Happy Monday! It's the calm before this week's impeachment storm.
- Our cheat sheet on what's coming.
Today's PM — edited by Shane Savitsky — is 526 words ... a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Mayor Pete's twist on college debt
Pete Buttigieg, who recently rocketed to the top of polls in Iowa, released a $500 billion college affordability plan today, which would make public college tuition free for households earning under $100,000 and inject $120 billion into federal Pell Grants.
- It contrasts with more expansive proposals from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who want to wipe out all college tuition and debt — though nearly every 2020 contender has their own ideas.
- The WashPost's editorial board called Buttigieg's plan "the most progressive" among 2020 Democrats "because it is more affordable and better targeted."
Why it matters: College affordability is set to be a key issue in 2020 as the American electorate undergoes a distinct shift — with millennials and Generation Zers making up 37% of eligible voters.
- Gen Z is set to surpass the Silent Generation in voter share for the first time, a significant milestone as those new voters skew heavily liberal and are almost half non-white.
- College students turned out to vote at double the rate in the 2018 midterms than in the 2014 cycle — a trend that seems likely to continue in 2020.
By the numbers: The class of 2018 graduated with a record average of $29,200 in loans for a bachelor's degree, but the issue of college debt affects a wider swath of the country than just current students and recent graduates.
- Americans over 60 hold $86 billion in college debt, brought on by financing their kids' education or going back to school after the 2008 financial crisis.
- The cost of college is also depleting rural America of its best and brightest as debt-saddled graduates head to major cities to find better-paying jobs.
The bottom line: Buttigieg, as a moderate millennial Midwestern mayor, seems uniquely suited to speak to the issue of college affordability, and that opportunity is arriving just as he peaks in the polls.
Bonus: Pics du jour
Protesters react as police fire tear gas while they attempt to march toward Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
- The campus "transformed into an apocalyptic scene ... as riot police armed with tear gas and rubber bullets surrounded pro-democracy protesters," writes Vox.
2. What you missed
- The Supreme Court temporarily blocked House Democrats' subpoena for President Trump's tax returns until both sides can file the necessary legal papers. Read the filing.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. will no longer view Israeli settlements as "inconsistent with international law." Go deeper.
- The House is investigating whether Trump lied in his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller in the wake of new revelations from Roger Stone's trial. Read more.
- California's attorney general announced that the state is suing Juul for allegedly targeting teenagers with its ads. The big picture.
- Kylie Jenner cemented her billionaire status after she sold a majority stake in her cosmetics company to Coty for $600 million. Details.
3. 1 fun thing
"The Hyper-Organized Christmas Shopper ... Conscientious millennials and bargain-seeking moms are wrapping up their holiday shopping before most people even start," reports the Wall Street Journal's Anne Marie Chaker (subscription).
- "A shorter-than-usual period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is hastening the early push."
- "Some big retailers are pushing marketing promotions earlier, hoping to coax dollars out of shoppers sooner."
- "And a penchant among millennials for sharing extreme organizational feats on Instagram ... is spilling into holiday shopping habits too."