Good Saturday morning. A JUICY SPOTTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dining last night at Ocean Prime in D.C. with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Needless to say, the two men — who served in the Senate together for 20 years — have recently found themselves at odds with President Donald Trump.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PRESIDENT, from a pool spray yesterday at his golf club in New Jersey …
Story Continued Below
— ON TRADE: He will hold a press conference Monday in Washington, and will announce a trade investigation into China. More here from Andrew Restuccia http://politi.co/2uPjmvj
— ON VENEZUELA: He said he is not ruling out military action in Venezuela. REALITY CHECK FROM SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NEB.) — “No. Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today.” … @nancyayoussef: “Overheard at the Pentagon, in what can only be described as in a whiny voice: ‘I don’t wanna go to war with Venezuela!’”
— ON NORTH KOREA: Asked about a “bad solution” for the U.S. in North Korea, Trump declined to get into specifics. Q: “What would be a bad solution, sir?” TRUMP: “I think you know the answer to that.” Q: “Mr. President, when you say bad solution, are you talking about war? Is the U.S. going to go to war?” TRUMP: “I think you know the answer to that.”
—@CNN: “Blitzer: I don’t recall seeing you this emotional, possibly outraged Panetta: ‘I’m concerned … This is not a game’”. http://bit.ly/2hThv7f
— ON JOHN KELLY: He is happy with John Kelly, right now. “[I] think that General Kelly has brought a tremendous — he’s brought something very special to the office of chief — I call him ‘chief.’ He’s a respected man. He’s a four-star from the Marines, and he carries himself like a four-star from the Marines. And he’s my friend, which is very important.” 11 min. video of the pool spray http://bit.ly/2vrGsvk
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh
CHECKING IN — “If the U.S. is going to war in North Korea, nobody told the U.S. military,” by Defense News’ David B. Larter: “[W]hile the rhetoric is nearing a fever pitch in D.C., out in the Pacific you’d never know the world was on the brink of nuclear war. In Yokosuka, Japan, the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed ready aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan sits peacefully pier-side, along with the U.S. 7th Fleet command ship Blue Ridge. On the Korean Peninsula, the State Department has not advised American citizens to leave the country and U.S. military family members are not being evacuated. No Marines are being loaded on amphibious ships; no sailors have been recalled off leave to prepare for emergency operations; and no ballistic missile defense ships have been sortied to North Korea, the waters off Japan or to Guam, three sources said.” http://bit.ly/2wS8VIF
HENRY KISSINGER pens a WSJ op-ed: “How to Resolve the North Korea Crisis: An understanding between the U.S. and Beijing is the essential prerequisite. Tokyo and Seoul also have key roles to play.” http://on.wsj.com/2vPoCn0
— “How U.S. Military Actions Could Play Out in North Korea,” by NYT’s Michael Shear and Michael R. Gordon: http://nyti.ms/2vOOyiB
CHINA REACTS — “Xi calls for calm after Trump says U.S. is ‘locked and loaded,’” by AP’s Eric Talmadge in Seoul and Jonathan Lemire in Bedminster, N.J.: “Chinese President Xi Jinping made a plea for cool-headedness over escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea in a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday, urging both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation. … State-run China Central Television quoted Xi as telling Trump the “relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula.” http://bit.ly/2uPIYb9
KELLY MAKES HIS PRESENCE FELT — “Kelly considers further shuffling of West Wing staff, officials say,” by Josh Dawsey, Eliana Johnson and Ben White: “White House chief of staff John Kelly spent this week in Bedminster, N.J., pondering changes in the West Wing, according to four White House officials. Kelly summoned aides to President Donald Trump’s golf club there to ask about their portfolios and make suggestions on how to make the West Wing communicate better and get more done, while giving people clear responsibilities and then holding them accountable. The role of chief strategist Steve Bannon has come under particular scrutiny in several conversations, particularly because he has a large staff, including an outside public relations expert, but no specific duties.
“In a number of daily meetings, Kelly generated a list of concerns, including aides without clear portfolios, decisions that aren’t made with proper vetting and internal fights — particularly a sustained campaign against national security adviser H.R. McMaster. He has met with top aides, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, about making changes, the four officials say. In some of the encounters, he has suggested that people should be more concerned with the president’s agenda and less concerned with their own.
“Kelly … has also raised concerns about the administration’s communications, personnel practices and political operations, these officials said. He has said there have been too many internal fights over appointments, and that they need to speed up. He has been vague about exactly what he wants, telling aides he is still studying the White House, but has made clear ‘that the place will be different soon,’ one senior administration official said.” http://politi.co/2hTCjeQ
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KNOWING MIKE PENCE — “Mike Pence and the art of staying clean,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Matt Nussbaum: “Vice President Mike Pence has so far avoided being dragged into the muck of the Russia probes that have engulfed President Donald Trump, his top aides and his family members. It’s no accident. Unlike his boss, Pence’s Twitter feed is silent about a ‘Russia hoax’ and ‘witch hunts.’ He’s denied having knowledge of critical discrepancies in Michael Flynn’s story – gaps that have landed the former national security adviser in prosecutors’ crosshairs. And he’s taken pains to note he wasn’t even part of the Trump ticket at a controversial June 2016 meeting where a Kremlin-linked lawyer offered dirt on Hillary Clinton in a meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
“The Vice President’s office has also instituted strict rules against speaking to the press, and any staffers have to clear it with Pence’s new chief of staff, Nick Ayers, his communications director or press secretary before talking to reporters. And unlike in the West Wing, where staffers have taken to slinging arrows and airing unattributed grievances through the media, the rules have held firm in Pence’s orbit, where infighting is rare. While Pence has become known for his aw-shucks persona, the former Indiana governor and longtime congressman is also a cunning politician who has developed a playbook for staying clean over his decades in the spotlight.
“Ryan Streeter, who served as Pence’s deputy chief of staff when he was governor, said Pence has a way of creating ‘barriers’ between himself and wrongdoing, or even the appearance of wrongdoing. Streeter said Pence used to tell staffers: ‘If there’s a line you don’t want to cross, you don’t even walk up to it — you stop three feet in front of it.’” http://politi.co/2fAzONX
CNN’S MANU RAJU — “GOP-led Senate panel wants White House responses on Kushner’s security clearance”: “The Senate Judiciary Committee is calling on the White House to provide new details about President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s security clearance application, including whether he could be trusted with sensitive information after he initially failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials.
“The committee, led by Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, sent a letter in June to the White House and the FBI asking for a detailed list of questions about Kushner’s security clearance form, which he has had to amend multiple times because of his initial failure to disclose meetings with foreign officials. In response, Kushner’s outside attorney sent the panel a letter, but the White House has not yet responded to the panel’s queries despite a July 6 deadline set by a bipartisan group of senators. …
“‘The committee is appreciative of the response we have gotten so far from Mr. Kushner’s attorney,’ Hartmann said. ‘But the committee still does expect the White House to reply to its questions about Mr. Kushner’s security clearance, and to provide answers to the requested questions of the SF-86,’ referring to the questionnaire applicants fill out for security clearances.” http://cnn.it/2fAhqVf
MEANWHILE … — JERUSALEM POST: “WHITE HOUSE AIDES TO VISIT REGION: MIDEAST PEACE ‘DIFFICULT, BUT POSSIBLE’”: “The White House official said the president is optimistic that a peace agreement can be reached,” by Michael Wilner: “U.S. President Donald Trump will send three envoys to the region in the coming days, hoping that talks which ended a crisis on the Temple Mount last month have provided an opportunity for broader dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Two of his aides leading the peace effort — Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner — will be joined on this trip by Dina Powell, a national security adviser. They will meet with leadership from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and report back to the president, a White House official said.
“Trump ‘believes that the restoration of calm and the stabilized situation in Jerusalem after the recent crisis on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif has created an opportunity to continue discussions and the pursuit of peace that began early in his administration,’ the official said. ‘While the regional talks will play an important role, the president reaffirms that peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties and that the United States will continue working closely with the parties to make progress towards that goal.’ The official said that National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are actively consulting with the delegation. A Palestinian official said on Thursday that the U.S. team is expected in roughly two weeks.” http://bit.ly/2vOBuK1
NYT’s CARL HULSE — WHAT RICHARD BURR IS THINKING — “Senator Richard Burr, the initially reluctant but now determined leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, said the investigation had expanded beyond its original scope based on new evidence, but he hoped to complete it this year to allow Congress to take steps to prevent future efforts at tampering by Moscow.
“‘What continues this investigation are the names of individuals that we didn’t know at the time, the documents that we weren’t aware of, the communications, the cables, the emails, the phone logs of individuals that we wouldn’t have thought then that we needed to interview or to look at their records,’ said Mr. Burr, the North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the intelligence panel. Mr. Burr said he remained ‘hopeful that we can bring finality to this by the end of the year, but I also can’t anticipate anything new that might come up that we don’t know today that would extend it by a month or two months. So I am conscious of the fact that I need to do this expeditiously, but I need to do it thoroughly and I won’t do anything to cut it short.’ … Mr. Burr said that the emergence of new information pushed the inquiry in new directions.” http://nyti.ms/2uPw0Kw … The podcast http://nyti.ms/2uykd8p
FOGGY BOTTOM WATCH — “Interest in U.S. diplomatic corps tumbles in early months of Trump,” by Daniel Lippman and Nahal Toosi: “Interest in joining the State Department’s elite ranks of Foreign Service officers has tumbled in the early months of the Trump administration, triggering worries among former officials about the long-run risks to U.S. diplomatic power. This June, the number of Americans who took the Foreign Service exam to start the process of joining the prestigious State Department ranks fell 26 percent from the same month a year earlier to 2,730, according to data obtained by POLITICO. The June tally marked the lowest number of test-takers in nearly a decade. …
“Top grad schools for international affairs that typically funnel graduates to the State Department also report a drop-off in interest. Information sessions for students who wanted to learn more about life as a Foreign Service officer at one leading university regularly drew at least 20 to 25 people. At one recent session, only three people showed up, according to a career services official at that university.” http://politi.co/2vOW6SA
THE AGENDA — “5 things Trump did this week while you weren’t looking: Washington may be quiet, but the Trump administration isn’t slowing down,” by Danny Vinik: “1. Interior relaxes Obama-era Sage Grouse rules … 2. EPA eases the approval process for new chemicals … 3. DOJ switches sides in Ohio voting case … 4. The fiduciary standard gets punted … 5. The nuclear waste storage fight warms up.” http://politi.co/2vsFJKE
POWER PLAYBOOKER — “Silicon Valley Now Has Its Own Populist Pundit,” by Nellie Bowles on the cover of the NYT Sunday Styles section from Menlo Park, California (print headline “He’s Pushing Buttons In Silicon Valley”): “It’s not easy being the first and only Fox News host in Silicon Valley. But Steve Hilton, a tech entrepreneur who was once chief adviser to former Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, added that role to his résumé in June.
“Now every week, Mr. Hilton flies from the home he shares with his high-profile tech executive wife, Rachel Whetstone, in Silicon Valley’s billionaire enclave of Atherton, Calif., to Fox’s studios in Los Angeles to host ‘The Next Revolution With Steve Hilton.’ Fox News markets the Sunday night program as exploring ‘the impact of the populist movement.’ … Mr. Hilton is unfazed. ‘I certainly have experienced a degree of curiosity, yes,’ he said.” http://nyti.ms/2hUKTKs
THE JUICE …
— WE’VE NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) is raffling off tickets to an upcoming town hall. “Registration does not guarantee a ticket. Registered names will be randomly drawn by the Bucks County Courier Times and selected individuals will be contacted to RSVP and receive further details. Ticketed names and addresses will be checked at the door. This event is for PA-08 residents only.” http://bit.ly/2vwAoAe
— ALEX ISENSTADT reports that “America First Action, a White House-sanctioned outside group, will spend between $150,00 and $200,000 on digital advertising in support of [GOP Sen. Luther] Strange, the group announced. The move comes just days after Trump announced his endorsement of Strange in a tweet, saying that he ‘has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama.’” http://politi.co/2vwgQvI
— CAROLINE KENNEDY has joined the board of directors of Boeing. Non-employee directors make roughly $300,000 per year. Kennedy was most recently ambassador to Japan.
2020 WATCH – “2 years before the caucuses, Democratic upstarts are trying to make a name in Iowa,” by Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble: “Who is Eric Swalwell? Who is Jason Kander? Who is Tim Ryan? And what the heck are they all doing in Iowa? Those questions have been echoing through Democratic conversations in the state for the better part of a year now, and they rang out again here in northern Iowa on Friday night, when Swalwell and Kander headlined the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding fundraiser. Despite a new president just seven months on the job and Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses still more than two years away, the state has seen a profusion of visits from would-be, could-be national Democratic leaders. But for the most part, the visitors haven’t come from the senators-and-governors set one might expect to see trying out on a presidential proving ground. Rather, the Democrats showing up in Iowa these days skew younger, with less political experience and lower national profiles but plenty of ambition. …
“Swalwell, who was born in Sac City but raised in California, visited Iowa last fall and again in February on trips that took him through Iowa City, Des Moines and Davenport. He attended an event in Council Bluffs on Thursday night before Friday’s Wing Ding, and is sticking around for a Progress Iowa fundraiser on Saturday and the Iowa State Fair on Sunday. … Kander … was in Iowa for political events last December and again in June. … Tim Ryan … [in] June … met Des Moines Democrats at Cooney’s Tavern in Beaverdale, and he’s scheduled to return to the state in September as a headliner at the Polk County Steak Fry. … Joining Ryan on the Steak Fry stage will be U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton, of Massachusetts, and Cheri Bustos, of Illinois.” http://dmreg.co/2w0i7xg
SPEAKING OF 2020 — “Megadonor Steyer vows to only back candidates that support abortion rights,” by Gabe Debenedetti in Atlanta: “Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer said on Saturday that he and his NextGen America group do not intend to work on behalf of anti-abortion politicians, jumping into the Democratic Party’s ongoing debate on the topic. ‘We’re pro-choice,’ the hedge fund manager-turned-activist told POLITICO on the sidelines of the progressive Netroots Nation conference here. Asked if his group would help candidates or sitting lawmakers who don’t support abortion rights, he said, ‘We do not work for a single candidate who is not pro-choice. I think people like to have litmus tests. We are explicitly pro-choice. We work a lot with Planned Parenthood, we work a lot with NARAL. We are absolutely committed to it.’” http://politi.co/2uPN1V8
–SPOTTED: Tom Steyer and Tom Perriello having drinks Friday night at the hotel bar in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, where Netroots Nation is taking place … Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) taking selfies at DCA this morning (including with a woman with a “she persisted” tattoo) before boarding a flight to Atlanta for Netroots Nation
SCOOP – “Manchin Emerges as Possible Pick for Energy Department,” by Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli, Jen Jacobs, and Steven T. Dennis: “Some White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department, according to four people familiar with the discussions, a move that could boost President Donald Trump’s stalled legislative agenda. If Manchin were offered and accepted the position, that would allow West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice — a newly minted Republican — to appoint a GOP successor and bring the party a vote closer in the Senate to being able to repeal Obamacare. The idea is in the early stages of consideration, and it’s unclear whether it has support within the administration … A spokesman for Manchin declined to say whether the senator would take the Energy secretary job — currently held by former Texas Governor Rick Perry — if offered.” https://bloom.bg/2uyOr6Q
— SOME CONTEXT: Yes, Republicans would love Manchin to join the Trump administration. It would make it much easier for Trump and McConnell to get their agenda passed. Heck, throw in Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and then Republicans would be really happy. But remember: Trump met with both lawmakers during the transition and talk of appointing them, or in fact any Democrat, to his cabinet went nowhere. For the record: Manchin hasn’t sent any signals that he’s interested in joining the Trump administration.
KEEPING THEM HONEST — NYT A1, “Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say,” by Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton: “When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance. Some employees say they are also told to leave behind their cellphones when they meet with Mr. Pruitt, and are sometimes told not to take notes.
“Mr. Pruitt … often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security. A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,’ Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.” http://nyti.ms/2vNZbCA
TRUMP’S WASHINGTON — “Pentagon’s empty posts cause uncertainty for defense contractors,” by Reuters’ Mike Stone: “U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to fill dozens of senior-level positions at the Pentagon is making it difficult for defense contractors to forecast business. Defense company officials, speaking on conference calls after their just-reported quarterly earnings, did not blame Trump directly, but said the lack of appointments to key positions at the Pentagon had slowed contract awards and created uncertainty. … The Department of Defense said it has 42 unfilled top-level posts that require Senate confirmation, including general counsel, inspector general and other important roles like secretary of the Army and undersecretary of the Navy.
“The Pentagon referred a request for comment on its unfilled posts to the White House. A White House official said: ‘Democrat obstruction has played a key role in jamming up the president’s agenda.’ Of the 42 open positions that require Senate confirmation, 29 have no nominee identified, while 13 have nominees awaiting confirmation.” http://reut.rs/2vw3jV5
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NYT SUNDAY STYLE COVER STORY — JACOB BERNSTEIN: “Trump Tower, a Home for Celebrities and Charlatans” (print headline: “Towering Egos”): “Hillary Clinton slept here. The year was 2000. Mrs. Clinton was in the middle of her first political campaign, running to be New York’s junior senator.
“Steven Spielberg, an enthusiastic donor to Mrs. Clinton who had the use of a pied-à-terre in Trump Tower purchased for him by Universal Pictures, barely stayed at the place, despite its views of Central Park, and offered it to the candidate as a crash pad on grueling campaign days. Donald J. Trump and Mrs. Clinton were on good terms back then. He donated money to her candidacy and called her ‘tough and smart.’ Moreover, Mr. Trump was skilled in the art of spinning his associations with celebrities into publicity. This was particularly true at Trump Tower. Johnny Carson, Liberace and Paul Anka had condominiums there in the 1980s, and Michael Jackson rented one in the 1990s. In 2000, Bruce Willis closed on a place too.” http://nyti.ms/2hTg9cF
FOR YOUR RADAR — “March of white supremacists at University of Virginia ends in skirmishes,” by WaPo’s Joe Helm: http://wapo.st/2uxRGzy
MEDIAWATCH — “Uproar Over Omarosa Manigault-Newman at Black Journalists Convention,” by NYT’s Yamiche Alcindor in New Orleans: “The appearance of Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a White House aide, caused an uproar at a National Association of Black Journalists convention on Friday after she refused to answer some questions about President Trump’s recent remarks encouraging the police to be rougher while arresting criminal suspects. … It was moderated by a longtime journalist, Ed Gordon, a host at Bounce TV. The event began cordially, but within minutes, it devolved into a shouting match between Ms. Manigault-Newman and Mr. Gordon. … It became a 25-minute argument during which Ms. Manigault-Newman called Mr. Gordon ‘aggressive,’ with Mr. Gordon pointedly asking what effect Ms. Manigault-Newman had made on the president.” http://nyti.ms/2vZPnVA
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 13 keepers http://politi.co/2vYhIM5
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
— “When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism,” by Franklin Foer in September’s The Atlantic: “The pursuit of digital readership broke the New Republic—and an entire industry.” http://theatln.tc/2wBLhkj (h/t ALDaily.com)
— “At the heart of every restaurant,” by WaPo’s Tom Sietsema: “Our food critic works a shift to understand why top chefs are starting to give dishwashers their due.” http://wapo.st/2vWZ0VV
–“Unlearning the myth of American innocence,” by Suzy Hansen in The Guardian in an excerpt from “Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World”: “When she was 30, Suzy Hansen left the U.S. for Istanbul – and began to realise that Americans will never understand their own country until they see it as the rest of the world does”. http://bit.ly/2vqKjZT … $17.28 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2fA4cYD (h/t Longform.org)
— “Meet Alex, the Russian Casino Hacker Who Makes Millions Targeting Slot Machines,” by Brendan I. Koerner in Wired: http://bit.ly/2vNbiiX
— “How Rebecca Solnit Became the Voice of the Resistance,” by Alice Gregory in T Magazine: “[H]er 2008 essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ [http://bit.ly/2uPM9zy] … was born of a now-famous anecdote: In 2003, Solnit was at a party in a chalet above Aspen, Colo., when the host of the party, upon learning that Solnit was an author, insisted on summarizing a book he had read a review of, ignoring her friend’s efforts to inform him that Solnit herself had written it. The essay is credited with inspiring the hashtag-ready term ‘mansplaining,’ which is now used around the world; it’s on T-shirts, on Twitter, in the most casual of conversations.” http://nyti.ms/2fz98Ny
— “How to Kill a Dinosaur in 10 Minutes,” by Paul Braterman in 3 Quarks Daily: “Ten minutes difference, and Earth would still be Planet of the Dinosaurs.” http://bit.ly/2vqCxPs
— “‘The wounds have never healed’: living through the terror of partition,” by Moni Mohsin in The Guardian: “It was one of the most painful births in modern history. More than 12 million people were displaced [in the 1947 partition of India]. Muslims fled across the hastily drawn borders into Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs into India. Two million people were killed, tens of thousands of women were raped and abducted, homes were plundered and villages were torched.” http://bit.ly/2wBQZCL (h/t TheBrowser.com)
— “The Chef Who Wouldn’t Cook: Why Rocco DiSpirito Left the Kitchen,” by Kevin Alexander in Thrillist: “Rocco DiSpirito is a cooking virtuoso. An artiste, a phenom. He was born with a gift, a gift that was nurtured and prodded and teased from him since adolescence. Rocco DiSpirito, who is just over 50, might be the most talented American chef alive at this very moment. Also: Rocco DiSpirito hasn’t cooked in a restaurant kitchen in 13 years.” http://bit.ly/2fz39IH
— “Hard Lessons in Living Off the Grid,” by Grist’s Amelia Urry: “A family tried to build its own sustainable paradise in Hawaii. Then Tesla’s batteries came to town.” http://bit.ly/2vqygvo
— “The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe,” by Kim Tingley in the N.Y. Times Magazine: “As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy.” http://nyti.ms/2uyazhT
–“How Silicon Valley rediscovered LSD,” by FT’s Hannah Kuchler: “A new generation of San Franciscans believes the drug makes them more creative. … ‘I don’t do coffee, I do acid,’ [one 29-year old start-up founder] says.” http://bit.ly/2uA9tlS
–“Flowers in Their Hair — Remember the Summer of Love? No? Lucky You,” by The Weekly Standard’s Andy Ferguson: “Having come to an end half a century ago, the Summer of Love is one of those events San Francisco has never quite got over, like the gold rush and those two earthquakes. The summer of 1967 is considered by people who like to consider such things to be the high-water mark of the hippies, the climax of the counterculture, the Camelot moment when all that was lovely and innocent about the sixties blossomed fleetingly from the potential to the actual.” http://tws.io/2w01Jx0
— “The Drug Runners,” by Ryan Goldberg in Texas Monthly: “The Tarahumara of northern Mexico became famous for their ability to run incredibly long distances. In recent years, cartels have exploited their talents by forcing them to ferry drugs into the U.S. Now, with their land ravaged by violence, they’re running for their lives.” http://bit.ly/2vqYNbZ
— “Inside Kim Jong-un’s Bloody Scramble to Kill Off His Family,” by Jean H. Lee in September’s Esquire: “While the world watches North Korea launch missiles, the very paranoid supreme leader has been busy eliminating anyone in his family who might knock him off the throne.” http://bit.ly/2uOlmE9 … Lee in the NYT today, “Donald Trump Is Giving North Korea Exactly What It Wants” http://nyti.ms/2vsokBq
—“The Un-Trump Republican: Gov. Larry Hogan’s radically normal model for the GOP,” by Matthew Mosk on the cover of WaPo Magazine: “[I]n the shadow of the nation’s storm-tossed political epicenter, Larry Hogan’s governorship is seeming more and more like an intriguing test case for a radically different version of the Republican Party: What would it look like if a politician played to Trump’s electoral coalition while rejecting just about every element of the president’s personal style?” http://wapo.st/2vuIAkk
–“Whose Fault Was Dunkirk?” by Lynne Olson in Longreads: “Abandoned and isolated by their allies, lacking everything they needed to keep fighting, the Belgians felt they had held off the Germans for as long as humanly possible. On May 27, the Belgian government, in an official communiqué, informed France and Britain of its imminent surrender to Germany.” http://bit.ly/2vMWPDN
GREAT WEEKEND LISTEN, curated by Jake Sherman:
–YES, this is still Lawn Boy. http://bit.ly/2hTvZUI
SPOTTED: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and their wives at Shakespeare in the Park in New York City last night to see “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.” Schumer spoke before the performance and said he hoped for a “Midsummer night’s change in Washington.” … Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) in first class on an American Airlines flight from D.C. to Dallas. Hutchinson was nominated to be ambassador to NATO.
SPOTTED last night at a reunion party for Sopan Deb, a former CBS Trump reporter now covering culture for the NYT, at Kingfisher on 14th Street: Logan Dobson, Ali Vitali, Jeremy Diamond, Tom Kaplan, Ashley Killough, Jill Colvin, Jeremy Herb, Alan He, Josh Dawsey, Ben Jacobs, Eli Stokols, Elena Schneider, Elaina Plott, Miranda Green and Kailani Koenig-Muenster.
WEEKEND WEDDING — John Hall, a partner at Targeted Victory and a digital fundraising guru, recently married teacher Erin O’Connell, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown. Instapic http://bit.ly/2uxz7f5 SPOTTED: Sam Osborn and Mathias Reynolds, Abe and Ashley Adams, Ryan and Katie Meerstein, Zac Moffatt, Michael and Brooke Beach, Tad and Jenna Rupp, Jason Weinstein and Jen Harrington.
ENGAGED — Ibrahim AlHusseini, founder and managing partner of FullCycle Energy Fund and the Husseini Group, a family fund focused on impact investing, got engaged to actress Sarah Himadeh. They met in LA and were introduced by director/writer Chadi Zeneddine. Ibrahim proposed on the roof of her grandfather’s ancestral home in the mountains outside of Beirut. Pics http://bit.ly/2vqXVnX … http://bit.ly/2wQtHIJ
TRANSITIONS — MATT MOWERS has started as chief of staff and chief policy officer for anti-HIV/AIDS program PEPFAR, part of the State Department. Mowers most recently served as the senior White House adviser at State, leading transition efforts. … Ciaran Clayton is joining the Nature Conservancy as director of global media relations. For the past three months, Clayton, an Obama NOAA alum, has been consulting with the Center for American Progress working on public lands and marine monument defense. … Leacy Burke has been named communications director for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). She was communications director for Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.). …
… Kevin Walling is joining political media firm Hamburger Gibson Creative, where he will head up its new digital division, HGC Digital. He previously led business development at DSPolitical. … Lizzie Ulmer has been named communications director at the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Her last day as deputy communications director at Everytown and Moms Demand Action is Monday.
BIRTHDAYS: Kelley McCormick, managing director at SKDKnickerbocker (hat tips: Tammy Haddad, Tim and Kiki Burger and Hilary Rosen) … Joe Moore is 31 … Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner is 76 (h/t Rob Bluey) … HuffPost labor reporter Dave Jamieson … Mike Kelleher, lead int’l affairs officer at the World Bank and an Obama alum (h/t Burger) … Brian Devine … Trudi Boyd, EVP at Story Partners … Brianna Puccini, comms director for Sen. Deb Fischer (h/t Jeff Grappone, filing from Maine) … Matt Sparks, communications director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the pride of Silver Spring … Google’s Nick Meads and Amber Jesse … BuzzFeed’s Nidhi Prakash … Justin Folsom … Julia Ziegler, news director of WTOP.com … Molly French … CNN KFile editor Kyle Blaine … Jason Livingood … Brandi Travis … former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) is 5-0 … Tess Glancey, deputy director of comms for House Homeland Security … Deborah Colitti … Stephen Claeys … Rochelle Behrens … Dana Berardi … Mary Trupo … Sophie Miller … Thurgood Marshall Jr. … Jenn Burr-Linn …
… Mike Holtzman, partner at BLJ Worldwide, is 48 … Christina Hartman, congressional candidate in Pennsylvania’s 16th district, formerly of NDI and the Joyful Heart Foundation (h/t Ryan Morgan) … Nicole Nason, former Bush NHTSA administrator now a State Department senior adviser (h/t college roommate Betsy Fischer Martin) … Kristin Sheehy (h/t Jon Haber) … Matt Krupnick, public policy director at Red Hat … Doris Truong, WaPo homepage editor … Christopher Dorobek … Lauren Collins Cline … Toby Burke … Raytheon’s Michael Dorff … Laura Lawlor … Ben Gulans … former SEC enforcement chief Bill McLucas, now at WilmerHale … Audrey Jones … Matt Wahl … Don Rockwell (h/t Jon Karl, whose nickname for Don is “Mr. DC Dining”) … Maris Segal … Laura Hahn … Lynn Trautmann … Ben Gulans … Patrice Hauptman (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:
— “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Panel: Newt Gingrich, Donna Edwards, Tom Rogan and Marie Harf
— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster … Adm. Mike Mullen … Recode executive editor Kara Swisher. Panel: Helene Cooper, Rich Lowry, Joy Reid and Amy Walter
— CNN’s “State of the Union”: James Clapper … White House Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert … Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). Panel: Nina Turner, Michael Caputo, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Bill Kristol
— ABC’s “This Week”: National security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster … Anthony Scaramucci. Panel: Alex Castellanos, Matthew Dowd, Ben Rhodes and Cokie Roberts
— CBS’s “Face the Nation”: CIA Director Mike Pompeo … Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) … Leon Panetta … David Ignatius and Michael Morrell. Panel: Molly Ball, Michael Duffy, Ed O’Keefe and Ramesh Ponnuru
— Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) … Karl Rove … Ayaan Hirsi-Ali … Gordon Chang. Panel: Guy Benson and Charlie Hurt
— Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Christina Bellantoni … Mollie Hemingway … Jessica Tarlov … “America Trends” host Gina Loudon … Catalina Magazine publisher Cathy Areu … Steve Hilton
— CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Michael Shear, Karoun Demirjian, Margaret Talev and Manu Raju
— CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Victor Cha and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd … Israel Channel 2 investigative journalist Ilana Dayan … Bill Maher
—CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: CNN international correspondent Will Ripley, former ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton and Rear Adm. John Kirby (Ret.) … Politifact editor Angie Drobnic Holan and The Washington Post Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler … HuffPost’s Yashar Ali and NPR’s David Folkenflik
— Univision’s “Al Punto”: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) … Proceso Magazine’s Jesus Esquivel and Univision Deportes commentator Pablo “La Torre de Jalisco” Ramírez … Jeb Bush … TransLatin@ Coalition president Bamby Salcedo … Foro Penal Venezlano president Alfredo Romero
— C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: Net-Square CEO Saumil Shah … “Newsmakers”: Senate Leadership Fund president and CEO Steven Law, questioned by AP’s Erica Werner and The Washington Examiner’s Al Weaver … “Q&A”: Paul Butler (“Chokehold: Policing Black Men”)
— Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2r37J6h): Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) … Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army, Ret.).
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): The high prices that drug makers set for prescription drugs can put financial strain on patients, employers, unions and others who provide health care coverage to more than 50 percent of Americans. Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers, unions and government programs. But, as list prices – the starting point for those negotiations — continue their nearly double-digit increases, the effects ripple throughout the system. The key to ensuring greater access and affordability lies in fostering greater competition. Facilitating faster reviews of generics and biosimilars, identifying off-patent drugs with little or no generic competition, and ending anti-competitive practices that keep safe, effective alternatives out of the market are also key to abating rising drug costs for patients. Learn more at affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******
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from CapitalistHQ.com https://capitalisthq.com/scoop-mcconnell-and-sessions-break-bread-trump-threatens-venezuela-intervention-returning-to-dc-monday-defense-news-all-calm-with-the-military-in-the-pacific/