Aug 29, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Breaking: "The Trump administration is set to announce [today] that it intends to sharply curtail the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change." (N.Y. Times)

🏝️ Happy Thursday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,186 words ... 4 minutes.

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1 big thing: Sanders' plan to restructure your life

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders, with a series of new policy plans, has put into full, detailed view how he would reorder or referee almost every part of American life, Axios' Jim VandeHei and Juliet Bartz write.

  • Why it matters: A new Quinnipiac Poll shows Sanders leads Trump, 53% to 39%. So yes, America might elect a socialist. Meanwhile, he's pulling the 2020 field closer to his views.

A Sanders government would take control of ...

  • Your energy choices: His Green New Deal would spend $16 trillion to force you to stop using the energy mostly used today — oil, gas and nuclear. He promises cleaner power and air in return.
  • Your house and car: The Sanders government would pay to weatherize homes and small businesses, and to upgrade gas-powered cars for electric ones. He would mandate the end of conventional gas car manufacturing in a decade.
  • Your health insurance: He would eliminate private insurance and put you on a government plan more generous than Medicare. No more copays, deductibles or premiums, too.
  • Your current student debt: He would eliminate it for everyone.
  • Your kids' college: Everyone gets free tuition at public universities, community colleges, trade schools and apprenticeship programs, too.
  • Your teachers: He will hire more teachers, pay them more, and fund better school supplies.
  • Your job: He promises full employment.
  • Your wage: He would guarantee you at least $15 per hour.
  • Your rich friends: They'll be paying for much of this with a fat tax increase.
  • Your own taxes: Sanders has been vague on this one. But the total cost of just the programs listed above are $20 trillion-plus at the lowest possible end over a decade, excluding Medicare for All, which experts say could at least double the total.

What the Sanders campaign says ... Josh Orton, policy director, tells Axios:

  • "Bernie will continue to fight for proposals that save American families money and hold giant corporations accountable. ... [T]he cost of doing nothing is significantly more expensive for average Americans."

🎤 Go deeper: Listen to a Joe Rogan interview with Sanders for one of the more detailed, coherent articulations of his philosophy. (YouTube)

2. And then there were 10
Screenshot via MSNBC

Hours ahead of the midnight deadline to qualify for next month's debate in Houston, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race after spending at least $4 million on advertising.

  • Among others missing out: Tom Steyer, Bill de Blasio, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Marianne Williamson, Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. (AP)
3. Tariffs reshaping tech
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Tariffs in the U.S.-China trade war are already causing tech companies in both countries to rethink how and where they do business, Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried reports.

  • Why it matters: For all their differences, the U.S. and Chinese tech industries remain very interdependent — each country contributes a great deal of business to the other's economy.

Trump argues that Apple and other tech companies should return manufacturing to the U.S. But that's considered unrealistic.

  • At most, tariffs are likely to cause manufacturers to move production from China to other countries.

The bottom line: The tech industry's global supply chain took years to assemble, and it won't dissolve overnight. But even if the Trump administration's most bellicose trade-war scenarios don't materialize, the tariff fight has added a deep layer of uncertainty to how companies operate globally.

  • Wide-open world trade was the rock-solid foundation for decades of tech expansion.
  • Now, more defensive behavior and slower growth are likely.
4. Pic du jour: Dorian heads for Florida
This satellite image taken yesterday shows Dorian, a Category 1 hurricane, crossing over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Photo: NOAA via AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Dorian caused limited damage in the northern Caribbean and is pushing toward Florida as it threatens to become a Category 3.

🇵🇷 "Hurricane Exposes Painful Memories for an Anxious Island," the N.Y. Times reports. ... María E. Meléndez, mayor of Ponce, P.R., on the fragility of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure since Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck two years ago:

"The electrical grid is held together with tape."
5. "The Man Who Couldn’t Take It Anymore"

Then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis is saluted by a member of his Army helicopter crew as he arrives in Kabul in 2017. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images

Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, interviews former Defense Secretary James Mattis, out Sept. 3 with "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead."

  • "I had no choice but to leave," the retired general told Goldberg.
  • "I couldn’t stay. I’ve been informed by four decades of experience, and I just couldn’t connect the dots anymore."

But he wouldn't say more about President Trump. Pressed by Goldberg, Mattis offered an implicit contrast:

[O]ne of my models ... is George Washington. Washington’s idea of leadership was that first you listen, then you learn, then you help, and only then do you lead. It is a somewhat boring progression, but it’s useful. What you try to do in that learning phase is find common ground.

Keep reading.

6. Prep sports dropoff
Expand chart
Data: National Federation of State High School Associations. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

High school sports participation dropped last year for the first time in 30 years.

7. 🚦 Data du jour
Overland Park, Kansas. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP

AAA figures show the number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high, AP reports.

  • In 2017, the latest figures available, 939 people were killed by vehicles blowing through red lights — the highest death toll since 2008 and 28% higher than in 2012.

Why it matters: Brian Tefft, senior researcher for the AAA Foundation, said he suspects distracted driving played a role.

8. 🦆 "Can New York City Live Without Foie Gras?"
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

A proposed ban on foie gras is making its way through the New York City Council, and "duck farmers and animal rights activists are scrambling to make their respective cases," the N.Y. Times reports.

  • Why it matters: "The bill could come up for a vote in the fall; more than half of the Council has signed on as co-sponsors, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supports the intent."

The bottom line: "Foie gras, as a luxury item, is an easy target, compared with animals raised industrially for wide consumption."

  • Foie gras is "enjoyed by foodies and gourmets: people most of this country resents," Mark Caro, who wrote "The Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000-Year-Old Delicacy Inspired the World's Fiercest Food Fight," told The Times.
  • "There’s a definite anti-snob thing going on."
9. 🎬 Coming attractions: "The Girls on the Bus"

Netflix is planning a series, "The Girls on the Bus," inspired by a chapter of N.Y. Times writer Amy Chozick's best-selling "Chasing Hillary."

  • Netflix says the show "chronicles four female journalists who follow the every move of a parade of flawed presidential candidates, finding friendship, love, and a scandal that could take down not just the presidency but our entire democracy."

Netflix notes that the series "is not about Hillary Clinton or the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

10. 1 soap thing
Marriott's new look. Photo: Dan Huff/AP

Marriott International, the world's largest hotel chain, will replace those little plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel with larger bottles (for its luxury chains), or wall-mounted dispensers (for lower-priced brands), in hotels worldwide by the end of 2020, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Marriott, which has more than 7,000 hotels under 30 brands, will eliminate 500 million small bottles a year, or 1.7 million pounds of plastic.
  • Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said it took a lot of work to design tamper-resistant large bottles, and his pricier hotels need bottles that still feel luxurious.

The move follows a similar announcement last month by IHG (Holiday Inn, Kimpton), which will eliminate 200 million tiny bottles each year by 2021.

  • Hyatt says it's been testing amenity dispensers for the last year.
Mike Allen

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