Aug 10, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: The Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will kick off on September 4th, guaranteeing an interesting lead-up to the midterm elections.

1 big thing: The kids are doing all right

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Generation Z is the first generation to grow up without landlines, and they're handling at least one aspect of being off the grid better than you'd expect, the AP's Leanne Italie reports.

Details: "About 90 percent of the nearly 8,400 sleepaway camps counted by the American Camp Association are now device free, though some allow limited time with screenless iPods and other internet-free music players."

  • "Thirteen-year-old Daniela Blumenfeld... just finished her fifth summer at sleepaway camp with no devices beyond a simple iPod."
  • “I didn’t really miss my phone," she told the AP.
  • "Some camps provide scheduled computer and internet time — partly for coding, app development or website design classes built into their curricula, and partly for limited time on games such as the immensely popular Fortnite, an online multiplayer survival/shooting experience."
  • "Nigel Watson, camp director at the French Woods Sports and Arts Center, a high school-only sleepaway camp in the Catskills near New York... lets kids use phones and other devices in their cabins, but nowhere else, so long as they power them down at lights-out.
  • "His surprising finding: The phones often end up in a drawer after a few days at camp."

The big picture, via Axios' Sara Fischer: The impact of these technologies on children’s health is relatively unknown, and the increase in use and access by developing children and teens has experts and parents worried.

  • Studies have shown that prolonged usage of some of these tools have mental, emotional and physical side effects, as well as safety risks.
  • A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced the Children and Media Research Advancement Act (CAMRA) Act, which would provide $95 million for the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of technology on kids' health.
  • And other parents are looking to parental control settings to help mitigate kids’ screen time.

Be smart: Creating opportunities to spend time in person with others should be a priority for everyone worried about the effect of screen time and device addiction.

Bonus: Photo du jour

Photo: VCG

This scrapyard in Guangzhou, China has more than 6,000 illegal motorcycles that local police seized during the past year.

2. What you missed
  1. The NFL is back, and so is President Trump's anti-kneeling crusade. He called for unpaid suspensions today after players kneeled during last night's preseason action. Go deeper.
  2. The White House called former staffer Omarosa a liar today, as her forthcoming book reportedly claims there are tapes of Trump of using the N-word, among other allegations. Go deeper.
  3. The Turkish lira dropped to an all-time low today as Trump announced higher steel and aluminum tariffs against it. Go deeper.
  4. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is likely to have below average activity, forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced today. Go deeper.
  5. The Saudi-led coalition is promising to investigate yesterday's strike in Yemen that killed and injured dozens of civilians, including children. Go deeper.
3. 1 beach read

Illustration: Axios Visuals

A worthy read, and a thoughtful gift ... "Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II," by Frank Lavin (part of the "War and Society in North America" series from Ohio University Press):

  • Frank Lavin — former ambassador to Singapore under George W. Bush, and now an e-commerce CEO — built this book from letters home ("Dear Folks") from his dad, Carl Lavin, telling World War II "as seen by one foot soldier ... an American teenager who becomes a combat infantryman."
  • Frank uses military records, government documents and private papers to place the letters in context.

From the foreword by Henry Kissinger: "We sometimes forget that the US Army was, and is, essentially a force of teenagers and young men who are required to grapple with the exigencies of combat even as they are attempting to grapple with adulthood."

  • A note on the text: "We ... are aware that wartime censorship and Carl's desire not to alarm his family colored the letters, resulting in comments to the effect that there was not much going on or that everything was fine, when in fact there was a great deal going on and nothing was fine."
  • Dedication ... "To the men of Company L: We are here today because they were there yesterday."

Thanks for a great week, and happiest weekend to you and yours. I always love your notes: Just reply to this email (it goes to my real in-box), or

Mike Allen