Nov 12, 2017

Axios AM

Mike Allen

It's Veterans Day weekend. Amid an anxious and historic year, it's a worthy moment to pause and unplug — to give thanks to our heroes, mourn our victims, lament the predators and liars, and contemplate our future.

For news, plunge into Axios.com. But first, here's an Axios AM special edition, inspired by Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. If you have friends or colleagues who'd like to join our breakfast conversations, have them sign up free for Axios AM here.

Too often, we cover news from 50,000 feet — a safe remove that can bring clarity, but also abets haziness. News — good and bad — is people, one by one. For your contemplation ...

1 American thing: The heroes

These women and men have lost their lives in three wars without end that few follow and fewer understand: Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader hunt for terrorists everywhere.

  • Since 9/11, U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan: 2,216.
  • Total U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4,411.

Here are the Defense Department's casualty releases from 2017:

  • Army Spc. Isiah L. Booker, of Cibolo, Texas, died Jan. 7 in Jordan, in a non-combat-related incident.
  • Army Spc. John P. Rodriguez, of Hemet, Calif., died Jan. 12, in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in a non-combat-related incident.
  • Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill., died Jan. 29 in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen, of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.
  • Army Pfc. Brian. P. Odiorne, 21, of Ware, Mass., died Feb. 20, in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from a non-combat-related incident.
  • Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert R. Boniface, 34, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., died March 19, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat-related incident.
  • Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin Bieren, 25, of Umatilla, Ore., died March 28 in northern Syria in a non-combat-related incident while deployed in support of combat operations.
  • Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, of Edgewood, Md., died April 8 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations.
  • Army Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Ill., died April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations.
  • Army Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio, died April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations.
  • Army 1st Lt. Weston C. Lee, 25, of Bluffton, Ga., died April 29, in Mosul, Iraq, from injuries while conducting security as part of support to partnered forces.
  • Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5 in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
  • Army Spc. Etienne J. Murphy, 22, of Loganville, Ga., died May 26, in Al-Hasakah, Syria, of injuries sustained during a vehicle-rollover-related incident.
  • Army Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore died June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds.
  • Army Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, Calif., died June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds.
  • Army Corporal Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, N.C., died June 10 in Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of gunshot wounds.
  • Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Board, 49, of Barboursville, W.Va., died August 2 in Kuwait in a non-combat-related incident while deployed in support of combat operations.
  • Army Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn died Aug. 13 of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
  • Army Spc. Allen Levi Stigler Jr., 22, of Arlington, Texas, died Aug. 13 of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
  • Army GS-12 Daniel Hoadley, 54, of Colorado Springs died Aug. 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a non-combat-related incident.
  • Army Spc. Alexander W. Missildine, 20, of Tyler, Texas, died Oct. 1 in Salah ad-Din Province, Iraq, as a result of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy.
  • Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash., died Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger.
  • Army Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio, died Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger.
  • Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Fla., died Oct. 4 following an ambush in Niger.
  • Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga., died Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger.
  • Army Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims, 36, of Juneau, Alaska, died Oct. 27 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained when he was involved in a helicopter crash.
  • Army Sgt. First Class Stephen B. Cribben, 33, of Simi Valley, Calif., died Nov. 4 in Logar Province, Afghanistan as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations.
2. The innocents

Our nation has never lost so many in such a short time in mass shootings. Their ages range from 1 to 77, all killed while enjoying friends, family and freedom:

Las Vegas country music festival ... 58 killed by shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Oct. 1:

  • Hannah Ahlers, 34
  • Heather Alvarado, 35
  • Dorene Anderson, 49
  • Carrie Barnette, 34
  • Jack Beaton, 54
  • Steve Berger, 44
  • Candice Bowers, 40
  • Denise Burditus, 50
  • Sandy Casey, 34
  • Andrea Castilla, 28
  • Denise Cohen, 58
  • Austin Davis, 29
  • Thomas Day Jr., 54
  • Christiana Duarte, 22
  • Stacee Etcheber, 50
  • Brian Fraser, 39
  • Keri Galvan, 41
  • Dana Gardner, 52
  • Angela Gomez, 20
  • Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40
  • Charleston Hartfield, 34
  • Chris Hazencomb, 44
  • Jennifer Topaz Irvine, 42
  • Teresa Nicol Kimura, 38
  • Jessica Klymchuk, 34
  • Carly Kreibaum, 33
  • Rhonda LeRocque, 42
  • Victor Link, 55
  • Jordan McIldoon, 23
  • Kelsey Meadows, 28
  • Calla-Marie Medig, 28
  • James "Sonny" Melton, 29
  • Patricia Mestas, 67
  • Austin Meyer, 24
  • Adrian Murfitt, 35
  • Rachael Parker, 33
  • Jenny Parks, 36
  • Carrie Parsons, 31
  • Lisa Patterson, 46
  • John Phippen, 56
  • Melissa Ramirez, 26
  • Jordyn Rivera, 21
  • Quinton Robbins, 20
  • Cameron Robinson, 28
  • Tara Roe, 34
  • Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48
  • Chris Roybal, 28
  • Brett Schwanbeck, 61
  • Bailey Schweitzer, 20
  • Laura Shipp, 50
  • Erick Silva, 21
  • Susan Smith, 53
  • Brennan Stewart, 30
  • Derrick "Bo" Taylor, 56
  • Neysa Tonks, 46
  • Michelle Vo, 32
  • Kurt von Tillow, 55
  • Bill Wolfe, 42

First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs ... 26 killed during Sunday service on Nov. 5:

  • Keith Allen Braden, 62
  • Robert Michael Corrigan, 51
  • Shani Louise Corrigan, 51
  • Emily Garcia (died at the hospital), 7
  • Emily Rose Hill, 11
  • Gregory Lynn Hill, 13
  • Megan Gail Hill, 9
  • Carlin Brite "Billy Bob" Holcombe (unborn)
  • Crystal Marie Holcombe (pregnant), 36
  • John Bryan Holcombe, 60
  • Karla Plain Holcombe, 58
  • Marc Daniel Holcombe, 36
  • Noah Holcombe, 1
  • Dennis Neil Johnson Sr., 77
  • Sara Johns Johnson, 68
  • Haley Krueger, 16
  • Karen Sue Marshall, 56
  • Robert Scott Marshall, 56
  • Tara E. McNulty, 33
  • Annabelle Renae Pomeroy, 14
  • Ricardo Cardona Rodriguez, 64
  • Therese Sagan Rodriguez, 66
  • Brooke Bryanne Ward, 5
  • Joann Lookingbill Ward, 30
  • Peggy Lynn Warden, 56
  • Lula Woicinski White, 71
3. #MeToo: The predators

An uprising of women wronged everywhere is exposing the abuse of the powerful in movies, music, media, politics and business. Workplaces will never be the same. Among those exposed or accused:

​4. The Russia connection

Russia infiltrated our elections. And an astonishing number of Trump associates turned out to have possible connections, providing a feast for special counsel Bob Mueller:

Indicted:

Pleaded guilty:

Questioned by FBI:

Omissions from disclosure forms:

Interviewed by Mueller team:

5. The enablers

Russia exploited our favorite toys and tools, exposing an acute vulnerability at the heart of the technologies that dominate our time and minds. Social media will never again be seen the same:

  • Facebook: Russian agents' inflammatory posts reached 126 million users.
  • Google: Russian agents bought $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads.
  • Twitter: Russian agents published more than 131,000 messages.
  • You Tube: Russian agents uploaded more than 1,100 videos lasting 43 hours, with 309,000 views.
6. 1 great thing

For all the tears, all the stress, all the controversy, give thanks for this:

Most Americans do the right thing — defend our nation, rescue the injured, stand for neighbors, lead with humility and honor. Take today to savor this.

Bonus pic ...

... from yesterday's Veterans Day parade in New York City. What a country!

Mike Allen