Good Sunday morning.
STATEMENT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE at 8:55 a.m. this morning: “Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”
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SOME THOUGHTS — Donald Trump could be opening up Pandora’s box. The congressional intel committees will take this mandate seriously. The panels pride themselves on being bipartisan and could dredge up something Trump might not like. Yes, both panels are controlled by Republicans loyal to Trump — the House Intelligence Committee is chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes of California and the Senate panel is chaired by Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina. But Democrats will have access to all the information that Republicans do, and if the GOP doesn’t play fairly, Dems will be sure to call them out.
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SUNDAY BEST — SEN. MARCO RUBIO talks to CHUCK TODD onNBC’s “Meet the Press”: TODD: “As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, if there was a wiretap on Donald Trump’s campaign, isn’t that something you would have been made aware of?” RUBIO: “Well, again, I think the term ‘wiretap’ is thrown around very loosely, and by a lot of people. So we have to understand exactly what they’re talking about. Suffice it to say I don’t have any basis, I’ve never heard that allegation made before by anybody. I’ve never seen anything about that anywhere before. But again, the president put that out there, and now the White House will have to answer as to exactly what he was referring to. … Let’s say — clearly, I don’t think anybody — if that were true, then there’s no doubt that it would (CHUCKLE) be a very newsworthy item with a lot of discussion about it. And if it’s not true, then obviously, one would ask themselves, ‘Well, why did you put that out there to begin with? And what was the rationale behind it?’”
— RUBIO to JAKE TAPPER on CNN’s “STATE OF THE UNION”: “I’m not sure what it is he is talking about. Perhaps the president has information that is not yet available to us or to the public. And if it’s true, obviously we’re going to find out very quickly. And if it isn’t, then obviously he’ll have to explain what he meant by it. So I don’t — I’m not sure what the genesis of that statement was, but I imagine we’re going to learn more about it here over the next few days, one way or the other.”
— MICHAEL MUKASEY to MARTHA RADDATZ on ABC’s “THIS WEEK”: “This is the difference between being correct and being right. I think the president was not correct certainly in saying that President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney — of the Justice Department through the FISA court.”
–WH SPOKESMAN SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS to RADDATZ: “If this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest scandal.”
— SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER to TODD: “Well look, President Obama has flatly denied that he [ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower]. And either way, Chuck, the President’s in trouble. If he falsely spread this kind of misinformation, that is so wrong. It’s beneath the dignity of the presidency. It is something that really hurts people’s view of government. It’s civilization-warping, as Ben Sasse, conservative Republican, called it. And I don’t know of any president, Democrat or Republican in the past, has done this. It shows this president doesn’t know how to conduct himself.
“On the other hand, if it’s true, it’s even worse for the president. Because that means that a federal judge, independently elected, has found probable cause that the president, or people on his staff, have probable cause to have broken the law or to have interacted with a foreign agent. Now that’s serious stuff. So either way, the president makes it worse with these tweets. Now, is he trying to divert things here? Yeah. The president denied this. I don’t have any doubt to doubt — I don’t have any doubt that President Obama has been telling the truth.”
–@TeddyDavisCNN: “Mike Rogers – fmr. chair of House Intelligence Committee – on Trump/wiretap: ‘He just put another quarter in the conspiracy parking meter.’”
–@NBCPolitics: “Former DNI Clapper on @MeetThePress: There was no wiretapping mounted against the president or his campaign” — 26-second video http://bit.ly/2n2sTf2
— @FoxNewsSunday: “Both @SenTomCotton & @ChrisCoons tell Chris they have seen no hard evidence of collusion between ‘Trump World’ & Russians to [affect] election”
HAPPENING TOMORROW – “Trump expected to sign new executive order on travel ban on Monday,” by Josh Dawsey and Nancy Cook: “President Donald Trump is expected to sign on Monday a new executive order on his controversial travel ban at the Department of Homeland Security, according to senior government officials familiar with the matter. It is unclear how significant the changes to the current order will be or whether the White House will continue a court fight over its old order. … White House chief strategist Steve Bannon [traveled] on Saturday to Mar-a-Lago ‘for an EO launch meeting’ with a team from the Department of Justice. They will meet with DHS officials and the president, according to a source familiar with the matter.” http://politi.co/2lNjyr2
INSIDE THE ROOM — “Trump fumes over Sessions’ recusal from Russia probe,” by Alex Isenstadt, Josh Dawsey and Nancy Cook: “President Donald Trump, increasingly frustrated with his White House rollout, vented to top aides on Friday over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from any investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Prior to departing for Florida, where he is spending the weekend, Trump convened on Friday a group of senior aides in the Oval Office, including chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior adviser Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump, chief strategist Steve Bannon, communications director Mike Dubke, and press secretary Sean Spicer. The meeting was ostensibly to talk about next week’s packed schedule, which is expected to include the release of a new immigration travel ban and possibly an Obamacare replacement bill. …
“The meeting on Friday got heated once it turned to the topic of Sessions. What, Trump wanted to know, was the logic of the move? The president made it clear he thought the whole thing had been handled poorly, and that Sessions shouldn’t have recused himself, according to sources familiar with the meeting. His exasperation was apparent. At one point, Trump addressed White House counsel Don McGahn, who was also in the room, directly, and said he was unhappy about the turn of events, the sources said. ‘There were fireworks,’ said one person briefed on the events.” http://politi.co/2m7Zctu
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TRUMP INC. — “Trump sons, planning expansion of family business, look to leverage campaign experience,” by WaPo’s Jonathan O’Connell, David Fahrenthold and Matea Gold in New York: “Donald Trump’s adult sons, who are overseeing a nationwide expansion of the family business during their father’s presidency, are envisioning ways that their experiences from the campaign trail can help them establish a footing in dozens of new markets. The idea is to move beyond a focus on luxury hotels in big metropolises and build boutique properties in a broader mix of cities, including some the Trump brothers came to know well during more than a year of intensive travel, fundraising and grass-roots networking on the road to the White House.
“‘I got to see a lot of those markets on the campaign,’ Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, told The Washington Post in a recent interview from his office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower. ‘I think I’ve probably been in all of them over the last 18 months.’ The initial plan is tied to the Trumps’ previously announced new chain, Scion, which is being designed as a less-corporate feeling brand of high-end hotels with a more affordable per-room price point than the Trumps’ five-star properties.” http://wapo.st/2n1YFZl
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— “Trump hotel may be political capital of the nation’s capital,” by AP’s Julie Bykowicz: “At a circular booth in the middle of the Trump International Hotel’s balcony restaurant, President Donald Trump dined on his steak — well-done, with ketchup — while chatting up British Brexit politician Nigel Farage. A few days later, major Republican donors Doug Deason and Doug Manchester, in town for the president’s address to Congress, sipped coffee at the hotel with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. …
“It’s just another week at the new political capital of the nation’s capital.The $200 million hotel inside the federally owned Old Post Office building has become the place to see, be seen, drink, network — even live — for the still-emerging Trump set. It’s a rich environment for lobbyists and anyone hoping to rub elbows with Trump-related politicos — despite a veil of ethics questions that hangs overhead.” http://apne.ws/2lsPUeN
DAN BALZ’S TAKE — SUNDAY WAPO — “Russia is the slow burn of the Trump administration, and it’s not going away”: “It is the issue that he and his team cannot get beyond. They cannot get beyond it because they are skittish about accepting what is already known. They cannot get beyond it because they have not been as forthcoming as they could be about what they did. They cannot get beyond it because they don’t know what they don’t know. It’s important to remember that much isn’t yet known about the whole controversy, particularly the contacts between Trump campaign officials or advisers and the Russians. That there were contacts is not in dispute. Some appear routine, but the circumstances and the content of all those contacts is far from fully known. It’s possible they will add up to little or nothing. It’s also possible they will add up to something significant.” http://wapo.st/2mGTrpV
TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE — “How the Trump Administration May Be Skirting Its Own Ethics Rules,” by ProPublica’s Justin Elliott: “The Trump administration appears to be either ignoring or exempting top staffers from its own watered-down ethics rules. As we have detailed, President Trump in January issued an order weakening Obama-era ethics policies, allowing lobbyists to work at agencies they had sought to influence. The Trump order did limit what lobbyists could do once they entered government, banning them from directly handling issues on which they had lobbied. But the administration may not be even following that. We’ve found three hires announced this week who, in fact, are working on the same issues on which they were registered lobbyists while in the private sector.” http://bit.ly/2maQXP0
SNL COLD OPEN – “Jeff Sessions Gump Cold Open”: Sessions (Kate McKinnon): “I was the only one who talked to the Russians. … Well me and Michael Flynn. So it was just me and Michael Flynn. … And J.D. Gordon. So just me, Michael Flynn and J.D. Gordon … and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower. So me, Michael Flynn, J.D. Gordon, and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower. And Carter Page. That’s all I got to say about that. And Paul Manafort. I’m going to have another of these chocolates.” 5-min. video — with a cameo by Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) http://bit.ly/2masUzP
THE JUICE …
— THE GRIDIRON: BEST LINES … MIKE PENCE: “[T]he President did ask me to send a message tonight. … ‘Mike – thanks for covering the Gridiron dinner. Have a good time. Get some rest this weekend, next week there is an important ribbon cutting in Antarctica that I really need you to speak at.’ …[T]o be honest, the end of the week was a little embarrassing for me. Not that I had a personal email account when I was governor, which is perfectly legal under Indiana law. It was just really embarrassing for me to have millions of Americans learn that I’m one of the few people in this country who still has an AOL account.
“I guess it was good for my image, though. Now America knows I’m not stuck in the 1950s – just the 1990s. … [I]t’s great to see Nancy Pelosi here. Nancy, you know that I love and respect you – we served together for many years. I hope you never change. Seriously. The President and I are counting on it.”
–NANCY PELOSI: “As you know, Senator Ernst thinks hogs should be castrated. We Democrats believe that hogs should be able to make that decision for themselves. … Vice President Pence, it’s good to see you this evening. Does the president know you’re here, laughing it up with the enemies of the American people? It’s OK, Mr. Vice President: People here can keep a secret. This isn’t the White House. … The President and First Lady are not with us tonight, but there are many senior members of the new administration here. I know that the rituals of the Gridiron can be formal, so I want to greet them in a way they’re more familiar with: Nasdrovia!” …
“This White House has more drama among rich people than a Jane Austen novel. In fact, I’m told the Secret Service code names for President Trump and Bannon are ‘Pride’ and ‘Prejudice.’ … This President has appointed so many people from Goldman Sachs to high positions that there’s nobody left to listen to Hillary’s speeches.”
— JONI ERNST: “For those who don’t know me, my name is Joni Ernst, I’m 30 years old, the current Miss Iowa and can run a mile in 4:30. I LOVE alternative facts! My goal tonight is simple: To make this speech shorter than Mike Flynn’s time at the NSA. Whoops, too late. … It’s great to see the vice president here. Do you realize he is just a heartbeat away from being second in command to Steve Bannon? … I don’t know if you all have heard the news yet, but the President just tweeted, this is the largest crowd in the history of the Gridiron. Nine million people. Wow, there are so many VIP’s here tonight. …
“[T]here are a number of people not here tonight. The President of course couldn’t be here. Saturday is golf night. Hillary refused to come here. She must think this is Wisconsin. … Let’s be honest, it’s been a rough first few months for the President. The bumper sticker on Melania’s car says, ‘Don’t blame me. I voted for her.’ …
“I don’t mean to be rude but the president keeps direct messaging me on Twitter. Can we put them up on the screen? … ‘Saw the Walking Dead on TV. A whole show about the DNC!’ … ‘Having trouble sleeping so watching Ben Carson.’ … ‘Voter frod at Westminster Dog Show. Bigly! Need investigation! And deport the Chihuahua.’ … ‘Jake Tapper is a big time chocker. Can I drone him?’ … ‘Since when are there THREE branches of government? Unfair!’”
SPOTTED: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), Jeff Bezos, Sean Spicer, Colin Powell, Kellyanne Conway, Omarosa Manigault, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, VA Secretary David Shulkin, David Espo, Craig Gilbert, Julie Pace, Tim Berry, Dorey Scheimer, Jake Tapper, AshLee Strong, Jeffrey Goldberg, John King, Glenn Thrush, Bret Baier, Judy Woodruff, Doyle McManus, Gridiron President Lynn Sweet, David Lightman, Susan Page, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Dodd, Brendan Buck, Annie Linskey, Matt Viser, Josh Pitcock, Marc Short, Drew Hammill and Jason Mida, John Dickerson, Neil King, Penny Pritzker, Leon Panetta, Madeleine Albright, Josh Earnest, Valerie Jarrett, Kim Kingsley, Danielle Jones, Roy Schwartz, Jon Karl, Al Hunt, Susan Milligan. Pic of Kellaynne and Elaine Chao talking before the event http://bit.ly/2lLngRf
— OVERHEARD: Rep. Darrell Issa saying his tux was from Men’s Wearhouse and made by Joseph Abboud.
— HERE IS AN EYE-POPPING statistic that shows the wild demand to get a premier foreign correspondent gig: more than 400 people have applied to three open foreign correspondent jobs at NPR: Jerusalem, Beirut and Islamabad. NPR, with 17 foreign bureaus, is one of the few U.S. news organizations that still boasts a strong global presence, especially since TV networks and others have severely cut back on foreign coverage. NPR chief international editor Will Dobson is interviewing candidates for the positions. Emily Harris left Jerusalem last summer and now works for Reveal. Philip Reeves, who was based in Islamabad, became Rio correspondent in December. And Alice Fordham is the outgoing Beirut correspondent and is headed to grad school.
— HEATHER NAUERT, formerly of Fox News, is the new State Department spokesperson. Instapic of Heather and Abby Huntsman http://bit.ly/2n2ezTI
IN PALM BEACH — “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago tested amid stiffening security,” by Darren Samuelsohn in Palm Beach, Florida, and Aidan Quigley: “Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is having trouble transforming from a ritzy hangout for millionaires and billionaires into a more rigid enclave with new security measures to protect the president from prying eyes and more significant threats. After photos surfaced on social media networks of Trump dealing with a North Korean missile crisis right out in front of his dues-paying members and guests on the dining terrace, his private club issued new rules prohibiting pictures or videos of the president when he’s on the premises so that the world can’t follow along on Twitter if it ever happens again.
“But that’s easier said than done. On Saturday night, the Palm Beach Post published a picture of Trump inside the club shaking hands with members and guests near the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute-University of Miami charity gala. Concrete is being poured for a helipad to land Marine One at the president’s oceanfront retreat. But a local police official said it may not do much to stop the traffic snarls, street closures and flight pattern restrictions that have disrupted everyday life for residents whenever Trump comes to his winter home in South Florida.” http://politi.co/2maMPyB
— “Trump mingles with Mar-a-Lago guests outside charity ball,” by Palm Beach Post’s Kristina Webb and Alexandra Clough: “President Donald Trump mingled with guests outside a charity ball at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Saturday night. As attendees danced inside the ballroom where the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute held its gala, the president was spotted nearby, shaking hands and talking with club members and guests. Earlier, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also took a few moments from high-level meetings to greet guests at the estate.” With 6 pix on one page http://pbpo.st/2mrPJA4
TOP-EDS – MARGARET CARLSON in The Daily Beast, “In Trump’s Terrifying New Normal, Obama Is Nixon and Up Is Down”: “Look what it took, being chained to a teleprompter in the well of the House, for Trump to spend an hour as a credible commander-in-chief. It will be a year before he is again in the collective line of sight of Senators, his Cabinet, Generals with their medals, Supreme Court Justice in their black robes, and Ivanka … After a spate of normality, Trump will always return to his petri dish, stew for a bit, and end up lashing out at every perceived threat while blaming everyone but himself for his troubles. … When Nixon talked to portraits in the middle of the night, it was near the end. Trump is openly striking out against enemies real and imagined in the middle of the night, to the point of calling his predecessor sick, and we are only at the beginning. He hasn’t begun to feel the pressure of the office.” http://thebea.st/2m7NGOL
— FRANK BRUNI in the NYT, “Donald Trump vs. the Food Snobs”: “We … need to stop maligning Trump and those around him as gauche creatures — how dare the first lady wear sequins or Kellyanne Conway perch so flippantly on an Oval Office couch — because that line of attack is trivial, gross and bound to backfire. For one thing, it pegs Trump’s critics as exactly the sneering elites he says we are. For another, it suggests that we’re indiscriminate naysayers condemning all things Trump, even those that do no measurable harm. We’ve been especially condescending on the culinary front. During Trump’s candidacy, journalist after journalist marveled at his exaltation of fast food, alternately wondering if it was a put-on to express solidarity with less affluent Americans and noting its nutritional recklessness.” http://nyti.ms/2mSIhv1
TRUMP’S CABINET — FRONT PAGE OF THE MIAMI HERALD — “Trump labor nominee talked tough on sex crimes but gave billionaire a ‘sweetheart’ deal,” by Jay Weaver and Patricia Mazzei: “A decade ago, a Miami Beach father who traveled to Cambodia to pay for sex with three underage girls was found guilty in federal court and convicted of sex tourism involving children. Kent Frank, 50, was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Miami’s U.S. attorney at the time, Alex Acosta, declared in a news release that society ‘cannot permit such individuals to seek sanctuary in our community.’
“But Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor, made a very different call in another, far more sordid case just months later. The agreement Acosta approved for Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein — a ‘sweetheart plea deal,’ according to attorneys for Epstein’s victims — could come back to haunt his Senate confirmation hearing if any senators question Acosta’s judgment in one of the most high-profile cases of his career.
“Using his private staff to coordinate the illicit sexual activity, Epstein had paid dozens of girls cash to engage in nude massages, masturbation, oral sex and intercourse in his palatial mansions in Palm Beach, New York City and the U.S. Virgin Islands between 1999 and 2005. Epstein, then 55 and defended by an all-star legal team, pleaded guilty to a state charge of soliciting minors for prostitution. He registered as a sex offender in Florida and agreed to pay damages to 40 female victims ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old. As part of the plea agreement negotiated by Acosta’s office, Epstein wouldn’t be charged in federal court — even though the feds had drawn up a proposed 53-page indictment that carried potential punishment ranging from a mandatory 10 years in prison up to a life sentence. Epstein ended up serving just over a year in a Palm Beach County Stockade — while local authorities allowed him during his incarceration to go to work or do whatever he wanted for six days out of every week.” http://hrld.us/2mThjmW
NOT JUST IN WASHINGTON — Headline on the front page of the Alaska Dispatch News: “Lawmakers following budget path that’s ended in gridlock before” http://bit.ly/2mslUiy
A LOOK AROUND AMERICA — L.A. TIMES: “TRUMP WIRETAP CHARGES APPEAR BASELESS” http://bit.ly/2lLyjK5 … HARTFORD COURANT: “A President’s Name Is ‘Weaponized’” http://bit.ly/2lLijry … PALM BEACH POST: “Trump has tweet flurry during visit” http://bit.ly/2lt0XEA … INDIANAPOLIS STAR: “Illegal immigrants asking ‘What if?’” http://bit.ly/2msAtD3 … GRAND RAPIDS PRESS (MICH.): “Trump might slash aid for Great Lakes” http://bit.ly/2m8c8Qc
WHAT REPUBLICANS SHOULD BE READING — “Tennessee becomes Exhibit A in GOP’s Obamacare repeal push,” by Paul Demko in Nashville: “To make the case that Obamacare is collapsing, Republicans point to Tennessee. The most recent sign: Humana’s decision to drop out of Obamacare markets for 2018 means residents of 16 counties around Knoxville could have zero options for purchasing individual coverage when the next open enrollment period begins in November. Another big player, Blue Cross Blue Shield, fled the state’s biggest markets, triggering some of the sharpest premium spikes in the nation. Republicans warn that other states could look just as dire unless they get rid of Obamacare and replace it with a market-driven system.
“‘The Affordable Care Act is too expensive to afford,’ Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said during a town hall meeting over the Presidents Day break in Fairview, about 30 miles southwest of Nashville. ‘Our goal is that health care is going to be more flexible, more usable and more affordable to everyone.’ But even here, despite all the turbulence, resistance is mounting to Congress scrapping the law without a credible replacement plan, because it could unleash even more chaos. Obamacare defenders believe their message is starting to resonate, especially with the state’s Republican senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.” http://politi.co/2mTh0c7
IT’S MAGGIE’S WORLD, WE’RE JUST LIVING IN IT — LIZ SPAYD in the NYT, “The Declining Fortunes of Women at The Times”: “Men accounted for 61 percent of the bylines that appeared in the front section of The Times last year, according to data soon to be published by the Women’s Media Center, a group that analyzes thousands of bylines across 10 top newspapers every year. That put The Times in the middle of the pack, which is a vast improvement over the previous two years, when it ranked last. (Partial credit surely goes to political correspondent Maggie Haberman, whose byline, I’m told, drew more page views last year than any other reporter at The Times — an eye-popping 141 million.)” http://nyti.ms/2m7JKxG
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN PROFILE — “Can this Democrat Win Back the Senate?,” by Ozy’s Nick Fouriezos: “Van Hollen, a worldly Harvard grad and Georgetown Law alumnus, hardly looks the part that would appeal to blue-collar sensibilities that feel left behind by modern liberalism. … Despite an undoubtedly privileged upbringing, Van Hollen spent two undergrad summers in Alaska, toiling on stools lined up against a conveyor belt, separating ‘junk fish’ from shrimp. He hitchhiked to Clam Gulch (latest census population: 176) — ‘a gas station and a bar,’ he says before joking, ‘all the necessities in life’ — working odd-end jobs there, too, and honing his poker game.” http://bit.ly/2lNw75R
MEDIAWATCH – AMY FISCUS joins the NYT D.C. bureau as national security editor. Elisabeth Bumiller and Bill Hamilton email the staff: “She helped run the LA Times coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign and, after all the primaries, caucuses and conventions, moved right along to the Trump administration. Before that, she was an editor for The Associated Press in Philadelphia, where she supervised enterprise related to the Affordable Care Act.”
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
–“Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds,” by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker: “New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.” http://bit.ly/2m3SFQL
–“Inside the Strange Saga of a Cairo Novelist Imprisoned for Obscenity,”by Jonathan Guyer in Rolling Stone: “Before it was published, censors approved Ahmed Naji’s subversive novel ‘Using Life’– so how did he end up in jail for what he wrote?” http://rol.st/2mVgOYL
–“What is global history now?” by Jeremy Adelman in Aeon Magazine: “Historians cheered globalism with work about cosmopolitans and border-crossing, but the power of place never went away.” http://bit.ly/2lElP70
–“A Town Under Trial,” by Nick Tabor in Oxford American: “What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex.” http://bit.ly/2m3UVqY (h/t TheBrowser.com)
–“The Entrepreneurs Building a ‘Next-Generation Mountain Town,’” by Gisela Williams in the WSJ Magazine: “After a decade of creating global events for innovators and activists, Summit is embarking on its most ambitious project yet.” http://on.wsj.com/2lNhwHr
–“The architecture of fear: how Caracas has adapted to constant threat of violence,” by Sofia Barbarani in The Guardian: “Tall walls, barred windows and armed security are increasingly common in the Venezuelan capital, where more and more Caraqueños avoid going out at night – travelling in convoy if they must leave home after dark.” http://bit.ly/2mOGkzJ
–“Yuval Harari, author of Sapiens, on how meditation made him a better historian,” by Vox’s Ezra Klein: “What kind of mind creates a book like Sapiens? A clear one.” http://bit.ly/2lIcU5v … $21 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lnoUx4
–“The Factious, High-Drama World of Bird Taxonomy,” by Andrew Jenner in The Atlantic: “Some ornithologists have very strong feelings about hyphens.” http://theatln.tc/2mBHGRo
–“The End of the Olympics As We Know It,” by Rodger Sherman in The Ringer: “The IOC is a parasite: It latches onto hosts, leeches out all the money it can, and leaves a trail of rotting velodromes in its wake. The people at the IOC probably think of the Rio games as a fabulous success.” http://bit.ly/2lEmBkq
–“Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?” –Scientific American: “We are in the middle of a technological upheaval that will transform the way society is organized. We must make the right decisions now.” http://bit.ly/2mk5ad1
–“Why Ever Stop Playing Video Games,” by Frank Guan in Vulture: “Many Americans have replaced work hours with game play — and ended up happier. Which wouldn’t surprise most gamers.” http://bit.ly/2mOGMhg (h/t Longreads.com)
–“Together Alone,” by Michael Hobbes in HuffPost: “The epidemic of gay loneliness.” http://huff.to/2lEgDjD (h/t Longform.org)
–“Must It Always Be Wartime?” by Kenneth Roth in the N.Y. Review of Books, reviewing “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon,” by Rosa Brooks: “[T]here is a cost to a self-reinforcing cycle of militarizing U.S. foreign policy. Pursuing economic development, undertaking agrarian reform, expanding the rule of law—these are tasks requiring considerable expertise, including linguistic skills and cultural sensitivity not usually associated with the average military recruit, still chosen foremost for strength and agility even in a world in which traditional military tasks diminish in importance.” http://bit.ly/2m4uUcN … $16.29 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2mOUiBD
–“How Anti-Democratic Propaganda Is Taking Over the World,” by Christopher Walker in Politico Magazine: “Autocrats from Beijing to Moscow are spreading their toxic ideology in more parts of the globe than ever before. And they’re much more sophisticated than you think.” http://politi.co/2m4AZGa
SPOTTED at yesterday’s GW vs Dayton basketball game (which GW won 87-81): Daniel Huey, Tim Miller, Logan Dobson, Rodell Mollineau, Jason Miller … at the Kennedy Center last night: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attending the opening night of “Champion.” The justice and her companion were escorted by a security detail. … Chief Justice John Roberts attended “King Charles III” at the Shakespeare Theater yesterday … Zeke Miller, Ryan Williams, Michael Falcone, Ali Dukakis, Kate Hansen (fresh off a month in the South Pacific) and Meridith McGraw last night at Barcelona on 14th Street
SPOTTED at Sara Murray’s bridal shower yesterday at Compass Rose: Maeve Reston, Gloria Borger, Ashley Parker, Rachel Streitfeld, Holly Bailey, Betsy Klein, Cassie Spodak, Liz Landers, Lauren Pratapas. Fiancé Garrett Haake and Ryan Williams crashed the party at the very end of the party.
WEEKEND WEDDINGS — NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker married John Hughes Saturday at the Hyatt Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. Their program included the handmade presidential crossword John — a marketing director for Merck — created for Kristen after their second date to take on her work trip to Asia. Welker told all their guests she was waiting until she found her perfect match to get married and added, “John was worth the wait.” The official wedding hashtag was #itsgonnabehughes. The crossword http://bit.ly/2lNBLVn … The first dance http://bit.ly/2mT2a59 … Instapic of the couple picking up their marriage license http://bit.ly/2mGFjNw
SPOTTED: Bridesmaid Brianna Keilar, Giovanna and Joe Lockhart, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Kelly O’Donnell and J. David Ake, Peter Alexander and Alison Starling, Chuck Todd, Pete Williams, Mary Bruce, Chris Jansing, Hallie Jackson, Ken Strickland, Nancy Cordes, Dafna Linzer and Bart Gellman, Michelle Perry and Jason Neal, Alex Moe and Derek Flowers, Cydney Weiner and Peter Hepplewhite, Stacey Klein and Josh Schmerling, Shawna Thomas, Natalie Cucchiara, Kristin Donnelly and Rick Bosh, Shawna Shepherd and Craig Minassian, Rachel Adler, Sue Kroll, Mosheh Gains, Alicia Jennings, Antonia Ferrier and Joel Seidman, Chloe Arensberg, Monica Alba and Dan Merica, Carol Lee, Libby Leist and Scott Foster.
— BIPARTISAN WEDDING: Michael Babyak, the RNC’s director of marketing technology, married Cameron Hardesty, the head of products at UrbanStems who formerly worked for the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama administration, in Dripping Springs, Texas. North Texas Federal District Court Judge Barbara Lynn officiated. Pic by Rachel Meagan Photography http://bit.ly/2lLjFTh … Bridesmaids http://bit.ly/2lsTUfk
SPOTTED: Best man Seamus Kraft, founder of OpenGov Foundation and maid of honor Jessica Straus, VP of development for National Venture Capital Association and former Cantor press secretary, Rafael Lemaitre, former FEMA comms director, Katie Greene, former ONDCP public engagement director, Gary Coby, former Trump aide and RNC director of advertising, Nick Sharkey, RNC director of data science, Kelly Cataldo, Sarah Barley, and Rep. Patrick McHenry alums, Doug Nation and Ryan Minto.
BIRTHDAYS: MJ Lee, CNN national political reporter … Obama alum Ellie Schafer (Tam Cam tip: Tammy Haddad) … Christian Elliot is 41 … Chad Pergram, the longtime Capitol Hill producer for Fox … GOP admaker Fred Davis, chairman of Strategic Perception based in Hollywood … Mike Kruger, director of comms at the Smart Electric Power Alliance and a Commerce alum, is 41 … Elliot Gault, a Kelly Ayotte alum who now works in the N.H. House of Reps (h/t Liz Johnson) … April Mellody, former deputy CEO for comms at the 2016 Democratic National Convention … Stephen Goepfert, deputy commissioner for the N.Y. State Dept. of Transportation and a Biden alum … Diana Fakhouri, social media strategy at Condé Nast and a Hillary alum, is 3-0 … Alan Miller, president/CEO and founder of The News Literacy Project and an LAT alum … Erick Mullen, managing director at Mercury (h/t Jon Haber) … foreign correspondent and veteran war reporter Roy Gutman is 73 … John O’Brien, VP of public policy at CareFirst and a CMS alum … Jyoti Jasrasaria …
… Matt Dorf, president and founder of West End Strategy Team and an AJC and Dean campaign alum … Jordan Fabian, White House correspondent at The Hill … Lauren Kidwell, partner at 270 Strategies and an OFA and Obama alum … Clint Hackney, Austin super-lobbyist and a proud Texas A&M Fightin’ Aggie, will qualify for Medicare today (h/t Randy White) … Sharon Block … Daniel Schwarz … Colleen Evans, regional director of PR at Marriott International … SiriusXM’s Tony Cincotta … Jimmy Kimmel Live co-head writer Molly McNearney … Joyce Wise Dodd … John Schachter, director of state comms at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids … Molly Reilly … Jon Loritz, the pride of Valders, Wisc. … Suzy Flannery (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Bush 43 HHS alum Deanna Carlson Stacy, now principal at DCS Consulting … Ron Boehmer, comms director for Rep. DeLauro … Win Ellington of Sen. Cochran’s office … Drake Henle, scheduler for Sen. Paul … Alyssa Dougherty … Sarah Little, comms director for Senate Ag. … Andrew Leiferman of Sen. Rounds’ office … Kolby Keo … Brian Bolduc of Sen. Cotton’s office … magician Penn Jillette is 62 (h/t AP)
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