Nov 4, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 533 words, a 2-minute read.

  • Situational awareness: President Trump got a step closer to pulling America out of the Paris Climate Agreement by sending a withdrawal letter to the United Nations. Go deeper.
1 big thing: National parks showdown

Crowds at Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto

If the Trump administration has its way, our national parks may be set for a major overhaul that's much broader than just electric bikes on trails.

  • "At the urging of a controversial team of advisors, the Trump administration is mulling proposals to privatize national park campgrounds and further commercialize the parks with expanded Wi-Fi service, food trucks and even Amazon deliveries at tourist camp sites," the LA Times reports.
  • One proposal would phase out senior discounts during peak seasons.

Why it matters: The U.S. National Park Service is nearly $12 billion in the hole on necessary repairs that largely pre-date the Trump administration, according to Pew Trust.

The big picture: “Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have sought to privatize an array of public services," per the LA Times.

  • "At the same time, the White House has sought to reduce spending for many public services, such as its plan to cut the National Park Service’s budget by $481 million in 2020."
  • The committee's pitch for privatization: “There is also broad consensus that the current national park campground system, largely operated by federal employees, combines inadequate and outmoded visitor infrastructure," The Hill reports.

Between the lines: Many members of the committee, which was created by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, would potentially benefit from privatization, the Washington Post previously reported.

  • Members include the operators of concession companies that have contracts at the parks, a company that produces electric bicycles and the former president of the world's largest private campground.

The bottom line: This might not have the edge of an impeachment fight, but any time the outdoors lobby and AARP are at potential loggerheads, look out.

Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Above: Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki wears a "Make America Great Again" hat as President Trump welcomes the team to the White House.

Below: First baseman Ryan Zimmerman presents Trump with a team jersey.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Go deeper: Nationals closer defends rejecting White House invite

2. What you missed
  1. The House Intelligence Committee released the transcripts of its interview with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Go deeper.
  2. The Justice Department is warning the infamous "anonymous" Trump official that they may be violating nondisclosure agreements. Go deeper.
  3. Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, has sued him for defamation. Go deeper.
  4. An alleged white supremacist has been arrested for conspiring to blow up Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Colorado. Go deeper.
  5. Microsoft's Bing search engine and Edge web browser will now focus primarily on business users. Go deeper.
  6. Medical device manufacturer Stryker is acquiring competitor Wright Medical for $4 billion in cash.
3. 1 🎮 thing

Photo: Sylvain Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

Here come the online coaches, fueled by a generation of kids who've grown up on competitive gaming like Fortnite, the Washington Post reports.

  • "Just as some people seek out a tennis or golf coach to assist them in their weekly matches with friends, so too are children and adults enlisting people ... to level up their online abilities."

Between the lines: "The appeal for those seeking instruction for themselves or their children goes beyond a potential pro gaming career, though."

  • "Parents want their kids to enjoy video games without losing all the time, which can bring dissatisfaction and frustration."

Worthy of your time.

Mike Allen