Dec 10, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 428 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: The Navy has grounded more than 175 Saudi Arabian military aviation students at three U.S. bases after an attack by a Saudi Air Force lieutenant killed three Americans at Naval Air Station Pensacola last week. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Trump’s Christmas gift to America

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump looks highly likely to head into Christmas impeached but riding high with record low unemployment, a surging stock market and a bipartisan trade deal to replace NAFTA.  

Why it matters: This will fittingly stuff every partisan’s stockings with reasons to tell family he’s the greatest or worst president in American history.

Today's remarkable split screen:

  • 9:13 a.m.: Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment.
  • 10:09 a.m.: Democrats announced they'll back the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces NAFTA.

Between the lines: It's no coincidence that House Speaker Pelosi's concerns with USMCA have been satisfied at the same time as the articles of impeachment are presented and prepared for votes, Axios' Margaret Talev emails.

  • For the 30-odd House Democrats in Trump districts for whom impeachment is a potentially perilous vote, this gives them a way to show that impeachment did not interfere with their ability to get stuff done — and gives them a vote to take home that will be important to a lot of their constituents. 

House Republicans are resigned to the fact that they are powerless to the eventual outcome that Trump will become the third U.S. president to be impeached, Rep. Mark Meadows told Axios' Alayna Treene.

  • “Elections have consequences. We're in the minority."
  • “Strategically, there's nothing that will affect the outcome, ultimately. There are lots of things we can do to highlight things. But, not, not to stop it.”

The bottom line: There's a real chance America re-elects an impeached president next year, and a chance he gets impeached again.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Firefighters are seen by containment lines at the Three Mile Fire in Australia.

  • Nearly 100 wildfires are burning across New South Wales, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. (Liveblog).
2. What you missed
  1. John Bolton is publicly criticizing the Trump administration's decision to stymie a United Nations Security Council meeting on North Korea's human rights abuses. Go deeper.
  2. Attorney General Bill Barr dismissed some of the findings of the Justice Department's inspector general report on the FBI, saying the prosecutor he appointed will have the final say. Go deeper.
  3. A Chilean military cargo plane crashed while flying to the country's base in Antarctica. It was carrying 38 people. Go deeper.
  4. Elizabeth Warren is out with a "Blue New Deal" that includes plans to speed up offshore wind projects, expand marine sanctuaries, and bolster the use of oceans to soak up carbon emissions. Go deeper.
3. Quote du jour

Adam Sandler in a scene from "Uncut Gems.” Photo: AP

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University, referencing Adam Sandler's overwhelming popularity:

  • “Nobody ever gave a chef’s award to a Chicken McNugget, but we still love them in the tens of millions of people.”

Go deeper: The NY Times profiled Sandler last month