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Тимоти Майкл Кейн
22 июня, 19:20

Democrats call Senate health bill even 'meaner' than the House version

Schumer and others are foreshadowing their aggressive attacks against the GOP's Obamacare repeal effort.

21 июня, 01:55

Trump’s Outsourcing Of War Decision-Making Worries Democrats

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Democrats say President Donald Trump’s move last week giving the Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan flies in the face of a longstanding tradition of civilian control over the military. “It’s not what the Constitution provides for,” said Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “We still need civilian oversight of the military. I trust [Defense Secretary James] Mattis, but even the secretaries I trust and respect need oversight, and that’s his job.”  Trump’s move to step away from military decision-making mirrors his actions in April giving the military more control over war-making in Iraq and Syria. The Defense Department said the change would give commanders greater flexibility to deploy troops in the field as needed. But it also would insulate the president from criticism, particularly in Afghanistan, where America has been at war for 16 years and where it has spent trillions of dollars with no end in sight. The U.S. is expected to add as many as 4,000 troops in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press, despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric denouncing nation-building and foreign wars. The Trump administration has yet to release its long-promised military strategy for Afghanistan, drawing criticism it was plunging further into a conflict without a real plan. “Troop strength is not an end. It’s a means to an end,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Thursday on Capitol Hill. “We don’t know what the strategy is. They need to bring a strategy to us, and then we can have that conversation.”  The degree to which presidents assert control over their military commanders has varied over the years. Former President Barack Obama, for example, was repeatedly accused of micromanaging the military as he sought to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It was micromanagement that drove me crazy,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in 2014. Trump, who has offered public adoration of generals, appears to be going in the opposite direction. The change is being received well by Republican lawmakers. “That’s not outsourcing,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “He’s the secretary of defense. The president of the U.S. should always listen to his commander, chief of staff of the armed forces and the secretary of defense. That’s what they’re all about.” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said he had confidence in Mattis. “I’m the son of a Marine myself,” Daines said. “I think having a four-star Marine as the secretary of defense is exactly the right person at the right time.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), however, expressed a more moderate tone. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman said he had confidence in the military’s ability to set appropriate troop levels, but added, “We also need to be careful to maintain civilian control over that.” Mattis, the man who is now in charge of setting troop levels in the Middle East, only recently left the military. The retired general, whose nicknames include “Mad Dog” and “Warrior Monk,” was replaced as head of U.S. Central Command in 2013 by the Obama administration for his aggressive posture toward Iran. His nomination required a special exemption from a statute that prohibited commissioned officers from serving as secretary of defense until seven years after active duty. Many Democrats joined Republicans in supporting that waiver. The question of who allocates troop deployment is one of great significance. Military commanders, for example, have historically recommended deployment of larger numbers of troops abroad. The issue was briefly discussed at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, where lawmakers debated drafting a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the so-called Islamic State. Kathleen Hicks, the senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, testified that that both the Pentagon and the White House had responsibility for use of force. Mattis “should be held responsible for decisions on use of force, and so should the president, obviously,” Hicks said in response to questioning by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “So there is a civilian that remains, but it’s just one.”  Other ways for Congress to maintain oversight over the military, Hicks added, included passing a new authorization of force, strictly enforcing the War Powers Act, and the power of the purse. Trump’s decision to delegate troop levels “makes all the more of a compelling case for an AUMF to be passed,” Menendez said in agreement. -- 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.

21 июня, 00:40

Senate Democrats go searching for GOP Obamacare bill

Senate Democrats are struggling against an invisible enemy — the GOP’s still-secret Obamacare repeal plan. So on Tuesday, three of them decided to take a field trip to hunt for it.Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) headed across the Hill to the Congressional Budget Office, located in southwest Washington about a 10 minute drive from the Capitol, in what they acknowledged would be a fruitless quest for a copy of the health care bill that Republicans expect to bring to a vote as soon as next week. The photogenic trio live-streamed most of their journey on social media, in the latest gambit in Democrats’ campaign to force the GOP’s closed-door process for repealing Obamacare into the public consciousness.“This is a way to expose, with a little bit of humor, the absurdity of this moment in time,” Booker told reporters as the trio left the CBO empty-handed. “Right now there are literally Americans fearing what might be in this bill…and for this all to be happening in private and in secrecy is absurd.”The three Democrats said they met with senior officials at the nonpartisan budget office but were unable to obtain a copy of any text under evaluation for its budgetary impacts. Republicans have not said whether they've given the CBO a copy of a full bill, but they have referred some ideas to the office for consideration.As they arrived at the CBO, their fellow Democrats were also protesting the clandestine health care process by invoking an obscure rule that allows any senator to object to committee meetings held more than two hours after the Senate goes into session.Republicans urged the minority to rethink its maneuvering. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) delivered a floor speech accusing Democrats of doing little more than giving “impassioned speeches” after spurning “every entreaty, every request for them to work with us” on mending Obamacare.Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) navigated around Tuesday's committee-work stoppage by simply continuing a public health hearing he had scheduled, though he said it was an informal meeting and live-streamed it on Facebook.“That’s what drives people back home absolutely crazy — this Washington shell game up here,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said in a brief interview. “We need to put it aside and get this thing fixed.”Other Republicans weren’t as riled up. “I don’t critique their behavior. Whatever they want to do is fine with me,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona.Democrats vowed to keep using every tactic possible to draw attention to the GOP’s avoidance so far of any public hearings on an Obamacare repeal bill that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expects to release for public discussion on Thursday, potentially only a few days before a vote.Booker even offered to debate President Donald Trump on the Obamacare repeal, a key promise by Republicans during the 2016 campaign, in a nod to former President Barack Obama’s 2010 televised summit with Republicans before passage of the health care legislation that came to bear his name.“I’m at my wit’s end," declared Booker, who parried a fan’s question about his 2020 ambitions on his way out of CBO headquarters.All three Democrats goaded Trump in stark terms during their visit, appearing to relish the prospect of a public battle with the president. Murphy predicted Trump would avoid talking with Democrats about Obamacare repeal “because he doesn’t know what’s in this bill.”Schatz told reporters that Trump likely “wakes up in the morning, he reads a headline on MSNBC or CNN--”“Breitbart,” quipped Booker.“And then he changes his mind about the legislation,” Schatz continued. “There is zero chance that he’s read the House bill, and there’s zero chance that he will read the Senate bill. There is 100 percent chance he will sign those bills into law.”White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he was unsure whether Trump had seen the Senate health care bill. "But I know that they've been working extremely hard, and the president has been giving his input and his ideas and feedback to them, and he's very excited about where this thing is headed," Spicer told reporters.Back at the Capitol, Democrats largely welcomed the maneuvers by their colleagues. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he was disappointed that a hearing his Judiciary Committee sub-panel planned for Tuesday was scrapped by the protest but added that "I was in a very small minority."Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) saw a Tuesday hearing on a top priority of his cut short by his party's procedural tactics, but he declared that "we just can't make it easy for these guys to take health insurance away from 23 million people."Democrats' push-back against Obamacare repeal is breaking through the frenetic news cycle "to some degree," Kaine said. "It's hard to completely break through until they reveal what they're working on. So we've got to build up the moment, so when they reveal it, people are very focused on it."

20 июня, 12:00

Will Congress Cede Its War-Making Authority to Trump?

A new resolution would finally put many long-running conflicts on a sound legal footing—but would grant the executive branch sweeping powers in the process.

20 июня, 02:50

Some Dems reluctant to shut down Senate committees over Obamacare

Even as Senate Democrats began a Monday night talk-a-thon designed to spotlight the GOP’s still-secret Obamacare repeal plan, some of their own questioned the party's other potential procedural tactic to block committees from meeting this week.The skepticism within the caucus underscores the risk facing Senate Democrats as they launch an all-out battle against a Republican health care bill they have had zero power to influence. Democrats want to use every procedural tool at their disposal to slow the GOP’s progress, but one of their more arcane options — the power to block committee meetings two hours after the Senate goes into session — risks inviting Republicans to paint them as heedlessly obstructionist.“I do think we need to do something to try to get some input on this crazy damn health bill that they’re doing,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said in an interview. But Tester held back from supporting a halt to committee work starting on Tuesday: “I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do. I think we should still try to be doing our business.”Two high-profile Tuesday hearings could get sandbagged by a Democratic blockade using the so-called “two-hour rule,” if it is invoked: the Foreign Relations Committee’s discussion of presidential authorizations for the use of military force and a Judiciary Committee look at past congressional and criminal investigations. If the tactic is used Wednesday, it could prematurely cut off an Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday night declined to confirm that Democrats would begin holding up committee work, but other senior Democratic sources said that those objections would happen on Tuesday.Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the top Democrat on the Judiciary subpanel hosting former Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) for a Tuesday look at past congressional investigations, said that “I hope that we’ll find a way to let the hearing go forward. But we’ll see.” The reluctance to endorse a stoppage of committee work on Tuesday appears to be a minority view among Democrats, most of whom said no tactic should be out of bounds when it comes to protesting the GOP’s clandestine drafting of a health care bill that will have a huge impact on the public. Senators offered multiple unanimous consent requests Monday night aimed at forcing the Obamacare repeal bill through the regular committee process that Republicans have sidestepped this year, though all were blocked by the GOP.“We have to make the point that this isn’t the way to legislate,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview, calling for any tactic possible to draw attention to the GOP’s “bizarre” avoidance of public hearings.“We’ll get to the Russia hearing,” Feinstein added. “How many people are going to die if we don’t do the right thing [on health care]?”But moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one of the GOP’s top targets in the midterm elections and a member of his party’s leadership, warned that Democrats should not be responding to Republican exclusion on health care with hardline tactics of their own.“I don’t like any of this idea — any of these ideas,” Manchin said, “First of all, Republicans not involving the Democrats is wrong. It’s purely wrong. Does this highlight it? I don’t know. My gut tells me back home... it just makes it look like if we’re not doing anything.”The Foreign Relations hearing on congressional approval of military operations is a top priority for Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who has joined Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to pitch a new authorization that would cover operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The intelligence committee’s Russia hearing is a rare public opportunity for members to advance their bipartisan investigation of President Donald Trump’s ties to Moscow.Still, even Democratic members of the committees where business might get blocked starting Tuesday called for the Senate’s routine business to slow amid a health care process that’s been anything but routine.“Many people are really focused on [Obamacare repeal] because it hits them where they live," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on Judiciary. “ I’m always reluctant to shut down anything, but refusing to have hearings and provide a text or draft of a bill is like shutting down democracy.”Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) acknowledged in an interview that "some people are enthusiastic about shutting down hearings. Others are less so."“Look, we don’t want to shut down hearings — but we will,” Schatz said. “Everybody has a good relationship with their chair. But it is hard to defend staying in the regular order and maintaining a sense of bipartisanship when something so egregious is happening."

19 июня, 07:53

Трамп надеется смягчить санкции против России. Трамп всерьез принялся за борьбу с бюрократией в США ? Как русский «Северный поток» встал Вашингтону горла поперек

Как сообщил один высокопоставленный чиновник администрации, Белый дом планирует провести работу совместно с республиканцами Палаты представителей, чтобы внести изменения в законопроект Сената, который предусматривает новые санкции в отношении России и ограничивает президента США Дональда Трампа в возможности смягчить санкции против Москвы. Белый дом обеспокоен тем, что этот законопроект свяжет ему руки в российско-американских отношениях, о чем публично высказался госсекретарь США Рекс Тиллерсон (Rex Tillerson). Но демократы Сената опасаются, что Белый дом может перегнуть палку в попытках сохранить возможность диалога с Россией, а также существенно смягчить этот законопроект, который в четверг, 15 июня, был принят сенаторами 98 голосами против двух, что стало самой выдающейся демонстрацией единства республиканцев и демократов. «Я обеспокоен этим, но у меня нет возможности диктовать Белому дому, что ему следует говорить Палате представителей, — сказал в своем интервью демократ Тим Кейн (Tim Kaine). — Мне трудно представить, что Палата представителей станет защищать поведение России после того, как все разведывательные сообщества заявили: "Послушайте, они напали на США"». Представитель администрации подчеркнул, что Белый дом поддерживает антироссийские санкции и что возможные политические последствия вето пока не обсуждались. Поскольку госдепартамент активно взаимодействует с конгрессменами, Белый дом уверен в том, что у него есть союзники в Палате представителей, которых тоже беспокоит перспектива нарушения традиций и ограничения контроля исполнительной ветви власти над санкциями.

17 июня, 14:34

Democratic 2020 contenders? Voters haven't heard of them

There's limited time for no-name candidates to build name recognition and familiarity among voters.

17 июня, 14:33

White House plans to push House GOP for friendlier Russia sanctions deal

Senate Democrats fear that the White House will defang the bill designed to punish Russia for election meddling.

15 июня, 17:32

How Democrats Would Fix Obamacare

They’ve said if Republicans dropped their repeal demand, they’d be willing to help repair the law. Here are some of their ideas.

15 июня, 00:58

Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon

With one of their colleagues among the wounded, Democrats don’t want to be accused of politicizing Wednesday’s mass shooting.

Выбор редакции
15 июня, 00:46

Republican Corey Stewart is eyeing Senate run against Tim Kaine in 2018

Buoyed after almost winning the GOP nomination for governor, Stewart is thinking big

14 июня, 12:21

What we learned from the Virginia primary

The outcomes weren't a surprise, but the results still sent shock waves through Richmond and Washington.

14 июня, 03:12

Ralph Northam Wins In Democratic Primary For Virginia Governor

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); FALLS CHURCH, Va. ― Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated former congressman Tom Perriello in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, handing a humbling loss to progressive activists who had flocked to Perriello’s candidacy. Although Perriello enjoyed greater support among millennials, liberals and residents of Southwestern Virginia, his campaign hopes depended on getting many of them to turn out for the first time. Ultimately the 42-year-old Charlottesville native and former diplomat was not able to expand the electorate enough to offset Northam’s advantage with more consistent Democratic voters, including many black Virginians and seniors. “It’s still an uphill climb for groups that are farther to the left to succeed even in a Democratic Primary,” said Geoffrey Skelly, an expert in state politics at the University of Virginia. “There’s a lot of excitement. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of Democratic voters that are center-left and not left.” “We fell short tonight at the polls, but after being outspent by over $3 million dollars, we showed that a grassroots effort can bring hundreds of thousands of people to the polls,” Perriello said in his concession speech at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia. “We had an amazing conversation that hadn’t been had enough in this Commonwealth about rising and radical inequality, and skyrocketing debt and consumer debt.” Northam, a 57-year-old pediatric neurologist from the Hampton Roads area, will now face off against Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie. Gillespie, a Beltway power broker and former Republican National Committee chairman, consistently led in the polls against state Sen. Frank Wagner and Corey Stewart, at-large chairman of Prince William County. He beat Stewart by a narrow margin Tuesday night. Northam held a double-digit lead over Gillespie in a hypothetical matchup in a Washington Post poll last month.  Northam is highly favored to win both because of the relative popularity of incumbent Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and disdain for President Donald Trump in the Old Dominion State. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in Virginia by 5 percentage points, and as of May, just 36 percent of Virginians approved of Trump’s performance.  The Republican Governors Association immediately blasted Northam as a “far-left extremist.” “In choosing Ralph Northam, Virginia Democrats have anointed an extreme, far-left nominee that is hopelessly out-of-touch with Virginia voters,” said RGA communications director Jon Thompson said in a statement Tuesday. Prior to Trump’s inauguration in January, the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia was not expected to be a contentious affair. As lieutenant governor since 2014, Northam secured support early on from nearly every major elected Democrat in the state, including McAuliffe and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.  Then Perriello jumped into the race in January, betting that Trump’s election had made the state ripe for a campaign focused on defending Virginia from the president’s policies. Fashioning himself a “pragmatic populist,” Perriello rolled out ambitious economic policies, including raising Virginia’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, providing universal preschool and tuition-free community college, and overturning the state’s right-to-work law, which makes it harder for labor unions to thrive. He also stumped against two natural gas pipelines slated to traverse the state, and refused donations from utility monopoly Dominion Power, which is building one of the pipelines. The firm stances earned him the endorsements of leading progressives Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); the Sanders-backed political action committee Our Revolution; the state chapters of top labor unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers of America; and a host of environmental activism groups, including Climate Hawks Vote.  Perriello became a national Democratic darling during his only term in Congress in 2009-2010 after voting enthusiastically for the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act, in spite of his conservative district, which included a large swath of rural Southside Virginia. Then-President Barack Obama campaigned for him in his 2010 re-election bid, which Perriello publicized in a campaign ad. Seven years later, Perriello enjoys the backing of dozens of Obama administration alumni, including the former president’s confidante Valerie Jarrett. Thanks in part to the high-profile national support and accompanying influx of campaign contributions, the one-term congressman quickly came within striking distance of Northam. Northam trailed him by 2 percentage points in the most recent Washington Post poll in May.  “It is a remarkable arc, especially when you consider Northam has effectively been running for governor for two years before Perriello announced,” said Quentin Kidd, a Virginia politics expert at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. In the end, though, too few of the voters who said they would vote for Perriello turned out at the polls.  Nomiki Konst, a former Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate turned investigative reporter for the Young Turks, a left-wing YouTube channel, blamed the campaign for focusing too little on turning out the Democratic base. “The base is the most important part of the Democratic Party and we should never, ever take it for granted,” she said shortly before Perriello took the stage. Abortion rights was an important issue in this race. I’m glad to know Ralph’s got our back. Erin Matson At the same time, blemishes on Perriello’s record have fractured parts of the party’s liberal base. A 2010 vote for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the ACA, which would have denied federal funding from the new law to any health insurance plans that cover abortions, proved especially alienating to reproductive rights advocates ― notwithstanding Perriello’s expression of regret for the vote. By contrast, Northam has been a consistent supporter of abortion rights, helping lead the fight against a trans-vaginal ultrasound bill as a state senator in 2012. “Ralph Northam is a progressive champion. I can’t wait to work with him as governor,” said Erin Matson, a Virginia-based reproductive rights activist who supported Northam. “Abortion rights was an important issue in this race. I’m glad to know Ralph’s got our back.” Northam also likely benefitted from a leftward pivot that neutralized some of Perriello’s progressive appeal. He embraced the $15 minimum wage and unveiled a community college plan of his own, albeit one that requires two years of community service. In addition, the Washington Post editorial board endorsed Northam a week before the election, praising his “experience, temperament and ... chances of success in the face of likely Republican control of one or both houses of the state legislature for the foreseeable future.” “If any Democratic governor can nudge GOP majorities in his direction, it’s Mr. Northam,” the newspaper wrote. Perriello’s campaign told HuffPost their internal polling showed a drop of 12 percentage points after the Post endorsement, driven heavily by attrition in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Yasmine Taeb, a Virginia Democratic National Committee member who backed Perriello, took some comfort in the fact that Perriello’s competitive bid had pushed Northam to the left. “The fact that he is able to run a campaign on such a progressive agenda, the fact that he was able to move his primary opponent to the left on various issues as a result, it means he was successful,” Taeb said. “It was incredibly important to have a competitive primary for that reason.”  And Perriello’s influence extends past the governor’s race, Taeb noted. His stand against Dominion has provoked a debate about the influential state-regulated monopoly, with more than 60 Democratic candidates for House of Delegates following his example in rejecting contributions from the company. The outcome is nonetheless a disappointment for national progressive activists in general, and Sanders in particular, who have struggled to put electoral wins on the board in national-level races since November. Sanders ally Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) lost his race to chair the Democratic National Committee in February, and both Sanders-backed candidates in special House elections in Kansas and Montana fell short as well.  Kidd of Christopher Newport University nonetheless predicted that the disappointment of Perriello’s loss for many progressives would not undermine Northam’s general election bid. “I don’t think it is going to take any wind out from behind Northam because part of the reason they are so energized is because of the guy in the White House,” he concluded. “You’re gonna see the left get behind Northam.” Julia Galdo, a 70-year-old Falls Church resident on hand at Perriello’s concession speech on Tuesday night, plans to vote for Northam, but she is not happy about it. She poked her head into the enclosed media area to express her anger at the “party machine” for blocking Perriello’s path. “I’m seriously tired of the Democratic Party. They don’t understand vision when they see it,” she said. As for Dominion Energy, Galdo, who opposes fracking, ventured that they are “thrilled” with the outcome. -- 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.

14 июня, 01:00

The Republican Establishment Narrowly Wins in Virginia

Ed Gillespie eked out a victory in the state’s gubernatorial primary after a stronger-than-anticipated challenge from a controversial conservative candidate.

13 июня, 13:00

A Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party in Virginia

Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam are attempting to bridge divides in a primary for governor that will test what liberal voters want in the Trump era.

12 июня, 20:57

Virginia governor candidates sprint to primary finish

The Democratic primary between Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello is too close to call before Tuesday’s vote.

08 июня, 12:27

Trump faces growing Senate resistance on Saudi arms deal

As President Donald Trump aligns with Saudi Arabia amid a fresh dispute among Gulf nations, senators in both parties as soon as Thursday will try to block him from selling more than $500 million in offensive weapons to Riyadh.The Senate bid to stop the Saudi arms sales — a small portion of what the White House claims will be a $110 billion package — is likely to fail. But the push to tie Trump's hands will probably find more support than a similar brushback pitch directed at President Barack Obama last year, as Democrats are far more united behind the proposal. Not only do Democrats have little reason to give Trump a win on any front, they're also stepping up their outcry over Saudi involvement in Yemen’s worsening civil war.If backers of the effort to stop Trump's arms deals can do better than they did in the previous vote to bless Obama’s Saudi tank sales, they say they’ll send a message to the Saudi government that its warm ties to Trump won't stanch congressional concern over civilian casualties in Yemen.The disapproval measure expected to see a vote Thursday, spearheaded by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), is expected to draw the majority of Democrats as well as a handful of Republicans.Paul told POLITICO that he believes “the general public is with us.”“I think, if you were to ask the general public, should we be at war in Yemen or supporting war in Yemen, I think most people would say, ‘where?’” Paul added. “I think there should be a valid debate on it.”Several senior Democrats who voted to allow Obama's Saudi sale are now shifting to oppose Trump's weapons deals, which are being rolled out without the humanitarian or political pressure that the previous White House had exerted on Riyadh. The Foreign Relations panel's top Democrat, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, publicly announced his vote to block the sales after supporting Obama's deal, while Sen Jeff Merkley's (D-Ore.) office told POLITICO he would also vote against Trump's arms sales.Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who voted to preserve Obama's deal last year, and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who missed that vote, both said in interviews this week that they were leaning toward voting for the Paul-Murphy disapproval measure.Two other key votes who remain publicly undecided are Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), whom advocates opposing the sale have paid particular attention to courting, and the Armed Services Committee's top Democrat, Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed."Everybody's going to be focused on something else" Thursday, Murphy said in an interview, referring to former FBI Director James Comey's hotly anticipated testimony. "But it's going to be a close vote."Despite the prospects of a more lopsided Democratic vote to block Trump's sales, Murphy said he's also hoping for stronger GOP support. Three of the four Republicans who backed the effort to block Obama's Saudi arms deal are still in office, and freshman Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) is a key ally on a related effort to set anti-terrorism and Yemen-related conditions on future air-to-ground weapons deals."We need to send the Saudis a message that they need to get serious about the humanitarian nightmare inside Yemen," said Murphy, who spoke at Democrats' regular caucus meeting on Tuesday to boost support for blocking the Trump sales."Unfortunately, the administration has not used these weapons sales to apply that conditionality. But a strong message from the U.S. Senate that they don't have a blank check from the Congress would be very important."Trump has played a conspicuously hands-on role in Saudi politics lately after taking a tougher stance during his campaign. He raised bipartisan eyebrows with Tuesday tweets that appeared to cheer the cutoff of diplomatic ties with Qatar by Saudi Arabia and three other nations amid a dispute over support for terrorism. On Wednesday, he proposed a White House meeting to resolve tensions among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.Paul questioned the focus on Qatar's support for armed groups while excluding evidence of similar Saudi behavior, noting that "there's a lot of history of both Qatar and Saudi Arabia getting weapons to not necessarily the best actors."Trump's recent alignment with the Saudi government means the timing of the arms deal vote could work in favor of humanitarian groups and other opponents of the weapons sales who have been imploring senators to send a different message. It's a reversal of fortune after last year's vote broke against critics; senators were already preparing to take another tough anti-Saudi stance on a bill that would allow victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack to sue Riyadh.The Yemeni civil war has long drawn significant concerns beyond the Capitol, with the United Nations envoy to Yemen warning last week that "we are not close" to a necessary peace agreement that would end the violence between Saudi-backed government forces and Houthi rebels. Iran is seen as a backer of the rebels, stoking the war's intensity as a proxy battle between Tehran and the Saudis.And as efforts to reach a peace deal continue, some opponents of Trump's offensive arms sales say that a strong vote for the Paul-Murphy proposal could actually strengthen the president's hand in future dealings with the Saudi government. (If the vote slips past Thursday, it's expected to happen by next week thanks to existing law that gives the measure privileged status.)“The U.S. gets a lot of mileage out of congressional opposition to what the Saudis are doing,” one advocate against the sales said, speaking candidly on condition of anonymity. “Regardless of what the policy is, it helps the administration to have a bad cop. They can walk in and say ‘We’re with you, but we don’t know how Congress is going to react.’”

07 июня, 12:33

Fiorina to Trump: 'Stop tweeting'

'I don’t think he will stop tweeting, unfortunately,' she told POLITICO, 'but I think it’s very destructive.'

06 июня, 12:17

Meet the new Democrats

An ex-Goldman Sachs executive and a fiscal conservative who voted for Bush could be nominated for governor in New Jersey and Virginia.

30 мая, 13:32

INSIDE TRUMP’s intelligence consumption, management style -- SPOTTED: Corey Lewandowski at Peet’s Coffee across from W.H. -- PENCE to hit campaign trail -- SHOCK: Congress in a knot over the debt ceiling

Listen to the Playbook Audio Briefing http://bit.ly/2s9BPTg ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay ... Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51Jnf Good Tuesday morning. We hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day week. Congress is out, and we're seeing a lot of out-of-office messages pop up. But we expect President Donald Trump's decision this week on the Paris climate accords. In the last few days, Trump administration officials have publicly and privately predicted the president is open to remaining a part of the climate deal, will absolutely pull out of the agreement and will attempt to renegotiate the accord. THERE IS NOT MUCH on President Donald Trump's public schedule today -- just lunch with Vice President Mike Pence at 12:30 p.m. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is slated to meet with President Donald Trump Wednesday at the White House. Vietnam Airlines flight number 1 -- a Boeing 787 -- is scheduled to land at Andrews Air Force Base today at 3:05 p.m. from New York. The plane is scheduled to leave Andrews at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday for Frankfurt. http://bit.ly/2riGeVDSPOTTED -- COREY LEWANDOWSKI on Memorial Day at Peet’s Coffee across from the White House, “suitcase in hand,” per our tipster.AND THERE’S MORE … MATT ROSENBERG, MARK MAZZETTI and MAGGIE HABERMAN on NYT, A1-- “Investigation Turns to Kushner’s Motives in Meeting With a Putin Ally”: “Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was looking for a direct line to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia -- a search that in mid-December found him in a room with a Russian banker whose financial institution was deeply intertwined with Russian intelligence, and remains under sanction by the United States.“Federal and congressional investigators are now examining what exactly Mr. Kushner and the Russian banker, Sergey N. Gorkov, wanted from each other. The banker is a close associate of Mr. Putin, but he has not been known to play a diplomatic role for the Russian leader. That has raised questions about why he was meeting with Mr. Kushner at a crucial moment in the presidential transition, according to current and former officials familiar with the investigations.” http://nyti.ms/2r6Ak9T **SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbhINSIDE THE WEST WING -- WAPO A1, “How President Trump consumes -- or does not consume -- top-secret intelligence,” by Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker (print headline: “Serving intelligence to Trump in small bites”): “President Trump consumes classified intelligence like he does most everything else in life: ravenously and impatiently, eager to ingest glinting nuggets but often indifferent to subtleties. Most mornings, often at 10:30, sometimes earlier, Trump sits behind the historic Resolute desk and, with a fresh Diet Coke fizzing and papers piled high, receives top-secret updates on the world’s hot spots. The president interrupts his briefers with questions but also with random asides. He asks that the top brass of the intelligence community be present, and he demands brevity. “As they huddle around the desk, Trump likes to pore over visuals -- maps, charts, pictures and videos, as well as ‘killer graphics,’ as CIA Director Mike Pompeo phrased it. ... Though career intelligence analysts often take the lead in delivering them, Trump likes his political appointees — Pompeo and [DNI Daniel] Coats — to attend, along with national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Pompeo and Coats, whose offices are in McLean, Va., have had to redesign their daily routines so that they spend many mornings at the White House. Vice President Pence usually attends, while other administration principals join depending on the topic of the day, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. Senior members of the West Wing staff sometimes float in and out of the Oval Office during the briefings. ... “Jared Kushner ... often observes quietly; he receives his own intelligence briefing earlier in the morning, according to two White House officials. … Trump also has encouraged his briefers to include as many visual elements as possible. This is a reflection, aides said, of Trump’s career as a real estate developer who evaluated blueprints and renderings to visualize what a property eventually would look like. ‘Sometimes,’ Coats said, ‘pictures do say a thousand words.’” http://wapo.st/2sgKNNC HOW THE PRESIDENT MANAGES – “Snubs and slights are part of the job in Trump’s White House,” by WaPo’s Ashley Parker: “In Trump’s White House, aides serve a president who demands absolute loyalty — but who doesn’t always offer it in return. Trump prefers a management style in which even compliments can come laced with a bite, and where enduring snubs and belittling jokes, even in public, is part of the job. Allies say the president’s quips are simply good-natured teasing, part of an inclusive strategy meant to make even mid-level staff members feel like family. But others consider Trump’s comments pointed reminders to those who work for him that he is in charge — barbs from the boss that keep aides on guard and off kilter, and can corrode staff morale.“Trump sometimes refers to his 45-year-old chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as ‘Reince-y,’ a diminutive nickname that some aides and outside rivals recount with gleeful relish. ... The president has described House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), in theory one of his top allies on Capitol Hill, as a ‘Boy Scout’ — a dig that the lawmaker joked he chose to take as a compliment even though ‘I’m not sure he meant it that way.’ ... And during the transition, Trump would make a point of noting that Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s crowds paled compared to his, teasing that even his daughter Ivanka and son Eric attracted more attention, said two people familiar with the comments, which they considered demeaning.” http://wapo.st/2s94Jm8-- HOPE HICKS’ statement to Ashley: “President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people, whether he is speaking to a room of three or an arena of 30,000. He has built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor ... and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible.”-- @TVietor08: “Hope Hicks does a hilarious impression of North Korean propaganda in this quote to @AshleyRParker” http://bit.ly/2r6stZUALEX ISENSTADT SCOOP: PENCE REEMERGING -- “Pence to make campaign push amid GOP concerns over Trump”: “Vice President Mike Pence is embarking on a cross-country summer campaign tour amid rising fears that the GOP, reeling from a barrage of Trump-fueled controversies, is headed for a midterm election disaster. Pence is mapping out a schedule that will take him through several Midwestern battlegrounds and to traditionally conservative southern states like Georgia, where an unexpectedly competitive June special election runoff is alarming party strategists. The vice president will also attend a series of Republican Party events that will draw major donors and power-brokers, where talk about 2018 is certain to be front-and-center.“The push comes at a time of growing consternation among senior Republicans who say the White House has given them little direction on midterm planning. Many complain that they do not even know who to contact about 2018 in an administration that has been consumed by chaos. ‘He has an appetite to fight so he’s going to get out there and fight on the president’s behalf,’ said Nick Ayers, a longtime Pence strategist. At the same time, the vice president’s increased electoral activity has stoked speculation that Pence is positioning himself for a post-Trump future in the party, something his advisers strenuously deny.” http://politi.co/2qBpsNH2018 WATCH -- NYT A16, “‘Narrowcast’ Trump? Republicans Seek Formula to Keep House Majority,” by Jeremy Peters in Roswell, Georgia: “In the northern suburbs of Atlanta, where what is likely to be the most expensive House campaign in history is being waged, a band of conservative advocacy groups is grappling with a question that may decide whether the Republican Party keeps its House majority after 2018: Do you run with President Trump or against him? Somehow, the groups are discovering, they will have to do both. … “The trick for Republicans and their allied outside groups is figuring out how to avoid conspicuously embracing the president without alienating conservative voters who would view any overt rebuff as a betrayal. ‘That is the question we are trying to answer right now,’ said Ralph Reed, whose Faith and Freedom Coalition is based in Georgia and is involved in the special election. As for Mr. Trump, Mr. Reed added: ‘I don’t think you really look to broadcast him. You narrowcast him.’” http://nyti.ms/2quX3O0 JUST POSTED -- STEPHEN MILLER PROFILE – WILLIAM D. COHAN in Vanity Fair’s summer issue, “How Stephen Miller Rode White Rage from Duke’s Campus to Trump’s West Wing”: “Despite Miller’s penchant for outrageous provocation, his family was very much like others in Santa Monica. His mother, Miriam, from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, came from a well-known Jewish family that had made a fortune in retailing. His father, Michael, a Stanford graduate, was a lawyer and real-estate mini-mogul. These days, the Millers together own Cordary Inc., a real-estate investment company ... [which] owns and manages three multi-family residential ‘communities’ in the Los Angeles area comprised of 471 rental units. “Ironically, the family would not have made it to the United States had someone like Stephen Miller been in the White House a century ago. Facing religious persecution, Miriam’s family -- the Glossers -- fled Belarus, arriving in New York in 1903. ‘Imagine living in a place where armed Cossacks ride through the streets, looking to cripple or kill you,’ wrote Robert Jeschonek, in ‘Long Live Glosser’s,’ a 2014 book about the family. ... One former Duke student remembers Miller’s behavior in class more than she does his political views. In a freshman history course about the American Revolution, she recalls, ‘Just right away, he’d just walk in, put his head down, and go to sleep.’ After giving Miller a few good-natured warnings, the professor kicked him out. ‘He’s got that sleepy-eyed, sloe-eyed look, but he’s just saying ‘F*** you’ to the world,’ she says.” http://bit.ly/2r6MfVd COMING ATTRACTIONS -- “Debt fight blindsides Congress,” by Burgess Everett and Rachael Bade: “President Donald Trump’s top economic aides are urging Capitol Hill leaders to raise the debt ceiling by the end of July. And Congress is totally unprepared to do so. Lawmakers in both parties thought they’d have until the fall to act, and had planned to roll the always-difficult vote into a broader spending package that could be more easily swallowed. That strategy may now have to be tossed aside with the debt limit deadline approaching faster than expected.“The White House request raises the prospect of a bruising fight over the debt limit -- not just between Republicans and Democrats but within both parties. The GOP is torn over whether to combine spending cuts with the debt ceiling lift, and Senate Democrats are already signaling they may push for their own concessions since their votes are going to be needed to avoid a devastating government default. The request will also scramble the congressional calendar. The GOP is currently embroiled in an effort to repeal Obamacare and rewrite the tax code, two massive legislative items that are expected to suck up time and energy all summer.” http://politi.co/2rQ2GGqFOR YOUR RADAR -- “North Korea warns of ‘bigger gift package’ for U.S. after latest test,” by Reuters’ Ju-min Park and Jack Kim in Seoul: “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test of a new ballistic missile controlled by a precision guidance system and ordered the development of more powerful strategic weapons, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday. The missile launched on Monday was equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence compared with previous versions of the ‘Hwasong’ rockets, North Korea’s name for its Scud-class missiles, KCNA said. That indicated the North had launched a modified Scud-class missile, as South Korea’s military has said.” http://reut.rs/2sgB2yW-- “Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega dies at 83,” by AP’s Juan Zamorano and Kathia Martinez in Panama City: “Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83. Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that ‘the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history.’ Varela added, ‘His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace.’ Noriega ruled with an iron fist, ordering the deaths of those who opposed him and maintaining a murky, close and conflictive relationship with the United States.” http://apne.ws/2qBlKUlTHE JUICE…-- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: JOHN HEILEMANN is now a national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. -- OBAMA ALUMNI: FRANK BENENATI is starting a new job in Chicago at United Airlines as director of corporate communications. He previously served as the director of public affairs for the EPA and also was as a White House spokesperson and assistant press secretary. THE N.Y. POST and N.Y. DAILY NEWS have the same front page today. A mugshot photo of Tiger Woods with the headline “DUI OF THE TIGER.” The Post http://nyp.st/2algwpl … The Daily News http://bit.ly/2sgRGhO REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CALIF.) SPEAKS, via Sarah Wire in the L.A. Times: “Embattled House Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told hundreds of local Republicans at a recent private dinner fundraiser that congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election are about Democrats trying to justify Hillary Clinton’s loss.“‘The Democrats don’t want an investigation on Russia. They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that’s the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else’s fault,’ Nunes told Republicans at the $75-per-plate Tulare County Lincoln Dinner on April 7. His remarks were recorded on video and provided to The Times.“‘They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they’ve never been serious about it, and one of the great things now that I’ve stepped aside from this Russia investigation, I can actually say what I want to say. I know that there’s probably media in here, you can write it but just try to get it right when you do,’ he said.” http://lat.ms/2riC4gt BEYOND THE BELTWAY -- “Threats of violence, unfinished business, rowdy protesters mark end of tumultuous legislative session,” by Dallas Morning News’ Brandi Grissom, Robert T. Garrett, Lauren McGaughy and James Barragan in Austin: “Lawmakers threatened to shoot and beat one another up on the final day of a legislative session beset by angry fights and emotional outbursts that often got in the way of completing their agenda. ‘Our nerves are frayed. It’s the last day of a long session,’ said Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Frisco. ‘We just want to go home.’ … “Reps. Ramon Romero and Cesar Blanco said Rep. Matt Rinaldi, a staunchly conservative Republican from Irving and ardent supporter of the anti-immigration legislation, approached them. Rinaldi told them he had called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to report the protesters, many of whom were Hispanic. The Democrats were infuriated. A shoving match and threats of violence ensued. Rinaldi said Rep. Poncho Nevarez, a Democrat from Eagle Pass, threatened to ‘get me on the way to my car.’ Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, said he heard Rinaldi warn Nevarez that he would ‘put a bullet in your head.’“Rinaldi issued a statement that said he threatened to shoot Nevarez in self-defense only after the Democrat threatened him. The Republican said he was under Department of Public Safety protection following the kerfuffle.” http://bit.ly/2rfnYe5-- “Cities join call for impeachment,” by POLITICO Illinois Playbook’s Natasha Korecki: “Congress may not be ready to launch impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, but a growing number of cities and towns are trying to push members in that direction. Brookline, Mass., became the 10th and latest local government Thursday to pass a resolution calling for impeachment, a step designed to add pressure on the state’s congressmen to launch a formal investigation that could ultimately lead to the president’s removal from office.” http://politi.co/2rzT1E2THE OPPOSITION -- “Since election, yoga rises off the mat to take on Donald Trump,” by USA Today’s Paul Singer: https://usat.ly/2sgzXqSOFF MESSAGE PODCAST: Sen. Ben Sasse joins Isaac Dovere on the latest episode of POLITICO’s Off Message podcast talking about how President Donald Trump comes to the presidency from the world of reality TV. “And I have lots of anxiety about whether or not that kind of world is really what we want for our kids,” the Nebraska Republican senator said. Listen and subscribe http://apple.co/2nEa7y0-- “Is Trump an ‘adult’? Ben Sasse won’t say,” by Isaac Dovere: http://politi.co/2rivyGCREMEMBERING FRANK DEFORD – NYT’s Daniel Victor: “Frank Deford, who mined the sports world for human stories and told them with literary grace over six decades in Sports Illustrated, a shelf of books and many years of radio and television commentary, died on Sunday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 78. ... Mr. Deford retired from NPR’s “Morning Edition” on May 3, signing off with what the radio network said was his 1,656th weekly commentary since 1980. He also appeared on HBO’s ‘Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel’ for 22 years and wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than 30 years. At Sports Illustrated, he became a leader in a form of literary sports journalism nurtured by its managing editor, André Laguerre, who recruited him as one of a blue-ribbon roster of writers that included Mark Kram, Dan Jenkins and Roy Blount Jr.” http://nyti.ms/2riAUSq VALLEY TALK -- "Court Documents Shed Light on Theranos Board’s Response to Crisis: Two former directors didn’t follow up on allegations that the blood-testing firm was relying on standard technology," by WSJ's Christopher Weaver: "Two former Theranos Inc. directors said they didn’t follow up on public allegations that the Silicon Valley blood-testing firm was relying on standard technology rather than its much-hyped proprietary device for most tests, according to newly released court documents. "In depositions, the highly decorated former directors -- former U.S. Navy Adm. Gary Roughead and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz -- who were board members when concerns of employees and regulators became public—said they didn’t question Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes about the matter." http://on.wsj.com/2r6XWes MEDIAWATCH -- “Tronc plan to buy Sun-Times may face competition,” by Natasha Korecki: “At least two outside parties have shown interest in buying the Chicago Sun-Times, possibly scuttling what was thought to be a done deal with the owner of the Chicago Tribune, a newspaper guild representative told POLITICO. David Roeder, a consultant with the Chicago News Guild, which represents the newsrooms of the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader, said that at least two other interested groups of buyers have reached out to the guild and expressed an interest in buying the news organization.” http://politi.co/2rzu4bS--TEDDY SCHLEIFER to Recode -- per Joe Pompeo’s Morning Media: “Recode has nabbed Teddy Schleifer from CNN, where he has been a Washington-based politics and campaign finance reporter. At Recode, Schleifer will be a senior editor based in San Francisco.”TRANSITIONS -- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Theo LeCompte, former deputy chief of staff at the Commerce Department and COO at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is joining MemoryWell as COO. Former TIME correspondent and current contributor Jay Newton-Small started the organization to use a network of freelance journalists to write “life stories” for patients entering long term care to help improve their care. WEEKEND WEDDINGS -- Warren Bass, senior editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Review section, was married Sunday to Jenna Slutsky, a psychologist at Columbia University Medical Center, at Wainwright House in Rye, N.Y. The couple met on the subway going from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side. The waterside ceremony was performed by Rabbi Aaron Panken, the president of Hebrew Union College, and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of New York’s Central Synagogue. SPOTTED: Susan Rice and Ian Cameron, Adam Entous, Emily Bazelon, Brooke Anderson, David Greenberg and Suzanne Nossel, Salman and Cat Ahmed, Andrew Weiss and Kate Julian, Jen Simon, Ken Baer and Caron Gremont, Mieke Eoyang, Krishanti Vignarajah and Collin O’Mara, Grant Harris and Tara Bahrampour.ANOTHER SCHUMER MARRIAGE! -- Meghan Taira, legislative director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Gerry Petrella, policy director for Leader Schumer, were married on Monday by Danny Akaka Jr. at the Sunset Ranch on the north shore of Oahu in front of friends and family from Hawaii, Long Island, Washington and beyond. Pool report: “The bride wore her mother’s beautiful dress, the groom wore his finest Tommy Bahama number as the crowd danced the night away to songs including ‘Sweet Child Of Mine,’ the karaoke song that first brought the couple together. The ladies wore local leis, the men kukui necklaces and everyone brought their finest aloha spirit. POG juice and rum flowed and laughter roared late into the night.”-- Joel Mowbray, founder of Fourth Factor Consulting, a strategic consulting firm that works with mostly Silicon Valley tech companies, on Sunday married Valeria Bystritskaia, who was Miss Germany 2011 and competed in Miss Universe. Fun facts: she speaks five languages and shares the same immigration attorney as Melania Trump, Michael Wildes. Joel is a former fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The wedding was in Aspen: all the guests stayed at the St. Regis and the ceremony was outdoors with a chuppah in the grass and the trees and mountains as the backdrop. Festivities kicked off Friday night with a Shabbat dinner at Chabad in Aspen. On Saturday, after Shabbat, guests enjoyed scotch and cigars. The couple met in synagogue at Kiddush last May, the first Shabbat after Passover. He went up to go talk to her and asked her where she was from (her favorite question): She replied: “From everywhere around the world” and promptly walked away. Pics by Ross Daniels Photography http://bit.ly/2qvhKcH … http://bit.ly/2rx6sVw … http://bit.ly/2s9wbAz SPOTTED: Ted and Heidi Cruz, Ed and Marie Royce, David Panton, Larry Mizel, Martin and Rivka Rapaport, their children Ezi and Penina, Sander and Tracy Gerber, Eric and Yvette Edidin, Arie Lipnick, Elliott Broidy, Adam Ross, David Panton, Noah Pollak, Martin Rapaport, Travis Allen, David and Donna Keene, Rich Miniter, Rex Elsass, Reid Spitz, David and Hila Brog, wedding planner Jason Burns.--Sabrina Singh, deputy comms director for American Bridge, and Mike Smith, DCCC national finance director, got married in Newport Beach, at the hotel Pelican Hill. The officiant was Mike’s sister Jaime Smith. DCCC, DGA, and HFA families were well represented in the wedding party. The best man was Tom Mintz and groomsmen included Jonathan Levy, Haley Simmons, and Tanner Ahern. Her bridesmaids/maids of honor included Devon MacLaughlin, Sarah Rothschild, Lauren Wolman, and Tori Murphy. They met at the DCCC in 2011. WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- CNN correspondent Sunlen Serfaty and husband Alexis Serfaty, VP and chief of staff at the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, email friends and family: “Sunlen and I are overjoyed to welcome to the world, Roosevelt Jolie Serfaty! Miss Serfaty arrived on Sunday evening at 5:23 pm, weighing 8 pounds and one ounce -- twenty one inches long, with beautiful, big, and curious eyes. Her name carries special meaning for us — Roosevelt, ‘Field of Roses’ in honor of Rose Park, where we first met and were married. Mom and baby are well and Roosevelt can’t wait to meet everyone!” Pic http://politi.co/2qBfSdN-- Josh Kraushaar, political editor at National Journal, and Hannah Kraushaar, program manager at National Defense University, have welcomed Avi Ethan Kraushaar, who was born on Wednesday. Pic with big sister Shana http://politi.co/2rfavTaBIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: former DCCC Chairman/Congressman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), now chairman of the Global Institute at Long Island University, is 59. How he’s celebrating: “Once I left Congress, I went from the House to a new house near Theodore Roosevelt’s home on Long Island. I’ll be celebrating there, poolside, with my family and dog, Theo.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2rzMl97 BIRTHDAYS: Michelle Cottle, contributing editor at The Atlantic and a TNR alum ... Jenna Lee, co-host of FOX News’ “Happening Now” (hat tip: James Rosen) ... Kim Kingsley … Miryam Lipper, press secretary for Sen. Tim Kaine and alum of HFA and DNC, who celebrated last night at a small Memorial Day dinner with HFA and DNC friends (h/ts Ian Sams and Tyrone Gayle) ... Frank Thorp, producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC … Holly Page (h/ts Tammy, Kelley, Jacquie and Jon) … CAA’s Alan Berger … Ashe Schow, reporter at Real Clear Investigations ... Eric Levenson, a digital writer at CNN (h/t Sarah Jorgensen) ... Hannah Cooper, a staff assistant for Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), is 23 (h/t Sean Gogolin) ... Shawnda Westly ... WSJ alum Gautham Nagesh, founder and editor of Stiff Jab, the premier fight site on Tumblr … Blake Williams … Larry Silverstein is 86 (h/t Jewish Insider) ...... Josh Gatlin is 41 ... Lisa Stark, broadcast correspondent at Education Week and the PBS NewsHour who is an ABC News and Al Jazeera America alum … Joe Williams … Reema Dodin, floor director for Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic Whip … Marshall Project managing editor Kirsten Danis … PhRMA’s Nicole Longo ... Politico’s Pratyusha Sankuratri ... Ashley Bender, associate at Arnold & Porter (h/t Trey Herr) ... Thomas Brown Dowd, who was a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and was KIA in Vietnam in 1967, would have been 73 (h/t best friend Fred Graefe) ... Hunter Williams of Covington & Burling ... Brian Infante, associate at Portfolio Advisors ... Politico Europe’s Fiona Maxwell ... Jorna Taylor … Lauren Nevin ... Nicholas Ballasy ... Sheila Ali-Oston ... Doug Grane, co-founder and partner at PE and angel investing firm St. Andrews Partners ... Greg Moore … Thomas Cluderay … Joe Cowie … Scott Froyen … Stephanie Bosh … Chris Gowen (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Gary Lee ... Sheila Ali-Oston ... Wynonna Judd is 53 ... Cee Lo Green is 43 (h/ts AP)