Happy Thursday, and happy government shutdown day. MAKE NO MISTAKE … There’s a chance — a small one, we think — that the government could shut down tonight. It’s not likely, but Republicans and Democrats are attempting to do hand flips on a tightwire at the moment.
REMINDER WHAT’S AT STAKE: Government funding runs out tonight. Congress isn’t attempting to merely avoid a government shutdown today. This bill up for consideration is as major a spending bill as Washington has seen since the stimulus in 2009. If Barack Obama proposed this, he would’ve been laughed out of the room.
Story Continued Below
— REMEMBER: In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which attempted to, well, control what many Republicans considered profligate spending. They’re undoing that with this bill. WaPo’s Damian Paletta and Erica Werner: “Republicans are completely reversing themselves on the deficit” http://wapo.st/2nUrNnp
YES, THIS BILL AVERTS A SHUTDOWN, but that’s only a tiny sliver of what it does. It sets the stage to boost spending by roughly $300 billion over the next few years. It kicks in another at least $80 billion in disaster spending — even most Texans seem pleased, at the moment. And it suspends the debt limit until March 2019 — basically, telling Congress it can spend whatever amount of money it wants between now and then. That’s a big win for Republicans who don’t want to have to vote on the debt limit again before the midterm election.
HERE’S WHAT TODAY WILL LOOK LIKE … THE SENATE is expected to take up — and pass — this bill in the early afternoon. They’ll probably pass this bill with 70-plus votes, and then leave town for the weekend.
PER USUAL, THE HOUSE is where this gets tricky. IN ORDER FOR THIS TO PASS, it will need to attract significant support from Democrats and Republicans alike. ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE: we’ve heard estimates that anywhere from 120 to 150 Republicans will vote yes (the House has 238 Republicans). That would mean that, on the low end, roughly 70 DEMOCRATS would need to vote yes. (There are 193 Democrats.)
— THE PATH TO VICTORY in the GOP is through defense hawks, who get a massive increase in military spending backed both by PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and DEFENSE SECRETARY JIM MATTIS. The remaining FISCAL HAWKS are throwing a fit, as is the HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS. DISASTER-STATE LAWMAKERS seem somewhat pleased with the aide package. It’s Christmas for APPROPRIATORS.
— THERE ARE DEMOCRATS who want to vote yes — many of them have told us this. The caucus is split between lawmakers who want HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI to try to block everything in favor of a DACA deal, and lawmakers who want a DACA deal, but accept that blocking other legislation will not do anything to assuage Republicans to give them a deal. IN REALITY, Democrats win in this bill.
— PELOSI had her moment — the eight-hour speech was great for internal politics, and it was a good move for a leader with few cards to play. At the same time, leadership was lightly encouraging a yes vote on this package. Pelosi’s aides were part of the negotiations.
— ABOUT RYAN…. When Paul Ryan was about to take the speakership from John Boehner, he railed against a package just like this. He took some heat yesterday in a closed Republican meeting from lawmakers who felt cut out by the process by which this bill was put together. He’s now putting this bill on the floor, and urging Republicans to vote yes. There’s a lot of chatter that a man seeking another term as speaker would never put this bill on the floor. At the moment, it’s just that — chatter. Ryan has said he’ll decide on his re-election in the spring after a conversation with his wife.
BY THE WAY, CONGRESS might want to go home for the year. This is likely the last big legislating we’ll see in 2018. There might be a shot at infrastructure. But this is really it.
ABOUT THAT PROTEST — “Pelosi’s Dreamers protest leaves some Democrats wanting,” by Heather Caygle: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor Wednesday for a record-breaking eight hours, vowing to speak — and stand — until Republicans concede protections for so-called Dreamers. But for some members on both ends of her caucus who tuned in, the daylong protest did little to repair the fissure pitting lawmakers against each other on immigration and budget talks.
“‘There’s all kinds of ways, I assure you, that leadership exercises its influence — the least of which is a floor speech,’ said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), an unabashed critic of leadership on immigration issues. … Though Pelosi participated in the negotiations that produced Wednesday’s deal, she had the least leverage of all the leaders. That sway diminished even further after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) enthusiastically endorsed the deal. Pelosi could still rally her caucus to oppose the agreement, but at the very real risk of shutting down the government.” http://politi.co/2BKGBhN
BEHIND THE SCENES … CARL HULSE in the NYT, “Antagonists Days Ago, McConnell and Schumer Find Common Cause”: “Two weeks ago, the Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer could barely look at each other on the floor as Congress careened into a government shutdown. Their relationship was considered so badly frayed that a bipartisan group of lawmakers intervened to help them save face and temporarily end the impasse.
“Yet on Wednesday, the two happily linked arms and delivered a major budget deal containing eye-popping spending increases and clear political benefits for both sides as lawmakers head into a crucial midterm election season. It just shows how tens of billions of appropriately scattered dollars can soothe any hard feelings.
“The agreement, the subject of intense private negotiations between Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, had been percolating for days. They consulted with Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, but the White House, by design, did not play a big role in the talks. … The talks got serious immediately after the shutdown when Mr. McConnell approached Mr. Schumer and asked how they should proceed on the spending divide. They ended Tuesday in Mr. McConnell’s office with Mr. Schumer inviting Mr. McConnell, a die-hard University of Louisville basketball fan, to New York to attend a future Louisville game against Syracuse University. (By earlier arrangement, Mr. Schumer will speak Monday at the university’s McConnell Center.)” http://nyti.ms/2BKq7WZ
RAJ SHAH is briefing today.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, from SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA.), via NBC’s Frank Thorp: Q: “Do you think a military parade is a good idea?” KENNEDY: “No… I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud. America is the most powerful country in all of human history, everybody knows it, and we don’t need to show it off.” Bryan Bender on the bipartisan opposition to the parade http://politi.co/2E8h0AY
— ANOTHER VIEW: MATT LATIMER in POLITICO Magazine, “Trump’s Parade Is Political Genius”: “At the same time, the president is overtly tying his administration to the most popular institution in our nation—perhaps the only popular institution left—the United States military. More to the point, he’s daring the Democrats, and their allies in the media, to stand apart and oppose it. By doing so, Democratic leaders appear either as killjoys complaining about excessive costs (as if frugality were a Democratic Party hallmark) or as diminishing the achievements of the military or the need to publicly extol them. All in all, it’s a pretty clever trap.” http://politi.co/2E90xZl
****** A message from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: Small businesses are the cornerstones of communities across America. This month, Goldman Sachs is continuing its commitment to small business by hosting the 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, DC—connecting business owners with policy makers. Learn how we can #MakeSmallBig on February 13 and 14: GS.com/10KSBSummit ******
THE BIG READ — RACHAEL BADE and JOHN BRESNAHAN: “From Fallujah to FBI investigation: The undoing of Duncan Hunter”: “The criminal investigation into Rep. Duncan Hunter is intensifying as a grand jury in San Diego questions multiple former aides about whether the California Republican improperly diverted political funds for personal use.
“Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed Hunter’s parents, as well as a female lobbyist with whom many people close to the congressman believe he had a romantic relationship, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation.
“The Justice Department is trying to determine whether hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hunter’s campaign account were spent improperly on his family and friends. Hunter already sold his home to pay back what even he now acknowledges were improper charges, moving his wife and kids in with his parents while he mostly lives in his Capitol Hill office.
“It’s a stark reversal of fortune for Hunter, 41, whose friends once considered him a hero. The ex-Marine served three tours as an artillery officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, fighting in some of the bloodiest battles in Fallujah.
“Now, the five-term lawmaker’s Republican colleagues worry that he’s on the brink of personal and political ruin. Some Republicans are urging GOP leaders to force him to retire, worried that his troubles could cost the party another seat in its uphill effort to maintain the House majority.” http://politi.co/2EPnp1e
SOMETHING TO WATCH — “GOP friendly fire imperils Trump nominees,” by Anthony Adragna: “A throng of Republican senators is holding up the confirmations of some of President Donald Trump’s nominees — even as he continues to blame the logjam on Democratic ‘obstruction.’ At least 11 Republican senators in recent months have disclosed they’re blocking votes on nominees for agencies including the Energy, Agriculture, State, Homeland Security and Justice departments. The vast majority of those delays remain in place while the lawmakers demand concessions on issues such as ethanol regulations, marijuana, disaster funding and nuclear waste.
“Such legislative roadblocks are not unusual in themselves: Senators of both parties frequently use whatever leverage they have to extract policy concessions from the executive branch. But the number coming from the GOP side is notable, especially as senior Republicans have raised the possibility of changing the Senate’s rules to make it harder for Democrats to block Trump’s appointees. And the delays are worsening a leadership shortage at many agencies, which have already been stretched by Trump’s slowness to nominate people for senior positions.” http://politi.co/2BiE5hZ
PORTER FILES — “In new statement, Kelly says he was ‘shocked’ by Porter allegations and condemns abuse,” by Andrew Restuccia and Eliana Johnson: “White House chief of staff John Kelly said late Wednesday that he was ‘shocked’ by domestic abuse allegations against staff secretary Rob Porter – more than 24 hours after being quoted on the record defending Porter in an initial report. ‘I was shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter. There is no place for domestic violence in our society,’ Kelly said in a statement issued after-hours by the White House.
“Kelly continued, ‘I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition.’” http://politi.co/2EONJbz
— THE DAILY MAIL’S DAVID MARTOSKO (@dmartosko): “One unreported detail: Tuesday night as I went to Sarah Sanders’ office to review the White House’s response to our story about Rob Porter, Porter himself appeared from down the hall. He audibly growled at me. I stared him down. He exhaled loudly and walked into Sarah’s office.”
— NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers: “His troubles were not a complete secret at the White House: Two people close to the White House said that the allegations against him made by his former wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, had contributed to a delay in granting him a permanent security clearance.” http://nyti.ms/2GYEGpw
— CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak and Dan Merica: “Senior White House officials were aware for months of the allegations made against Trump’s staff secretary, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday after Porter resigned. Trump himself first learned of the allegations this week, two sources familiar with the matter said. He was upset when shown reports of the abuse, which first emerged on Tuesday. His daughter Ivanka Trump, serving as a White House senior adviser, was also deeply disturbed by the allegations, particularly by photographs of the alleged abuse.” http://cnn.it/2C3sHTT
— PUT SUCCINCTLY: WAPO’S PAUL FARHI (@farhip): “Short version of the Rob Porter story: WH knew of spouse-abuse allegations from FBI, but kept him on. WH comms director, his girlfriend, arranged a series of laudatory statements from WH officials, including from CoS Kelly, who originally kept him on. He resigned when news broke.”
— NBC’S FRANK THORP (@frankthorp): “Just spoke to @senorrinhatch again, he reiterated he ‘would prefer (Rob Porter) not to resign. Just work his way through and do what’s right.’ ‘I encouraged him to keep a stiff upper lip and work on his problems,’ Hatch said. … Q: If allegations about Porter are true would you employ him? HATCH: ‘That’s a Q I’m not going to answer, because he worked for me, he did a tremendous job. If I could find more people like him I would hire them, I think that’s how good he is. And he’s basically a good person’”.
ELIANA JOHNSON: “Kelly’s hunt for a deputy bogs down amid personnel issues”: “Chief of staff John Kelly’s search for a No. 2, which has dragged on for more than four months, shows no signs of wrapping up anytime soon.
“The White House was widely expected to make a public announcement about the position early this year, with officials floating a senior administration lawyer, Jim Carroll, as a likely replacement for Kirstjen Nielsen, a close Kelly confidante who accompanied him from the Department of Homeland Security to the West Wing last summer before the president tapped her to become DHS secretary.
“But while Carroll has assumed some of the responsibilities of Nielsen’s old job, Kelly has been disappointed in his performance and has held back on officially bestowing the title, according to two administration officials.
“Kelly’s struggle to replace his own team members is perhaps the clearest illustration of the problems he faces trying to keep President Donald Trump’s administration staffed as officials who joined in the first year leave.” http://politi.co/2EOU9aX
— @maggieNYT: “Trump is continuing to tell people he is frustrated with Kelly, while folks in White House don’t believe he’ll ever make a change, per three people close to Trump.”
TRUMP’S CABINET — “How Betsy DeVos softened her message on school choice: Trump’s most controversial Cabinet member backs away from divisive rhetoric,” by Kim Hefling and Caitlin Emma: “Betsy DeVos became famous — and infamous in some quarters — as the leader of an education movement that pushed for public funding for private schools, including religious education.
“But a year into her tenure as President Donald Trump’s Education secretary, DeVos generally steers clear of the words, ‘school choice,’ a phrase she once used often that’s freighted with racial, demographic and religious implications. Instead, she opts for gentler terms such as ‘innovation’ and ‘blended learning,’ and speaks of coming together and ‘finding solutions.’ DeVos has by no means backed off her push to fulfill Trump’s promise to inject $20 billion into expanded private education options for kids.
“But one of the most divisive figures in Trump’s Cabinet … has figured out how to market that effort differently. Behind the scenes, DeVos met with Frank Luntz, one of the top Republican messaging experts, to figure out how to talk about conservative educational policies without sparking protests from teachers and liberals. ‘Frank has a 60-slide deck of the words to use, and the words to lose, regarding parental choice, vouchers, charter schools, teacher pay, and all the other issues in education reform,’ said a copy of her schedule from last June, published by the liberal nonprofit American Oversight, which sued for her calendar.” http://politi.co/2C27j1h
TRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president is heading to the Washington Hilton this morning as he participates in a bilateral meeting with the president of Guatemala. He will then deliver remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Later this morning he will meet with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. He is having lunch with Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin followed by a meeting with Henry Kissinger.
MEDIAWATCH — “‘A slow-motion disaster’: Journalism museum in talks about possible building sale,” by WaPo’s Peggy McGlone and Manuel Roig-Franzia: “Two months shy of its 10th anniversary in a glass-and-steel showpiece on Washington’s most prestigious thoroughfare, executives at the struggling Newseum will meet Thursday with a top real estate firm to explore options that include selling their building or moving to another location. The previously undisclosed talks with officials from the international firm Eastdil Secured — which were confirmed by museum management after it was contacted by The Washington Post — are the latest sign of uncertainty at an institution that has been swamped in debt and roiled by leadership shake-ups.
“The museum’s financial woes … have long prompted speculation that it would be forced to leave its grand location on Pennsylvania Avenue … or close altogether. But Chief Operating Officer Scott Williams insisted in an interview Wednesday that its biggest supporter, the Freedom Forum, intends to keep the museum alive.” http://wapo.st/2slira2
THE JUICE …
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK – BUSH ALUMNI: TEVI TROY has been named as VP of public policy at JUUL Labs Inc., a company trying to provide smokers an alternative to regular cigarettes. Troy was previously CEO of the American Health Policy Institute and served as deputy secretary of HHS in the Bush administration and was also a senior White House aide.
— THE NRCC just dropped another $362,586 on media in the Pennsylvania special election to replace Tim Murphy. Rick Saccone, the Republican, is running against Conor Lamb.
THE WAY THINGS USED TO BE — MATT COOPER: “From Expensing Yachts to Chasing The Onion: I Watched the Newsweekly Die From the Inside” http://politi.co/2BhxwMq
INTERESTING CLICK – “Curious About the Lives of North Korea’s Isolated Athletes? Here’s a Glimpse,” by NYT’s Motoko Rich: http://nyti.ms/2BNneVp
— “Kim Jong Un’s Sister to Attend Olympics. Will She Meet Pence?” by WSJ’s Jonathan Cheng and Andrew Jeong in Seoul: “Sending Kim Yo Jong would mark the first official visit to the South by a member of the ruling Kim family, and was announced minutes before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters in Tokyo that the U.S. would further tighten sanctions on Pyongyang. In earlier comments en route to Asia, Mr. Pence signaled the Games might be a stage for talks between the U.S. and North Korean officials.” http://on.wsj.com/2C3TAqP
TRUMP INC. — “Trump Organization Revives Project In Dominican Republic, Roiling Local Politics,” by Marcus Baram in Fast Company: “For President Trump, Haiti may be a ‘shithole.’ But on the other side of the island is a country that he clearly thinks could be a goldmine — and a potential windfall for his family’s business empire. The Trump Organization is close to an agreement in the Dominican Republic with a developer to partner on a project on the east coast of the island, sources on the island tell Fast Company.
“That’s despite Trump’s promise to avoid any new overseas deals while in office, which was intended to avoid potential conflicts of interest such as foreign governments and companies attempting to win favor with the Trump administration. The Trump Organization’s lawyers have insisted that it’s not a new deal but just consistent with an existing licensing deal that the company signed with a local developer back in 2007.” http://bit.ly/2nKw65I
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “Former Lawmaker Who Was Rejected as Ex-Im Bank Chief to Join SEC,” by WSJ’s Dave Michaels and Andrew Ackerman: “Scott Garrett, a former Republican lawmaker known for criticizing what he considered government overreach by Wall Street regulators, has landed a senior role at the Securities and Exchange Commission. …
“Garrett, 58 years old, plans to take a position advising SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, according to people familiar with the matter. The job would represent a second act for Mr. Garrett, whom U.S. senators rejected last year as a pick to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank under the Trump administration.
“The hiring is a rare instance of a former lawmaker joining a federal agency in a staff role. Mr. Garrett, first elected to Congress in 2002, lost a re-election campaign for his northern New Jersey House seat in 2016. As a lawmaker, he routinely questioned the SEC’s regulations and priorities during the Obama administration.” http://on.wsj.com/2sfWwkn
— “Trump picks new federal ethics chief,” by Josh Gerstein: “President Donald Trump’s new pick to head a key federal ethics office is winning praise from an unlikely source: the man who quit the post last year. The White House announced Wednesday evening that Trump intends to nominate a current associate counsel at the Office of Government Ethics, Emory Rounds, to serve a five-year term as the office’s director. Rounds served in the White House counsel’s office under President George W. Bush before joining OGE in 2009.” http://politi.co/2EbpnvR
****** A message from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: There are more than 29 million small businesses in the United States. All of their voices matter, but all of their voices are not always heard. That is why Goldman Sachs is hosting the 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, DC—one of the largest gatherings of small business owners on job creation. Learn how we can #MakeSmallBig on February 13 and 14: GS.com/10KSBSummit ******
VALLEY TALK — “How YouTube Drives People to the Internet’s Darkest Corners,” by WSJ’s Jack Nicas: “YouTube is the new television, with more than 1.5 billion users, and videos the site recommends have the power to influence viewpoints around the world. Those recommendations often present divisive, misleading or false content despite changes the site has recently made to highlight more-neutral fare, a Wall Street Journal investigation found. …
“The Journal investigation found YouTube’s recommendations often lead users to channels that feature conspiracy theories, partisan viewpoints and misleading videos, even when those users haven’t shown interest in such content. When users show a political bias in what they choose to view, YouTube typically recommends videos that echo those biases, often with more-extreme viewpoints.” http://on.wsj.com/2E8NF9E
THE NEVER-ENDING TURMOIL AT THE LA TIMES — Per Michael Calderone in Morning Media: “In the Tronc-Los Angeles Times divorce, custody of the Tribune Washington bureau goes to biotech billionaire and new Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, according to an SEC filing. The Tribune Washington bureau, which has about 20 staffers, has served all the papers in the Tronc — formerly Tribune Company — stable, including the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Hartford Courant.
“And for now, readers of those papers will continue to get the Washington bureau’s coverage as part of a transition arrangement. But Washington staffers are breathing a sigh of relief as the bureau — which already reported to Los Angeles — will now be officially part of the Times. There have been fears that Tronc’s management planned to scale back or shutter the Washington operation to cut costs.” http://politi.co/2FVmf3u
— TV TODAY – ANDREA MITCHELL will interview JOE BIDEN at noon live on MSNBC to discuss the launch of the Penn Biden Center.
REMEMBERING JOHN PERRY BARLOW — THE GUARDIAN: “John Perry Barlow, ‘visionary’ internet pioneer, dies aged 70”: “John Perry Barlow, ‘visionary’ internet pioneer, press freedom advocate and Grateful Dead lyricist, has died aged 70.
“Barlow was named as a Guardian ‘Open 20’ fighter for internet freedom in 2012 because of his work to establish the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which defends online liberties. The organisation announced Barlow, a Wyoming native, died in his sleep on Wednesday morning.
“‘We will miss Barlow and his wisdom for decades to come, and he will always be an integral part of EFF,’ said a statement by the group’s executive director, Cindy Cohn.
“She continued: ‘It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.’” http://bit.ly/2nRCMy1
— BARLOW wrote some of the Grateful Dead’s most important songs, including “Cassidy” and “The Music Never Stopped.”
SUNDAY SO FAR … “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: Jason Chaffetz, Guy Benson, Rachael Bade and Juan Williams. “Power Player of the Week”: Charles Bowery of the U.S. Army Center of Military History on the Army’s art collection.
SPOTTED: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin walking into a private room at Bourbon Steak last night … former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) in first class on a United flight yesterday from SFO to D.C. — pic http://bit.ly/2C4r6Nw
SPOTTED (separately) last night at the Trump hotel: Stephen Baldwin, Reps. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Maine Gov. Paul LePage … At the Hawk ‘n’ Dove last night: Reps. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) at a table for two. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) at a full table.
BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Roberta McCain, mother of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), turned 106 (hat tip: Kevin Lillard)
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Matthew Jaffe, director of comms. at the Institute of Politics at UChicago. How he got his start in politics: “Back in 2006 I started as a freelance desk assistant at ABC News’ DC bureau thanks to the help of Ed O’Keefe. I remember working a lot of nights and weekends, getting yelled at by Sam Donaldson, and generally being exhausted and terrified all the time. But loving every minute of it. And now 12 years later I’m still working with Ed on ‘The Axe Files’ which we produce out of the UChicago Institute of Politics and partner on with CNN.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2nT4Tgj
BIRTHDAYS: POLITICO Pro is 7 … Mark Corallo (h/t Ed McFadden) … Amos Snead, partner at S-3 Public Affairs and co-founder of FamousDC … Ted Koppel is 78 … Lisa Jackson, former EPA administrator and now V.P. for environment, policy and social Initiatives at Apple, is 56 … Vox’s Zack Beauchamp … Adam Kaplan, senior counsel in the office of the inspector general at USAID … CAP’s Marlene Cooper Vasilic, Brian Katulis, and Billy Flanagan … Hilary Badger … Jen Yeh, policy counsel at Checkr and an Obama WH alum … William Ranney Levi, associate at Sidley Austin and a Senate Judiciary alum … Tony Baker is 36 … Elliot Schwartz, partner at QE Intelligence LLC … Politico Europe’s Arnau Busquets Guàrdia … Raul Vidal, senior partner at Omnia Economic Solutions … Addyson Grace Fleming … L.A. Times reporter Melissa Etehad … John Kartch, VP of comms at Americans for Tax Reform … Heather Zichal, Nature Conservancy managing director of corporate engagement and an Obama alum … Jascha Franklin-Hodge … Stephanie Cherry, Pelosi press adviser (h/ts Jon Haber) … Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) is 55 …
… Brian Besanceney, SVP and chief comms officer at Walmart … Murphy McCullough, press secretary for Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) … NFLPA’s Joe Briggs … Corey Coon … Dy Brown … Julie Gunlock, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum … Edelman’s Mansie Hough … Shea Loper, manager of U.S. gov’t relations at Encana … Jenny Thalheimer Rosenberg … Caitlin Webber, analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence … Dave Hughes … Matt Stoller … Jason Redmond … Jonathan Scherck … Barry Newman … John Frey is 55 … Walmart’s Matt Glass … Janet Green … Denise Diminuco … George Wakeling (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … author John Grisham is 63 … the former president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, is 58 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: The overarching goal of 10,000 Small Businesses is to help small business owners create jobs and economic opportunity. To celebrate their achievements, Goldman Sachs is hosting the first-ever 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, DC. Learn how we can #MakeSmallBig on February 13 and 14: GS.com/10KSBSummit ******
SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/2lQswbh … Playbook Power Briefing http://politi.co/2xuOiqh … New York Playbook http://politi.co/1ON8bqW … Florida Playbook http://politi.co/1OypFe9 … New Jersey Playbook http://politi.co/1HLKltF … Massachusetts Playbook http://politi.co/1Nhtq5v … Illinois Playbook http://politi.co/1N7u5sb … California Playbook http://politi.co/2bLvcPl … London Playbook http://politi.co/2xfDPuK … Brussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcw … All our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX