Nov 22, 2017

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: The FAA reports few delays at the nation's airports on what is often the busiest travel day of the year. Sorry to folks traveling through Newark and New York's La Guardia. The full map.

1 big thing: Congress should be terrified of December

In the span of six days, three members of Congress have apologized for sexual misconduct and lewd behavior, providing ample reason for their peers to fear the weeks ahead.

The list:

  • Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) faces two accusations of unwanted groping, along with a Senate Ethics Committee probe.
  • In the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) has been linked to multiple sexual harassment claims, one paid out by his congressional office.
  • Today, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) apologized for a nude photo of himself that surfaced on Twitter. He does not face any accusations of wrongdoing.

Why it matters, per Axios' Jonathan Swan: We thought we'd be spending December talking about tax reform and an end of year spending deal. A much safer bet: the next month we'll be watching multiple careers of multiple members of Congress thrown into peril over new sexual claims. Newsrooms are throwing serious resources into this story and victims feel liberated. This is the beginning, not the end, of a story that will upend the Capitol.

Go deeper: Our card deck of men accused of sexual misconduct.

P.S. Alabama's special election is on December 12, and the communications director for Roy Moore resigned today. (Meet Moore's opponent.)

2. What you missed
  1. Facebook will tell users whether they followed pages set up by Russian operatives as part of a broad campaign to interfere in the 2016 election. Details.
  2. The former doctor for the U.S. gymnastics team pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the abuse of seven girls. Background.
  3. Today is the deadline to apply for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program lottery. More.
  4. Some 1.8 million Chinese coal and steel workers will lose their jobs by the end of the year, victims of the government's shift to cleaner industries and a shutdown of small enterprises. Go deeper.
  5. Bankrupt retailer Toys "R" Us disclosed in court papers that it paid CEO David Brandon a $2.8 million retention bonus just before filing for Chapter 11 protection in September. The rest.
3. One wild video

A video released by the United Nations shows the North Korean soldier who defected to the South on November 13th making his getaway in a green jeep, running towards the border separating Panmunjom, North Korea from the South, and then collapsing on the South Korean side.

Watch the video.

Mike Allen