Good Sunday morning. LEAD STORY ON NYTIMES.COM — “China Learns How to Get Trump’s Ear: Through Jared Kushner,” by Mark Landler: “When President Trump welcomes President Xi Jinping of China to his palm-fringed Florida club for two days of meetings on Thursday, the studied informality of the gathering will bear the handiwork of two people: China’s ambassador to Washington and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, has established a busy back channel to Mr. Kushner, according to several officials briefed on the relationship. The two men agreed on the club, Mar-a-Lago, as the site for the meeting, and the ambassador even sent Mr. Kushner drafts of a joint statement that China and the United States could issue afterward.” http://nyti.ms/2nwr22A
— JARED HAS HIS HANDS FULL! … He is also pulling the strings in the U.S.-Mexico relationship (http://wapo.st/2owLAZH), trying to solve Middle East peace (http://politi.co/2ntugTR) and reorganize the sprawling, massive federal government to help it fight opioid addiction and better ensure veterans get care (http://wapo.st/2n12nHb). He and his wife Ivanka stepped in to save gay and lesbians from discrimination (http://politi.co/2nttF4d) and stopped Trump from gutting a climate deal (http://on.wsj.com/2nwspyl). It’s no wonder people in the White House are getting jealous of him (http://politi.co/2n1hTD4). By the way, he won Trump the White House (http://bit.ly/2nZg6xG).
Story Continued Below
WHAT DONALD TRUMP IS TWEETING — @realDonaldTrump at 8:56 a.m.: “Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!” … at 9:03 a.m.: “Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.” … at 9:34 a.m.: “The real story turns out to be SURVEILLANCE and LEAKING! Find the leakers.”
— NOTE: Trump sent emissaries to tell House Republicans he was moving on to tax reform after Republicans pulled the health-care bill.
PRESIDENT TRUMP is on the move. His motorcade left the White House. Destination unknown, according to the pool report.
THE NEXT GENERATION — FRONT PAGE OF THE BOSTON GLOBE — “New wave of Kennedys cresting across the country,” by the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey in Chicago: “Chris Kennedy, the eight of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children, [has launched] his 2018 bid for governor in his adopted Illinois. He’s part of a new wave of Kennedys returning to the family business of national political leadership and using Trump as their foil. His cousin Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late Massachusetts senator, is mulling his own 2018 gubernatorial run in Connecticut, where he’s a member of the state Senate. Then there’s Joe Kennedy III, the third-term Massachusetts congressman, grabbing the national spotlight to help defeat Trump’s health care plan — prompting big questions about his next move. They’re trying to stage a family comeback for one of the most famous names in politics at a time when voters just rejected political elites, and as dynasties on the political left and right crumbled.” http://bit.ly/2nww2V2 … A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2ntkfpB
GORSUCH WATCH — “Bennet struggles for middle ground amid Gorsuch war,” by Seung Min Kim: “Michael Bennet is in a bind. The centrist Coloradan is under siege like no other Senate Democrat in the battle over Neil Gorsuch – trapped between significant home-state pressure to back the Denver-bred judge and a scorching liberal base urging Democratic senators to filibuster President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. Even more significant for Bennet – a stickler for Senate tradition – is that he’s watching the chamber further collapse all around him as an institution, as the deeply divided body careens toward a triggering of the ‘nuclear option’ that will lower the bar for confirming Supreme Court nominees. ‘He’s struggling with it,’ one Democratic senator said.” http://politi.co/2nwkUaz
MICHAEL CROWLEY on Egypt — “Trump to welcome Egypt’s brutal dictator”: “Egypt’s military ruler Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was never invited to the Obama White House, where he was viewed as a brutal tyrant with little regard for human rights and democracy. On Monday, President Donald Trump will roll out the red carpet for him. Reviled by activists for what they call the harshest political repression in Egypt’s history, Sisi has emerged as an early Trump favorite among world leaders. The two men first met during the presidential campaign in September, leading Trump to call Sisi a ‘fantastic guy,’ and Sisi was the first foreign leader to reach Trump after his election. Their meeting Monday will offer important clues about how Trump plans to engage with foreign dictators with poor human rights records. It is also key to Trump’s effort to bolster ties with Arab allies in the fight against Islamists across the Middle East. While western governments have protested Sisi’s imprisonment of thousands of people on dubious political charges, Trump has openly praised the Egyptian autocrat’s ruthlessness.” http://politi.co/2optRqc
HOT IN FOGGY BOTTOM — NYT A18, “Meet the Obama Holdovers Who Survived Trump’s Sweep,” by Mark Landler: “When President Trump’s new Middle East envoy began haggling over the details of an agreement with Israel to curb construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, they turned to a politically improbable adviser: Yael Lempert, a 43-year-old diplomat who worked on the issue in Barack Obama’s White House. When Mr. Trump met with the leaders of Japan, Britain and Canada, he included Thomas A. Shannon Jr., another career diplomat, who rose to the No. 3 post in Mr. Obama’s State Department.
“And when Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson traveled to Turkey this past week to rally support for the military campaign against the Islamic State, he took along Brett H. McGurk, who coordinated that effort as Mr. Obama’s special envoy. These diplomats are part of a rare cohort in the Trump administration: holdovers from the Obama years, whose skills, knowledge and bureaucratic finesse have enabled them to survive, even thrive, in an administration determined to purge all vestiges of its predecessor.” http://nyti.ms/2opeoGN
****** A message from the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care: America’s hospitals provide critical, often life-saving care — and other primary and preventative care services — within and outside their four walls. But that hasn’t stopped Congress from cutting vital federal funding for patient care. Join us to protect America’s hospitals and the vital care they provide to their communities. http://politi.co/2mZqMIh ******
SCOOP — “National Security Council No. 2 offered post in Singapore,” by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Elise Labott and Dan Merica: “K.T. McFarland, a former Fox News analyst brought in as the No. 2 at the National Security Council by the fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, has been offered the post of US ambassador to Singapore, sources familiar with the situation tell CNN. McFarland is also being considered for a senior role at the State Department … but it is unclear whether any concrete offer from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been made. One source close to McFarland says she could also opt to remain at the National Security Council.” http://cnn.it/2nt6W8E
OOPS – NYT A15, “Michael Flynn Failed to Disclose Income From Russia-Linked Entities,” by Matt Rosenberg: “Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who was forced out of the job in February, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on the first of two financial disclosure forms released Saturday by the Trump administration. The first form, which he signed in February, does not directly mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia. The second, an amended version, lists the names of the companies that made the payments under a section for any nongovernment compensation that exceeds $5,000 ‘in a year.’ …
“The Russia-linked payments were detailed in a letter released in March by congressional investigators, and included a $45,000 speaking fee from RT … for a speech in 2015 in Moscow. During the same trip, Mr. Flynn attended the network’s lavish anniversary dinner and was photographed sitting at the elbow of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.” http://nyti.ms/2n0FLGU
–“86 percent of Trump counties make less in a year than 27 Trump staffers are worth,” by WaPo’s Philip Bump: http://wapo.st/2oMXCNZ
JEFF BIRNBAUM in WaPo on TAX REFORM — “Federal income tax reform this year? Don’t count on it”: http://wapo.st/2opl086
— NYT A1: “Conservative Split Over Import Tax Imperils Trump’s Overhaul,” by Nick Confessore and Alan Rappeport: “One conservative group produced colorful flow charts warning millennials that a ‘border adjustment’ tax proposed by Speaker Paul D. Ryan would raise prices on ‘the Jose Cuervo tequila that’s in your happy hour margarita.’ Three days later, a second conservative group kicked off a lobbying campaign saying it would amount to a $1.2 trillion tax on seniors and the working poor. The next day, still another group weighed in, issuing a news release that highlighted how Latinos would be ‘among those hardest hit’ by the new tax on imports. All three organizations share a common lineage: They are part of the political network overseen by Charles D. and David H. Koch, the billionaire conservative businessmen. Now they are among a host of conservative organizations mounting a furious campaign against a new tax on imports proposed by House Republicans.” http://nyti.ms/2opjQth
SUNDAY BEST — MARTHA RADDATZ talks to UN AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY on ABC’s “This Week”: RADDATZ: “But Ambassador Haley, [Trump comments on Russia] has to affect the U.S. relationship with Russia. What are you seeing?” HALEY: “Well, I can tell you that in my dealings with Russia in particular at the United Nations — you know, we beat up on them because we thought that what they did with Crimea and what’s happening in Ukraine is wrong and we called them out for it. And what we’ve said is they are not being helpful and the way that they and Iran are covering up for Assad. We don’t think that’s helpful. We need their pressure when it comes to dealing with ISIS and we also need their pressure when it comes to dealing with China and North Korea, so there’s certain things that we do work with Russia one and then there’s certain things, when they do something wrong, I have no problem calling them out on it.”
— SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL to CHRIS WALLACE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” — No government shutdown later this month: “Yeah, I’m very confident. The two appropriations committees are working on the bills on a bipartisan basis. We’ll be talking to Senate Democrats. They will be relevant to this process. It will require 60 votes. I am confident Senate Democrats are not going to want to shut down government. … Nobody wants a government shutdown. I think the Senate Democrats know that every time that we have had a government shutdown situation, it’s been the Congress has been blamed and not the President. So I would advise President Trump, don’t worry about them sticking that label on you. Congress owns the government shutdown brand. And there is no incentive, frankly, for either side to go to the brink. I think we are going to be able to work all of this out later this month.”
— ON JUDGE GORSUCH’S NOMINATION: “[H]e will ultimately be confirmed, exactly how that happens, Chris, will be up to our Democratic colleagues. It is noteworthy that no supreme court justices have ever in the history of our country been stopped by a partisan filibuster, ever. In fact, the business of filibustering the judges is a fairly recent invention, ironically, of the now minority in the Senate, the Democrats. And, in particular, Sen. Schumer who convince his colleagues after Bush 43 got elected to start routinely filibustering judges.”
— REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CALIF.) to JAKE TAPPER on CNN’S STATE OF THE UNION: TAPPER: “Can you say definitively that there was collusion, there were people affiliated with the Trump campaign who were working with Russians to time the release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton that had been hacked either from John Podesta or the DNC?” SCHIFF: “I don’t think we can say anything definitively at this point. We are still at the very early stage of the investigation. The only thing I can say is that it would be irresponsible for us not to get to the bottom of this. We really need to do — we really need to find out exactly what the Russians did, because one of the most important conclusions that the intelligence community reached is that they are going to do this again to the United States. They are doing it already in Europe. So, we can say, you know, conclusively this is something that needs to be thoroughly investigated. But it’s way premature to be reaching conclusions.”
A FOUR-PART L.A. TIMES EDITORIAL: “The problem with Trump.” — PART I: “Our dishonest president.” http://lat.ms/2n1myVt
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE … — “Trump aide urges defeat of Michigan member of Freedom Caucus,” by AP’s Darlene Superville: “A top adviser to President Donald Trump on Saturday urged the defeat of a Michigan congressman and member of a conservative group of U.S. House lawmakers who derailed the White House on legislation to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law. Government ethics lawyers said the tweet by White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. violated federal law that limits political activity by government employees. The White House denied Scavino had run afoul of the law. … Ethics lawyers who worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents said Scavino violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits political activity by government employees. They said it didn’t matter that Scavino tweeted from an account marked as ‘personal’ and not from his official government Twitter account.” http://apne.ws/2oNaF1U
YOU’RE INVITED — We’ll be interviewing House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), founding member of the caucus, and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) Thursday morning for a Playbook Interview. Doors open at 8 a.m. RSVP http://bit.ly/2oHFLIc
JOIN US — Monday night for the Playbook Pool National Championship Watch Party. We’ll be gathering at 7:30 p.m. at BlackFinn. RSVP http://bit.ly/2nO85sH
THE GAME — NORTH CAROLINA vs. GONZAGA. 9:20 p.m. Monday on CBS. Kayla Tausche’s Tarheels are a two-point favorite.
FIRST PERSON – MARY VOUGHT in WaPo, “I worked for Mike Pence. Being a woman never held me back”: “Since a Washington Post profile of Karen Pence, the vice president’s wife, appeared last week, critics have obsessed over a single line, which reported that, as of 2002, the vice president doesn’t dine alone with women other than his wife. … I’m a woman, and I worked for Pence while he served in Congress. Pence’s personal decision to not dine alone with female staffers was never a hindrance to my ability to do my job well, and never kept me from reaping the rewards of my work. In fact, I excelled at my job because of the work environment created from the top down, and my personal determination to succeed. I engaged in senior staff meetings and strategy sessions side-by-side with the congressman and my colleagues, and I never felt sidelined because of my gender. My proposals and suggestions were always valued as equal with those of my male counterparts.” http://wapo.st/2nKx14P … Read the original WaPo profile http://wapo.st/2opr00j
HOT VIDEO – Moscow Times’ @KevinRothrock: “More embarrassment for Dmitry Medvedev. Footage gone viral online showing the ridiculous bodyguard contingent that follows him when he skis.” 1-min. video http://bit.ly/2n0MRLi
WHAT ADAM SCHIFF IS READING — “AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans want independent Russia probe,” by AP’s Jonathan Lemire and Emily Swanson: “More than three-quarters of Democrats favor an independent investigation into Trump’s Russian ties while only one-quarter of Republicans do. Overall, 52 percent of Americans favor such a probe, while 23 percent are opposed. … ‘Russia has always been an enemy of the United States and of democracy across the world. Our politicians have no business making secret deals with them. That’s not the America I know,’ said John Dodd, 68, who runs a bowling alley in Big Spring, Texas. ‘Every day, I turn on the news and it feels like there’s more to it. For our country’s sake, I hope it leads to nowhere. But I am afraid it does.’” http://apne.ws/2op8Goq
— L.A. TIMES FRONT PAGE: “Rep. Adam Schiff, Trump’s public prosecutor, says he must be a ‘guardian against the worst abuses,’” by Sarah Wire: http://lat.ms/2n1cuvO
— “Speier on Nunes debacle: ‘Absolutely convinced it started in the Oval Office’,” by California Playbooker Carla Marinucci in San Mateo: “Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Saturday she is ‘absolutely convinced’ the White House generated the bizarre scenario that has embroiled committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes -— in which he reportedly obtained information from administration officials regarding foreign surveillance of Trump campaign officials, and then presented it to the president. … ‘There’s no question in my mind that the president, with the aid of his national security adviser staff, came up with some kind of a ruse to try and suggest there was some kind of validity’ to his accusation, which has been debunked by intelligence officials, Speier said after a town-hall event in which she and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul examined Russia-Trump connections.” http://politi.co/2nttCWb
2020 WATCH — “Kasich moves fuel 2020 buzz,” by Gabe Debenedetti: “John Kasich, the Ohio governor and two-time GOP presidential candidate, insists he’s not looking at another White House run in 2020. His closest allies say the same. But the prominent Trump adversary is publishing a book titled after a prominent 2016 speech he gave opposing Donald Trump: ‘Two Paths: America Divided or United’ [out April 25]. Almost immediately after it’s released later this month, he plans to return to the early voting state of New Hampshire during his book tour. Between that and a series of aggressive political moves embarked on by Kasich and his advisors, the whispers among Republican insiders about a possible primary challenge to the president won’t go away no matter how hard he tries to dismiss them. ‘I’m not really interested in running for political office again,’ the term-limited governor said on CNN last week when asked directly about his intentions. ‘You don’t close the door on anything, but I have — I don’t have my eyes on that.’” http://politi.co/2oN5ijc … Pre-order — $18.29 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2ntsWAj
PLAYBOOK INBOX – We scooped earlier this week that some members of the American Association of Political Consultants were angry that Kellyanne Conway recently got the MVP award from the organization. There were concerns that Conway got the prize despite the Trump campaign violating the AAPC’s code of ethics. After the item appeared, Art Hackney, AAPC’s chairman, emailed Conway: “Kellyanne, With a few Dems stirring up negativity about the award we gave you, (which is being gobbled up by some in the political insider press), I thought I’d pass along the straight scoop. You received more nominations for an Excellence Award than any other nominee in any category. AAPC Board has 14 D and 14 R voting members. Republican Caucus was unanimous in supporting you.
“Most D’s (especially our mutual friend Jef Pollock) felt the same way. I was proud to stand up and announce the award. I was told that many D’s would boo and walk out. My statement honoring you got zero boo’s — zero walkouts — and uniform solid applause across the room. Your response video – which some D’s predicted would get boo’s and walkouts — got zero boo’s — zero walkouts — and uniform solid applause across the room. You were clearly the Most Valuable Player in 2016 and there are simply a few D’s who have not gone through the twelve step program out of denial.”
****** A message from the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care: The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care was formed to protect access to the best quality health care for all people. Our community of over one million grassroots supporters fight back against congressional and executive action that threatens America’s hospitals. When our caregivers, our patients, or our communities are at risk, our supporters speak out and advocate. Join our community and protect access to quality patient care for all. http://politi.co/2nZNSjR ******
IT’S GOOD TO BE RICH — “At U-Va., a ‘watch list’ flags VIP applicants for special handling,” by WaPo’s T. Rees Shapiro: “The University of Virginia’s fundraising team for years has sought to help children of wealthy alumni and prominent donors who apply for admission, flagging their cases internally for special handling, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. The records from the U-Va. advancement office, which oversees fundraising for the prestigious public flagship, reveal nearly a decade of efforts to monitor admission bids and in some cases assist those in jeopardy of rejection. … They provide a case study of what is regarded as an open secret in higher education: that schools do pay attention when an applicant’s family has given them money — or might in the future. The 2011 list, for example, shows that one hopeful was initially marked as denied. Then an advancement officer scribbled a handwritten note on the tracking file: ‘$500k.’ A typed notation said ‘must be on WL,’ for wait list. A final handwritten note urged, ‘if at all possible A,’ for accepted.” http://wapo.st/2opizBV
HOLLYWOODLAND — “Tom Hanks mixes laughs, gravity for ACLU online fundraiser,” by AP’s Lynn Elber: “Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and other stars joined in an online fundraiser for the American Civil Liberties Union, urging the public to help protect bedrock rights they warned are in jeopardy. Hanks said actions such as President Donald Trump’s attempted travel ban represent a ‘brand of tragedy’ and not the America the actor learned about as a youngster. The fundraiser … included studio and videotaped appearances by Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Steve Buscemi, Tituss Burgess and Sterling K. Brown. Norah Jones, Usher and The Roots were among the musical performers. … Seth Meyers and Chelsea Clinton separately tackled the issue of voting rights, with the former first daughter saying that some state laws are making it harder to cast ballots.” http://apne.ws/2owC099
JEN PSAKI’s advice for SEAN SPICER – she told Jonathan Allen in his new podcast, “DC/BS”: “My advice would be to remember that your credibility is more important than the length of time you stay in a job. And that he has to be conscious and cognizant every single day when he goes to that podium about the fact that he’s not an old guy and he’s going to have a long career after this potentially. That’s a big meta piece of advice.” http://bit.ly/2nFgdMB
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
–“How Utah Keeps the American Dream Alive,” by Megan McArdle in Bloomberg View – per The Browser’s description: “Utah has the highest rate of upward mobility in America, some of the best social services, and one of the smallest state governments. How so? Three things: A ‘cheerfully effective bureaucracy’; an engaged and supportive community; and the overwhelming moral and financial power of the Mormon Church. It is uplifting to see the American dream flourish in Utah, and depressing to think how difficult it would be to replicate these conditions anywhere else. The key is ‘cultural agreement.’” https://bloom.bg/2okAnP0
–“The Follieri Charade,” by Michael Shnayerson in the Oct. 2008 Vanity Fair: “Raffaello Follieri had the love of Hollywood princess Anne Hathaway, the illusion of a Vatican imprimatur, an investment partnership with billionaire Ron Burkle, and entrée to Bill Clinton’s inner circle. It wasn’t enough for him. … [Then] the Italian entrepreneur [was] jailed on fraud and money-laundering charges, the author separates the facts from the fantasy of Follieri and Hathaway’s high-flying life.” http://bit.ly/2nNKB9b
–“FBI Arrests Hacker Who Hacked No One,” by Kevin Poulsen in The Daily Beast: “He built a piece of software. That tool was pirated and abused by hackers. Now the feds want him to pay for the computer crooks’ crimes.” http://thebea.st/2oqJH0M
–“I’m With Her,” by Michael Bierut in Design Observer: In January 2015, “I was invited to volunteer my services on a secret project: the design of a logo for the possible presidential bid of the former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. … We would work in secret for the next two months. … Our candidate was universally known. How could we make her image seem fresh and compelling?” http://bit.ly/2nIReJX
–“China’s Once and Future Democracy,” by Orville Schell on the cover of WSJ’s Review section: “Despite Xi Jinping’s crackdown and Donald Trump’s silence on human rights, China has a vibrant democratic legacy that may yet reassert itself.” http://on.wsj.com/2oMZB4D
–“Where Are You Really From,” by Zara Rahman in Real Life Magazine: “For all the 1990s utopian dreams of the internet as a space where nation-state borders don’t matter, what we’ve ended up with is an online version of our offline realities in which borders are not transcended but exaggerated. Citizenships aren’t ignored but enforced more strongly.” http://bit.ly/2oqvJMa (h/t Longreads.com)
–“Frogpocalypse Now,” by Ian Frazier in Outside Magazine: “In South Florida, cane toads are so numerous that they seem to be dropping from the sky. They’re overtaking parking lots and backyards, can weigh almost six pounds, and pack enough poison to kill pets. Why the surge?” http://bit.ly/2nIQh4f (h/t Longform.org)
–“Policing the Colony: From the American Revolution to Ferguson,” by Chris Hayes, author of “A Colony in a Nation,” on the cover of The Nation: “[A]s a principle of American self-governance, ‘do what the cops say’ is a pretty strange unofficial motto. This great land of ours was founded by men who, to borrow a phrase, refused to comply, who not only resisted lawful orders but rebelled against the government that issued them. Colonists chased the king’s officers through the streets, beat them, tarred and feathered them, and wheeled them through town for all to mock and shame. As distant as it may seem now, that’s our national heritage when it comes to ‘lawful orders.’” http://bit.ly/2mWJWDB … The cover http://politi.co/2olBcXy … $16.17 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2nVQOAt
–“Bob Silvers’s Vision,” by Adam Thirlwell in the Paris Review: “Bob’s charisma was due to a particular bundle of charmed values —justice, precision, intimacy, élan — rooted in a philosophy so comprehensive it could only be examined through specificities. It was always as if he had just met world history at a party … His editing [of the N.Y. Review of Books] oddly expanded your writing. It refused to allow you the consolation of abandoning a sentence at moments when you felt lazy, or tired, or lost. For those, in the end, were the points of greatest interest.” http://bit.ly/2nIZM3j
–“Lidio Javier’s Long Journey Home,” by Foreign Policy’s Molly O’Toole in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico: “Tracing the steps of one young Mexican who died in the Arizona desert suggests Trump’s wall won’t do much to deter migrants — and could kill more like him.” http://atfp.co/2nrZATr
–“The Unlikely Rise of an Alt-Right Hero,” by Clio Chang in The New Republic: “How Kyle Chapman, a 41-year-old Trump supporter, became the meme: ‘Based Stickman.’” http://bit.ly/2okEaMd
–“The Problem With Climate Catastrophizing,” by Oren Cass in Foreign Affairs: “The societal collapse that catastrophists envision—one that poses an ‘existential’ threat beyond the scope of other human problems, one that makes procreation an ethically dubious proposition—is simply irreconcilable with the outlook the science and economics offers.” http://fam.ag/2ojadeY
–“The naked truth,” by CNN’s Jessica Ravitz: “She was the perfect hero: a cancer survivor baring her double-mastectomy scars on a 1,000-mile walk to Washington. Until her own words got in the way.” http://cnn.it/2nVElwu
SPOTTED: Tea Leoni and her husband Tim Daly last night at the Capital Grille in DC … Dana Bash in first class on an American flight from Dallas to Dulles Saturday with her son … Warren Buffett and Bill Gates yesterday in the same box watching the equestrian International Omaha Grand Prix – pic http://bit.ly/2opyJv1 — Charlie Jacobs, whose family owns the Boston Bruins, is competing in the World Cup final today.
ENGAGED – Travis Korson, SVP at Madison Strategies, and Emily Haney, a consultant with CGI Federal, got engaged on Saturday in Paris. “We met at Hill Country at Wednesday night karaoke through mutual friends … I proposed to her on a sunny afternoon in Paris on the banks of the Seine River in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.Afterwards we met my parents who are traveling with us, and her parents who flew in to surprise my fiancée for celebratory drinks and dinner.” Pic http://bit.ly/2nZie8C
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — WE LOVE HADAS AND CHRIS! — “Hadas Gold, Christopher Hooton” – N.Y. Times: “Ms. Gold, 29 … works in Washington as a media reporter for the political news website Politico. She graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University, from which she also received a master’s degree in media and public affairs. … Mr. Hooton, 31, is the chief economist for the Internet Association in Washington. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami and received a master’s degree with distinction in local economic development from the London School of Economics. He also received a Ph.D. in economic development and urban economics from the University of Cambridge in England. … The couple met through mutual friends in January 2012, at a party in Washington.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2nKJ1mZ
–“Addar Weintraub, William Levi” – NYT: “Rabbi Miriam Senturia officiated at the Inn at Park Winters in Winters, Calif., with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. of the United States Supreme Court taking part by offering personal remarks about the couple. Mrs. Levi, 29, is the associate general counsel for the Obama Foundation in Washington. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received a law degree from Harvard. … Mr. Levi, 33, worked until recently in Washington as the chief counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. He served as a law clerk to Justice Alito in 2012. He graduated from Stanford with distinction and received a law degree from Yale. … The groom is a grandson of the late Edward H. Levi, who served as the United States attorney general from 1975 to 1977. The couple met in September 2014 through the dating app Hinge.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2nNGU3r SPOTTED:Martha-Ann Alito, WaPo’s Phil Rucker, Judge Anthony Scirica, DOJ’s Gary Barnett,screenwriter/playwright Michael Mitnick.
TRANSITIONS — KATIE ZIRKELBACH has hung her own shingle as Zirkelbach Strategies, LLC. Zirkelbach has more than a decade of healthcare lobbying experience at the state and federal levels. She worked in both AHIP state and federal affairs departments leading up to and immediately following the passage of the ACA. Following her time at AHIP, she ran point on House Republican advocacy at Anthem, where she worked on healthcare reform, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and cyber security issues. She most recently was at a firm servicing a portfolio of healthcare clients that included payers, providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers
–RON POLLACK retires – Friday was the last day for Pollack, who served as the founding executive director for 34 years of the consumer health organization Families USA, which played a top leadership role in promoting and protecting the Affordable Care Act. He is now chair emeritus. Per the organization: “Mr. Pollack intends to continue his active role promoting good health coverage and care for all. As part of those efforts, he will circulate frequent commentaries about health care, economic fairness, and politics.”
OUT AND ABOUT – There was a surprise 50th birthday party with lots of heartfelt toasts for Glenn Thrush on Saturday night at Busboys and Poets in Takoma Park. Glenn’s wife Diane managed to stun him. “I would’ve showered,” Glenn told the crowd. Glenn turns 5-0 on April 6. SPOTTED: Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, Maggie Haberman and Dareh Gregorian, Mark Landler, Bill Hamilton, Jane Mayer, Alec MacGillis, Mike McAuliffe, Josh Gerstein, Matt Flegenheimer, Elisabeth Bumiller, Marty Kady and Suz Redfearn, Devlin Barrett, Michael Shear, Mary Agnes Carey, Carrie Budoff Brown and husband Thomas Brown, Greg Sargent, David Nather, Carol Eisenberg and husband Matt, Julie Rovner, Olivier Knox, Glenn’s twins Nathaniel and Charlie.
–SPOTTED at the 3rd Annual Oysters & Champagne party hosted by Rebecca and Matt Haller and Andrew Kovalcin: Gloria Dittus, Paul Volpe, Molly Fluet, Josh and Blair Latoff Holmes, Matt Dornic, Ben Jenkins, Marissa Mitrovich, Erin Billings, Erica Farage, Kathryn McQuade, Jared Parks (who, with Kovalcin, regaled guests with their Kid Rock story), Micah Spangler and Jill Nguyen, Christina Mandreucci and Rob Noel, Kristen Hayford.
BIRTHDAYS: Dr. Jud Feldman (hat tip: grandson Charley) … Tim Pataki, special assistant to the President, is 32 … Brent Colburn, VP of comms at The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and a DoD and Obama 2012 alum, is 41 … Meridith Webster, global head of public affairs at Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP and an Obama WH alum (h/ts Ben Chang) … Politico’s Dana Rubinstein, Josefa Velasquez and Katya Moukhina … Lynda Tran, 270 Strategies founding partner and CBS News contributor (h/t Drew Godinich) … Caitlyn Morrison, account coordinator at Waxman Strategies and recent LA transplant, is 23 (h/t Stephanie Benedict) … Brian Austin, consultant at Kaiser Associates (h/t wife Emily Stephenson, who just started at Politico) … Emily Steel, a TV and media reporter at the NYT and a WSJ and FT alum … Carl Kasell, formerly of NPR (whose voice is on HIS answering machine?) … Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Me.) is 62 … Alex Rosenwald, director of PR and branding at MediaDC … Jennifer Morrow, scheduler for Rep. Devin Nunes … former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) is 67 … former Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) is 8-0 …
… Robby Zirkelbach, head of communications at PhRMA, lover of the Hawkeyes and sponsor of flying golf clubs (h/t Joe Brettell) … Dan Sallick, partner and co-founder of Subject Matter (h/t Peter Cherukuri) … Joe Hack, Sen. Deb. Fischer’s chief of staff and one of the youngest chiefs on the Senate side, is 3-0 (h/t colleague Brianna Puccini) … Michael David Morgan … Sean Long, son of two former staffers, the pride of Clarendon, VA and a rising star at the DOJ, is 24 … John McCauley, deputy comms. director at the Truman National Security Project … Jim O’Grady, WNYC reporter and professional storyteller … Nikhil Joshi, OFA and Obama WH alum now senior manager for biz ops and strategy at Lending Club in San Fran … GSG alum Emily Hartmann … Danny Kanner, now of NBA comms and alum of DGA and OFA … Dan Reilly, NEA’s senior campaigns and elections specialist and a Teamsters alum … Christy Agner … Greg Boatright (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Abe Dyk … Kimberly Woodard … Sarah Fenn … Kristina Clara Konrad-Williams … Clare Osdene Schapiro … Carole Chouinard … social critic and author Camille Paglia is 7-0 … Michael Fassbender is 4-0 (h/ts AP)
****** A message from the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care: America’s hospitals are under near-constant threat of federal cuts to patient care. These cuts make it harder for hospital staff to do their jobs, prevent hospitals from getting beyond their four walls to better serve those who rely on them, and increase wait times and reduced access to medical technologies. We can’t afford any more cuts to patient care. Stand up for your hospital and protects access to the best quality health care for all people. Join the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care today. http://politi.co/2nZHxom ******
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