of a warehouse commanding an unobstructed view of the presidential car.
  • Kennedy was the first president to be assassinated since William McKinley was shot in 1901. It was the first death of a president in office since Franklin D. Roosevelt succumbed to cerebral hemorrhage at Warm Springs, Georgia, in April 1945.

The motorcade sped on.

Mike Allen