ATTN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: OPM has announced a two-hour delayed arrival for today and the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework. http://bit.ly/2EUBdqE
— A 4.5-MAGNITUDE earthquake hit the Bay Area early this morning. It was centered in Berkeley. http://bit.ly/2CErOpY
Story Continued Below
Good Thursday morning. OVERHEARD YESTERDAY AFTERNOON ON THE SENATE FLOOR: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to Joe Biden, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell standing nearby: “Joe, Mitch needs your help! He wants you to negotiate!”
TRUMP VS. BANNON — THIS IS WAR — “Trump lawyer sends Bannon ‘cease and desist’ letter,” by Andrew Restuccia: “President Donald Trump’s lawyer sent former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon a ‘cease and desist’ letter on Wednesday, accusing him of violating an agreement signed during the 2016 campaign that prevented him from disclosing confidential information or disparaging Trump and his family.
“The letter comes after excerpts of a forthcoming book by journalist Michael Wolff revealed that Bannon criticized Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. According to the excerpts, Bannon referred to a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russian operatives arranged by Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner as ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic.’ The White House disavowed the book, and Trump bashed Bannon in a forceful statement earlier Wednesday.
“‘Mr. Trump and the Company hereby demand that you cease and desist from any and all further disclosure of Confidential Information, disparagement of Mr. Trump, his family members, his or their companies, and/or the Company, and communication with the media, including but not limited to Mr. Wolff and any and all other journalists, reports, authors and bloggers,’ Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, wrote in the letter.” http://politi.co/2CE2Ab9
— THIS IS CLASSIC Trump retaliation. He and his organization have threatened lawsuits and sent similar letters to adversaries over the years. … AND BY THE WAY: The White House can’t argue simultaneously that the book is completely incorrect and Bannon violated a non-disclosure agreement. If he violated a non-disclosure agreement then something he said was right!
THE BACKSTORY — ELIANA JOHNSON: “‘Bannon was shot on the South Lawn and run over by a tank’”: “The dramatic collapse on Wednesday of the shaky alliance between President Donald Trump and his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, marked perhaps the most vicious falling out between a president and a former aide in modern history. But the fireworks capped months of tension between the two, who have repeatedly taken veiled shots at each other through the news media but never attacked each other on the national stage.
“On the way to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas, the president fumed about a report in Vanity Fair that quoted Bannon saying Trump had just a 30 percent chance of serving out a full term, but the president’s aides persuaded him not to go public with his frustration, according to two sources familiar with the episode. …
“The public meltdown convinced some who had worked closely with the Trump campaign that the president had effectively kneecapped his former adviser, who is considered an influential force on the populist right. ‘Bannon was shot on the South Lawn and run over by a tank and the president shifted in gear and ran over him again,’ said veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins, a strategist for the pro-Trump Great America super PAC. ‘I’ve never seen anybody blown up like he was.’” http://politi.co/2CQOEHw
— WAPO’S JOSH DAWSEY and ASHLEY PARKER — MERCER MOVES ON: “Bannon has in recent weeks also alienated his main financial backer, Rebekah Mercer, after he told several other major conservative donors that he would be able to count on the Mercers’ financial support should he run for president, a person familiar with the conversations said.
“The person said Mercer now does not plan to financially support Bannon’s future projects — and that she was frustrated by his moves in Alabama and some of his comments in the news media that seemed to stoke unnecessary fights. A person close to Bannon said he was not running for president. Bannon and Mercer declined to comment through representatives.” http://wapo.st/2CTuInL
— NYT’S PETER BAKER and MAGGIE HABERMAN: “At the White House on Wednesday morning, aides who had kept a watchful eye on Mr. Bannon’s efforts to make himself a kingmaker saw an opening to finally rid themselves of him. They encouraged the president to hit back publicly, and Mr. Trump went through at least three drafts of a statement with his communications director, Hope Hicks, and other aides before sending out a final version unlike any issued by a president against a top adviser in modern times. …
“The book cites an email from an unnamed White House aide offering a harsh assessment of Mr. Trump’s operation that was said to reflect the view of Gary D. Cohn, the president’s national economics adviser: ‘It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.’” http://nyti.ms/2CCMQoS
ABOUT MICHAEL WOLFF … Paul Farhi in the Post: “Among the many things he’s been called — ‘blunt,’ ‘pathetic,’ ‘calculating’ — the one thing Michael Wolff has never been described as is boring.
“A provocateur and media polemicist, Wolff has a penchant for stirring up an argument and pushing the facts as far as they’ll go, and sometimes further than they can tolerate, according to his critics. He has been accused of not just re-creating scenes in his books and columns, but of creating them wholesale. …
“Wolff, for example, writes that Thomas Barrack Jr., a billionaire friend of Trump’s, told a friend that Trump is ‘not only crazy, he’s stupid.’ Barrack on Wednesday denied to a New York Times reporter that he ever said such a thing. Katie Walsh, a former White House adviser, has also disputed a comment attributed to her by Wolff, that dealing with Trump was ‘like trying to figure out what a child wants.’” http://wapo.st/2CR02TY
FLASHBACK — MICHELLE COTTLE on Aug. 30, 2004 in TNR, “Wolff Trapped”: “Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created — springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events. Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag. … An editor who has worked with Wolff[:] ‘He is adroit at making the reader think that he has spent hours and days with his subject, when in fact he may have spent no time at all.’” http://bit.ly/2Co7zsq
****** A message from Better Medicare Alliance: HEALTH CARE POLICY ALERT: We can all agree that high need, high cost patients deserve the best care. And with Medicare Advantage, seniors and people with disabilities are getting the high-value care they need through flexible benefits and specialized care. Learn more: http://bettermedicarealliance.org ******
IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND … This explanation of Wolff’s reporting — attached to the N.Y. Magazine excerpt — is going to get a lot of attention: “[H]e conducted more than 200 interviews. In true Trumpian fashion, the administration’s lack of experience and disdain for political norms made for a hodgepodge of journalistic challenges. Information would be provided off-the-record or on deep background, then casually put on the record. Sources would fail to set any parameters on the use of a conversation, or would provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely. And the president’s own views, private as well as public, were constantly shared by others. The adaptation presented here offers a front-row view of Trump’s presidency, from his improvised transition to his first months in the Oval Office.” Read the entire how-it-happened statement http://nym.ag/2CD4Yy3 …
… JOSH HOLMES (@holmesjosh) — Mitch McConnell’s former top aide — tweeted: “As a former press staffer, this description gives me cold chills.”
ONE MORE THING … — “Trump disbands voter fraud commission: Kobach says Homeland Security immigration officials will take over probe,” by Josh Gerstein and Matt Nussbaum: “President Donald Trump is dumping a controversial commission that was charged with investigating his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the 2016 election, the White House said Wednesday. Trump asked the Department of Homeland Security to look into the issue instead.'” http://politi.co/2qmJT64
— @realDonaldTrump at 6:02 a.m.: “Many mostly Democrat States refused to hand over data from the 2016 Election to the Commission On Voter Fraud. They fought hard that the Commission not see their records or methods because they know that many people are voting illegally. System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.” … at 6:11 a.m.: “As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for almost everything you do…..except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country. Push hard for Voter Identification!”
SEUNG MIN KIM (@seungminkim): “So, today. *deep breath*
—Jones sworn in, GOP majority narrows
—Trump-Bannon war explodes
—Manafort sues Mueller, Rosenstein
—Rosenstein pops up on Hill to meet with Ryan
—Big Four try to negotiate spending deal
—Voter fraud commission dissolved
I’m sure I missed something.”
FROM 30,000 FEET — “New year, new start? Not in President Trump’s Washington,” by AP’s Julie Pace: “So much for a new year, new start. For Donald Trump, that energy-sapping 2017 cocktail of blistering presidential tweets, salacious White House infighting and jaw-dropping feuds with foreign adversaries has given way to, well, more of the same. ‘We are off and running,’ said Josh Holmes, a longtime adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. ‘It’s amazing that the pace that we set in 2017 has continued with equal vigor.’” http://bit.ly/2Cz4rxf
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING … — @JohnJHarwood: “Wolff book on how top aides regard Trump: ‘For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as shit.’ For H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on.’” … @alexburnsNYT: “A rout of a week so far for Breitbart-ism >> – WH drops the axe on Bannon – Romney on glide path to the Senate – Kobach commission disbanded – Doug Jones, not Roy Moore, sworn into Senate”. …
… @KatyTurNBC: “From Fire and Fury, here’s Trump on his friends’ wives –>” http://bit.ly/2E3Wmg … @maggieNYT: “Bannon/Wolff stuff (and that’s whose office Wolff often went to when he visited WH) is basically same tactic Trump has used on people for years. Get in, get what you need,’ get out, use an associate’s words again them.” … @ZekeJMiller: “FWIW: The several times I saw Wolff at the White House, he was cleared-in with a blue ‘appointment’ badge allowing West Wing access, rather than a gray ‘press’ badge.” …
… @peterbakernyt: “White House @PressSec says Trump never elevated Bannon to be equal to chief of staff. But Trump transition’s statement announcing Bannon and Priebus appointments in Nov. 2016 said they would work ‘as equal partners to transform the federal government.’” …
… @HallieJackson: “Q’s asked today: is the president engaging in authoritarian behavior? Did Donald Trump Jr. commit treason? Should Americans be concerned with the president’s mental fitness? Is it dangerous for POTUS to taunt leaders on Twitter? Do Americans like him more when he’s not tweeting?”
–N.Y. POST cover, “ET TU, BANNON?” http://nyp.st/2qmONzR
— ANOTHER WOLFF EXCERPT COMING TODAY!, per CNN’s Brian Stelter: “A second excerpt will come out on Thursday, and Wolff will be interviewed on NBC’s ‘Today’ show on Friday. The book’s publisher, Henry Holt & Company, was forced to adjust its rollout plan on Wednesday. But make no mistake: This was a good problem for Henry Holt to have. The national news coverage of the book’’s revelations — including shocking quotes from Steve Bannon — sent the book soaring on Amazon.com. By 3 p.m. ET, it was ranked #1 on the site’s best-selling books list. Twenty-four hours earlier, it had been ranked #48,449.” http://cnnmon.ie/2lSNXFQ … $20.98 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2CQK2kW
THEN THERE’S THIS — “Washington’s growing obsession: The 25th Amendment,” by Annie Karni: “Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior. In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers – all Democrats except for one Republican senator, who Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: ‘He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.’
“In an interview, she pointed to Trump ‘going back to conspiracy theories, denying things he has admitted before, his being drawn to violent videos.’ Lee also warned, ‘We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency.’” http://politi.co/2E2jdcM
WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTS TO BE TALKING ABOUT — @realDonaldTrump at 9:13 p.m.: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” … at 9:11 p.m.: “Stock Market had another good day but, now that the Tax Cut Bill has passed, we have tremendous upward potential. Dow just short of 25,000, a number that few thought would be possible this soon into my administration. Also, unemployment went down to 4.1%. Only getting better!”
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WATCH — “Congress and White House inch forward in budget talks,” by Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Seung Min Kim: “Congressional leaders emerged from closed-door talks with Trump administration officials Wednesday claiming progress toward a budget deal but without any breakthroughs to announce — with less than three weeks to go before another government funding deadline. At issue are fierce debates over federal spending levels as well as immigration and border security. …
“Following the confab, Republicans from the House, Senate and White House issued a joint statement that highlighted their support for higher defense spending and criticized any effort by Democrats to insist on including protections for young undocumented immigrants in a budget deal. ‘It is important that we achieve a two-year agreement that funds our troops and provides for our national security and other critical functions of the Federal government,’ they said. ‘It also remains important that members of Congress do not hold funding for our troops hostage for immigration policy.’
“Democrats refrained from deriding their counterparts after the meeting. Pelosi told reporters upon exiting the talks that it is her ‘hope’ the negotiations are making progress. … A Democratic aide said in addition to spending and a deal to help Dreamers, leaders agreed to keep negotiating on a health care package and a disaster aid bill. In a private call with House Democratic leaders after the meeting, Pelosi called the ‘Big Four’ huddle a ‘process meeting,’ according to a source on the call. She stressed that Democrats are eager for a deal to avert a government shutdown.” http://politi.co/2E5blHJ
DOJ WATCH — “Deputy AG, FBI director make unannounced visit to Paul Ryan’s office,” by Kyle Cheney: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau’s Russia probe.
“Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan’s office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes.
“Nunes (R-Calif) has mounted an aggressive push — with the threat of contempt citations for members of the FBI and Justice Department — to glean more information about how the FBI handled a disputed dossier alleging illicit ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.” http://politi.co/2Cm7wgN
WHAT MANAFORT IS UP TO — “Paul Manafort files lawsuit against Justice Department, Mueller,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Gerstein: “Attorneys for former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court accusing special counsel Robert Mueller and the Justice Department of overreaching with criminal charges brought last fall that included money laundering and tax evasion. Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty to the multi-count indictment, urged the court to strike down Mueller’s appointment as illegal. The 17-page complaint argues that the Russia special counsel exceeded authority DOJ gave him in May to investigate any links or coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign — and that DOJ granted Mueller too much power in the first place by giving him the green light to go after ‘any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.’
“If the court won’t strike down his appointment, Manafort’s lawsuit suggests several other options, including setting aside Mueller’s indictments, declaring that he doesn’t have the authority to investigate business dealings that aren’t part of his original mandate, stopping him from investigating matters beyond the scope of the original appointment, or ‘any other relief as may be just and proper.’” http://politi.co/2CD9oFP
— CNN’S LAURA JARRETT (@LauraAJarrett): “Response from DOJ spokesperson: ‘The lawsuit is frivolous but the defendant is entitled to file whatever he wants.’”
QUITE THE LEAD — MARK LANDLER on A1 of the NYT: “While the two Koreas were gingerly reopening a border hotline, President Trump was gleefully taunting Kim Jong-un about the relative size of their nuclear launch buttons. That, in a nutshell, captured the challenge facing the Trump administration as South Korea embarked on fragile new talks with North Korea on Wednesday.” http://nyti.ms/2CyF0vJ
ANOTHER CBS STAFFER OUT — “CBS News fires political director amid allegations of ‘inappropriate behavior’,” by CNN’s Brian Stelter: “CBS News said Wednesday that it has fired its political director, Steve Chaggaris, amid allegations of ‘inappropriate behavior’ in his past. Chaggaris was a longtime CBS News employee. In his latest role Chaggaris, among other things, oversaw coverage of the Trump administration and occasionally appeared on CBS programs.
“Chaggaris could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. His Twitter account was deleted sometime in the past two days. The decision to dismiss Chaggaris came six weeks after CBS fired Charlie Rose, the co-host of its morning show, after the Washington Post published detailed allegations of sexual misconduct by Rose.” http://cnnmon.ie/2lRBdQG
— “Rep. Blake Farenthold has not yet paid back $84K for settlement,” by CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty, Juana Summers and Deirdre Walsh: “Disgraced Rep. Blake Farenthold has not yet repaid $84,000 in taxpayer money for a settlement reached with a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment and other improper conduct, despite the Texas Republican’s statement late last year saying he would do so. Nearly one month after the initial statement, Farenthold’s communications director, Stacey Daniels, tells CNN that he has not yet written a check, and on the advice of counsel is waiting to see what changes the House will make to the Congressional Accountability Act before repaying those funds.
“On December 4, Farenthold told a local TV station, KRIS in Corpus Christi, Texas, ‘I’m … going to hand a check over this week to probably Speaker Ryan or somebody and say, “Look, here’s the amount of my settlement. Give it back to the taxpayers. I want to be clear that I didn’t do anything wrong, but I also don’t want the taxpayers to be on the hook for this.”’ But that check is on hold.” http://cnn.it/2CooDye
TRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president is meeting with GOP senators to discuss immigration and will have a separate meeting with Republican senators to talk about 2018 legislative priorities. He will later present NSA veteran Richard Ledgett Jr. with the National Security Medal (http://politi.co/2Aoz3vY). He is also slated to meet with RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel.
— SENATORS discussing 2018 priorities with Trump: Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and John Thune (R-S.D.).
COMING ATTRACTIONS – “Trump plans to attend Georgia-Alabama football championship game,” by Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein: “President Donald Trump is planning to attend the national college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama on Monday in Atlanta, according to three people with direct knowledge of his plans. He is set to attend the game with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Nick Ayers, a Georgia native who is Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff. First Lady Melania Trump is also expected to attend the game, which will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium under stepped-up security.” http://bit.ly/2qhhDBM
IN CASE YOU WANT TO REACH ANYONE IN THE WHITE HOUSE … — @maggieNYT: “As of next week, West Wing staffers have been told they can’t use personal cell phones anymore per multiple aides. They were told this early in the term but it’s now being enforced, with security concerns being cited.”
THE JUICE …
— MSNBC PRESIDENT PHIL GRIFFIN will announce today that Colleen King will be the executive producer of “The 11th Hour,” Brian Williams’ show, and Tina Urbanski will be co-executive producer of “Hardball.” The full memo, which NBCers will get this morning http://politi.co/2CmC2am
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: ERIN BILLINGS is joining Global Strategy Group as a senior vice president. She most recently was a principal at the Podesta Group.
— THE AMERICAN ACTION NETWORK is opening offices in 11 new districts. One interesting location: Washington State’s fifth congressional district, which is represented by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of House Republican leadership. http://bit.ly/2E64YUv
MICHAEL CROWLEY — “Trump shatters decades-old nuclear taboo”: “President Ronald Reagan was warming up for a national radio address on Aug. 11, 1984, when an open microphone caught him joking about nuclear war. ‘My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever,’ Reagan quipped. ‘We begin bombing in five minutes.’ The international outcry that followed — newspapers condemned Reagan, and some Soviet forces were reportedly placed on alert — underscored one of the first rules of the American presidency: Don’t speak lightly about nuclear war.
“To President Donald Trump’s critics, that is one of many norms he has recklessly shattered, most recently with a tweet on Monday in which Trump declared that his ‘nuclear button’ was ‘much bigger [and] more powerful’ than the one North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, claimed in a recent speech to have on his desk. Democrats and foreign policy experts fiercely denounced Trump’s rhetoric as alarming and dangerous.” http://politi.co/2ETFNWc
DAN DIAMOND talks with FDA COMMISSIONER STEVE GOTTLIEB about his 2018 priorities in the latest Pulse Check podcast: http://bit.ly/2Anz3wq
****** A message from Better Medicare Alliance: CONGRESS HAS UNFINISHED BUSINESS TO PROTECT MEDICARE ADVANTAGE SENIORS: 19 million seniors and people with disabilities choose Medicare Advantage for one reason: it gives them the flexible, affordable, and robust health care they need. And with health needs in this country becoming more complex, it’s clear that innovative, integrated solutions are required.
Better Medicare Alliance urges Congress to act quickly to enhance care for Medicare beneficiaries by approving the CHRONIC Care Act providing enhanced flexibility in supplemental benefit designs for high-cost, high-need beneficiaries and permanently reauthorization of Special Needs Plans (SNPs). And, Congress should vote to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) to protect Medicare Advantage beneficiaries from unaffordable premium hikes.
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage and consumer satisfaction is growing. There is more evidence that Medicare Advantage is improving outcomes and leading efforts to implement innovations in delivery of care. Learn more: http://bettermedicarealliance.org ******
MEDIAWATCH – “Peter Thiel Is Exploring The Creation Of A Conservative Cable News Network,” by BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac and Steven Perlberg: “Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel wants to create a new conservative cable news network and his representatives have engaged the powerful Mercer family to help with funding, according to two sources familiar with the situation. Thiel, a Facebook board member who secretly funded lawsuits to bring down Gawker Media, had originally explored a plan to create the network along with Roger Ailes, the late founder of Fox News, according to a soon-to-be published book by journalist Michael Wolff. But BuzzFeed News has learned that Thiel has continued looking into fashioning a Fox News competitor even after the May 2017 death of Ailes, according to the two sources familiar with the matter. …
“The plan, according to Wolff, was that Thiel … would pay for the network. Ailes would come along and bring loyal Fox News talent Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, who was forced out at Fox last year following reports about settlements he had reached with multiple women. But two days before the meeting, Ailes fell and hit his head. Ailes told his wife, Elizabeth, not to reschedule the meeting before he slipped into a coma, Wolff writes. He died a week later.” http://bzfd.it/2COHKCJ
— “Gallup ends daily presidential approval tracking poll,” by Steve Shepard: “Gallup is discontinuing its daily tracking poll of presidential approval, the storied pollster announced Wednesday in the latest cutback of the company’s public survey operations.
“Political reporters and observers have long been accustomed to visiting Gallup’s website every day shortly after 1 p.m. Eastern Time for the latest update in the president’s approval rating. But rather than report public opinion of President Donald Trump’s job performance on a daily basis, Gallup will now offer a weekly approval rating.
“The reason for the change? Gallup had been tracking a presidential approval question onto polls it was conducting for the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index since 2008 — a continuous, privately sponsored health survey. But that poll is now transitioning from phone to mail surveys, which don’t enable reporting of daily results.” http://politi.co/2CQUUPP
SPOTTED yesterday at a welcome event for Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in the Kennedy Caucus Room: James Carville, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Birmingham, Mayor Randall Woodfin. Pics http://bit.ly/2CQCo9X … http://bit.ly/2Am0neC … http://bit.ly/2Ao0HJy … James Carville and Bradley Beychok at the Palm Wednesday evening.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Rob Gifford, managing editor at CBSN, is 39. A fun fact about Rob: “I played multiple sports when I was younger, and in my former life, I was a member of 2 NCAA Division I lacrosse championship teams at Princeton during the program’s heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s. Just don’t call me a lax bro.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2CQrVvm
BIRTHDAYS: Ben Mayer, executive producer of MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” is 34 … Alex Campau of the White House Domestic Policy Council … Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer … Jeremy Funk, former comms. director of Americans United for Change, is 39 … Doris Kearns Goodwin is 75 … James Warren, chief media writer for the Poynter Institute, and contributing editor for N.Y. Daily News … Politico’s David Kihara, who edits Playbook every weekday morning … Politico’s Caitlin Emma and Adriel Bettelheim … Deborah Matteliano … Joshua Zeitz, whose new book “Building the Great Society: Inside LBJ’s White House” comes out on Jan. 30 … Andy Borowitz is 6-0 (hat tip: Jewish Insider) … Samantha Slosberg, assistant manager of external affairs at the Toy Association and an HFA alum … Sarah Andrews … Don Shula is 88 … Hillary Brandenburg … Holly Kinser … Myanmar (Burma) is 7-0 on its Independence Day … Hoyer alum Terry Lierman … Nan Aron, founder and president of Alliance for Justice … Audrey Hickenlooper … Jim Friedman is 71 … Courtney Piron, VP of federal gov’t affairs at AbbVie …
… Marc Brumer, VP at the Herald Group, celebrating by training for two hours on his road bike trainer for the upcoming spring bike racing season … Chip Kahn, CEO and president of the Federation of American Hospitals … Barbara Menard … David Muir, British political consultant … Qianwei Zhang of Hong Kong-based PR firm SPRG Beijing … Peter Schorsch … Doug Centilli … Jen Flaherty … Michele Remillard, executive producer of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” … Anthony Terrell … WJLA’s Brian van de Graaff and his son Tony … Madeleine Daly … Patrick Connolly, associate at Portfolio Advisors … Joe Hansen … Belen Mendoza … Lorraine Driscoll … Jennifer Sullivan … Patrick Purtill … Adam Goldman, principal and founder of Windmill Consulting, is 46 … OFA alum Claire Zucker … Ronnie Stangler … David Phelps … Anthony Terrell … Jeff Angevine … Erin Moffet … Lisa Pittman … Doug Campbell … Tiana McCall … Amanda Septimo … Joe McAndrew … Anne Louise Simmons … Joe Wineke … Sara Throener … Kevin Ronnie … Thad Nation (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Better Medicare Alliance: Medicare Advantage is building the future of health care. Through research, policy development and advocacy, BMA is a community of experts that works to ensure public policies that enable Medicare Advantage to offer innovative, modern health care to seniors and those with disabilities eligible for Medicare. http://bettermedicarealliance.org ******
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