WHAT’S FIRST UP ON CAPITOL HILL -- EXCLUSIVES: New DCCC finance director, and the head of Dem redistricting -- KERRY TO SPEAK on ISRAEL -- LUX HOUSE PIX of Trump’s cabinet -- B’DAY: Susanna Quinn
Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2iDLi3s … Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay … Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51JnfGood Wednesday morning. WE KNOW most people are vacationing and relaxing this week, but we have a bit of news for you. The buzz bouncing around town: the Republican-controlled House is looking to take up three bills immediately after new members are sworn in next week: THE REINS ACT, legislation that would require Congress to approve new major regulations, MIDNIGHT RULES ACT, which allows Congress to disapprove of late-stage administration regulations en masse. Also: a RESOLUTION DISAPPROVING OF THE U.N.’S RECENT ISRAEL ACTION. This is important, because it will give President-elect Donald Trump three bills he would be likely to sign early in his presidency.FIRST IN POLITICO -- “[Kelly] Ward picked to lead Obama-Holder redistricting project,” by Isaac Dovere: “Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s quickly expanding Democratic joint project to tackle redistricting reform has picked a leader: Kelly Ward, fresh off four years as the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Ward is coming in initially as the interim executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee as it continues to come together, meeting with donors, hiring staff, managing groups joining as members and beginning to identify races to target as the effort gears up for action in 2017, 2018 and into 2020 — and then the actual rounds of redistricting in 2021. Many of the current maps for state legislature and House districts represent Republicans’ ‘fundamental challenge to our democracy,’ Ward said, because of how much gerrymandering they entail.” http://politi.co/2iq9oLK-- THIS GROUP is quickly becoming a top destination for Democrats in D.C. It's expected to attract big dollars, as Democrats look to try to turn maps toward their favor across the country. Kelly’s phone will be ringing off the hook shortly.**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbXPLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVE -- MIKE SMITH will be the DCCC’s finance director for the 2018 election cycle. From the DCCC: “Mike most recently served as Hillary Clinton’s Deputy National Finance Director in her campaign for president. As the second most senior member of Clinton’s Finance team, Mike oversaw the campaign’s National Finance Committee of nearly 5,000 high-dollar donors. Previously, Mike served at the DCCC as both the Mid-Atlantic Director and Leader Pelosi’s Finance Director.”WHAT RON DERMER IS READING -- “Leaked Document: U.S. Colluded With Palestinians 10 Days Before UN Settlements Vote: If authentic, the document, leaked to an Egyptian website, confirms some of the claims voiced in Israel against Obama since the UN vote against the settlements last week,” by Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz’s top-notch diplomatic correspondent: “Secretary of State John Kerry and White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told a Palestinian delegation in Washington 10 days before the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution against Israeli settlements that the U.S. would not impose a veto on such a resolution if its wording was balanced, according to a document released by an Egyptian news site. The State Department denied the contents of the document. …“Israel’s [U.S.] ambassador, Ron Dermer, said Monday that Israel had evidence that the Obama administration was behind the wording of the resolution and had cooperated with the Palestinians behind Israel’s back. The document published on the Egyptian news site might be the evidence Israel has.” http://bit.ly/2hMJkK6 -- DAVID SANGER on A3 of the NYT: “John Kerry, in a Final, Pointed Plea, Will Outline a Vision of Mideast Peace”: “In a last-chance effort to shape the outlines of a Middle East peace deal, Secretary of State John Kerry is to outline in a speech on Wednesday the Obama administration’s vision of a final Israeli-Palestinian accord based on bitter lessons learned from an effort that collapsed in 2014. A senior State Department official said that Mr. Kerry, who will be out of office in three weeks, would use his remarks to ‘address some of the misleading critiques’ directed at the Obama administration. That was a clear reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who has charged that the United States ‘orchestrated’ a United Nations Security Council resolution last week condemning Israel’s continued building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States abstained from the resolution, infuriating Mr. Netanyahu. …“The speech, the latest salvo in a final conflict between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Obama as Donald J. Trump prepares to assume the presidency, will make the case that ‘the vote was not unprecedented’ and that Mr. Obama’s decision ‘did not blindside Israel.’ Mr. Kerry, the official said, would cite other cases in which Washington officials had allowed similar votes under previous presidents. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a coming speech, said Mr. Kerry would also argue that, with the notable exception of Israel, there was a ‘complete international consensus’ against further settlements in areas that might ultimately be the subject of negotiations.” http://nyti.ms/2hvFUiW … The speech is at 11 a.m. -- livestream www.state.gov -- SHELDON ADELSON’S Hebrew-language “Israel Hayom” leaving no doubt where it stands today. Its front page has a photo of Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Its headline is “After pairing with the Palestinians, today Kerry’s speech.” The headline on the inside reads, “‘Kerry’s vision,’ with the Palestinians’ approval.” (Translation by Jake) http://bit.ly/2hnXIaR -- WHAT NETANYAHU’S PARTY THINKS, per Ynet: “Internal Security Minister and Cabinet Minister Gilad Erdan said: ‘It is very unfortunate that the Obama administration, which has taken the wrong steps in the Middle East, is trying to ensure that there will be chaos even after his tenure. Kerry’s speech at the last minute combined with the Security Council resolution will ensure Palestinians will not agree to negotiations in the coming years. It’s pathetic and obsessive to introduce a formula for ending the conflict at the last moment when you couldn’t move anything in your term -- except the conference of Hamas supporters in Paris.’” http://bit.ly/2i6Jter COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “Obama administration is close to announcing measures to punish Russia for election interference,” by WaPo’s Ellen Nakashima: “The Obama administration is close to announcing a series of measures to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election, including economic sanctions and diplomatic censure … The administration is finalizing the details, which also are expected to include covert action that will probably involve cyber-operations ... An announcement on the public elements of the response could come as early as this week.” http://wapo.st/2igxnjp --“‘What the Russians Did Was Utterly Unprecedented’: The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee criticizes Donald Trump, and the leader and members of his own party, for mishandling a ‘grave danger’ to the republic,” by Uri Friedman in The Atlantic: “[Rep. Adam] Schiff is refusing to move on. The future of liberal democracy in the United States and around the world is at stake, he told me, and the U.S. government is rapidly running out of time to respond to the threat (Schiff says he has no confidence that Trump will punish Russia over its role in the election). ... Schiff is also critical of Obama, whose ‘excess of caution’ ended up ‘inviting too much Russian interference.’” http://theatln.tc/2iDhqAq CHRISTIE’S COMEBACK PLAN -- NYT A19, “‘Abandoned’ in New Jersey, Chris Christie Returns to a Changed Landscape,” by Kate Zernike and Patrick McGeehan: “Christie still believes he has a political future nationally. He wants to write a book and his friends have been telling people in New Jersey that the governor expects Mr. Trump to eventually come around to him. According to their scenario, the White House management team of Jared Kushner, Stephen K. Bannon and Reince Priebus will be a disaster and Mr. Christie will be tapped as the skilled manager, like David Gergen, the former aide to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan who swooped in to steady Bill Clinton’s administration after a raucous first year.” http://nyti.ms/2hsvIGfHILLWATCH -- “Experts: Ryan’s livestream crackdown may be unconstitutional,” by Rachael Bade: “Paul Ryan’s new crackdown against protests on the House floor -- a direct response to the Democrats’ gun-control ‘sit-in’ last summer -- is prompting questions from experts in both parties about its constitutionality. As part of a House rules package members will vote to approve in early January, House GOP leaders want to empower the sergeant-at-arms to fine lawmakers up to $2,500 for shooting video or taking photos on the chamber floor. But experts say Ryan’s proposal may run afoul of Article 1 of the Constitution, which says ‘each House may … punish its Members for disorderly behavior.’ “For more than 200 years that has been interpreted to mean any contested sanctions against lawmakers must be approved by the full House with a floor vote, attorneys steeped in congressional legal matters say. ‘The Constitution gives the House the authority to discipline members; I have never heard of anything where an officer of the House was given that authority,’ said Mike Stern, a former lawyer for the nonpartisan House counsel’s office and the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s GOP staff. Stern, who called the proposed rule a ‘plausible Constitutional issue to raise,’ said Democrats could take the matter to court. ‘Their strongest argument would be: The House doesn’t have the authority to give these officers the power to punish us; only the power of the House can do that, and [Republicans] have short-circuited our rights by the way they’ve done it.’” http://politi.co/2i6DDK9 FUN CLICK – “The (Very Luxe) Real Estate Holdings of Trump’s Cabinet Picks,” by Beckie Strum in Mansion Global: “From Rex Tillerson to Ben Carson, a look at the opulent homes of the millionaires and billionaires serving the next president”. 9 pix on one page, which also includes the homes of Betsy DeVos, Vincent Viola, and Wilbur Ross http://mansion.global/2iq27f7 -- “Mystery investor plans to flip Trump’s boyhood home: In real estate jargon, the property has potential,” by Lorraine Woellert: “After languishing without a buyer for months, the five-bedroom Tudor in Jamaica Estates, New York, was sold Dec. 16 to a buyer who will auction it to the highest bidder in January, according to Paramount Realty USA. That’s a quick turnaround for any house flip, but it’s an especially bold undertaking in a time of rising mortgage rates and winter market doldrums. ... To generate interest in a sale, Paramount is circulating a copy of the president-elect’s birth certificate, which shows the home’s Wareham Place address. His father, Fred Trump, a developer, built the 2,000-square-foot house in 1940.” With a pic of the house http://politi.co/2iq2RAy THIS CAN’T GO WRONG, RIGHT? -- “As Home Prices Rise, Flippers Make a Comeback,” by WSJ’s Kirsten Grind and Peter Rudegeair: “The number of investors who flipped a house in the first nine months of 2016 reached the highest level since 2007. About one-third of the deals were financed with debt, a percentage not seen in eight years. Now Wall Street, which was nearly felled by real-estate forays almost a decade ago, is getting back into the action. … Investors are making an average profit of about $61,000 on each flip, up from about $19,000 at the bottom of the market in 2009. … In recent months, big banks, including Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. have started extending credit lines to companies that specialize in lending to home-flippers.” http://on.wsj.com/2hnMW4i SPORTS BLINK -- NYT A1, “Russians No Longer Dispute Olympic Doping Operation,” by Rebecca R. Ruiz in Moscow: “Russia is for the first time conceding that its officials carried out one of the biggest conspiracies in sports history: a far-reaching doping operation that implicated scores of Russian athletes, tainting not just the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi but also the entire Olympic movement. Over several days of interviews here with The New York Times, Russian officials said they no longer disputed a damning set of facts that detailed a doping program with few, if any, historical precedents.” http://nyti.ms/2iDn3mc TOP READ -- NYT A1, “Saudi Royal Family Is Still Spending in an Age of Austerity,” by Nick Kulish and Mark Mazzetti as part of the paper’s “Secrets of the Kingdom” series: “These are anxious times for the royals, led by an 80-year-old who has already had at least one stroke and is likely to be the last of six sons of the founding monarch to serve as sovereign. ... In his two-year reign, King Salman has upended the traditions of succession, creating rifts after bypassing several brothers to position the next generation — a nephew and a favorite son — in line for the throne. He has ousted prominent members of other branches of the family from governorships and top ministry jobs, consolidating power but sowing some discontent in a family that demands unity.” http://nyti.ms/2iDglMR BEYOND THE BELTWAY -- S.F. CHRONICLE (front page, lead story), “Latinos in tech wary of Trump … Workers vowing they’ll stand up to president-elect” -- A1 PDF http://politi.co/2hnK7jI … Story http://bit.ly/2igztjh … THE STATE (S.C.) (top of the front page), “Legislator accused of domestic violence ... Aiken Rep. [Chris] Corley punched his wife, pointed gun at her, officials allege” -- A1 PDF http://politi.co/2hsIi8b … Story http://bit.ly/2iDGNG7 … CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (top of the front page), “How Trump could affect bank hiring in Charlotte” -- A1 PDF http://politi.co/2hsrcrg … Story http://bit.ly/2i6Igne WORTH THE CLICK -- Ancestry.com has searched for school yearbook pix of incoming senators and congressmen, as well as returning members. At this link you’ll find hi-res yearbook photos of newly elected members, including Sen.-elect Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sen.-elect John Kennedy (R-La.), Rep.-elect Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Rep.-elect Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), Rep.-elect Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Rep.-elect Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and more. Also included are school yearbook photos of returning Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.). http://bit.ly/2iDnskzCYBERWARS -- “U.S. Charges Three Chinese Traders With Hacking Law Firms: Indictment says the traders bought shares of at least five publicly traded companies before announcements that the firms would be acquired,” by WSJ’s Sara Randazzo and Dave Michaels: “Three Chinese traders earned more than $4 million in illegal profits after they hacked into the computer systems of prominent U.S. law firms and stole nonpublic information on mergers and acquisitions, according to a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday. The allegations are the latest alarm bell for law firms, which have long been considered vulnerable to cyberattacks. … The Wall Street Journal reported in March that federal investigators were probing hacks of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which represent Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies in matters including lawsuits and multibillion-dollar merger negotiations. While prosecutors didn’t identify the law firms, details in the indictment closely match Weil Gotshal and Cravath.” http://on.wsj.com/2i6H57l THE NEW GILDED AGE – “As Populists Won 2016 Ballots, World’s Richest Made $225 Billion,” by Bloomberg’s Tom Metcalf and Jack Witzig: “Triggered by disappointing economic data from China at the beginning, the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union in the middle and the election of billionaire Donald Trump at the end, the biggest fortunes on the planet whipsawed through $4.8 trillion of daily net worth gains and losses during the year, rising 9995.4 percent to $4.4 trillion by the close of trading Dec. 27, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. ... The gains were led by Warren Buffett, who added $12 billion during the year.” http://bloom.bg/2iq5dzp INAUGURATION WATCH -- “A Rockette Speaks Out: Amidst the media storm about the pressure to perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, one dancer breaks rank for an exclusive MarieClaire.com interview about the turmoil behind the scenes,” by Kaitlin Menza: “Mary says[:] ‘The majority of us said no immediately. Then there’s the percentage that said yes, for whatever reason—whether it’s because they’re young and uninformed, or because they want the money, or because they think it’s an opportunity to move up in the company when other people turn it down.’ ... [T]o her knowledge, no women of color have signed up to perform that day. ‘It’s almost worse to have 18 pretty white girls behind this man who supports so many hate groups,’ she says. ... ‘They’re going to be branded in history as one of those women,’ Mary says. ‘How’s it going to look?’” http://bit.ly/2iq4VZu TOP-EDS -- RICHARD TRUMKA in the NYT, “Don’t Let Trump Speak for Workers”: “Mr. Trump’s emerging cabinet and policy pronouncements seem to treat actual working people as bottom lines rather than human beings, our unions as a threat rather than a partner, and rising wages as a problem rather than the foundation of our prosperity.” http://nyti.ms/2iDrTM4 -- SEN. TOM COTTON (R-Ark.) in the NYT, “Fix Immigration. It’s What Voters Want”: “Donald J. Trump smashed many orthodoxies on his way to victory, but immigration was the defining issue separating him from his primary opponents and Hillary Clinton. President-elect Trump now has a clear mandate not only to stop illegal immigration, but also to finally cut the generation-long influx of low-skilled immigrants that undermines American workers. ... For too long, our immigration policy has skewed toward the interests of the wealthy and powerful: Employers get cheaper labor, and professionals get cheaper personal services like housekeeping. We now need an immigration policy that focuses less on the most powerful and more on everyone else.” http://nyti.ms/2iDGTxs -- “Does Trump Have a Secret Master Plan for Wilbur Ross? We need a good distressed investment guy to buy up the distressed properties of the world economy,” by Andy Kessler in the WSJ: http://on.wsj.com/2i6wn0vSNEAK PEEK -- This coming Sunday’s NYT Mag features a big cover story by C.J. Chivers in one of his first major features since being named a writer at large for the magazine -- “The Fighter: The Marine Corps taught Sam Siatta how to shoot. The war in Afghanistan taught him how to kill. Nobody taught him how to come home”: “Since leaving the corps in 2012, Siatta had been unable to switch off the habits of war. He was hypervigilant and struggled to relax. He watched people, sizing them up and scanning for threats. In the varying situations of everyday life, he constantly repositioned himself so no one got behind him. Much of this was appropriate for combat patrols. Some of it drew from his training. All of it was mentally and emotionally exhausting, unsuited for a peaceful life. Going to a restaurant, moving through knots of people at a party, visiting the mall, finding a seat in a classroom relative to other people and windows and doors — each was a challenge requiring effort and will.” http://nyti.ms/2hMQhe4 ... The cover http://bit.ly/2hMMuh0 JASON ZENGERLE in NY Mag, “Who Will Do What Harry Reid Did Now That Harry Reid Is Gone? Nevada’s departing senator would have fought Trump with a ruthlessness perhaps no other Democratic leader has”: “As I spoke to him in his office that afternoon, he seemed to go out of his way to insult his opponents. He sarcastically dismissed John Barrasso, a Republican senator who helped spearhead the opposition to Obamacare, as ‘Doctor Barrasso, the orthopedic surgeon from Wyoming’ — as if treating rotator-cuff injuries on the Great Plains wasn’t real medical work. Steve Bannon, Trump’s incoming senior White House adviser, was ‘a white supremacist, and if you spend a good part of your adult life being a white supremacist, it doesn’t change overnight.’ As for Trump, Reid offered a comparison: ‘As you know, I opposed a lot of stuff that [George W.] Bush did, I think he was a really bad president, but it appears the Bush family is at least in the realm of rationality.’” http://nym.ag/2iD7BGy STRATEGERY -- “Donald Trump’s Path To 300 House Votes On Infrastructure Runs Through The Black Caucus,” by HuffPost’s Ryan Grim, Laura Barron-Lopez and Matt Fuller: “The Huffington Post spoke with 11 of the 45 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the House of Representatives and found the vast majority skeptical but willing to work on an infrastructure bill with Trump, even if Trump cuts House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), out of the process." With a Sam Geduldig cameo http://huff.to/2hsol1eOOPS -- “The Worst Political Predictions of 2016: It was another rocky year for the political sages,” by Ruairi Arrieta-Kenna: “Hillary Clinton will be elected president ... Trump won’t be the Republican nominee ... There will be a viable independent or third-party candidate ... The Republican National Convention will be contested ... Women will form a firewall for Clinton against Trump ... Red states will go blue ... Hillary Clinton will defeat Bernie Sanders in the Michigan Democratic primary in a landslide ... Merrick Garland will be confirmed for the Supreme Court ... The United Kingdom won’t vote to leave the European Union.” http://politi.co/2hMRqCrCLICKERS -- “The new household names: Garcia is now the sixth-most-common surname in the U.S.,” by Vice’s Spe Chen: “The 2010 [Census] data … show that six of the 20 most common last names in the U.S. now have Hispanic or Latino origin. In 1990, just 2 of the 20 most common names were Hispanic. ... The Hispanic population in the U.S. grew by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010. That year there were some 50.5 million Hispanic-Americans, or 16 percent of the overall population.” http://bit.ly/2hnwwJ8 --“2016: The Year in Cartoons”: 24 of the best from The New Yorker this year http://bit.ly/2hsNgBR REMEMBERING CARRIE FISHER -- NYT’s Dave Itzkoff: “Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the ‘Star Wars’ movie franchise, died on Tuesday morning. She was 60. ... Ms. Fisher established Princess Leia as a damsel who could very much deal with her own distress, whether facing down the villainy of the dreaded Darth Vader or the romantic interests of the roguish smuggler Han Solo. ... Wielding blaster pistols, piloting futuristic vehicles and, to her occasional chagrin, wearing strange hairdos and a revealing metal bikini, she reprised the role in three more films ... [including] 32 years later [in] ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ by which time Leia had become a hard-bitten general.” http://nyti.ms/2hspkyw … The first Star Wars trailer http://bit.ly/2i6UaNQ --“50 of 2017’s Most Anticipated Movies,” by The Hollywood Reporter’s Ashley Lee -- with trailers http://bit.ly/2hnS6gz PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION -- “Man charged with murder in slaying of D.C. actress,” by WaPo’s Peter Hermann and Michael E. Miller: “On Christmas Day, Tricia McCauley made a pie and prepared her signature Brussels sprouts to take to a holiday party with fellow members of the District’s theater scene. At 4:30 p.m., she posted on Facebook that she was on her way. She never showed for dinner. A frantic search by friends and family, scouring city blocks, ended just after midnight Tuesday, when a man walking his dog near Dupont Circle spotted McCauley’s white two-door Scion iQ with its ‘Plant more plants’ bumper sticker. He called police. Police found the car a few minutes later parked in the 2200 block of M Street NW in West End. In a nearby CVS store, they confronted a man who had been spotted driving the Scion. A police report says that an officer asked the man for the keys and that he surrendered them. Inside the car, police found McCauley’s 5-foot-4, 115-pound body.“McCauley had been strangled and beaten, authorities said. Police charged the man, Adrian Duane Johnson, 29, with first-degree felony murder, among other crimes. Police said they don’t know how the 46-year-old McCauley first encountered Johnson. The two were strangers, police said. Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said detectives don’t know where or when McCauley was killed.” http://wapo.st/2hvXm6F MEDIAWATCH -- “‘Profitable’ Washington Post adding more than five dozen journalists,” by Ken Doctor: “Twenty-sixteen was the year The Washington Post came of age -- again. ... Now, come 2017, the Post seems to be doing something unique in daily journalism: It is adding journalists early in the year. … [C]ontent will be bolstered by the new quicker-response investigative team, more breaking news and positions added in both video and audio/podcast (built on the success of its 44-episode presidential podcast series). Then, the Post — which now sends out 62 different newsletters to its readers — will increase its newsletter and alerts staff.” http://politi.co/2iDpelF --HOWARD WOLFSON in The Daily Beast, “The Media Blew Overall, Yes, But There Were Noteworthy Exceptions, And Here They Are”: “Alec MacGillis and Chris Arnade looked at the campaign from the outside in, spent considerable time with working class voters in the Midwest and asked why they voted for Trump. Their answers defy simple characterizations. Glenn Thrush examined the campaign from the inside out in a deeply sourced piece. Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg talked with the Trump data nerds, and Edward-Isaac Dovere looked at the Clinton campaign’s mistakes in Michigan.” http://thebea.st/2iDrQ2I --“Real Clear Education Editors Leaving to Bring Aggregation to The 74,” by EdWeek’s Mark Walsh: “The two top editors of Real Clear Education ... are moving to The 74, the education news website partly funded by the family foundation of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education. Andrew J. Rotherham, who served as a White House domestic-policy adviser to President Bill Clinton, launched Real Clear Education in 2014 ... Emmeline Zhao, a former editor at the Huffington Post, has been Real Clear Education’s editor since its inception.” http://bit.ly/2hvQfLG --LARA JAKES to the NYT as a new night editor – Per a staff memo from NYT D.C. bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller: “Lara was most recently managing editor of news for Foreign Policy magazine … Before that, she worked as a reporter at The Associated Press for more than 12 years, including three in Baghdad, where she served as bureau chief in 2012. ... Lara starts on Jan. 17.”SPOTTED: D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser dining last night with former Mayor Adrian Fenty and four others at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons in Georgetown ... Hamilton Place Strategies’ Tucker Warren (a Gore alum) walking around San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with his family last nightTRANSITIONS -- JUAN RODRIGUEZ, Sen.-elect Kamala Harris’s campaign manager, will become a partner at SCN Strategies as the powerhouse consultancy expands from San Francisco into Los Angeles. Rodriguez will establish the L.A. office for the firm, which has worked on campaigns for Gov. Jerry Brown, Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Consultants around the state are positioning for a wide-open gubernatorial race in 2018. Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor who is running for governor in 2018, is trying to make inroads in L.A. and Southern California. … LIZ BARTOLOMEO, the managing director for communications at the Center for American Progress, is leaving CAP to join Rep. Ro Khanna’s office as communications director and senior adviser. PLAYBOOKERS’ NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS: Laura DeMaria, executive director of the National Association for County Community and Economic Development: “It’s the same as 2016’s: pet more dogs.” ... Bill Arnone, CEO of the National Academy of Social Insurance: “To help promote a renewed respect for evidence and facts – and accept those that might not be in sync with my own world view.” ... Giovanni Hashimoto: “Find time for more recreational reading and travel to 12 new countries.” ... Mary Elizabeth Russell: “Allocate a limited amount of time per day to social media so it does not demand too much time”.BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Susanna Quinn, founder of on-demand fitness and beauty service Veluxe, celebrating by “Weather permitting, hiking the Billy Goat trail with family and then, dinner with my handsome trophy husband, Jack Quinn. Joining us will be my mentor, Allen Gannett and his husband, Trever Faden and my best guy friend, Matt Dornic” – read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2i6Ghzt BIRTHDAYS: NPR’s Melissa Block ... Seth Meyers is 43 ... John Legend is 38 ... Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) is 72 ... former Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) is 7-0 ... former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is 7-0 ... Politico’s Zach Montellaro, who helps bring you Playbook every morning, is 23 (h/t Colby Bermel) ... Mark Katz is 53 ... Shari Yost Gold, Democratic fundraiser and the pride of Akron ... Debbie Willhite ... Michele Altemus, alum of Hillary for America and the Depts. of Agriculture and Interior ... David Eisner, CEO at Repair the World (h/ts Jon Haber and Teresa Vilmain) ... Bloomberg Politics’ Sahil Kapur, a TPM alum, is 3-0 ... Politico’s Han Ah-Sue ... David Dunn ... Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) is 8-0 ... former Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) is 69 ... DLCC political director Kevin Boyd ... Christa Robinson, SVP of comms. for CBS News, a Tribune and CNN alum ... D.J. Jordan, comm. director for Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) ... AP economics writer Josh Boak ... Cam Cullman, account exec at BBDO Worldwide and former US Sailing Team member ... CEB’s Will Candrick ...… Ed McFadden, secretary of comms for the Archdiocese of Washington, celebrating with a small, private affair highlighted by old California Cabs, Yippee-Ki-Yay bourbon, jambalaya meatballs and pork belly corn dogs (h/t Blain Rethmeier) ... Katy Montgomery, Bush 43 DHS alum and current director of comms at the Chertoff group ... Kathy Kraninger, also a Bush 43 DHS Alum, now with Senate Approps and a Trump DHS transition team member (h/ts Ed Cash) ... Lou Gallo (I’d like to thank Phil) is 59 ... Virginia Del. Jennifer McClellan ... Janne Emilie Nolan ... Chris Cooper, principal at Convergence Targeted and an SKDK alum, is 46 ... Raquel Wojnar ... Douglas Wiley ... Jack Lynch is 66 ... Adrienne Fox Luscombe ... Savannah Short … Alexa Marrero, director of operations in corporate comms. at Boeing and a Fred Upton and E&C alum ... Erica Martinson, DC reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and a Politico alum … Corinne Elise McGrath ... Molly Varoga … David Drews ... Randall Snow ... Mike Snyder ... comic book creator Stan Lee is 94 ... former United Auto Workers union president Owen Bieber is 87 ... Denzel Washington is 62 (h/ts AP)
It's no surprise that New York and San Francisco are insanely expensive, but here's some other enclaves that have the least affordable housing in the U.S. The post Interactive: Least Affordable Housing in the U.S. appeared first on Visual Capitalist.
MERRY CHRISTMAS from all over the world -- RUSSIAN military plane crashes en route to Syria -- TRUMP goes to church -- JASON MILLER backs out of WH job -- B’DAYS: Irene Sherman, Tim Miller
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Wherever you are, we hope you’re with family and loved ones, getting rested for the year ahead. Daniel is with his family in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Jake is in Paris, with Irene -- a birthday girl today. And Anna is in D.C., heading to Martinique with friends Monday morning. We’ll get right to it so you can go back to opening up presents if you’re celebrating Christmas.PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP AND MELANIA TRUMP, the next first lady, went to church last night at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, where they got married in 2005, per pooler Peter Nicholas of the WSJ.PETER’S POOL REPORT, which landed in our inbox at 12:52 a.m.: “Sources inside the church tell us that Mr. Trump and his wife took communion. About midway through the service, Rev. James Harlan, the church rector, gave a sermon which included this message: ‘All of us have some hurts, some resentments, some fears, some ways that someone has hurt us or offended us in the past that we won’t let go of. We kind of actually like it. I have those … We won’t let go of those things and I can tell you over time those little hurts, those little slights, those little things, consume us and they will push out that space for God’s love all too easily.’”CLICKER -- “10 things we love about the holiday season in the Washington area,” by The Washington Post staff: “The ‘Season’s Greenings’ exhibition at the U.S. Botanic Garden … ZooLights … Rodman’s … ice skating at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden … caroling at a senior center … Feast of the Seven Fishes … Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens … Chinese food … cozy bars … falafel frenzy.” http://wapo.st/2he5C6iBREAKING OVERNIGHT -- A.P. at 4:38 a.m. -- “Russian plane with 92 aboard crashes into the Black Sea,” by Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow: “A Russian plane headed to an air base in Syria with 92 people aboard, including members of the world-famous Russian army choir, crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday minutes after taking off from the city of Sochi, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. There appeared to be no survivors. ... By Sunday afternoon, rescue teams had already recovered several bodies from the site of the crash of the Tu-154, which belonged to the Defense Ministry and was taking the Alexandrov Ensemble to a New Year’s concert at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia. Ships, helicopters, drones and divers searched the area for more victims. A total of 84 passengers and eight crew members were on the plane when it disappeared from radars two minutes after taking off in good weather. Emergency crews found fragments about 1.5 kilometers (less than one mile) from shore. There was no immediate word on the cause.“Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense affairs committee at the upper house of Russian parliament, said the crash could have been caused by a technical malfunction or a crew error, but he believes it could not have been terrorism because the plane was operated by the military. ‘I totally exclude’ the idea of an attack bringing down the plane, he said in remarks carried by state RIA Novosti news agency.” http://apne.ws/2itspMpHEADING FOR THE EXITS -- “Jason Miller backs out of Trump White House job,” by Alex Isenstadt: “Jason Miller, who was tapped [on Thursday] to be White House communications director, announced Saturday that he will not join Donald Trump’s administration. In a statement to POLITICO, Miller said the decision to back out of the job stemmed from a need to spend more time with his family. He noted that he and his wife are expecting their second child next month. ‘After spending this past week with my family, the most amount of time I have been able to spend with them since March 2015, it is clear they need to be my top priority right now and this is not the right time to start a new job as demanding as White House communications director,’ Miller said. ‘My wife and I are also excited about the arrival of our second daughter in January, and I need to put them in front of my career.’ … Sean Spicer, who was named to be White House press secretary earlier this week, will take over Miller’s responsibilities as communications director.” http://politi.co/2hkzdhH-- Asked by Playbook yesterday if he plans to go back to his old firm Jamestown Associates after the transition, Miller replied: “Technically I never left. Still own part of the firm. Not sure what’s next.”-- JUST SAYING: This makes Sean Spicer an even more powerful figure in the communications operation.THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY OF THE DAY -- “Denying Conflict, Trump Family Tries to Resolve Potential Problems,” by NYT’s Eric Lipton and Maggie Haberman: “Realizing that his presidency could face potentially crippling questions over conflicts of interest, Donald J. Trump and his family are rushing to resolve potential controversies — like shuttering foundations and terminating development deals — even as the president-elect publicly maintains that no legal conflicts exist. … The list of actions contemplated — with some already executed — is long, but the planned dissolution of the Donald J. Trump Foundation might be the most resonant, given the enormous controversies surrounding the nonprofit, which is under investigation by the New York attorney general. The Trumps must work out the terms of the foundation’s closing. A spokeswoman for the New York attorney general’s office said Saturday that any move to close the foundation required state approval, given the investigation into how it spends its money and courts donations, and the state’s order that it stop fund-raising. ‘The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,’ Amy Spitalnick, the press secretary, said. ...“Ivanka Trump is looking at donating proceeds from a soon-to-be-published book, ‘Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,’ to charity. A labor dispute with hundreds of workers at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas … was suddenly settled on Wednesday, with the hotel agreeing to provide pensions, health insurance, annual wage increases and other benefits that it previously refused to offer. Another agreement with employees at the just-opened Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington will allow them to organize a union. The Trump Organization has shelved a planned 15-foot-tall sea wall at its oceanfront golf course in Ireland after the proposal provoked angry protests from environmentalists both in Ireland and in the United States. Eric Trump said he no longer intended to participate in any meetings — business or policy-focused — organized by his father, as the president-elect prepared to move to the White House, and would not interact with him or anyone in his administration on government matters once he was in office.” http://nyti.ms/2he35cw … Leave the blue plastic bag outside -- here’s the A1 PDF, with Maggie and Eric’s story on the upper left-hand side http://nyti.ms/2i73YImTRUMP’S CABINET -- “Trump’s pick for attorney general is shadowed by race and history,” by WaPo’s Ellen Nakashima and Sari Horwitz: “After coming of age in the Deep South during the darkest days of the civil rights movement, Sessions has struggled to reconcile the racial politics of his region with the changing national discourse that lifted long-standing legal barriers for minorities. Sessions’ long record in public life reveals a man who has hired African Americans for senior positions who speak highly of him, but who has been sharply criticized by civil rights groups for his positions on voting rights, same-sex marriage and gender equality. …“In 1986, for instance, when he testified before Congress, he called the Voting Rights Act ‘intrusive’ but ‘necessary.’ Then in 2006, as a U.S. senator, he voted to renew the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. But seven years later, he said it was ‘good news ... for the South’ when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law, which made it more difficult for the federal government to protect people from racial discrimination in voting. In Sessions, Trump found a man who holds deeply conservative views. He positions himself as a champion of the working class and expounds the same populist message that has come to dominate the Republican Party: a belief that the world is divided between working people and elitist ‘masters of the universe,’ and that illegal immigration poses an existential threat to the country.” http://wapo.st/2hkwaGg-- WORTH NOTING: Trump’s team is fully aware of Sessions’ history with race relations and decided to nominate him anyway. Allies of the Alabama Republican have launched a full-on campaign to try and tamp down any potential landmines during his confirmation battle.BEHIND THE SCENES -- “A Frantic Path to U.N. Vote on Israeli Settlements: Israeli officials became convinced Obama might take action after Trump’s election; Palestinians believed new administration would never endorse a vote critical of Israel,” by WSJ’s Jay Solomon, Carol Lee and Farnaz Fassihi: “Israeli officials said they were spooked by a Dec. 4 speech Secretary of State John Kerry gave in Washington in which he sharply criticized Mr. Netanyahu’s settlement policy. Mr. Kerry then held meetings with the Palestinians’ lead negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on Dec. 12 at the State Department to discuss the peace process. A senior Israeli official said its government got wind that Mr. Kerry conveyed to the Palestinian diplomat at that meeting that the U.S. was likely to abstain on the U.N. resolution. ‘Kerry was colluding with the Palestinians to put the resolution in motion,’ said the Israeli official. Obama administration officials denied ‘previewing’ the U.S. vote to anyone. …“The Egyptians, partnering with the Palestinians, began circulating an early draft of the resolution earlier this week. The Egyptian draft was ‘put in blue’—U. N. terminology for formally submitted for a vote—on Wednesday evening. Mr. Obama convened a late-night phone call with senior members of his national security team, including Vice President Joe Biden, Mr. Kerry and Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador at the U.N. The message was clear: The president was open to abstaining on the U.N. vote. But he still wanted confirmation of any changes to a final text.“Word of a U.S. abstention created panic in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu held emergency meetings among his senior aides. He talked with Mr. Kerry on Thursday morning. Israeli officials said they warned the U.S. that they would seek Mr. Trump’s support in blocking the resolution if the Obama administration didn’t act. When no guarantee was offered, the Israelis began reaching out to senior leaders in the Trump transition team. Among those involved were Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top political strategist, Stephen Bannon, according to people briefed on the exchanges.” http://on.wsj.com/2irezy6-- @tedcruz: “Spoke w/ Israeli PM @netanyahu tonight to wish him Happy Chanukah & assure him of strong support in Congress. No US $ for UN until reversed.” ... NOTE: Cruz’s position is pretty close to where most members of Congress are.-- “Israel summons ambassadors for rebuke over UN vote on settlements: Netanyahu accuses Obama of ‘disgraceful’ behaviour over resolution on settlements,” by FT’s John Reed in Jerusalem: “Israel on Sunday summoned ambassadors of countries that belong to the U.N. Security Council for a Christmas Day reprimand for their support of a resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian lands. The UK was among the countries which saw its diplomats called into Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday. David Quarrey, Britain’s ambassador to Israel, told the Financial Times. While Mr Quarrey was in the UK; British diplomat Tony Kay was summoned in his place. ...“The Israeli leader vowed to work with incoming US President Donald Trump and members of Congress to fight ‘all-out war against this resolution’, in his sharpest public attack ever on Mr Obama. ‘The resolution that was passed at the UN yesterday is part of the swan song of the old world that is biased against Israel but, my friends, we are entering a new era,’ Mr Netanyahu said at a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony. ‘And just as President-elect Trump said [Friday], it will happen much sooner than you think.’” http://on.ft.com/2i55wAd--@peterbakernyt: “Netanyahu government summons US @AmbShapiro to explain abstention over UN resolution criticizing Israel, @BarakRavid reports.”MAUREEN DOWD goes long on ANDRE LEON TALLEY, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, “Monsieur Vogue Is Leaving Trumpland”: “André Leon Talley is eating a biscuit. … I’m pressing him on a sore subject he is reluctant to discuss: Melania Trump. The 68-year-old, 6-foot-6 Monsieur Vogue, as he is known, cloaks his voluminous red puffer coat over his mountainous form, so that only his big brown eyes and navy Filson knit cap are showing. … ‘You make the choice to be in Trumpland or you make the choice to eject yourself from the horror of Trumpland. I’ve made my choice not to be part of Trumpland.’ ...“I have flown here to see if André can shed some light on Melania, the sultry enigma of Trumpworld, the only reserved member of what is shaping up to be the most bellicose takeover in modern times. … André has particular insight into Melania’s style since, while on Vogue assignment, he went to couture shows with her in Paris and helped her choose her Dior wedding gown, and later flew with her in white-leather splendor on the Trump plane as Donald scarfed down Oreos and talked about how Jude Law was no Cary Grant. As André told me in the fall when I interviewed him, he came away impressed with the Trump women. He called Melania charming and private, ‘soignée and polished’ with ‘impeccable’ manners and legs that are ‘a long drink of water,’ and said she had a gift for standing on four-and-a-half-inch stiletto heels. ‘She’s very much like a high, super, superglamorous Stepford Wife,’ he told me.” http://nyti.ms/2hkCDB0DEEP DIVE -- “Inside the Trump Organization, the Company That Has Run Trump’s Big World,” by NYT’s Megan Twohey, Russ Buettner and Steve Eder: “Some government-ethics lawyers have warned that unless Mr. Trump fully divests himself from the company and places someone independent of his family in charge, he risks entering the White House in violation of a constitutional clause that forbids him from taking payments or gifts from a foreign government entity. ... When Mr. Trump wants to talk to someone, he calls out to his assistant, Rhona Graff, a Queens native whose office is right outside his door. She has been his gatekeeper for decades. Anyone seeking access to him over the phone has to go through Ms. Graff, sometimes with a secret code. Mr. Trump often boasts of the size of the Trump Organization. ... A spokeswoman said the business employed ‘tens of thousands.’ But industry experts estimate that no more than 4,000 people work for the Trump Organization worldwide. And executives say that the three floors that make up the headquarters appear to have no more than 150 employees.” http://nyti.ms/2i53BLZ PICKING UP THE PIECES – “Democrats Need to Reach Out to the Heartland,” by Charlie Cook: “Simply put, Democrats need to expand their sensitivity training courses to include people who live in small-town and rural America—middle-class white voters, people who live paycheck to paycheck, and whites who attend church at least once a week. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition of voters is now officially dead. Democrats were losing these voters before Donald Trump came along and will continue to do so beyond his presidency unless they show genuine concern for these constituencies. To be sure, the country is changing and becoming more diverse, but it is not doing so at the same pace everywhere. Democrats are running up the score in places that do not help them win majorities in the House, Senate, and Electoral College.” http://bit.ly/2hW4AA1 --“How the Obama Coalition Crumbled, Leaving an Opening for Trump,” by The Upshot’s Nate Cohn: “The Upshot estimates suggest that Mrs. Clinton really might have become the first Democrat to win white voters with a college degree (although it is very possible that Mr. Obama did so in 2008 as well). … She gained 17 points among white postgraduates, according to Upshot estimates, but just four points among whites with a bachelor’s degree.” http://nyti.ms/2irMYwZWEST COAST WATCH -- “After 24 years working together, Feinstein and Boxer say goodbye to their ‘Thelma and Louise’ partnership,” by L.A. Times’ Sarah Wire: “In 1992, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer pitched themselves to California voters as the dynamic duo, as ‘Thelma and Louise,’ as ‘Cagney and Lacey.’ They were trying to convince voters to do something no state had ever done: Elect two women to represent them in the U.S. Senate. When they got to Washington, reporters followed the pair, looking for signs of discord. Boxer and Feinstein derided the attention as bizarre and sexist, but they remained conscious of the intense interest in how the nation’s first female pair of senators would work together. ‘It was ridiculous,’ Boxer said. ‘We knew there were people who were ready to say two women can’t get along. We knew we had that responsibility.’ ...“Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, was a consensus builder willing to buck her own party at times to reach a compromise. Boxer, who served 10 years in the House before coming to the Senate, was a bit of a flamethrower, more rigidly ideological and staunchly devoted to the environment and women’s healthcare. … The 76-year-old Boxer is retiring in January, leaving behind a 24-year working relationship with Feinstein that was by all appearances in sync until its last days, when an argument over water policy played out in public. Starting Jan. 3, Feinstein will have a new partner in Kamala Harris, who has a blend of Boxer’s progressive ideology and Feinstein’s pragmatism.” http://lat.ms/2ird4jLMEDIAWATCH -- HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: “A&E Cancels KKK Docuseries Following Criticism”: “A&E has pulled the plug on its upcoming docuseries centered on the KKK. The network announced their plans to scrap the project, which was intended to serve as a close look at anti-hate extractors focused on helping people leave the Ku Klux Klan, in a statement released Saturday. ‘Our goal with this series has always been to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms,’ the network said in a statement. ‘However, A&E learned last night from the third-party producers who made the documentary that cash payments — which we currently understand to be nominal — were made in the field to some participants in order to facilitate access. While we stand behind the intent of the series and the seriousness of the content, these payments are a direct violation of A&E’s policies and practices for a documentary. We had previously provided assurances to the public and to our core partners — including the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change — that no payment was made to hate group members, and we believed that to be the case at the time. We have now decided not to move forward with airing this project.’” http://bit.ly/2hkFhagCORRECTION: Because of a production error, Playbook yesterday omitted the name of the author and full title of a FLASHBACK item. On March 1, Ron Rosenbaum wrote in Slate, “Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem”. http://slate.me/2icQW9jWORTH THE CLICK – “Aleppo Before the War,” edited by The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor – 25 pix http://theatln.tc/2i2EE3T BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (where he spotted toy drones for sale yesterday at the local supermarket -- pic: http://bit.ly/2irTzHD):--“The Four-Letter Code to Selling Just About Anything: What makes things cool?” by Derek Thompson in the Jan./Feb. issue of The Atlantic: Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, “would do more than almost any person in the 20th century to shape the aesthetic of American culture. His firm designed mid-century icons like the Exxon logo, the Lucky Strike pack, and the Greyhound bus.” http://theatln.tc/2iqcXR9--“The Man Who Saved 200 Syrian Refugees,” by Mark Mann in Toronto Life: “Jim Estill put up $1.5 million to bring 58 families to Canada. He found them homes, gave them jobs and even bought one man a dollar store. How the mild-mannered CEO of an appliance company became the Oskar Schindler of Guelph.” http://bit.ly/2iom8S7--“20 Lessons from the 20th Century on How to Survive in Trump’s America,” by Timothy Snyder in In These Times: “A history professor looks to the past to remind us to do what we can in the face of the unthinkable.” http://bit.ly/2hbHwcE--“Liberalism’s Minsky Moment: How Decades of Peace, Justice and Prosperity Sowed the Seeds for Populist Revolt,” by Thomas Wells on 3 Quarks Daily: “Liberalism has been an enormous moral, political, and economic success. But it has not achieved what seemed easiest of all: convincing those who grow up under it of its moral legitimacy and practical effectiveness in comparison to alternatives.” http://bit.ly/2hl7xuS (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“Three minutes with Hans Rosling will change your mind about the world,” by Amy Maxmen in Nature: “He has influenced leaders from Melinda Gates to Fidel Castro. Now, he is on a mission to save people from their preconceived ideas.” http://go.nature.com/2i1kqr8--“City Portrait: Mexico City,” by Logan Ward in the Dec./Jan. issue of Garden and Gun: “This Mesoamerican capital’s old-world charm, incredible architecture, and buzzing food scene are just a quick flight away.” http://bit.ly/2hzi819 ... Sidebar http://bit.ly/2ilnMrZ --“Argentina On Two Steaks A Day” – Idlewords.com: “The classic beginner’s mistake in Argentina is to neglect the first steak of the day. ... That first steak has to get you through the afternoon and half the night, until the restaurants begin to open at ten.” http://bit.ly/2imcqE7--“Campus Identity Politics Is Dooming Liberal Causes, a Professor [Mark Lilla] Charges,” by Evan R. Goldstein in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “‘There has been a radicalization of student demands and also a loss of a sense of proportion. Our campuses are not Aleppo.’” http://bit.ly/2hbH26c (h/t ALDaily.com)--“The queen does not rule,” by Deborah M. Gordon in Aeon Magazine: “The ant colony has often served as a metaphor for human order and hierarchy. But real ant society is radical to its core.” http://bit.ly/2ibklAS--“Meet Henry Orenstein, the Man Who Changed How the World Plays,” by Newsweek’s Abigail Jones: “He bluffed and cajoled to survive the Holocaust, and just a few years later, armed with unrelenting drive and rare creativity, he tinkered and hustled his way to the top of America’s toy industry, helping to put dolls, race cars and one of the most successful action figures in history into the hands of generations of children. Then he transformed poker from a game played in dimly lit rooms to a billion-dollar business.” http://bit.ly/2hiwxkZ (h/t Jewish Insider)--“One-on-one with Trump’s doctor: Hecklers, house calls, and why Obamacare must be shut down,” by STAT’s Ike Swetlitz: “[F]ive days after STAT’s visit to his office, in phone calls and text messages, [Dr. Harold] Bornstein said he was angry and did not want the article or any photographs of him to be published. ‘I happen to have known the Sulzbergers for 50 years,’ Bornstein said in the second conversation, referring to the family that helms the New York Times. ‘I’m going to make sure you don’t ever work again if you do this.’” http://bit.ly/2irB5af --“How to Become a Famous Media Scholar: The Case of Marshall McLuhan,” by Jefferson Pooley in the LA Review of Books: “Like most celebrity ascensions, McLuhan’s was the product of a conscious publicity campaign. Handlers, press agents, and impresarios worked together to make ‘McLuhan’ a household name. He was packaged and promoted like a promising starlet, with multimedia gusto.” http://bit.ly/2hbHi5i--“How Israel Took a Toy and Made It a High-Tech Weapon,” by Yaakov Katz and Amir Rohbot in Commentary Magazine in an excerpt from their upcoming book, “The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower” (out Jan. 31): “Drones can hover over targets while their engines’ humming noise blends into city traffic. It makes them the perfect weapons to hunt and eliminate moving targets, such as terrorists.” http://bit.ly/2hSThbJ ... Pre-order -- $20.75 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2iln1yY--“The 21st Century Gold Rush,” by Malia Politzer and Emily Kassie in HuffPost: “How the refugee crisis has made a lot of people very, very rich,” per Longform’s description: http://huff.to/2hiq5dy--“Moving Stars,” by Kim McLarin in The Morning News: “Of all the accomplishments of Michelle and Barack Obama, individually and together, this may be their greatest: They leave the White House not only strong, but actually stronger than when they entered. All visible evidence points to two people utterly centered, at perfect peace with themselves, each other and their place in history.” http://bit.ly/2i4Eewc (h/t Longreads.com)SPORTS BLINK -- “Five interceptions help keep Redskins’ playoff hopes alive in 41-21 win over Bears,” by WaPo’s Liz Clarke in Chicago: “All season, the Washington Redskins have defied easy description, looking like NFL playoff contenders one week and pretenders the next. On the brink of elimination from the postseason, they chose an overcast Christmas Eve at Soldier Field to stage one of their more dominant, balanced and complete performances of the year, routing the Chicago Bears, 41-21, to keep alive their bid for the final wild-card spot. The victory lifted the Redskins to 8-6-1, ensuring the once-feared franchise’s first back-to-back winning seasons since 1996-97.“But with Green Bay routing Minnesota to improve to 9-6 in an NFC North showdown that wrapped up at the same time, the Redskins didn’t improve their standing much in the scramble for the sixth and final playoff spot. With the Jan. 1 regular season finale against the New York Giants (10-5) remaining, the Redskins are still a half-game in arrears.” http://wapo.st/2i500gH--ONLINE HEADLINE in the Chicago Tribune: “Ugly Christmas picture: Bears routed at empty Soldier Field” http://trib.in/2hkEJklSPOTTED -- Newt and Callista Gingrich at midnight mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Callista was in the choir.TRANSITIONS -- George Kivork has been named by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve as press secretary for his administration, replacing outgoing spokesperson Connie Llanos. “Kivork has served for the past three years as the Mayor’s chief advocate in Washington, D.C., where he managed federal affairs for the City of Los Angeles.”ENGAGED – Lauren Hammond, press secretary and digital director for the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, got engaged on Friday to John Huston, senior policy advisor for the House Republican Policy Committee. They met through mutual friends at a housewarming party in May 2015, then became good friends before dating. John, a native of Indiana, proposed at the Jewel Box, a conservatory on the National Register of Historic Places in Lauren’s hometown of St. Louis. After the proposal, John surprised Lauren by gathering both of their families for a celebratory champagne toast and dinner. Pics http://politi.co/2ifSZcD ... http://politi.co/2i779zy ... http://politi.co/2i50LqoWELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Diana Birkitt Rakow, Baucus alum and EVP of marketing and public affairs at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, and husband Jeff Rakow, on Wednesday welcomed Eleanor. Big brother Gus, Jeff and Diana are all doing well. Pic http://politi.co/2iroqEmBIRTHDAYS: Jesus (manger tip: Luke) … Irene Jefferson Sherman (hubby tip: Jake) … Meredith Brokaw ... Tim Miller, @TimODC, partner at Definers Public Affairs and the pride of Denver, is 35 (antler tip: Katie Packer) … Karl Rove is 66 ... High 10 Media CEO Lisa Dallos ... Hilary Krieger, enterprise editor at CNN Politics digital ... Christina Romer, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers now at Berkeley, is 58 ... Bill Bailey, VP of gov’t relations at Walt Disney Co. (stocking stuffer: Stewart Verdery) ... Michelle Altman, Sen. Lankford’s LD (reindeer games: D.J. Jordan) ... Bob Mitchell ... Gracey Jide … Stephanie O’Keefe, CEO of International Women’s Forum and a CTIA alum ... Sophia Lalani, foreign policy and defense adviser to Sen. Cory Booker (holly boughs: Jon Haber) ... Visa’s Grace Maumbe ... Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, is 5-0 ... N.Y. Assembly member Michael A. Blake, a former W.H. aide to Obama, now running for DNC vice chair … Andrew Mulvey, the pride of De Pere, Wisconsin, is 26 ... Kristen Glover (tinsel tips: sisters Juleanna, Elizabeth and Becca) ...… Rachael Slobodien, comms director for Sen. Cruz and a Heritage alum … Piper Adams ... Shengxiao “Sunshine” Yu, director of partnerships at GlobeMed … Miranda Margowsky, press secretary for Sen. Stabenow and a Harvard grad ... Hans Morris, managing partner at VC and advisory firm Nyca Partners, part-owner of The Berkshire Eagle and former president of Visa ... Steven Luckett … Jan Correa, a social entrepreneur and management consultant (h/t boyfriend David Case) ... writer Chris Beam is 32 ... Peter Kauffmann, a Hillary alum … Cat Cohen, a student at Columbia Law School ... Lynda Youngman … Bush W.H. alum Jonathan Block ... Elisabeth Hire ... PR strategist Zachary Hastings Hooper ... Anne Wall, VP of the Duberstein Group and Treasury, Obama W.H. and Dick Durbin alum … Sarah Levin ... Madhu Chugh … Cassie Goodwin … Elisabeth Hire (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... GOP consultant Scott Cottington, partner at the Voyageur Company … Robert Jameson, a Scott DesJarlais alum now a JAG in the U.S. Navy ... Michael Roston, senior staff editor for science at the NYT, is 39 ... Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter-Poza ... AP alum Christopher Connell ... Daniel LeDuc is 56 ... Carol Preston ... Cheryl Moore of Rep. Bill Posey’s office ... Kristen Shatynski of Rep. Walden’s office ... Murphie Barrett Koonce of House T&I ... James Fitzella of House Rules ... Christina Cornell of Rep. John Katko’s office ... Dominic Gabello, COS for Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham ... Garrett Bess of Rep. Webster’s office ... John Tanner of Rep. Gohmert’s office (h/ts Legistorm) … Jimmy Buffett is 7-0 ... Sissy Spacek is 67 ... Annie Lennox is 62 (h/ts AP)SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/1M75UbX ... 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 ... Brussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcw ... All our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX
NEW BUZZ about the 6 p.m. MSNBC slot -- 14-0 vote against Israel; Trump vows CHANGE -- ASSANGE on Trump -- WEEKEND READS -- ROB SALITERMAN engaged -- B’DAY: Dan Pfeiffer
Good Saturday morning, Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Hannukah!ONE BUZZY IDEA bouncing around Washington and New York journalism circles is for MSNBC to hire Greta Van Susteren for its 6 p.m. hour. Van Susteren, who left Fox earlier this year, would bring gravitas to the anchor desk and a massive online following. Van Susteren told us in September in her first post-Fox interview (http://politi.co/2i4YPAt) that she wanted to return to TV. No word yet if she’s interested in the gig. Who will take over the vacant timeslot is the subject of much speculation in and around 30 Rock. Our colleague Hadas Gold reported earlier this week that MSNBC is already hiring producers for whoever gets the job and that the show is expected to be based in Washington. “I have more than one offer on the table....not sure what the future brings,” Van Susteren tweeted on Friday.OBAMA’S PARTING SHOT -- 14-0 VOTE -- “Rebuffing Israel, U.S. Allows Censure Over Settlements,” by NYT’s Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone at the United Nations, with Peter Baker in Jerusalem and Mark Landler in D.C.: “Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.“The administration’s decision not to veto the measure reflected its accumulated frustration over Israeli settlements. The American abstention on the vote also broke a longstanding policy of shielding Israel from action at the United Nations that described the settlements as illegal. While the resolution is not expected to have any practical impact on the ground, it is regarded as a major rebuff to Israel, one that could increase its isolation over the paralyzed peace process with Israel’s Palestinian neighbors, who have sought to establish their own state on territory held by Israel. …“‘Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms,’ Mr. Netanyahu said in a statement. ‘At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.’ Mr. Netanyahu immediately retaliated against two of the countries that sponsored the resolution. He ordered Israel’s ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal to return home for consultations, canceled a planned visit to Israel next month by Senegal’s foreign minister and cut off all aid programs to Senegal.” http://nyti.ms/2i4R91f … Kerry’s statement on the UN vote http://bit.ly/2iqpjsz-- PETER BAKER in Jerusalem on A7 of the NYT: “Obama’s last clash with Netanyahu”: “When President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met in September for the last time before Mr. Obama leaves office, the session was marked by forced smiles and strained jokes about playing golf in retirement, as if bygones were bygones after nearly eight years of clawing conflict. Of course it was never going to end that way. How could it? The narrative of the tense and tetchy relationship between liberal president and conservative prime minister instead reached a climax in a hyper-politicized showdown over war, peace, justice, security, human rights and, at last, the very meaning of international friendship. Mr. Obama’s decision on Friday not to block a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements laid bare all the grievances the two men have nursed since shortly after they took office in 2009. For Mr. Netanyahu, it was the final betrayal by a president who was supposed to be an ally but never really was. For Mr. Obama, it was the inevitable result of Mr. Netanyahu’s own stubborn defiance of international concerns with his policies.” http://nyti.ms/2iobuz4HEADLINES -- WSJ: “U.S. Allows U.N. to Censure Israel” http://bit.ly/2aVNXyP … NYT: “U.S. Abstains in U.N. Vote Against Israeli Settlements … Measure Passes, 14-0, in Major Rebuff After Pressure From Officials and Trump” … N.Y. POST: “BAM BETRAYS ISRAEL -- US lets UN condemn our ally” http://nyp.st/2id3iyr … N.Y. DAILY NEWS: “Obama shafts Israel -- BLESSES UN CONDEMNATION OF JEWISH STATE” http://bit.ly/2i2vwfj--@blakehounshell: “Reading Samantha Power’s statement on settlements — might it be the last time a top U.S. official defends the two-state solution?” Her statement http://bit.ly/2i4XoChTRUMP SPEAKS -- @realDonaldTrump at 3:14 p.m. yesterday: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”JUST ASKING… If Hillary Clinton had won on Nov. 8, would Obama have done anything differently?JULIAN ASSANGE on DONALD TRUMP in Italy’s La Repubblica -- “Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.” With a pic of Assange holding a cat http://bit.ly/2icYhWoTRUMP’S POPULARITY PROBLEM -- “Trump’s unpopularity threatens to hobble his presidency,” by Steven Shepard: “President-elect Donald Trump will descend on Washington next month, buoyed by his upset victory and Republican control of Congress to implement his agenda. But he’s facing a major obstacle: Trump will enter the White House as the least-popular incoming president in the modern era of public-opinion polling … On Election Day, just 38 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to 60 percent who viewed him favorably — unheard of for a presidential-election victor. (Still, Trump won about 15 percent of the vote among those who had an unfavorable opinion of him.)“While Trump has received a boost in public opinion after his victory, he still badly lags past presidents-elect when it comes to personal favorability. Currently, his average favorable rating stands at 43 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster, while a 49-percent plurality views him unfavorably. More respondents viewed Trump unfavorably than favorably in the most recent batch of public polls from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Suffolk University/USA Today, Fox News, CBS News and POLITICO/Morning Consult, all conducted in early- or mid-December. Compare that with President Barack Obama, who entered 2009 with a 68-percent favorable rating – and only a 21-percent unfavorable rating.” http://politi.co/2hmm35nTRUMP INC. -- “Trump’s Firm Winds Down Deals That Prompted Complaints of Conflicts,” by WSJ’s Alexandra Berzon in L.A., Nathan Hodge in Tbilisi, Georgia and Georgi Kantchev in Sofia, Bulgaria: “In recent weeks, the company has backed away from a partnership with links to an executive tied to a now-outlawed Georgian militia and a financial-crimes investigation, moved to extricate itself from problematic development contracts and settled high-profile lawsuits. Four years ago, Donald Trump publicly celebrated his partnership with former Soviet republic of Georgia developer Giorgi Ramishvili.Now his company is trying to end the relationship. ...“The Trump organization also has recently canceled hotel-licensing contracts in Azerbaijan and Brazil and settled litigation involving allegations of fraud at the now-defunct Trump University, which promised it would teach enrollees real-estate investing strategies.” http://on.wsj.com/2hT7O7iPRESIDENT TRUMP -- “Inside Trump’s dalliance with Democrats: ‘Anytime you have a good idea, give me a call,’ he told one moderate [Sen. Joe Manchin] after an hour-long chat,” by Maggie Severns: “While Trump has dismayed many Democrats with his vows to dismantle Barack Obama’s initiatives and the ideological slant of some of his Cabinet picks, he has struck a more amicable tone in recent meetings at Trump Tower with members of the opposition. In those encounters, he has been collegial, inquiring about visitors’ expertise and expressing interest in collaborating with them, especially when that might mean an early victory for the White House, according to several Democrats who have either met with Trump or been briefed on the discussions. [But] Trump’s early interactions with Democratic moderates are unlikely to signal the dynamic of his relationship with the opposition party.” http://politi.co/2hbI9Ty-- “Trump aide tries to soothe lower-level staffers left out of West Wing,” by Alex Isenstadt: “A top aide to President-elect Donald Trump on Friday tried to tamp down junior campaign staffers’ expectations of getting plum West Wing jobs. Rick Dearborn, who is helping lead the transition, said on a conference call with lower-ranking campaign aides that the senior-most White House jobs were few and far between. ... The 20-minute call came as many of Trump's most loyal and longest-serving campaign workers worry about whether they will land administration jobs. ... Perhaps looking to soothe any hard feelings, Dearborn on Friday painted West Wing jobs in something of an unflattering light. He described them as a ‘meat grinder,’ saying they demanded long hours and low pay. West Wing employees, he said, might have to decide between going to a child’s soccer game or working on the weekends.” http://politi.co/2i2lDytNEWT GOES ROGUE? -- @realDonaldTrump: “Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: ‘In my opinion, it is humiliating. One must be able to lose with dignity.’ So true!” … @newtgingrich: “So Russia having illegally occupied Crimea and eastern Ukraine votes to condemn Israel for ‘occupied lands’. we are supposed to be impressed”.--@dominicholden: “Here is Putin’s chummy letter to Trump about collaborating ‘on the international scene’ and Trump’s statement saying Putin is ‘so correct.’” http://bit.ly/2iqvPzH-- “Kissinger, a longtime Putin confidant, sidles up to Trump,” by Halley Toosi and Isaac Arnsdorf: http://politi.co/2hmgcxdFOR THE RECORD, as Trump gets closer to Putin, it’s important to keep in mind that Putin has banned the following people from entering Russia: Former House Speaker John Boehner, retiring Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).-- @ABCPolitics: “Vladimir Putin on visiting the US under President Trump: ‘If he invites me of course I will go.’” 37-second video http://bit.ly/2hmf2BTDIANE REHM’S LAST SHOW -- “Radio icon Diane Rehm signs off after 37 years: ‘I’ve been proud to be your host,’” by WaPo’s Caitlin Gibson: “It began the way it always has: ‘From WAMU in Washington, I’m Diane Rehm,’ she said, and then she paused, because this time was different. ‘I’ve said those words for so many years, thousands and thousands of times. I’ve always been so proud to say them.’ Over nearly 40 years on the air, Diane Rehm has hosted writers, artists, philosophers, Hollywood celebrities, foreign leaders and U.S. presidents. But on Friday, during the final airing of NPR’s ‘The Diane Rehm Show,’ she spent most of her time speaking to the loyal fans who have listened to her every week for so many years.“There were, of course, a few high-profile cameos: singer and songwriter Judy Collins called and sang a verse of ‘Amazing Grace’ at Rehm’s request. Isabel Wilkerson, author of ‘The Warmth of Other Suns,’ also phoned in: ‘Oh Diane, you’re such a national treasure.’ Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) thanked Rehm for her ‘incredible service’ to the country, and legendary actress Julie Andrews and her daughter gushed their love and gratitude, calling Rehm ‘a beacon of light in our lives.’” http://wapo.st/2hiklRfTWEET DU JOUR -- @DRUDGE: “I just loved 2016! Big, bold, crazy, sad, happy, fresh, scary, dramatic, lonely, thrilling, frantic, romantic. Easily my favorite year.” With an idyllic pic of the sea at sunset with some sailboats in the background http://bit.ly/2ioafjiREVOLVING DOOR -- “Trump appoints his business attorney to manage international negotiations,” by CNN’s Elise Labott and Teddy Schleifer: “Jason Greenblatt, the executive vice president and chief legal officer for Trump’s business empire, will take on the title of special representative for international negotiations. A source familiar with the appointment told CNN that Greenblatt will primarily will be working on Israel-Palestinian peace process, the American relationship with Cuba and trade agreements.” http://cnn.it/2hSZBQx … Katie Glueck’s Aug. 4 profile of Greenblatt http://politi.co/2aKH84b-- “Trump team seeks names of officials working to counter violent extremism,” by Reuters’ Warren Strobel and Arshad Mohammed: “President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has asked two Cabinet departments for the names of government officials working on programs to counter violent extremism, according to a document seen by Reuters and U.S. officials. The requests to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security involve a set of programs that seek to prevent violence by extremists of any stripe, including recruitment by militant Islamist groups within the United States and abroad.” http://reut.rs/2i56IWr-- “Bush aide [Tom Bossert] seen as top contender for Trump counterterrorism aide,” by Alex Isenstadt: “Tom Bossert ... has emerged as the favorite to become President-elect Donald Trump’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser ... Bossert, a former deputy homeland security adviser in the Bush White House, has earned the support of Stephen Hadley ... [who] has already emerged as a key player in Trump’s appointments; he also recommended Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. Bossert, currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council, would replace Lisa Monaco.” http://politi.co/2hmcSluTHE NEW NUCLEAR ARMS RACE -- NYT A12, “Trump, Promising Arms Race, Could Set World on Uncertain Path,” by Max Fisher: “[A]nalysts say that Mr. Trump’s stated desire to provoke an arms race does have a foreseeable range of outcomes. ... The two countries most likely to respond are Russia, whose nuclear arsenal is comparable to that of the United States, and China, which has a far smaller program. ... [A]nalysts warn that, in part because the United States is already so much more powerful in conventional terms, Russia and China may feel forced to take actions that are destabilizing and put all parties at risk.” http://nyti.ms/2hbWdfx--“Trump Said the U.S. Should Expand Nuclear Weapons. He’s Right,” by Matthew Kroenig, a Georgetown SFS professor and Atlantic fellow, in Politico Magazine: “The United States needs a robust nuclear force, therefore, not because anyone wants to fight a nuclear war, but rather, the opposite: to deter potential adversaries from attacking or coercing the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons of their own. Under President Barack Obama, the United States mindlessly reduced its nuclear arsenal even as other nuclear powers went in the opposite direction, expanding and modernizing their nuclear forces. Such a path was unsustainable and Trump is correct to recognize that America’s aging nuclear arsenal is in need of some long overdue upgrades.” http://politi.co/2ioji3S-- @kylegriffin1: “.@morningmika says she spoke w/ Trump on nukes tweet, he told her ‘Let it be an arms race. We will out-match them.’” 2-min. video http://bit.ly/2i4SGEB ld’s biggest problem”: “Trump is not new to nuclear matters. He has been thinking about how he’d handle nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation for more than a quarter-century, at least since 1987.” http://slate.me/2icQW9j-- Bruce Blair in Politico Magazine, June 11, “What Exactly Would It Mean to Have Trump’s Finger on the Nuclear Button? A nuclear launch expert plays out the various scenarios.” http://politi.co/2hBkcG0PICKING UP THE PIECES -- “As Democrats ponder their future, Joe Biden makes a plea for a focus on the middle class,” by L.A. Times’ Michael Memoli: “[A]s he sat in his office one day in October and watched footage of a Donald Trump rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., not far from his childhood home, Biden sensed trouble. ‘Son of a gun. We may lose this election,’ Biden said, recalling his reaction during an interview in his West Wing office. ‘They’re all the people I grew up with. They’re their kids. And they’re not racist. They’re not sexist. But we didn’t talk to them.’” http://lat.ms/2iqk3VYVIDEOS DU JOUR -- “Best of Trump on MTP: Twitter, Rhetoric and the Big Show”: “After 18 interviews with Meet the Press, we’ve learned quite a bit about Donald Trump’s leadership style”. 5-min. video http://nbcnews.to/2i4ZK3J-- AFP’s year-end review of the news in 2016 http://bit.ly/2ibb9MW (h/t Leila Macor)WHAT KEVIN MCCARTHY IS CRINGING AT -- “The hunt for dollars to build the $64-billion bullet train,” by L.A. Times’ Ralph Vartabedian: “The California High-Speed Rail Authority quietly approached federal officials in July to discuss an ambitious solution to its most pressing problem, one that has hung over the project for more than five years. The state does not know where to find all of the $64 billion it will cost to get the first passengers rocketing between San Francisco and Los Angeles on a bullet train. With the Obama administration on its way out, it seemed like a good time to nail down more long-term federal support on the assumption that Hillary Clinton would be the next president. So the state set up a meeting to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to publicly announce a federal loan of up to $15 billion that would help build an initial rail segment from San Jose to Shafter, northwest of Bakersfield, which would cement federal support during the transition to a new presidential administration. … But federal officials did not go along with the state’s suggestion. ‘At this time, California has not submitted a financing request,’ said Clark Pettig, press secretary for the Transportation Department.” http://lat.ms/2ioiawTBUSINESS BURST -- “In American Towns, Private Profits From Public Works,” by NYT’s Danielle Ivory, Ben Protess and Griff Palmer as part of the paper’s “Bottom Line Nation” series: “Desperate towns have turned to private equity firms to manage their waterworks. The deals bring much-needed upgrades, but can carry hefty price tags.” http://nyti.ms/2iqpKU1CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 12 stocking stuffers http://politi.co/2io7Jp2GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico:--“How Journalists Covered the Rise of Mussolini and Hitler: Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe was not the American media’s finest hour,” by Case Western Reserve history professor John Broich in Smithsonian: “‘No people ever recognize their dictator in advance,’ [journalist Dorothy Thompson] reflected in 1935. ... ‘When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.’” http://bit.ly/2ilj1i7--“The American Leader in the Islamic State,” by Graeme Wood in the forthcoming Atlantic: “John Georgelas was a military brat, a drug enthusiast, a precocious underachiever born in Texas. Now he is a prominent figure within the Islamic State. Here’s the never-before-reported story of his long and troubling journey.” http://theatln.tc/2hm9OWD--“The Secret Life of Time,” by Alan Burdick in The New Yorker: “It may seem slippery and maddeningly abstract, but it’s also deeply intimate, infusing our every word and gesture.” http://bit.ly/2hicdQu--“How a Grad Student Found Spyware That Could Control Anybody’s iPhone from Anywhere in the World,” by Bryan Burrough in Vanity Fair: “Last summer, Bill Marczak stumbled across a program that could spy on your iPhone’s contact list and messages—and even record your calls. Illuminating shadowy firms that sell spyware to corrupt governments across the globe, Marczak’s story reveals the new arena of cyber-warfare.” http://bit.ly/2hQSkkj--“Why time management is ruining our lives,” by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian: “All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed.” http://bit.ly/2iatglX (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“Christmas: Embattled From the Beginning,” by Gerry Bowler on the cover of WSJ’s Review section: “For 2,000 years, believers and nonbelievers alike have fought over the meaning and traditions of a repeatedly reinvented holiday. … In the Puritan colonies of North America, those who celebrated Christmas were fined five shillings.” http://on.wsj.com/2hg9gA9--“Napping in Public? In Japan, That’s a Sign of Diligence,” by Bryant Rousseau in the NYT: “[I]n Japan, napping in the office is common and culturally accepted. And in fact, it is often seen as a subtle sign of diligence: You must be working yourself to exhaustion. The word for it is ‘inemuri.’ It is often translated as ‘sleeping on duty.’” http://nyti.ms/2hBa2p7--“The Great A.I. Awakening,” by Gideon Lewis-Kraus in the NYT Magazine: “How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.” http://nyti.ms/2i2aFZD--“I Was All Set to Become the Most Popular Guy in the Cancer Ward. Then I Met My Nemesis: Ben,” by Washingtonian’s Luke Mullins: “I’d watched enough medical procedurals on TV to know that the plucky cancer patient with the positive outlook is always the real hero. So from the moment I was diagnosed, I understood that my attitude during chemotherapy would be viewed as the defining expression of my character.” http://bit.ly/2iqinfc (h/t Longform.org)--“‘Generation KKK’: Why A&E is Considering Rebranding Their Show After Post-Trump Era Backlash,” by Michael Schneider in IndieWire: “In a world where white supremacists have become emboldened, a new crop of Klan-themed shows that want to fight hate now risk being politicized.” http://bit.ly/2i0Eud6--“The Life and Death of Wasil, the Taliban-Hunting Child Warrior,” by Joshua Hammer in GQ: “When his father was murdered, Wasil Ahmad vowed revenge. He was barely old enough to hoist a rifle, but still he trained to fight the Taliban. Finally, when the insurgents returned, Wasil found his chance. What he did next made him a legend. And then it made him a target.” http://bit.ly/2iqgQ8N--“Trump Could Be the Most Corruptible President Ever,” by Zephyr Teachout in Politico Magazine: “The founders wrote the Constitution to limit foreign money in American politics. The 45th president is about to throw that out the window.” http://politi.co/2ha6skB --“The Man Who Cleans Up After Plane Crashes,” by Lauren Larson in GQ: “Robert Jensen has spent his career restoring order after mass fatalities: identifying remains, caring for families, and recovering personal effects. Here’s how he became the best at the worst job in the world.” http://bit.ly/2icL3ZA (h/t Longreads.com)--“Eton and the Making of a Modern Elite,” by Christopher de Bellaigue in 1843 Magazine: “The world’s most famous school aspires to become an agent of social change; but, as old boy Christopher de Bellaigue learns when he goes back, it is also an increasingly effective way for the global elite to give its offspring an expensive leg up in life.” http://bit.ly/2hRMcs2--“Locked & Loaded: The Gun Industry’s Lucrative Relationship with Hollywood,” by Gary Baum and Scott Johnson in the Hollywood Reporter: “The NRA and the entertainment industry interact publicly as mortal enemies. But as the number of weapons shown in movies and TV steadily increases — and stars like Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie make fortunes wielding guns onscreen — a co-dependence that keeps both churning is revealed: ‘making the liberal bias a lot of money.’” http://bit.ly/2haRYkhENGAGED – Snapchat’s Rob Saliterman, an alum of Google, the Bush 43 WH, and Treasury, got engaged on Friday to Lara Crystal, co-founder and co-CEO of Minibar Delivery. He proposed in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. Pic by Tom Williams http://bit.ly/2inYmtP … Instapic of the couple celebrating after with champagne http://bit.ly/2iqxXaN --Charlotte Sellmyer, SVP of external affairs at the National Music Publishers’ Association and a Hill alum, got engaged to Jack Deschauer, SVP at LEVICK and Qorvis alum. Pool report: “Jack and Charlotte met at the original Bullpen after a Nats win over the Dodgers (on Bruce Springsteen’s birthday). The next day, Jack’s detective work (and tips from close friends Paul Kane and Erika Masonhall) resulted in a first date. Seven years, countless Nats games, Springsteen shows and debates about Jersey vs. Texas, Jack surprised Charlotte in front of their Christmas tree with a perfect proposal followed by a surprise gathering with family and their closest friends at her favorite Italian restaurant - Osteria Morini. [After] they flew to Austin to spend Christmas with her family and fittingly, they are then headed to their beloved Avalon, N.J. to ring in the New Year.” Instapic with the caption “Tough Christmas Eve Eve Eve to beat” http://bit.ly/2hipcBDWELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Suzi Emmerling, deputy chief of staff at DOT, and Mike Brennan, on Friday welcomed Calogero Jack Brennan, who is named after his great grandfather and St. Calogero -- both of Sicily. “We are grateful that he is healthy and huge [9lbs 11oz] and was born while Barack Obama is still our president.” Pic http://bit.ly/2hBb980--Robert Blizzard, a GOP pollster and partner at Public Opinion Strategies, and Julia Blizzard welcomed a second son on Monday: Wesley Robert Blizzard, born 8 lb 7 oz, 20.5 inches, who joins big bro Carter (2 and a half). Pic http://bit.ly/2icOMXt--Meg Thurlow, senior manager of global public affairs at GE and a DOT alum, and Matt Thurlow, an attorney at Latham and Watkins, have welcomed William Balshone Thurlow, who was born a week early on Dec. 18th, weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long. The couple is thrilled with their early Christmas present. Pic http://bit.ly/2hBoJrX--Scott Knuteson, a former Hill comms director now with PR firm DeMoss in Atlanta, and Ruth Knuteson on Thursday welcomed Emmett. Pic http://bit.ly/2hB9uiW TRANSITIONS -- Tricia Russell has been named chief of staff for Rep.-elect Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Chris Tully has been named district director and chief of community engagement. Russell had previously served as chief of staff to Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) since 2013.BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Hoyer alum Dan Shott turned 3-0 (Santa cap tip: Andrew Friedman, who was on time) ... Natasha Dabrowski of the New Democrat Coalition (Santa cap tips: Grateful New Dems offices and their staffs)BIRTHDAYS: Dan Pfeiffer, VP for comms and policy at GoFundMe and the pride of Wilmington, is 41 ... Dennis Cheng, former finance director for Hillary for America ... Gene Sperling is 58 ... Dr. Anthony Fauci is 76 ... former Afghan president Hamid Karzai is 59 ... Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s nominee for attorney general, is 7-0 ... recording company executive Mike Curb is 72 ... former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai is 58 … Walter Pincus, the pride of Brooklyn, is 84 ... WaPo’s Ylan Q. Mui, the pride of New Orleans ... Marsha Catron, DHS’ deputy assistant secretary for public affairs and a Feinstein alum (Santa cap tip: Todd Breasseale) … Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.) is 69 ... Harvard prof Jonathan Zittrain ... Ellen Ochs ... Richard Schlackman ... Atif Harden ... Grace Franceschelli (Santa cap tips: Jon Haber) ...… Charlie Liebschutz, associate VP at SRCPmedia, is 33 ... Mark Prentice, former comms director at Americans for Responsible Solutions, now senior executive writer at Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. (Santa cap tip: Sean Simons) ... happily retired Michael Shoaff is 68 ... Barb Nelson … FishbowlDC alum Damon Marx, now a research analyst at JLL, is 27 ... journalist Nizar Manek ... Alix Montes, account exec at Ketchum, is 27 ... William Ward Wyatt ... fundraiser Dorinda Moss Verhoff ... Nathan Carleton, director of executive comms at Walmart ... Corry Schiermeyer ... NYT opinion editor Brian Zittel is 44 ... Sarah Penney Smith ... Sharon Williams ... Jodi Ochstein ... Kelly Collis ... James White ... Mary Higgins Clark … Lauren Hernandez … Grace O’Meara ... Mark Kornblau ... Ken Biberaj ... AJ Sugarman of Rep. Brad Wenstrup’s office ... Roger Lempke of Sen. Fischer’s office ... Kim Caldwell ... Adam Wood ... Ricky Martin is 45 ... Ryan Seacrest is 42 (h/ts AP)THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Rome:-- NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Review of 18 interviews with President-elect Donald Trump over the past 18 months. Panel: Robert Costa, Hugh Hewitt, Joy Reid, Katy Tur-- “Fox News Sunday”: Newt Gingrich … Jerry Falwell, Jr. Panel: George Will, Ben Domenech, Julie Pace and Gerald Seib. “Power Player of the Week” segment with Wreaths Across America’s Morrill Worcester--CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Stephen Colbert. Panel with CBS News correspondents: Margaret Brennan, Nancy Cordes, Jan Crawford, Major Garrett, David Martin and Jeff Pegues--ABC’s “This Week”: Pre-empted for Christmas programming-- Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10 a.m. ET / 9 a.m. CT): Newt Gingrich … Karen Finney … Michael Mukasey. Panel: Ed Rollins and Joe Trippi -- Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (SUN 11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT): Erin McPike … Mollie Hemingway … Michael Tomasky … Susan Ferrechio … A.B. Stoddard -- CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: (SUN 11 a.m. ET): Media panel: Ann Compton, April Ryan and David Gregory.anel: Josh Earnest, Jen Psaki and Eric Schultz ... James Risen -- C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (SAT 6:30 p.m. ET): FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (D), questioned by Communications Daily’s David Kaut … “Newsmakers” (SUN 10 a.m. ET): AFSCME president Lee Saunders, questioned by Politico’s Ted Hesson and AP’s Chris Rugaber …“Q&A” (SUN 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET): Author, journalist and professor Mark Danner (“Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War”) about the U.S. war on terrorism -- Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download at MackOnPolitics.com or in the iTunes store): Mark McKinnon … Hugh Hewitt
MOSSAD chief and TRUMP huddle -- ELECTORAL COLLEGE meets tomorrow, and Trump will be POTUS -- JOHN KERRY talks to MATT VISER -- LIZ SIDOTI wedding -- B’DAY: Robb Watters
Good Sunday morning. From all the out-of-office messages we’re getting, it seems like D.C. has decided to cut out for Christmas early!NEW NARRATIVE BUILDING -- @CNNSotu: “Sen. John McCain says ‘we need a select committee’ to investigate Russia involvement in US election during intv. w/ @jaketapper. #CNNsotu”-- NOTE: SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL has already rejected the idea of a select committee, and said the Senate’s existing panels can handle whatever probes are required.**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbX THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE meets tomorrow. The result will be what we all expect: Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.--“In last-shot bid, thousands urge electoral college to block Trump at Monday vote,”by WaPo’s Robert Samuels: “Pressure on members of the electoral college to select someone other than Donald Trump has grown dramatically — and noisily — in recent weeks, causing some to waver but yielding little evidence that Trump will fall short when electors convene in most state capitals Monday to cast their votes. Carole Joyce of Arizona expected her role as a GOP elector to be pretty simple ... But then came the mail and the emails and the phone calls — first hundreds, then thousands of voters worrying that Trump’s impulsive nature would lead the country into another war.” http://wapo.st/2hVhuis-- “Electors under siege: Members of the Electoral College votes have been inundated by harassing phone calls and hate mail. Many report receiving death threats,” by Kyle Cheney: http://politi.co/2i2TSnY--On SNL last night, in a hilarious segment called “Hillary Actually,” Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) went to an elector’s house and tried to persuade her to not vote for Trump, using big cue cards (like in “Love Actually”). 3-min. video http://bit.ly/2hx2HtkNBC/WSJ POLL: “Poll: 50 Percent Approve of Trump’s Transition Handling So Far,” by NBC’s Mark Murray: “Fifty percent of Americans say they approve of the way President-elect Donald Trump is handling the transition and his preparations to take the Oval Office, while 41 percent disapprove, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. But Trump's approval score is significantly below Barack Obama’s in December 2008 (73 percent) and Bill Clinton's in December 1992 (77 percent).” http://nbcnews.to/2heWak4SPY GAMES -- “Mossad chief and security delegation meet with Trump team: In a clandestine visit, the head of the Mossad and a security delegation organized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to the United States to meet with President-elect Trump’s staff and brief him on security issues,” by Yediot Ahronot’s Itamar Eichner and Tzipi Shmilovitz: “Director of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, clandestinely visited the United States to meet with President-elect Donald Trump’s staff and brief them on pressing security matters including the Iranian nuclear deal, the Syrian civil war, terror threats and the Palestinian issue. The security delegation was organized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was led by National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel. The Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer was also present during meetings.” http://bit.ly/2hVlkIxDIPLOMACY ON TWITTER -- “China said it would return a seized U.S. naval drone. Trump told them to ‘keep it,’,” by WaPo’s Missy Ryan and Emily Rauhala: “The Chinese government said Saturday it will return a U.S. naval drone seized last week in the South China Sea, a step toward defusing maritime tensions between the two Pacific powers. President-elect Donald Trump reacted to the news by telling them he doesn’t want it back. ‘We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!’ he tweeted Saturday evening. The comment could prolong one of the most serious incidents between the U.S. and Chinese militaries in recent memory, potentially complicating ties ahead of Trump’s inauguration.” http://wapo.st/2gYM60I--MARTHA RADDATZ interviewed JAMES WOOLSEY, Trump senior adviser and former CIA director, on “This Week”: “I want to just very quickly, if we can, on the drone that the Chinese took, and they’re apparently now returning. A day after Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure, Jason Miller from the Trump team tweeting, 'Donald Trump gets it done. China says it will return U.S. drone it seized.’ And they say they return the drone ... and then Donald Trump tweets, ‘Keep the drone.’ What’s going on there?”WOOLSEY: “I don’t know. I can’t keep up with the tweets. I don’t do the social media myself, so who knows.” RADDATZ: “OK, better start reading those Donald Trump tweets, then.” Transcript http://abcn.ws/2hIyrJVFAKE NEWS UPDATE – NYT A1, “How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans,” by Mike McIntire: “The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto ‘Built by patriots, for patriots.’ ... Patriot News — whose postings were viewed and shared tens of thousands of times in the United States — is among a constellation of websites run out of the United Kingdom that are linked to James Dowson, a far-right political activist who advocated Britain’s exit from the European Union and is a fan of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.” http://nyti.ms/2gZgjP9TRUMP’S WASHINGTON – NYT A1, “Outsiders Selected by Trump Aim to Unnerve Washington,” by Mike Shear: “Some of those chosen -- 17 picks so far for federal agencies and five for the White House -- are among the most radical selections in recent history. ... [A] number of Mr. Trump’s most important selections have no experience in federal government and a great drive to undo it. Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma state attorney general who was picked to lead the E.P.A., rejects the established science of human-caused climate change and has built his career on fighting environmental regulations. At the Education Department, Betsy DeVos wants to steer government money away from traditional public schools. Rick Perry was picked to head the Energy Department -- unless he eliminates it, as he once promised.” http://nyti.ms/2gZ769tLEGACY WATCH -- LOTS OF GREAT NUGGETS IN THIS STORY -- “Kerry leaving legacy of hope in role at State,” by the Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “The former Massachusetts senator plans to return to Boston. He said he will seek work in the private sector, declining to provide details while he still holds his public job. And he said he looks forward to shedding the diplomatic reserve that has prevented him from speaking out on domestic politics over the last four years. As Kerry sat in his State Department office, he was nursing a cold, sucking on cough drops and drinking vitamin water — a key source of nutrients for a man with a frenzied, peripatetic schedule. ‘You hydrate. When you’re flying around and changing time zones, that’s the secret. Stay hydrated,’ Kerry said. ‘People don’t drink enough water. Really. … That’s when you get tired and lose track of where the hell you are.’ ...“Kerry said that at one point he thought about getting into the race himself. ‘For a minute or two, maybe somewhere along the line, it crossed my mind — possibly,’ he said. ‘But there are a number of reasons why I dismissed the idea. And I’m glad. I think it was right. I never really thought that seriously about it.’ He declined to say when he had these thoughts. ‘I’m not going to go into that. ... It passed my mind a few times where I thought the issues were such and the campaign was — sort of seemed complicated,’ he said. ‘But I stayed away. I didn’t get into any serious conversation. Mostly because I love this job, and I really said, ‘I want to finish this.’” ...“He also intends to work in the private sector for one of the first times since he opened a cookie shop in 1976 in Quincy Market. ‘I’m going to continue to work for peace and conflict resolution in a constructive forum that I’m trying to think about and shape right now,’ he said. ‘I want to do private sector.’ He would not elaborate much on what that might entail.” http://bit.ly/2hVouMvCHOOSE YOUR NEWS -- WSJ: “Donald Trump Takes Conciliatory Tone at Postelection Rallies: President-elect pulls back on rhetorical punches, aiming to resolve tensions in forming key parts of government” http://on.wsj.com/2i2Onps … WaPo: “Trump is stoking his base on his pre-inaugural tour. But is he building bridges?” http://wapo.st/2gYPIjp … WaPo A1 headline: “On ‘thank you’ tour, Trump’s still at war” http://bit.ly/2i36qMiWHAT CHAPPAQUA IS READING -- “In the Chappaqua woods, a search for Hillary Clinton,” by WaPo’s Stephanie McCrummen in Chappaqua, New York: “Two days after the election, a young woman had spotted Clinton and taken a photo with her that went viral, leading to fake news stories alleging that the whole thing was staged, which was said to prove once again that Hillary Clinton couldn’t do anything that did not strike a false note. But Chappaquaians knew better. ... [T]he young woman in the photo ... received hate mail afterward.” http://wapo.st/2i2SsK7MITT ROMNEY letter in the Salt Lake Tribune, “I was surprised but willing to serve”: “My political journey was surely not so bizarre as the 2016 campaign. That said, let me offer this personal perspective. I was indeed very critical of Donald Trump during his campaign. But now he has been elected president and accordingly, if I could have helped shape foreign policy to protect the country I love, I would have been more than willing to do so.“I was more than a little surprised that the president-elect reached out to me to potentially serve as secretary of state of the United States. I see it as a welcome sign that he will be open to alternative views and even to critics. As the country’s next president, I earnestly hope that he will be successful in fostering greater prosperity and peace. I believe all Americans can join in that wish.” http://bit.ly/2hMMAFESUNDAY BEST -- REINCE PRIEBUS to CHRIS WALLACE on “Fox News Sunday.”@FoxNewsSunday: “.@Reince on #FNS: I’m 100% sure Tillerson will be confirmed” ... “.@Reince on #FNS on Tillerson: We’ve been working with @SenJohnMcCain @LindseyGrahamSC @marcorubio to get them on board.”JAKE TAPPER interviewed ATTORNEY GENERAL LORETTA LYNCH on “State of the Union.” TAPPER: “In retrospect, ‘I’m sorry Mr. President it’d be inappropriate for us to talk’ -- you wish you’d said that?” LYNCH: “Well I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him, because it did give people concern. And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure that people understand that the department of justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally. And when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that's a problem. It was a problem for me. It was painful for me, and so I felt it was important to clarify it as quickly and as clearly and as cleanly as possible.” TAPPER: “Do you think that Director Comey’s press conference was also affected by this, the idea that you wanted to be as transparent as possible in that summer press conference, because of this impression that some people might have because bill Clinton came to you that day?”LYNCH: “You know I didn’t speak to the director about why he had his press conference before he did it, and we learned of it right before that. My view is he was trying to be as transparent as possible in a matter that was of great attention and that was generating a lot of attention.” TAPPER: “But certainly if Bill Clinton hadn't gotten on the tarmac that time and gone to you things might have been different. You would have had more say. You would have been able to control Comey more ... It might have changed the letter that he gave at the end there.” LYNCH: “I don’t think it would have changed his view of what he had to say or not say to Congress, I mean that’s what he based his letter on…” TAPPER: “And you would have deferred to him?” LYNCH: “And I also can’t speculate also as to how anyone might have considered that view differently at all.”CHUCK TODD interviewed ROBERT GATES on “Meet the Press.” TODD: “Do you think there’s been enough of a sense of urgency about this from the Obama administration, from congressional leaders, Democratic and Republican, from Donald Trump?” GATES:“No. I think that given the unprecedented nature of it and the magnitude of the effort, I think people seem to have been somewhat laid back about it. And maybe part of the problem was that it took the intelligence community a while to assemble really firm evidence of Russian involvement and Russian government involvement that delayed a response. Attribution is a challenge but it seems pretty clear to me that they’ve developed really reliable information that the Russian government was involved.”TODD: “As you know, President Obama said this week that he directly spoke with Putin back in September, warned him to cut it out. A month later, the WikiLeaks, Podesta’s emails become public. So obviously that lecture didn’t do anything. But the question now is how do you retaliate? ... How do you characterize it?” GATES: “Well, I would characterize it as a thinly disguised, covert operation intended to discredit the American election and to basically allow the Russians to communicate to the rest of the world that our elections are corrupt, incompetent, rigged, whatever and therefore no more honest than anybody else's in the world including theirs. And, you know, the U.S. ought to get off his high horse in telling other nations how to conduct their elections and criticizing those elections and so on. Whether it or not it was intended to help one another candidate, I don’t know. But I think it clearly was aimed at discrediting our elections and I think it was aimed certainly at weakening Mrs. Clinton.”MARTHA RADDATZ interviewed DNC interim chair DONNA BRAZILE on “This Week”: RADDATZ: “President Obama also said Friday that the cyber attacks stopped after he warned Putin at an international conference in September. You’ve been briefed on the party’s computer system. Is that right? They stopped?” BRAZILE: “No, they did not stop. They -- they came after us absolutely every day until the end of the election. They tried to hack into our system repeatedly. ... And, you know, this is not just about computers; this is harassment of individuals, it’s harassment of our candidates, harassment of our donors. We had stolen information, personal information. People were personally harassed.” ...RADDATZ: “And Donna, given that all you’ve -- all you’ve said about this hack, do you think Donald Trump’s win was legitimate?” BRAZILE: “No, I was involved a close election in 2000. And it was an election where we believed that every vote should count, and every voter should matter. At the end of the day, the electors had an obligation to do their job. And George Bush won the election, and Al Gore had the most electoral -- I mean, the most popular vote. Donald Trump used this information in ways to also sow division. I was very disappointed in his repeated usage some of the stolen information. He used it as if he received daily talking points.” Transcript http://abcn.ws/2hIyrJVCONFIRMATION BATTLES -- “Sessions’ confirmation message: I’m not a racist,”by Seung Min Kim and Nancy Cook: “Jeff Sessions took a surprise trip to South Carolina this week at the behest of the Senate’s only black Republican. His allies talk up how Sessions locked arms with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. And the senator, in a lengthy nominee questionnaire delivered this month, practically depicts himself as a civil rights hero. When the Senate takes up President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to be the nation’s next top law enforcement official in January, allegations of racism that have dogged Sessions for three decades running are certain to be his biggest liability. So he and his allies have mounted an aggressive public relations campaign to refashion Sessions’ image. The core message: The charges that sank Sessions’ bid to become a federal judge in 1986 don’t represent who Sessions is now, or even who he was at the time. Delivering it is a lineup of prominent black leaders and others with personal ties to Sessions enlisted by Trump’s transition team.” http://politi.co/2gZjlCF-- “ExxonMobil helped defeat Russia sanctions bill,” by Isaac Arnsdorf and Elana Schor: “ExxonMobil successfully lobbied against a bill that would have made it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against Russia, clearing the way for the oil giant to restart a program worth billions of dollars if Donald Trump eases those restrictions as president. The company’s effort could be helped by outgoing CEO Rex Tillerson, who, if confirmed as secretary of state, would be a key adviser on the decision.” http://politi.co/2hIsvRaSNL COLD OPEN, “Donald Trump Christmas Cold Open”: “President-elect Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) receives a surprise visit from Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Rex Tillerson (John Goodman).” Putin: “So you trust me more than American CIA?” Trump: “All I know is I won.” Putin: “Oh this guy is blowing my mind. Donald, I want to state officially that we in Russia are so happy that you are U.S. president.” Trump: “Well thank you.” Putin: “We think you’re the best candidate.” Trump: “Sure.” Putin: “The smartest candidate.” Trump: “No doubt.”… Putin: “The Manchurian candidate.” Trump: “I don’t know what that means but it sounds tremendous.” Putin: “And since it is Christmas after all, I got you a gift. This is elf on a shelf. It’s fun. You just put it right here next to your internet router and you keep it there all year. It’s fun yes.” Trump: “It’s beautiful. Vladimir, I’m sorry but I did not know you were coming so I do not have a gift for you.” Putin: “Please Mr. Trump, you are the gift.” 6-min. video http://bit.ly/2heMiXw GLENN THRUSH for POLITICO Magazine, “‘Everything Feels Existential Now’”:“After a campaign season spent obsessing over divided allegiances within the Republican Party, it is now the Democrats who find themselves in an existential crisis. They lost the presidency and the Senate and trail Republicans in the House, as well as in state legislatures and governorships across the country. Worse, in the 2018 midterms, Democrats are defending 25 Senate seats, 10 of them in states that went for Donald Trump. After that, if the Dems can’t gain ground in state legislatures, the 2020 redistricting process is likely to hurt them even more. Where did Democrats go wrong, and how can they rebuild? At this point, can they?” Featuring Neera Tanden, Guy Cecil, Thomas Frank and Matt Barreto http://politi.co/2heUqauPAGING THE SENATE HELP COMMITTEE -- “OxyContin goes global — ‘We’re only just getting started,’” by LA Times’ Harriet Ryan, Lisa Girion and Scott Glover: “OxyContin is a dying business in America. With the nation in the grip of an opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, the U.S. medical establishment is turning away from painkillers. Top health officials are discouraging primary care doctors from prescribing them for chronic pain, saying there is no proof they work long-term and substantial evidence they put patients at risk.“Prescriptions for OxyContin have fallen nearly 40% since 2010, meaning billions in lost revenue for its Connecticut manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. So the company’s owners, the Sackler family, are pursuing a new strategy: Put the painkiller that set off the U.S. opioid crisis into medicine cabinets around the world. A network of international companies owned by the family is moving rapidly into Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other regions, and pushing for broad use of painkillers in places ill-prepared to deal with the ravages of opioid abuse and addiction.” http://lat.ms/2hIv5qjHOT TAKE -- NICK KRISTOF, “Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle”: “I never thought I would see a dispute between America’s intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator. ... Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana. Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.” http://nyti.ms/2hMNySoREMEMBERING BENJAMIN GILMAN -- “Benjamin Gilman, a New York Congressman for 30 Years, Dies at 94,” by NYT’s Joseph Fried: “Benjamin A. Gilman, a New York congressman for 30 years and a leading Republican critic of the Clinton administration’s foreign policy initiatives, died on Saturday at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital at Castle Point in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. He was 94 ... [and] had been hospitalized for more than three years after hip surgery. First elected to the House of Representatives in 1972, Mr. Gilman was a moderate Republican who focused on foreign affairs throughout most of his years in Washington. From 1995 to 2000, he was chairman of the International Relations Committee, as the House Foreign Affairs Committee was then known. He was named to lead the panel after the Republicans won control of the House in 1994. Mr. Gilman accused President Bill Clinton of favoring Russia over other former Soviet republics, and said the president was indecisive on issues involving Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia.” http://nyti.ms/2hx2k23MEDIAWATCH -- “MSNBC quietly cancels ‘Live With Thomas Roberts’,” by Page Six’s Carlos Greer: “MSNBC on Friday quietly pulled the plug on its afternoon show, ‘Live With Thomas Roberts,’ after less than two years, Page Six has exclusively learned. Roberts was brought on to do the two-hour show last year to replace the much-hyped but low-rated ‘Ronan Farrow Daily.’ ‘Thomas was taken off of his [show] quietly,’ said a news insider. ‘They’re not going to announce it, but he’s gone. His last day was Friday.’ Another source close to the anchor explained, ‘Thomas is in discussions to take on a new role with MSNBC in 2017.’” http://pge.sx/2hMHFECBONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico:-- “Best of 2016” -- Longform: “We recommended 1,399 articles this year, from 1,088 writers and 307 publications. These were our favorites.” http://bit.ly/2hpRmLC--“An American Huckster,” by Matt Novak in Gizmodo: “The Untold Story of Napoleon Hill, the Greatest Self-Help Scammer of All Time.” http://bit.ly/2hzcdNa--“Finding North America’s lost medieval city,” by Annalee Newitz in Ars Technica:“Cahokia [in the St. Louis suburbs] was bigger than Paris—then it was completely abandoned. I went there to find out why.” http://bit.ly/2gQbN3G (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“An Enemy of the Kremlin Dies in London,” by Jeffrey E. Stern in the Jan./Feb. issue of the Atlantic: “Who killed Alexander Perepilichny?” http://theatln.tc/2gOUe5B--“Longreads Best of 2016: Here Are All of Our No. 1 Story Picks from This Year”: http://bit.ly/2hpNfix--“Stop Calling Us Warriors” – AngryStaffOfficer.com: “[T]here’s a problem with all this ‘warrior’ rhetoric; warriors are not soldiers. Warriors don’t transition, because warriors are part of a class. Warriors don’t have tasks, because tasks are antithetical to the undisciplined and chaotic warrior. Essentially, stop calling us warriors.” http://bit.ly/2gOTrBH--“How The West Invented Itself,” by David Wootton in the Dec./Jan. issue of Standpoint magazine: “[T]he discovery of the New World was the achievement of semi-educated sailors — it brought about a new cooperation between intellectuals and practical men, a cooperation particularly fostered by the mathematicians who taught the skills of navigation and cartography and who had long believed in the importance of useful knowledge.” http://bit.ly/2hASQkl (h/t ALDaily.com)--“Why I’m Leaving My Job at the Illuminati and Joining the Trump Administration,” by Jason O. Gilbert in McSweeney’s: “I love orchestrating global financial events and mass media coverage in a way that is favorable to a cabal of ultra-wealthy power players; indeed, nothing tops the regular joy I get from chartering a chemtrail-emitting jetliner to Davos and informing a hedge fund billionaire I’d arranged for the assassination of his enemy.” http://bit.ly/2gOMrF1--“What I learned about China by searching for the world’s rarest bird” – The Economist: “The story of the Chinese crested tern is bound up with that of China itself.” http://bit.ly/2h5Lp3n--“How to Fix the Internet,” by Walter Isaacson in The Atlantic: “Anonymity has poisoned online life.” http://theatln.tc/2gHX7QY--“Business Tips from a Refugee Camp,” by Richard Davies in 1843 Magazine: “Many of the Syrians who have fled to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan have started companies there. … Companies [have sprung] up everywhere: by the time the camp was two years old it had more than 1,400 firms.” http://bit.ly/2hpUpUd--“Dispatches From Dakota: Chasing The Pipeline Protest,” by Inside Energy’s Amy Sisk: “Long after this pipeline controversy ends, I hope journalists who have come to Standing Rock from around the world report on their local indigenous communities. Far too often Native American news is overlooked in the mainstream media. Reservations tend to be far from urban centers and many journalists lack a knowledge of indigenous history, culture and current events.” http://bit.ly/2hIBzIp--“He Was a Crook,” by Hunter S. Thompson: “A scathing obituary of Richard Nixon, originally published in Rolling Stone on June 16, 1994.” http://theatln.tc/2hLpZwG--“The Human Side of Trade,” by Russ Roberts in Medium: “Trade has undeniable human costs — dislocated and unemployed workers, some of whom struggle to find dignified ways to support themselves and who may be left with dreary lives without meaning. What are the benefits? One benefit is obvious — less expensive clothes, toys, and gadgets. But if that’s the end of the story, it’s a pretty bad deal.” http://bit.ly/2hTikID--“The nightmare before Christmas,” by Colm Tóibín in The Guardian: “Forget seasonal cheer, Dickens’s A Christmas Carol takes greater pleasure in Scrooge’s ghostly visions than in his redemption.” http://bit.ly/2hTilfrSPOTTED: Steve Case at Jammin Java in Vienna at the “Joe Grushecky and the House Rockers” concert Saturday night ... Rep.-elect Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) at Casa Luca last nightWEEKEND WEDDING -- LIZ SIDOTI and ANDY DAVIS married Saturday at Roses Run Country Club in Ohio, before a candle-lit mantle and a crowd mostly of family and friends from their nearby hometown of Kent. Liz, head of U.S. comms for BP and former Associated Press political journalist, and Andy briefly dated in their early 20s and reunited three years ago, more than a decade later. Andy, a commercial printer, runs the production center at the Cato Institute. Their mothers brought the house down by jointly singing a toast to the tune of Mr. Sandman, “You’re livin’ the dream. You waited so long we wanted to scream.” Pic http://bit.ly/2gZgIB7SPOTTED: Stephanie Cutter, Nedra Pickler, Sara Fagen, Laura Capps, Nathan Daschle, Kelley Daschle and Eric Chader, Michael and Tovah Meehan, Todd Harris and Ieva Augstums, Terry Sullivan and Shealah Craighead, Tom and Kristen McMahon, and Steve and Cynthia McMahon.HOLIDAY PARTY CIRCUIT -- Susan Rice and Ian Cameron hosted their annual holiday open house Saturday evening. SPOTTED: Loretta Lynch, Tina Tchen, Valerie Jarrett, Fred Hochberg, Lee Zak, Gayle Smith, Phil Gordon, Lisa Monaco, Puneet Talwar, Taara Rangarajan, Meridith Webster, Nate Tibbits and Suzy George, Nick Schmit and Jonathan Capehart, Wendy Sherman and Bruce Stokes, Elizabeth Cousens, Madeleine Albright, John Brennan, Ben and Ashley Chang, Penny Pritzker, Warren Bass, Tony Blinken.OUT AND ABOUT – SPOTTED at a party yesterday evening to celebrate Robert Draper’s and Kirsten Powers’ engagement, which had a great wine selection since Draper is a vino connoisseur: Matt Lewis and Erin DeLullo, Paul Shapiro, Mark Salter, Molly Ball, Michael Wear, Dave Wasserman, Mark Leibovich, Julia Ioffe, Mark Paustenbach, Manuel Roig-Franzia, Ceci Connolly, Jonathan Kott, Paul Kane, Susan Goldberg, John Scofield, Carl Cannon, Jen Hing, Melinda Henneberger.ENGAGED -- Alex Miller, comms director for Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), and Rory Murphy, attorney at Squire Patton Boggs, got engaged on Friday evening and celebrated with dinner at Rose’s Luxury and a tour of the White House Christmas decorations the next morning. They met in 2013 when they were both working for their home state senators, she for Sen. Bob Casey, and he for Sen. Max Baucus on the Finance Committee. They were introduced by their mutual friend and current Finance Committee senior comms advisor Ryan Carey. Goose (their cat) is very excited for mom and dad. Pic http://bit.ly/2gOFuPu--Taylor Haulsee, the recently promoted press secretary for the Senate HELP Committee and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), proposed on Thursday night at Zoo Lights in Woodley Park to Katie Delzell, GOP fundraiser for Value in Electing Women PAC (VIEW PAC). Despite forgetting all of his prepared lines in the 22 degree weather, Katie still said yes. They met in Iowa during the 2012 cycle -- Katie was working for the RNC, and Taylor for the Romney campaign. Pics http://bit.ly/2hIuaZH ... http://bit.ly/2heO6Q4BIRTHDAYS: Robb Watters, managing partner of the Madison Group and a squash devotee (h/t Blair) … Dwight Holton is 51 … Jeanne Cummings, political editor for the WSJ … former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark is 89 … Lindsay Conwell of Google’s GOP ads team ... Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) is 69 ... Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers (h/t Hilary Rosen) ... Frank Coleman, SVP of public affairs at Distilled Spirits Council (tap tip: Sean Spicer) ... Matt Schlapp, principal at Cove Strategies, chairman of the American Conservative Union and the pride of Wichita, is 49 ... CNN producer Rachel Streitfeld ... Julie Donofrio (h/t Tammy Haddad) ... DCI Group’s Jennifer Scoggins Hanks, a CNN alum ... Rich Luchette, comms. director for Rep. David Cicilline ... Google’s Jesse Suskin ... Politico’s Andrew Restuccia is 31 (h/t Nancy Cook) ... Politico’s Max Mounkhaty … Politico alum Jon Prior, now with The Dallas Business Journal, is 32 ... Sara Kamla Pasi, daughter of Peter, is 4 ... Noam Neusner, co-owner/principal at 30 Point Strategies ... Micah Lasher, head of external affairs for Sidewalk Labs and Bloomberg and Jerry Adler alum ...… Brendan Kelly, account executive at Summers Strategies and a No Labels alum, is 25 (h/t Allie Wright) ... Lee Spieckerman ... Deborah E. Cunningham ... Kristina Budelis, cofounder of KitSplit and a New Yorker alum ... Spencer Sharp, publisher at Louise Blouin Media and a NY Observer alum ... AP’s Will Lester is 64 ... Wes Coulam, executive director of Washington Council Ernst & Young and a Morgan Stanley alum ... RNC and Chamber alum Anna-Claire Whitehead, executive director of Noah’s Arc Foundation ... Nicole Audet ... Tyler Lechtenberg ... Paul Cooper … McCall Johnson … Jim Whitney … Wendy Strout (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Adam Phillips ... Mary Grace ... Sheena Jeffers ... rock singer-musician Keith Richards is 73 … Steven Spielberg is 7-0 … movie reviewer Leonard Maltin is 66 … Brad Pitt is 53 … Katie Holmes is 38 (h/ts AP)
If you don't plan to vote because you think your vote doesn't count, please consider this: The world needs you to be their proxy. Polls show that most of the world passionately hopes that Hillary Clinton becomes president. Non-Americans can't vote for her, but you can, on their behalf. C'mon third-party-protest Millennials, party-over-country Repubs, and holdouts who are on the fence. If you live in a swing state, vote to help make sure that HRC wins. And if you live in a state that's solid red or blue, please vote to make sure the world sees that the popular vote numbers are as big as possible. I'm not a political expert, but in the year and a half since Trump glided down the escalator to make his presidential announcement, I've visited more than a dozen countries, going about my business. And wherever I go I've been asked over and over (and over): "What's happening to America? He can't win, right? How can a demagogue become your president?" Here, a few election-related anecdotes of the hundreds I've observed traveling this past year; small examples of great, global concern, and the reason we need a big win to assure the world it will be okay: On a four-hour ride in December to see a Monarch butterfly sanctuary near San Miguel de Allende, our driver/guide talked with typical dark humor: "Somebody made lots of money on Trump pinatas," he said. "And Mexicans can't wait to beat them up." And, "If Trump builds that damn wall we'll paint our side with our great history, and then charge Americans to come over and admire it." In South Korea in February, when the North Koreans were testing their first nuclear missiles, our guide told us that South Koreans appreciated Hillary Clinton's visits there as Secretary of State, and were especially frightened about Trump's confused comments about nuclear weaponry. They were watching CNN and knew the names of all the primary candidates. In Tanzania, where the Clinton Foundation has helped eradicate HIV/AIDS, Masai warriors who greeted our group of Americans jumped up and spontaneously chanted "O-ba-ma, Hill-a-ry" as we walked toward them. And when they chanted as we left, most of us joined in. In Vancouver this summer, Canadians nervously kidded about the election, with lots of talk about renting rooms to make money off the hoards of Americans who would be coming if Trump won. In Paris, last month the mood was darker. People realized that Trump had a chance of winning. Parisians wanted reassurance. "It couldn't happen in America, could it?" "It won't happen, right." The world will be watching this Tuesday night just about as closely and as anxiously as Americans will be. Climate change, international financial meltdowns, and the possibilities of nuclear war are only a few of the worries. There is general angst. I've realized, in this bittersweet way, that America is still considered the beacon of democracy, and we've sustained this precious position for 240 years. So please vote, and bring like-minded friends. Represent those who can't cast a ballot. Don't let the world down. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, celebrates the Day of the Dead like no place else on earth.
9 Top Spots For Living In Mexico In most of the countries I talk about, there is usually one stand-out place. Sometimes, two... When I talk about Colombia, for instance, Medellín comes out tops. In the Dominican Republic, it's the Samana Peninsula. In Belize, it's a toss-up between the Cayo and the Cayes. But in Mexico, there are so many top options for living and investing on the table that it's hard to pick a winner. So here's a rundown of my favorite nine places to hang your hat In Mexico, to the beach and beyond: The Beaches The options are so broad for seaside living that you can actually specify a price point, a convenience factor, and a lifestyle, and still have plenty of options. On the east coast, you have: 1. Cancún, one of Mexico's top two resort towns. Cancún was nothing more than a small fishing village when it was targeted for development in 1974. As it exploded into a tourist mecca of more than 700,000, the swath of development extended southward to Playa del Carmen... transforming Cancún from a fishing village to a town of more than 150,000 today. 2. Playa del Carmen ("Playa" to the locals) It's just 57 minutes south of Cancún, and it has taken over as the region's chic place to be (and the place to be seen). You'll find vacationing Europeans and North Americans as well as a sizeable number of expats in residence. Just off the town square is the renowned Avenida Quinta (5th Avenue) running parallel to the shore and offering more than 20 blocks of fine restaurants and shops. It's almost as big a draw as the beautiful beaches. The Riviera Maya is the section of Caribbean coast on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It's about 125 miles long. 3. Tulum Just a few years ago, the town of Tulum (where we convened for our conference last week) consisted of a handful of cabins and a few fishing shacks. Today, the census counts more than 18,000 people in Tulum. This is a particular point of opportunity. The Riviera Maya features warm Caribbean waters and pristine beaches. Also, the Great Mayan Reef -- the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean -- is located offshore, providing world-class diving and snorkeling. Another draw to this area is the presence of the best preserved Mayan archeological sites... plus a few world-class golf courses to round out the local attractions. Moving to the west coast, there's... 4. Puerto Peñasco The seaside resort that's most convenient to the United States by car... just over an hour from the border. Also known as Rocky Point, it has been a playground for the western United States and Canada for almost 100 years. Homeowners in Puerto Peñasco can drive over the border and head right for their seaside home without even stopping to register their car. Yet the beaches are second to none. Puerto Peñasco enjoys warm, calm waters all year, broad, sandy beaches, lots of housing options, and low property prices. Best of all, you can find two-bedroom condos on this beach starting at just US$109,000. Perfect for a vacation home or a weekend getaway. 5. Mazatlán Mazatlán has rebounded from the 70s and 80s when it was mostly forgotten as a resort. Today, its 20 miles of beaches and boardwalks are once again as busy as when John Wayne and Gary Cooper were in town. Even better, the historic center has been renovated over the past 10 years. Now it's a fine example of Spanish-colonial America, with plenty of world-class restaurants, sidewalk cafés, and a beachfront promenade. 6. Puerto Vallarta It has been one of Mexico's most popular resorts since the 1960s, although its rich colonial history goes back hundreds of years. Unlike many resort areas, PV has a number of coastal sections with beaches interspersed among them... meaning different areas have their own unique character. Puerto Vallarta excels when it comes to ocean views. Here you'll find lots of properties perched on lush, green hillsides and long views looking out to the ocean. Beyond The Beach Not everyone is a beach person. Many full-time expats prefer the ambiance and brilliant weather of Mexico's colonial heartland, including these three top towns where expats have settled... 7. San Miguel de Allende San Miguel de Allende is a remarkably beautiful and sociable colonial town. Many expats believe that it's the finest example of colonial living abroad... in any country... and thousands of expats call it home. Its magnificent historic center is mostly level -- great for walking -- and full of delights for visitors and residents. The quantity of first-class restaurants and fine shopping venues per block is probably unmatched anywhere else in Mexico. 8. Guanajuato Guanajuato is another colonial gem, but it's a gem that's less polished and more natural than San Miguel de Allende. Instead of San Miguel's thousands of expats, Guanajuato's expat community numbers in the hundreds. It's still a large town with everything you need--plus beautiful architecture--but it's more of a "Mexican" town, with less expat influence. 9. Álamos A small town of less than 25,000 people, but the state of restoration and preservation in its historic center is beyond anything we've seen anywhere. Of the dozens of Latin American cities that bill themselves as a "bohemian town that's home to artists, writers, musicians, and poets," Álamos is the only one where we've actually seen a large percentage of artists, writers, musicians, and poets. For a small-town alternative to cities like San Miguel, Guanajuato, and Oaxaca, Álamos is the best we've found. Faced with all these options, how do you find the place that's right for you? It all comes down to personal taste and priorities. But it's hard to imagine how anybody couldn't find something to suit them in Mexico... whatever their budget. Related Articles: Why Living In Mexico Is An Easy Option For Expats Best Place To Invest In Mexico's Riviera Maya? Think Tulum! Why This Expat Chose Mérida, Mexico, As His Overseas Home Earlier on Huff/Post50: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
TriMas (TRS) has initiated facility consolidation actions to efficiently utilize existing locations and better serve customers.
If you're a fan of the arts ... especially the performing arts ... there's no place better than Guanajuato. For that reason ... and for its sheer beauty, convenience, and near-perfect climate, Guanajuato makes our "where to retire in Mexico" list. City View, Guanajuato, Mexico You'll find it 50 miles west of another popular and better-known expat retirement enclave, San Miguel de Allende. Both are in the state of Guanajuato, and the city of the same name is the state capital. At an elevation of 6,600 feet, Guanajuato enjoys a mild climate, with temperatures rarely dipping below 60 F on a winter day or topping 90 F on a summer day. If you've an open spot on your calendar in October, Guanajuato is the place to be. That's when the city hosts the International Cervantes Festival, one of the biggest and best-known performing-arts festivals in all of Latin America -- a two-week extravaganza that attracts top-flight performers in theater, dance, and music from around the world. During the Cervantes Festival, these events are sometimes going on simultaneously in concert halls, churches, cathedrals, and event spaces throughout the city, including in the magnificent Teatro Juárez, right in the center of historic Guanajuato. A visit to the Juárez Theater should be on your "must-do" list. It's one of the most important performing-arts centers in Mexico. Our Lady of Guanajuato Basilica, Guanajuato, Mexico If you can't make it to Guanajuato in October, don't worry. This city lives and breathes music year-round. There are concerts almost every night somewhere or other. On weekends the city band plays and roving mariachi bands sing for café patrons in the Jardín de la Unión -- the Union Gardens -- and in the Plaza de la Paz. At night, you'll often find the University of Guanajuato's roving band of troubadour singing away in 16th-century dress. This huge state university, which traces its history to 1732, is located right in the city center, and thousands of students live here much of the year. You'll see them in the restaurants and bars, attending concerts, strolling the streets, and lending the city its energy. That's why expats who live in Guanajuato contrast it to San Miguel de Allende by saying that while the latter has better restaurants, Guanajuato has a more youthful vibe. That's over simplifying, of course. But it's true that each city has its own distinct personality. For sure, Guanajuato has much to offer. For centuries it was one of the richest cities in Mexico. Gold and silver mines around Guanajuato produced a river of wealth from the 16th century onwards, and mining remains an important industry even today. The city's beautiful historic center, which trails up and down steep hills, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988. It's an extraordinarily beautiful city. Guanajuato played a key role in Mexico's War of Independence from Spain. The first major victory of the war was won here, when Mexican forces captured the former grain storage building known as El Alhóndiga. Today, it's a museum with a large open-air performance space. Plaza de la Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico Near it is Hidalgo Market, Guanajuato's large central market. If you lived here, this is where you might do your grocery shopping, catch a quick meal, and buy any number of locally made ceramics or leather products. Founded in 1548 (shortly after San Miguel de Allende) the oldest neighborhoods of Guanajuato date from the 16th and 17th centuries and its narrow streets were designed for horses and burros, not for SUVs. Many of these streets are actually very narrow stair-stepped passageways. Nothing on wheels can get up them. Much of Guanajuato's historic center, in fact, is pedestrian only. To get around by car, the city has constructed a maze of incredible underground tunnels, complete with road signs. (On our first drive to Guanajuato, we were lost in this maze for three hours, popping up now and then to get our bearings and then heading back underground to try to locate the proper exit. Take it from us, driving here is not for the faint hearted.) The best advice if you're looking to live in the historic center is to be sure to check street access if you want to have a car. Otherwise, get used to toting groceries and supplies up those steep hills or hiring a delivery service. While you may want a car, you don't really need a car in Guanajuato ... taxis are plentiful and think of the workout you'll get hiking up and down those hills. And of course, as you'd imagine in a city of this size, with more than 150,000 inhabitants in the municipality, you'll find all the modern malls, supermarkets and hospitals and healthcare facilities you'd expect -- most in neighborhoods just outside the central historic district. For a target cost of living, a couple could easily live on a budget of $2,000 a month in Guanajuato, including rent -- especially with today's strong dollar and weak peso. At time of writing the exchange rate hovers close to 1 USD:18 MXN. See current rates here. You can find a comfortably furnished rental starting at about $700 a month. You won't need heat or air conditioning so your utility costs will be low. Shop at the local mercado for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and your grocery bill will be low, too. If you'd like to buy a home, you'll find prices more reasonable in Guanajuato than in the more-popular-with-expats San Miguel de Allende. (Note that the international airport at Léon is just 20 minutes from Guanajuato.) On a recent visit, we found a property in the San Isidro neighborhood of Guanajuato's central historic district (known as centro), with two 1,000-square-foot apartments. On the lower level is an open-plan apartment with dining room, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. The upper-level apartment offers two bedrooms, a large bathroom, a study, and a small terrace. The two apartments share a large back garden. Completely furnished, the price is just $240,000. If you look beyond centro, there are several neighborhoods where the terrain is relatively flat and you might easily have a car. Two that are particularly popular with expats are Marfil and La Presa. In Marfil, one of Guanajuato's oldest and most historical neighborhoods, homes tend to be Spanish-colonial style and are large and gracious. They often have ample garden spaces. La Presa takes its name from the reservoir at its center where you'll often see people rowing boats or picnicking around the shore. Streets here are wide, and many of the homes are large, 19th-century style. One thing to note: Guanajuato's expat community is much smaller than San Miguel's...perhaps 1,000 expats live here, as compared to San Miguel's 10,000 or so ... and fewer locals in Guanajuato speak English. Instead, it's very much a Spanish-speaking city, and if you live here long-term you'll want to learn Spanish, which makes day-to-day life much easier. Appearance-wise, this corner of the world feels a bit lost in time ... yet every modern amenity is here. The cultural appeal can't be beat. And neither can the climate or the cost of living ... That's why we're high on this part of Mexico -- and if you're looking for an amazing quality of life at an affordable price tag, you should be, too. Related Articles Having Fun Is a Full-Time "Job" In Mexico Exploring the Charms of San Miguel De Allende What's My Favorite Retirement Haven? I Don't Know Yet... Earlier on Huff/Post50: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Вчера, 30 мая, появились сообщения о том, что две филиппинские телекоммуникационные компании Philippine Long Distance Telephone и Globe Telecom выставили совместное предложение по приобретению активов пивовара San Miguel в секторе телекоммуникаций. Сообщается, что сумма предложения составила 69,1 млрд песо ($1,48 млрд), при этом Philippine Long Distance Telephone и Globe Telecom будет принадлежать по 50% акций приобретенного подразделения.
Вчера, 30 мая, появились сообщения о том, что две филиппинские телекоммуникационные компании Philippine Long Distance Telephone и Globe Telecom выставили совместное предложение по приобретению активов пивовара San Miguel в секторе телекоммуникаций. Сообщается, что сумма предложения составила 69,1 млрд песо ($1,48 млрд), при этом Philippine Long Distance Telephone и Globe Telecom будет принадлежать по 50% акций приобретенного подразделения.
Is San Miguel de Allende the prettiest colonial town in Mexico? Many people think so. Home to one of Mexico's largest communities of N.O.B. (north-of-the-border) expats for several generations now, American GIs are credited with kick starting the trend after World War II when they discovered they could use their education grants to study at Instituto Bellas Artes under the direction of an American artist and writer named Stirling Dickinson. In 1947, Life magazine sent a reporter and photographer to San Miguel to report on this post-war phenomenon. Under the headline "GI Paradise: Veterans go to Mexico to study art, live cheaply and have a good time," it reported the possibility to rent an apartment for $10 a month, pay 65 cents a quart for rum, and 10 cents a pack for cigarettes. More than 6,000 American veterans immediately applied to study in San Miguel. Today, as many as 10,000 expats call San Miguel home, and it continues to attract international artists: designers, sculptors, painters, writers, musicians ... You'll find top-notch local artisans here, too and you'll love browsing the shops and markets. And although San Miguel has traditionally been a haven for retirees, these days many younger singles and couples with children are discovering its charms -- opening businesses or working remotely via the Internet. You'll find at least four bilingual schools, including a private academy offering an international baccalaureate that covers kindergarten through grade 12. Why is San Miguel so popular? The city's striking beauty is, of course, a big reason for its appeal. Walking through the central historic district, known simply as "centro," is like stepping back in time. Stroll the winding cobblestone streets, past the historical old buildings painted shades of rose, ochre and umber, and you never know what you'll see. Behind giant and intricately carved wooden doors are flower-filled patios, restaurants, bars, boutiques, art galleries, offices, and homes. History is a constant companion in San Miguel. Founded by the Spanish in 1541, the little town became an important stop on the so-called 'silver road' between the rich silver mines north and west of here, and on to Mexico City to the south. Wealthy landowners built homes here, many of which still remain. In the state of Guanajuato, this part of Mexico is called El Bajío -- the colonial highlands -- and is known as the "Cradle of Independence" where the cry for independence from Spain began in 1810 in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, not far from San Miguel. One of the most important leaders of the independence movement, Ignacio Allende, was born in San Miguel in a home that is now a museum. After the revolution, his name was added to the town's official designation, and that's why it's known as San Miguel "de Allende." All this well-preserved history earned San Miguel a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2008, and even more attention came in 2013 when Conde Nast named it the world's "most livable city." Today, San Miguel is one of Mexico's top tourist destinations -- including for Mexicans themselves who are well-acquainted with its charms. Beneath the porticoes that line the main plaza -- called el Jardín (the garden) -- are boutique-style shops, sidewalk cafés, and more. Pull up a chair and relax for a minute while you take in the view, including the frothy pink creation known as la Parroquía, San Miguel's parish church and the emblem of the city. The action fans out from here. Whether you're looking for a good hotel or restaurant or romantic colonial home to make your own, you'll probably measure by how far it is from el Jardín. Just a few blocks from el Jardín, the public library -- la Bibliotéca -- serves as a community center for locals and expats alike. You'll find a comfy café and the second-largest collection of English-language books in Mexico here. The library publishes Atención, San Miguel's bi-lingual local newspaper, a must-read each week to keep abreast of local events. And of course, you'll find good healthcare facilities in San Miguel. Local public and private hospitals can satisfy just about every need. For extremely serious procedures, you'll find excellent hospitals in Querétaro, a major city of well more than two million inhabitants that's only about an hour's drive away. (Querétaro is also where you'll find an international airport that services San Miguel. Another is near Léon, an hour-and-a-half to the northwest. And Mexico City is just three-and-a-half hours south.) Another big draw for this area is the agreeable climate. San Miguel sits at about 6,000 feet above sea level. Days are usually warm to hot, but dry. Nights are cool, but temperatures seldom get below freezing, even in winter. You'll seldom need more than a light jacket, but you might want a heater for cool winter evenings. Many homes have fireplaces, but few bother with air conditioning. Where to live: The most popular neighborhoods for expats have typically been in or near centro, for its proximity to all the action. Most of the largest colonial homes here have been beautifully restored, and most come with multi-million-dollar price tags. But as more and more tourists come to enjoy the lively culture (including nightlife) of San Miguel, you'll find both locals and expats looking to quieter neighborhoods, such as Guadalupe, Independencia, San Antonio, and beyond ... even into the high-desert countryside. Long-term rentals of, say, a two-bedroom property in centro can run $1,500 to $2,000 a month and up. Short-term rentals of these properties start at about $1,000 a week. To get better deals, look farther from centro. In Independencia, for example, a two- or three-bedroom furnished property can be rented for less than $1,000 a month. On our last visit, we toured a newly built 1,400-square-foot home in Independencia with two bedrooms and three bathrooms. Completely furnished, the asking price was $175,000. Across the street, a modern 2,400-square-foot home, unfurnished, was priced at $275,000. Or you can rent it for $1,200 a month. An important note: In this part of Mexico, you can buy property via direct deed instead of using the fideicomiso bank trust option that must be used along the coast or a border. Isn't San Miguel expensive? That's certainly what you'd expect in a world-class city and major tourist destination. But the answer to that depends totally on your lifestyle. As one longtime San Miguel expat told us recently, "We're busy all the time. The social scene in San Miguel is lively, and there's always something to do. Mostly, we have dinner parties at friends' houses or have them come to our house. Our utility costs are low, our property taxes are hardly anything at all, we live in a beautiful place, and it doesn't really cost us much to do that. We have a good life here." RELATED ARTICLES A Relaxed, Caribbean-Island Retirement without the High Price Tag Mexico: A Firm Expat Favorite Living My Dream Retirement in Caribbean Beach-Town Mexico Earlier on Huff/Post50: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Silver Standard (SSRI) posted fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 operational results alongside providing its production and cost guidance for 2016.
Крупнейшая по величине продаж на Филиппинах пивоваренная компания San Miguel может начать сотрудничество с японской Kirin Holdings с целью приобретения брендов Grolsch и Peroni, принадлежащих бельгийскому пивовару SABMiller, который был недавно приобретен фирмой AB InBev.
Крупнейшая по величине продаж на Филиппинах пивоваренная компания San Miguel может начать сотрудничество с японской Kirin Holdings с целью приобретения брендов Grolsch и Peroni, принадлежащих бельгийскому пивовару SABMiller, который был недавно приобретен фирмой AB InBev.
Крупнейшая по величине продаж на Филиппинах пивоваренная компания San Miguel заявила о том, что заинтересована в приобретении брендов Grolsch и Peroni, принадлежащих бельгийскому пивовару SABMiller, который был недавно приобретен фирмой AB InBev. Напомним, что после заключения сделки с SABMiller компания AB InBev выставила вышеупомянутые бренды на продажу.