Jan 8, 2019

Axios PM

Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Mark Zuckerberg says his "personal challenge" for 2019 is to "host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society." Go deeper.

1 big thing: Trump’s border battle goes prime time

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Buckle up: President Trump's prime-time Oval Office speech tonight comes on Day 18 of a shutdown he caused on the issue he wants to define his presidency —immigration.

  • Following Trump's speech at 9 pm ET, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will appear on air from the House Speaker's Balcony Hallway.
  • Unlike last year, when Democrats could only express their concern about Trump, Pelosi now speaks as a figure Trump needs to deal with on equal terms.
  • Trump isn’t expected to declare a national emergency, WSJ reports.

Between the lines: Trump appears to be playing defense.

  • It's unclear why incoming Democrats would be swayed by this issue so shortly after the president made it a central election topic and his party lost the House.
  • House Democrats also plan to start introducing bills to re-open parts of the government, hoping the threat of defecting Republicans persuades leadership to break with Trump.
  • Senate Democrats are working to grind legislation to a standstill to pressure Mitch McConnell, the NY Times reports.
  • Trump will attend a Senate Republican lunch meeting on Wednesday, according to multiple people familiar with the decision.

The big picture: There has been a surge of asylum claims and families crossing the southern border this past year, but it is no worse than other increases in recent years, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

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Data: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

What's different is the ability of agencies to deal with this issue, as detention centers are full and traffickers are overwhelming border control by dropping off immigrants in remote areas.

Be smart: There was an abnormally low number of migrants caught crossing the border in 2017, likely due to the uncertainty and fear sparked by the first months of Trump's presidency. Keep that in mind when the White House touts large year-over-year increases in border crossings as it has to Congress.

Go deeper: All the ways Americans are feeling the effects of the shutdown

Bonus: Chart du jour

American deaths from cancer dropped 27% overall from 1991 to 2016, and racial disparities are slowly narrowing, according to a major new report from the American Cancer Society.

  • But the gap in the success rate is widening between socioeconomic groups, particularly in preventable cancers. And deaths from some cancers, mostly related to obesity, continue to rise, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
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Data: American Cancer Society Cancer Statistics, 2019; Note: "Poor" counties are those in which the poverty rate is between 21.18% and 53.95%, while "rich" counties have poverty rates between 1.81% and 10.84%; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Go deeper.

2. What you missed
  1. U.S. carbon emissions from energy jumped by 3.4% last year, ending years of declines. Energy is the overwhelming cause of emissions. Go deeper.
  2. The drones are back: London's Heathrow Airport announced that it had suspended departures Tuesday as authorities investigated a reported drone sighting. The airport has reopened. Go deeper.
  3. SoftBank has agreed to invest another $2 billion into WeWork, per multiple sources and reports. Go deeper.
  4. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, known for attending the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with top Trump campaign officials, has been charged with obstruction of justice in an unrelated money laundering case. Go deeper.
  5. And Mueller: An improperly redacted court filing revealed that the special counsel has accused Paul Manafort of lying about providing 2016 polling data to suspected Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik. Go deeper.
3. 1 morning thing

Parents have long known the virtue of using quiet mornings to be productive before the kids rise, but the trend appears to be increasingly matched by a desire for those mornings to be light on the devices, WSJ notes.

  • "Proponents spend time—sometimes hours—doing very little in the morning. Rising early, they relish beginning their day in quiet solitude, free of interruptions and deadlines. They say it provides a foundation for productivity, calm and focus that lasts the rest of the day."
  • "Some people meditate, plunge into cold water, slowly jump on trampolines or have no plan at all except for avoiding a rush."

Dive in.

Mike Allen