DEVELOPING … AP: “South Carolina train crash leaves 2 dead, nearly 90 hurt”: “A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train near South Carolina’s capital killed two people and injured nearly 90 early Sunday, authorities said. … Amtrak’s Silver Star was heading from New York to Miami with eight crew members and about 140 passengers when the crash happened around 2:45 a.m. near Cayce, authorities said.” http://bit.ly/2ECFU8Q
— THIS IS THE SECOND major train incident in the last week. THE PRESIDENT, who is at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida, has been briefed on the crash, according to a pool report.
Story Continued Below
THE PRESIDENT’S WEEK — Monday: TRUMP will meet with VP Mike Pence and then will travel to Ohio with the first lady. Wednesday: TRUMP will meet with HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Thursday: TRUMP will meet with the president of Guatemala, he’ll speak at the National Prayer Breakfast, meet with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and have lunch with VA Secretary David Shulkin. Friday: TRUMP will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! THE PATRIOTS are a 4.5-point favorite against THE EAGLES. Some other fun gambling lines (if gambling was legal, which, in many places, it is not): Tom Brady is the favorite to be named Super Bowl MVP and the over/under on the time it will take Pink to sing the national anthem is 122.5 seconds.
— THE DETAILS: Gametime is 6:30 p.m. on NBC4. Al Michaels has play-by-play duties, Cris Collinsworth is doing color analysis and Michele Tafoya is on the sidelines.
SUPER BOWL FRONTS …
— PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: “Pumped for Victory” http://bit.ly/2BSKm0u
— BOSTON GLOBE: “THE STATUES SPEAK: #12 MAY BE #1” http://bit.ly/2DZ44cD
— MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: “CUE SNOW GLOBE, IT’S SUPER BOWL SUNDAY” http://bit.ly/2GKyAc8
— @kenvogel: “.@Delta Flight 1995 from DCA-[MSP] is @Eagles country (though I’m not sure that’s an approved use of the PA).” 12-second video http://bit.ly/2nFvRYC
AMAZING STORY … READ UNTIL THE END — NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE — “The search for Jackie Wallace,” by Ted Jackson: “He sat up slowly and cleared his head. I asked him if he knew anything about the homeless camp — if he knew what happened to the men. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘Teens driving by started shooting their guns at them, so they decided there had to be a safer place to live. Why do you ask?’
“We talked for a minute or two, about my editor’s idea and journalism in general. After a brief pause, he said, ‘You ought to do a story about me.’ I’ve heard this line many times before, and many more since. ‘And why would I want to do that?’ I said. ‘Because,’ he said, ‘I’ve played in three Super Bowls.’” http://bit.ly/2EFpkWa
LET’S GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL! — “Are you ready for some campaign ads?” by Steven Shepard: “The Iowa caucuses are still two years away, but voters there will see the first campaign ads of the 2020 presidential election during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“John Delaney, the Maryland congressman mounting an uphill bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, plans to run a campaign advertisement touting his bipartisan bona fides on NBC affiliates in Iowa during the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
“The Super Bowl spots are the start of an ad blitz by the wealthy Delaney, who has already contributed $660,000 of his own money to his campaign, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission last week. Delaney’s campaign said it will spend $1 million over the next month, though the Super Bowl ad will cost him in the mid-five-figures: A 30-second ad in the state’s largest media market, Des Moines, will run Delaney $20,000, public filings show.
“Delaney is joining a handful of 2018 candidates using Super Bowl Sunday — perennially the largest television audience of the year — to introduce themselves to voters, despite the increased cost of advertising. Another is Jonathan Lamb, a Republican for an open congressional seat in Eastern Indiana. Lamb has his work cut out for him: His opponent is Gregory Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s brother. … Laura Moser, one of four main Democratic candidates seeking to challenge Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), is making a big bet, spending $50,000 on an ad during the fourth quarter on the NBC affiliate in Houston.” http://politi.co/2E0ODVz
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI on ABC’S “THIS WEEK” on TRUMP speaking to BOB MUELLER: “I hope he doesn’t testify, because at the end of the day … because as a lawyer, I don’t want him caught in a gotcha moment where someone accuses him of lying where he may not remember something or something like that.”
NYT A1: ALEX BURNS In Newtown, Pennsylvania and ALAN BLINDER in Atlanta: “G.O.P. Braces for Hurdles as Statehouses Are Put in Play”: “For Republicans in the states, the political warning signs keep mounting: In Virginia, it was an electoral shellacking that nearly snapped their 20-year grip on the State House. In Wisconsin, it was a midwinter rout in a special election for the State Senate, fought in a conservative district. And in Pennsylvania, it has been an exodus of state legislators from the Philadelphia area, where more than half a dozen Republicans have opted for retirement over a strenuous campaign in 2018.
“‘It looks like it’s going to be a war zone,’ said State Representative Gene DiGirolamo, a moderate Republican, of his native Bucks County, a spacious suburb on the New Jersey border. As national Republicans dig in to defend their majorities in Congress in the midterm elections, party leaders across the country have grown anxious about losses on a different front: state legislatures. Over the last decade, Republicans have dominated most state capitals, enacting deep tax cuts, imposing new regulations on labor unions and abortion providers, and drawing favorable congressional maps to reinforce their power in Washington.
“Yet that dominance appears to be fraying, strained by the same forces taxing Republicans in Congress. National strategists in both parties see the landscape of legislative races expanding, especially in areas around major cities where President Trump has stirred an insurrection among liberals, and college-educated voters and white women have recoiled from Republicans.” http://nyti.ms/2BVAJxS … A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2nATwdz
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: Will President Trump keep his promise to America’s steelworkers? Steel is our nation’s strength. But with steel imports surging and layoffs at steel mills, time is running out. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
THE AFTERSHOCKS — WAPO A1 — “Once the party of law and order, Republicans are now challenging it,” by Phil Rucker and Bob Costa: “Republican leaders’ open defiance last week of the FBI over the release of a hotly disputed memo revealed how the GOP, which has long positioned itself as the party of law and order, has become an adversary of federal law enforcement as the party continues its quest to protect President Trump from the Russia investigation. The FBI, the Justice Department and other agencies are now under concerted assault by Republicans, facing allegations of corruption and conspiracy that have quickly moved from the fringes of the right into the mainstream of the GOP.
“Republicans in Congress insist that their efforts are meant to fulfill their duty to provide oversight of the executive branch and root out suspected bias. But critics say their campaign — to ‘cleanse’ the FBI, in the words of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) — has been clearly orchestrated to safeguard the president and undercut the Russia probe, which includes an examination of whether Trump or his associates have sought to obstruct justice.” http://wapo.st/2s1NWpq
— “Trump’s Unparalleled War on a Pillar of Society: Law Enforcement,” by NYT’s Sharon LaFraniere, Katie Benner and Peter Baker: “The war between the president and the nation’s law enforcement apparatus is unlike anything America has seen in modern times. With a special counsel investigating whether his campaign collaborated with Russia in 2016 and whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in 2017, the president has engaged in a scorched-earth assault on the pillars of the criminal justice system in a way that no other occupant of the White House has done. … In his telling, [the] bureaucracy, now run by his own appointees, is a nest of political saboteurs out to undermine him — an accusation that raised fears that he was tearing at the credibility of some of the most important institutions in American life to save himself.” http://nyti.ms/2BTCOdO
AT THE FBI — “Inside the FBI: Anger, worry, work — and fears of lasting damage,” by WaPo’s Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky: “Bureau officials say the accusations in the document produced by House Republicans are inaccurate and — more damaging in the long term — corrode the agency’s ability to remain independent and do its job. One law enforcement official summed it up bluntly: ‘There’s a lot of anger. The irony is it’s a conservative-leaning organization, and it’s being trashed by conservatives. At first it was just perplexing. Now there’s anger, because it’s not going away.’ …
“Comey’s firing shocked the FBI’s workforce. In the aftermath, many employees posted pictures of him at their desks or other workspaces. ‘In some offices, you’d go in and it was just, “Comey, Comey, Comey” everywhere,’ said one law enforcement official. ‘There’s still a lot of that, but not as much.’” http://wapo.st/2nAIIMp
SUNDAY BEST — MARGARET BRENNAN talks with REP. TREY GOWDY (R-S.C.) on CBS’S “FACE THE NATION”: BRENNAN: “Speaker Ryan says that the memo that you helped put together here does not threaten the credibility of the FBI. The president has very different views — says it does. Where do you stand?” GOWDY: “I don’t think there’s a bigger supporter of the FBI in Congress than me and those of us who work with them in a previous life. I have tremendous respect for the bureau. There are 30,000 employees. Let’s assume that there are five that engaged in conduct that we have questions about — … That leaves a lot that are doing exactly what we want them to do.”
BRENNAN: “Yes, or being asked to leave perhaps earlier than he had planned. But when it comes to the — the Department of Justice and the FBI now that the president is raising questions about these individuals were hand-picked by — by him, and he’s critical of them. Do you think that there need to be changes there?”
GOWDY: “I think the folks that he picked, Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein can effectuate those changes. Rod Rosenstein is a former United States Attorney, and again, I — I have differences with the way that they discharge their responsibilities. But there’s — there’s a — there’s a wide gulf between me having differences from somebody and think that they should lose their job.
“I — I’m really impressed with Chris Wray. To Chris’s defense, he didn’t want the memo to come out. He’s speaking up for his agency, but Congress is the one who created FISA. In fact, Congress created the FBI. So there’s going to be good — good branch tension. It doesn’t mean someone should lose their job, it doesn’t mean they’re corrupt. But it also doesn’t mean Congress is not legitimate in asking these questions, because I think we are.”
— ON HIS RETIREMENT: BRENNAN: “You surprised Washington with announcing your retirement — that you’re not going to run for Congress. Why did you decide to leave?” GOWDY: “You know, I’m just — I — I enjoy the justice system more. I enjoy being fair. I enjoy the pursuit of fairness as a virtue and I’m just more comfortable in that system. My wife hates it when I say this, but I — I was a pretty good prosecutor, I think. But I’ve been a pretty lousy politician. So I’ve done it for seven years. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do it, but it’s time for me to — whatever time I’ve got left — I want to spend it in the justice system because that’s where my heart is, and that’s where my interests [are].”
— INTERESTING FACTOID: GOWDY: “I’ve actually never met President Trump. Never had a conversation with him, and he certainly should not ask my hiring advice.”
— ALSO: Gowdy is actually a quite shrewd politician. But it is true that he’s thought about leaving Congress for some time.
UNFORCED ERROR — “Democrats slam Ryan over deleted tweet,” by Brent D. Griffiths: “Democrats slammed House Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday, after the speaker deleted a tweet touting how the new tax cut law increased one woman’s take home pay $1.50 a week, enough to pay for her Costco membership. ‘A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week … she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year,’ a tweet from Ryan’s campaign account read, before it was deleted.
“It’s unclear why Ryan (R-Wis.) decided to delete the tweet, which included a link to an Associated Press report that includes an anecdote about Julia Ketchum, the secretary in question. Democrats and liberals on Twitter immediately bashed the message. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Ryan deleted the ‘embarrassing’ tweet, because ‘he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth’ about the party’s tax plan.” http://politi.co/2EDVHEF
COMING ATTRACTIONS? — “As Stock-Market Rout Spreads, Investors Fear Markets Falling in Lockstep,” by WSJ’s Amrith Ramkumar and Ira Iosebashvili: “U.S. stocks last week suffered their largest weekly drop in two years. But some investors worry that falling prices for things like oil futures, gold and bitcoin are offering a more ominous signal that could presage deeper declines. … Even before Friday’s stock rout, many global investors had grown uneasy about various assets moving in lockstep — especially because trading in many of these markets isn’t typically tied to share prices. Such closely correlated movements are often associated with turning points in the markets.” http://on.wsj.com/2nFcwI7
AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE — “Rubio joins hands with Ivanka on paid family leave,” by Seung Min Kim: “Marco Rubio is starting to strategize with Ivanka Trump to win over skeptical Republicans on a traditionally Democratic issue: paid family leave. Capitalizing on President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the idea in his State of the Union address, Rubio is trying to marshal Republicans behind a plan that would neither impose a mandate on employers nor raise taxes to pay for it — two hurdles that have long halted the GOP from embracing paid family leave.
“‘We still have to work on members of my own party,’ Rubio said in an extended interview with POLITICO about his effort. ‘I think there will be significant initial resistance to it, because it’s just not an issue that’s been identified with the Republican Party.’ Rubio has barely started crafting a paid leave bill, much less a broader legislative strategy. But he envisions an idea that has recently gained traction in conservative circles: allowing people to draw Social Security benefits when they want to take time off for a new baby or other family-related matters, and then delay their checks when they hit retirement age.” http://politi.co/2nBMiGp
— REMEMBER when Trump called Rubio a “choke artist.” Not exactly the typical makings for political allies. But, Ivanka and Rubio have worked well together before. The two paired up to successfully push for an increased child tax credit as part of the GOP tax bill.
KNOWING CARTER PAGE — “Why Carter Page Was Worth Watching: There’s plenty of evidence that the former Trump campaign adviser, for all his quirks, was on suspiciously good terms with Russia,” by Luke Harding in POLITICO Magazine: “He was smart enough to get academic qualifications: fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, master’s from Georgetown University, a degree from New York University’s business school. And a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. This, it transpired, was hard won.
“Page’s British academic supervisors failed his doctoral thesis twice, an unusual move. In a report they described his work as ‘verbose’ and ‘vague’. Page responded by angrily accusing his examiners of ‘anti-Russian bias’. Page’s apparent Russian sympathies were evident from much earlier. In 1998 Page spent three months working for the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm. Its founder, Ian Bremmer, later described Page as his ‘most wackadoodle alumnus.’ Page’s vehemently pro-Kremlin views meant that ‘he wasn’t a good fit,’ Bremmer said.” http://politi.co/2s6fl9E
HE WAS A KREMLIN ADVISER — SCOOP: “Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter,” by Time’s Massimo Calabresi and Alana Abramson: “Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page bragged that he was an adviser to the Kremlin in a letter obtained by TIME that raises new questions about the extent of Page’s contacts with the Russian government over the years. The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page. ‘Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda,’ the letter reads.” http://ti.me/2GND41K
TRUMP’S NOMINEES — “Trump nominee for U.N. migration post called Muslims violent, Christians top priority,” by WaPo’s Aaron C. Davis and Jack Gillum: “The Trump administration’s nominee to coordinate billions of dollars in assistance to migrants around the world has suggested in social-media posts that Islam is an inherently violent religion and has said Christians in some cases should receive preferential treatment when resettling from hostile areas. In tweets, social media posts and radio appearances reviewed by The Washington Post, Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, made disparaging remarks about Muslims and denied climate change — a driving force behind migration, according to the agency the State Department has nominated him to lead.
“In June, after a terrorist attack in London, Isaac reposted and commented on a CNN International story that quoted a Catholic bishop saying ‘This isn’t in the name of God, this isn’t what the Muslim faith asks people to do.’ Isaacs responded: ‘CNN, Bishop if you read the Quran you will know ‘this’ is exactly what the Muslim faith instructs the faithful to do.’” http://wapo.st/2GMrXWK
— “White House to withdraw controversial nominee to head Council on Environmental Quality,” by WaPo’s Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis: “The White House will withdraw its controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, according to three administration officials briefed on the matter … One of the officials briefed on Hartnett White’s plans said that her nomination had failed to gather momentum even as some of the administration’s other senior environmental policy picks had won approval, with some Senate Republicans raising questions about her expertise. A White House official confirmed in an email Saturday evening that Hartnett White had withdrawn her nomination, but did not provide further comment.” http://wapo.st/2EbJc5s
EAGLES SUPER FAN JAKE TAPPER speaks with SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-ILL.) on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: TAPPER: “Senator, a CNN poll after the government shutdown, when Democrats forced a government shutdown over the dreamers two weeks ago, found that 56 percent of Americans polled thought that keeping the government open was more important than continuing DACA.
“The next deadline to fund the government is Thursday. Do you vow right now that you will not shut the government down again if there is not a DACA deal before the deadline?
DURBIN: “There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we’re working every single day, on telephone calls and person to person, to try to reach this bipartisan agreement. I think we’re making real progress. I want to salute the moderates in both the Republicans and Democratic caucuses in the Senate. They have really been a positive voice, Democrats and Republicans sitting in the same room working to try to solve this problem.
“I don’t see a government shutdown coming, but I do see a promise by Senator McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate.”
— WHAT PAUL RYAN LIKES TO HEAR: REP. WILL HURD (R-TEXAS) to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “Well, I would say that DOJ and the FBI should continue doing their job. I don’t believe this is an attack on Bob Mueller. I don’t believe this is an attack on the men and women in the FBI. I’ve served shoulder to shoulder with them and they are hard working folks that keep us safe.”
— CHRIS WALLACE speaks with LEON PANETTA on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: WALLACE: “But I guess the point is this, that as a Democrat, you probably thought that Bill Clinton was being hounded by an Inspector Javert-like Special Counsel. People who support Donald Trump may feel the same way about the Special Counsel investigation of him.”
PANETTA: “Look, I – I understand that. I understand how Presidents can have that feeling that somehow, you know, there are people out there that trying to get them no matter what they try to do. I understand that. But I think they also need to understand, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans — that we have an obligation in this country to find the truth and to establish what the truth is. And when you try to avoid the truth, ultimately it is going to come out.
“We are going to find out what happened here with the Russian. We’re going to find out whether or not there was any collusion involved. We’ll find that out. And to try to pretend that somehow we can avoid that, I think, is only fooling yourself.”
— REINCE PRIEBUS talks to CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: PRIEBUS: “I never felt, of all the things that we went through in the West Wing, i never felt that the prez was going to fire the special counsel.” … TODD: “[I]t’s possible the president uttered the words: I want Mueller fired. I want Mueller gone.” PRIEBUS: “I never heard that. I think it was very clear by the president’s own words that he was concerned about the conflicts of interest that he felt that the special counsel had. And he made that very clear. Perhaps someone interpreted that to mean something else. But I know the difference between fire that person, why isn’t that person gone, to what I read in that New York Times’ piece.”
TRUMP’S SUNDAY — The president and First Lady Melania will spend Super Bowl Sunday at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida. While there, the two will watch the Florida Atlantic University marching band and host a Super Bowl watch party. Later that evening, the president and First Lady will leave for Washington.
THE JUICE …
— SPOTTED: CHRIS WRAY and three friends dining last night at Red Hen … Vernon Jordan and Steve Clemons chatting at the bar at Masseria yesterday evening … Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Abby Blunt on a Southwest flight this morning from Kansas City to DCA
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – ABC News is launching “18 for ‘18” — a way to cover the 18 top elections this year. It will assign individual reporters to a “rolling” list of top House, Senate and gubernatorial races. http://politi.co/2FEZ3X9
BEST OF SNL LAST NIGHT — “Fox & Friends Cold Open”: President Donald Trump (played by Alec Baldwin): “Right now, I’m getting my daily intelligence briefing.” Steve Doocy (Alex Moffat): “Oh from who?” Trump: “From you guys. … Your show is so great. Yuge ratings, of course not as big as the ratings from my State of the Union speech, which was watched by 10 billion people, including all of China. They say there’s only 7 billion people so where did the other 3 billion come from? Illegals, I don’t know.” …
Doocy: “I’ve heard [you’re] better than Caesar.” Trump: “I mean, I make buildings, that guy just made salads. No contest. But guys, this memo might be the greatest memo since the Declaration of Independence. I don’t know. I haven’t read either one of them. And Devin Nunes, I love that guy, my sweet little house elf, so close, so close to earning his freedom.” 7-min. video http://bit.ly/2FI8J3g
— “First Lady”: “Melania Trump (Cecily Strong) is visited by former first ladies Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman), Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon), Martha Washington (Aidy Bryant) and Michelle Obama (Leslie Jones)” — Melania Trump: “How can I be good first lady when Donald make it so hard?” Kennedy: “All first ladies have a platform. Yours is bullying. Mine was little hats. Your approval rating is through the roof.” Trump: “Yes, yes people like me because they’re like ‘that lady look how I feel.’” 4-min. video http://bit.ly/2DZmjyI
OBAMA WATCH — NEW ZEALAND HERALD — “Barack Obama to visit New Zealand in March”: “The Herald on Sunday understands Obama will visit on about March 21 arranged by Air New Zealand. It is understood the contract is due to be finalised and the visit announced next week. The reason for the visit is unknown but there has been speculation Air NZ is about to launch a new route to the United States, likely Chicago which is Obama’s home town.” http://bit.ly/2nIRIhN
MOLLY K. MCKEW in Politico Magazine: “How Twitter Bots and Trump Fans Made #ReleaseTheMemo Go Viral”: http://politi.co/2FKIFVb
DEPT OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES — “Why Trump’s tax plan may spur more divorces,” by Brian Faler: “Republicans may pride themselves on upholding family values, but their new tax law could soon lead to a surge in married couples calling it quits. Lawyers are counseling couples considering divorce to do it this year – before a 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments is wiped out in 2019 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ‘Now’s not the time to wait,’ said Mary Vidas, a lawyer in Philadelphia and former chair of the American Bar Association’s section on family law. ‘If you’re going to get a divorce, get it now.’
“Potential divorcees have all of 2018 to use the alimony deduction as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with estranged spouses. The deduction substantially reduces the cost of alimony payments — for people in the highest income tax bracket, it means every dollar they pay to support a former spouse really costs them a little more than 60 cents. The change is an example of how the tax law is having far-reaching consequences beyond its corporate and individual tax cuts, in some cases by quietly overturning decades of tax policy.” http://politi.co/2GNlvPk
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: President Trump promised swift action to stand up for steel jobs and safeguard national security when he launched a “Section 232” investigation into steel imports last April. But the president has yet to make good on that pledge. Meanwhile, steel imports surged 15.5 percent in 2017. Several steel mills closed and laid off workers. Tens of thousands of jobs across America continue to be at risk — along with America’s ability to equip our military and build critical infrastructure. Even in this digital age, steel undergirds our military power, not to mention critical infrastructure. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “Year of the woman skips California,” by California Playbookers David Siders and Carla Marinucci in Los Angeles: “If 2018 is The Year of the Woman, nobody told California. In the biggest blue state on the map, the only woman running for governor, former state schools chief Delaine Eastin, is polling in single digits. The interim mayor of San Francisco, the first black woman to hold the post, was bounced from her position this month by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, replaced by a white man. And in a round of caucus meetings last weekend, Democratic Party activists in three competitive Southern California House races overlooked three EMILY’s List-endorsed candidates and threw their support, by wide margins, to three men. …
“In an election year rocked by sexual harassment scandals and the emergence of the ‘Me Too’ movement, women in California politics are still running at the margins. The phenomenon is especially striking in this heavily Democratic state where no woman has ever held the governorship and women account for only 26 of the 120 state legislators.” http://politi.co/2nH4PQJ
— “Nunes challenger seizes on FBI memo uproar,” by Carla Marinucci and David Siders: “The controversy surrounding Nunes’ turn in the national spotlight has sparked a wave of interest in [Andrew] Janz’s long-shot campaign, powered by deep hostility toward Nunes’ role in the effort to delegitimize the federal probe into whether Russia infiltrated President Donald Trump’s campaign team. Janz, a previously little-known Fresno prosecutor, reports he’s been deluged by donations and media attention. … In recent days, Twitter has been abuzz with calls from Democrats across the nation to donate to Janz’s campaign. ‘We’re looking really good, thanks to him,’ Janz told POLITICO, just hours after the memo’s Friday release. ‘I think we took in $100,000 between today and yesterday.’” http://politi.co/2EDqam9
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
— “How Hope Hicks Became the Ultimate Trump Insider,” by Eleanor Clift in Town and Country magazine: “On a Friday in October, [Sarah Huckabee] urged reporters to send Hope Hicks, ‘our incredible communications director,’ a note to wish her a happy 29th birthday. Hicks … [handled] birthday texts intermittently through the day and flowers were delivered to her parents’ house from at least one major news organization.” http://bit.ly/2Ebd01R
— “Who killed Time Inc.?” by Howard R. Gold in the Columbia Journalism Review: “Some of the greatest names in magazines have graced its pages—film critic and writer James Agee; photographers Robert Capa, Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White, and Henri Cartier-Bresson; sportswriters Rick Reilly and Frank Deford; business writer Carol Loomis, and former Time editor Walter Isaacson.” http://bit.ly/2s5NJS0
— “What Science is Like in North Korea,” by Andrada Fiscutean in the Outline: Kim “Hyeongsoo told me he worked at the Mansumugang (Long Life Health) Institute from 1990 to 1995, and that it employed 100 scientists and 30 assistants and animal caretakers at the time. The scientists studied life extension and weight management for the ruling Kim family, even as food was scarce for the average citizen.” http://bit.ly/2EAMrBe
— “How to Not Die in America,” by Molly Osberg in Splinter News: “I am lucky not for surviving the infection, but for being a member of a shrinking class of Americans whose lives can absorb a trauma of this magnitude.” http://bit.ly/2E9TLWt
— “Staffing the Accused: Inside the Six-Month-Long Downfall of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray,” by Eli Sanders in The Stranger: “Their boss allegedly committed sexual assault and abuse. He denied everything. They had to decide: Who do I believe? What do I do?” http://bit.ly/2s1uCZ8 (h/t Longform.org)
— “The Magnetic Field Is Shifting. The Poles May Flip. This Could Get Bad,” by Alanna Mitchell in Undark: “The poles have changed places hundreds of times, most recently 780,000 years ago. Sometimes, the poles try to reverse positions but then snap back into place, in what is called an excursion. The last time was about 40,000 years ago. We also know that when they flip next time, the consequences for the electrical infrastructure that runs modern civilization will be dire. The question is when that will happen.” http://bit.ly/2s6V3wS (h/t TheBrowser.com)
— “Super Bowl LII Is Minnesota’s Chance To Secede From The Midwest,” by Reid Forgrave in Fast Company: “The state is embracing the cold and rebranding itself as ‘The North.’ But does this new identity represent everyone who lives in this historically Scandinavian region?” With cameos by Eric Dayton and Adam Fetcher http://bit.ly/2BT3iMh
— “18 for 18: Playlists for the Year That Was and the Year to Come,” by Ben Chang on Medium – with picks from Jon Allen, Christina Bellantoni, Tim Burger, Kevin Griffis, Rob Hendin, Colin Kahl, Chuck Kennedy, Andrew Schwartz, Amie Parnes, Alice Lloyd and Dan Swartz http://bit.ly/2GBSohG
— “Don’t Ignore Kushner’s Quiet Mideast Gains,” by Ahmed Charai in the National Interest: http://bit.ly/2FHulww
— “How Blockchain Will Disrupt Colleges, the Media, and Unions, Too,” by Tevi Troy and Jeremy Epstein in the Weekly Standard: “Bitcoin is only the beginning for distributed ledger technology.” http://tws.io/2nCDrmY
— “Zombie Campaigns,” by Christopher O’Donnell, Eli Murray, Connie Humburg and Noah Pransky in the Tampa Bay Times: “The campaign is over. The candidate might be dead. But the spending never stops.” http://bit.ly/2FFYbBq
— “Ex-CIA Director Petraeus: Everything Can Be Hijacked, Weaponized” — The Jerusalem Post: http://bit.ly/2nGQ1lf … Video of his panel in Israel which included Michèle Flournoy and Tom Friedman http://bit.ly/2E1Kxsh
— “The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone,” by Bryan Caplan in the Atlantic: “Studying irrelevancies for four years will impress future employers and raise income potential … As a society, we continue to push ever larger numbers of students into ever higher levels of education. The effect is not better jobs or greater skill levels, but a credentialist arms race.” http://theatln.tc/2DWxjkf (h/t TheBrowser.com)
SPOTTED at Buccan in Palm Beach yesterday evening: Peter Baker, Chris Ruddy, Phil Keating, Meridith McGraw, Alex Mallin, Charlie Spies, Ryan Williams and Tom Quinn.
SPOTTED at the Phoenix Open yesterday: former Ted Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe with Axiom Strategies colleagues Brandon Moody, David Polyansky, and Travis Smith, Republican media strategists Fred Davis and Bob Honold, NRSC executive director Chris Hansen and baseball Hall of Famer George Brett.
SPOTTED at last night’s Human Rights Campaign gala (held temporarily at the Marriott Marquis while the Waldorf-Astoria is under renovation): Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, N.Y. State Sen. Brad Hoylman, Alphonso David, Audra McDonald, Javier Muñoz, Ashley Park and the cast of “Mean Girls,” and SCOTUS plaintiff Jim Obergefell.
WEEKEND WEDDING — “Kathleen McCann, Frank Scaturro” – N.Y. Times: “Mrs. Scaturro, 42, is a research editor at the Heritage Foundation, a public policy think tank working to promote conservative public policies, in Washington. … Mr. Scaturro, 45, is of counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, a Washington group pushing for more conservatives on federal and state courts, as well as more Republican state attorneys general. From 2005-9, he served as counsel for the Constitution for the Senate Judiciary Committee.” With a pic http://nyti.ms/2DZUSF4
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Ad Age editor Brian Braiker … Todd Sadowski, who celebrated with friends last night at the Smith.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht. How she got her start in her career: “Working as an attorney in my father’s law firm in Wilmington, Delaware. My mother, Roxana, a judge (first woman) worked across the street. I moved to NYC to see if I could get a job and survive on my own as an unknown. I got a job as a lawyer for Trans World Airlines (TWA), it was a perfect way to see the world and feed my strong interest in international affairs.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2nDjTie
BIRTHDAYS: Hunter Biden … Matt McDonald, partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, is 4-0. He celebrated over dinner on Friday with his fellow Bush-Cheney 04 alums — “04 for 40” (hat tip: Kevin Madden) … Facebook is 14 … Dan Quayle is 71 … Nicolle Wallace … Albert Fonticiella, VP of corporate services at Edward Marc Brands … Gabby Bluestone … Admiral Dennis Blair, No Labels co-founder and former director of national intelligence, is 71 (h/t Dennis Craig) …
… John Czwartacki, director of comms at OMB and a senior adviser at the CFPB … Jim Nicholson, senior counsel with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (h/t Christine Burtt) … Martin Meservie … L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is 47 … Abby Cable, director of policy and gov’t affairs for Israeli-American Coalition for Action … Thad Inge, who runs government relations for Paychex and was head of congressional affairs for the SBA in the Obama administration, is 37 (h/t Mark Tiner) … David Rauf … Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) is 71 … Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) is 57 … Will Dugan, D.C. field producer for Canada’s CTV, is 32 (h/t Tim Mak) …
… Amelia Chasse, deputy comms director for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who celebrated yesterday with an afternoon of spa and shopping (hubby tip: Lenny Alcivar) … Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, is 53 … Blair Bender … Jessica Byrd, founder of Three Point Strategies … Ashley Huggins, global senior PR manager at Subway … Politico’s Terry Ticey … Florida State Sen. Dwight Bullard is 41 … David Edelman, director of MIT’s Project on Technology, Economy & National Security and an Obama NSC alum … Seth D. Michaels is 39 … Sara Himeles … Susan Roth of Roth P.R. and founder of Progressive Communicators of DC … Janice Laurente … Deborah Steelman Macon … Joe Thompson … HP Patel … Chuck Pruitt … Ann Liston … Jason Hitchman (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Jonathan Jordan is 51 … journalist Taimoor Shah … Michael Halasy is 47 … Eugene Sepulveda … Brigham Pierce … former Argentine President Isabel Peron is 87 (h/t AP)
****** A message from the Alliance for American Manufacturing: Steel is America’s strength, but the industry faces a wave of imports from countries like Korea, China, Russia, Turkey, and Brazil. These steel imports threaten tens of thousands of jobs and our national security. Only one American company now makes the type of steel needed for the electric grid, and only one supplies the steel used to make Virginia-class submarines. President Trump repeatedly has promised to stand up for American-made steel — and it’s time for him to keep that promise. See why the Section 232 steel action matters for American jobs and security. Learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLUXhGWM7x4 ******
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