Jun 9, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🎬 Good Sunday morning. See you at 6 p.m. ET/PT for "Axios on HBO: Ina Fried interviews Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Jonathan Swan travels to Italy to check Steve Bannon's claims about his populist movement.

  • Situational awareness ... Hillary Clinton tweeted: "We lost my brother Tony [Friday] night. It’s hard to find words, my mind is flooded with memories of him today. When he walked into a room he’d light it up with laughter."
1 big thing: Dem-on-Dem attacks begin

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The niceties have ended: 2020 Democrats are breaking their pledge not to go after each another. The attacks of the past week show what a long primary they're in for, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes:

  • Why it matters: These jabs and skirmishes show a fracturing Democratic Party — exactly what some top Democrats wanted to avoid in order to maximize the chance of defeating President Trump.

Driving the news: Progressives and centrists are going at each other before any of them has stepped onto a debate stage.

  • Virtually the entire field went after Joe Biden this week for supporting the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortion in most cases.
  • Biden felt the heat, and announced Thursday that he no longer supports Hyde because Republicans are making “extreme laws."
  • John Hickenlooper and John Delaney got booed by a room of progressives at the California Democratic Party convention for criticizing socialism, the Green New Deal, and Medicare for All.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a hint that Delaney should drop out.

Between the lines: With Dem-on-Dem attacks sure to escalate as debates begin June 26, the Trump campaign and the RNC will enjoy every minute.

In photos: Democratic hopefuls swarm Des Moines Pride Fest.

2. 2020 vision: College debt becomes major issue
Beto O'Rourke nears the finish line behind his wife, Amy, in the Pride Fun Run 5K in Des Moines yesterday. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Pete Buttigieg's high college debt — $130,000, between him and his husband, Chasten — has helped make student loans a major 2020 issue, AP's Michelle Smith writes:

  • Several candidates have made major proposals to address the crisis, including wiping away debt, lowering interest rates, expanding programs that tie repayment terms to income, and making college free or debt-free.

The data: Student loan debt is often discussed in terms of millennials, but it cuts across age groups: 7.8 million people age 50 and older owe a combined $291.9 billion in student loans, federal statistics show.

Breaking ... Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN Iowa Poll: Biden leads (24%).

  • Sanders (16%), Warren (15%) and Buttigieg (14%): statistically tied for second.
  • Then it's Harris (7%), Klobuchar/O'Rourke (both 2%). Others are 2% or less.
3. Mexico agreed to border actions months before Trump's announcement
The border barrier between the U.S. (left) and Mexico runs down a hillside in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump hailed as a "new deal with Mexico!" in fact "consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions ... over the past several months, according to officials from both countries," the N.Y. Times reports.

  • The bottom line: "It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new ... concessions, or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs."

P.S. Mexico never agreed to a farm deal touted by Trump, per Bloomberg.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images

Angelina Jolie, UN special envoy for refugees, greets people during her visit to a refugee camp in Colombia, at the border with Venezuela.

  • The UN announced on Friday that 4 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015 due to the social, political and economic crisis.
  • "Globally, Venezuelans are one of the single largest population groups displaced from their country," the UN said.
4. Amazon to begin drone-deliveries "within months"
Photo: Jordan Stead/Amazon via AP

Amazon said this week that it'll begin using drones to deliver packages to some shoppers' homes "within months," AP's Joseph Pisani reports.

  • Amazon said its new drones use computer vision and machine learning to detect and avoid people or clotheslines in backyards when landing.

The drones can fly up to 15 miles, deliver in 30 minutes and carry goods that weigh up to 5 pounds, like a paperback or toothpaste.

  • Jeff Wilke, who oversees Amazon's retail business, said the company is working with several regulatory agencies to get approval.
5. Supreme Court polarizes

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warns of more 5-4 decisions ahead, AP's Jessica Gresk0 reports:

  • At a conference for judges, Ginsburg noted that of 43 new cases decided since October, just over a quarter had a 5-4 or 5-3 vote.
  • Those rulings tend to split the court's five more conservative justices from its four liberal members, including Ginsburg.

Why it matters: The remarks suggest close votes as justices finish the term that ends this month, with decisions expected about the census and electoral maps.

6. 🛶 1 "fun" thing: Multi-family vacation

"The martyr. The mooch. The whiner. The foodie. The control freak. The peacemaker. The iron fist. The drunk. The obsessed pet owner. The 'I ran 10 miles before dawn, what did you do this morning?""

  • "When it comes to the family vacation, everyone has a role," the Boston Globe's Beth Teitell writes.

Sherry Kuehl, author of the Snarky in the Suburbs blog and books, recalled her one and only “Hey, we’re all related so let’s travel together” trip:

  • "The vacation featured: the New Parent Who Believes a Baby Should 'cry it out' All Night in the Shared Condo (her brother); a Germophobe Afraid to Send her Kids to the Beach (her cousin); the Baby Who Has to Get Her Way (her mother-in-law)."

Worth asking: "Who are you on vacation? Are you sure?"

  • "Is the person who has bought tickets to a movie — and who wants to leave in time to see that movie — the 'scheduler' or the 'drill sergeant?'"
Mike Allen

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