ABOUT THAT FOUR SEASONS BREAKFAST … MARK BERMAN of the Washington Post tweeted yesterday that Michael Wolff wrote in his hot new book “Fire and Fury” that he was at the Four Seasons for breakfast the same day as Ivanka Trump. Berman wasn’t there — but that day at the Four Seasons did ring a bell.

— FIRE AND FURY, page 78: “In the restaurant that morning: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman; Washington fixture, lobbyist, and Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan; labor secretary nominee Wilbur Ross [NOTE FROM PLAYBOOK: he wasn’t the labor nominee. He’s at Commerce]; Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith; Washington Post national reporter Mark Berman; and a table full of women lobbyists and fixers, including the music industry’s longtime representative in Washington, [Hilary] Rosen; Elon Musk’s D.C. adviser, Juleanna Glover; Uber’s political and policy executive, Niki Christoff; and Time Warner’s political affairs executive Carol Melton.”

Story Continued Below

— PLAYBOOK, FEB. 4, 2017: “– THE FOUR SEASONS IS BACK — SPOTTED FRIDAY morning: Ivanka Trump, Dina Powell and Indra Nooyi; Ben Rhodes, Tom Nides and Jake Sullivan; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Vernon Jordan and Mike Berman, and at four separate other tables: Wilbur Ross, Steve Schwarzman, Michael Wolff, Susan Page; and then a table of Carol Pelton, Heather Podesta, Juleanna Glover, Hilary Rosen, Maria Pica Karp, Niki Christoff, Erin Eagan, Nancy Dorn, and Candi Wolff.” http://politi.co/2F5fEE8

— @MarkBerman: “Update to this thread: Turns out the person actually having breakfast at the Four Seasons that day was the lobbyist Mike Berman, who confirms to me he was there the same day as Ivanka (thanks to @alexburnsNYT for the suggestion)”.

Good Saturday morning. IT’S MORNING AT CAMP DAVID! AND HERE’S WHAT’S ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MIND — ON HIS MENTAL ACUITY: at 7:19 a.m.: “Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..” …

… at 7:27 a.m.: “….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..” at 7:30 a.m.: “….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

— ON JOBS: at 6:49 a.m.: “The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest rate in 45 years. I am so happy about this News! And, in the Washington Post (of all places), headline states, “Trumps first year jobs numbers were very, very good.””

— ON THE MEDIA: at 6:57 a.m.: “Brian Ross, the reporter who made a fraudulent live newscast about me that drove the Stock Market down 350 points (billions of dollars), was suspended for a month but is now back at ABC NEWS in a lower capacity. He is no longer allowed to report on Trump. Should have been fired!”

THE PRESIDENT is tweeting this while he’s at Camp David with Republican leaders. Imagine some of these Republican leaders waking up in Thurmont, Maryland, looking at their phones and seeing the president put on social media that he’s “like, really smart” and “a very stable genius.”

CAPITAL WEATHER GANG: “D.C.-area forecast: Extreme cold continues today, slight easing Sunday, then turning warmer next week” http://wapo.st/2m0RSAr

WHAT’S ON TAP THIS WEEKEND — “Republicans head to Camp David in search of agenda,” by Rachael Bade and Seung Min Kim: “One year into complete control of Washington, Republicans are still trying to come up with a governing agenda. President Donald Trump wants 2018 to be the year of infrastructure, White House and Hill sources say. And he’ll pitch GOP congressional leaders on rebuilding the nation’s roads and bridges during a rare Camp David strategy session this weekend. But questions about how to pay for it — and whether Republicans can even find the votes for passage — are already troubling Hill leaders.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, are at odds over whether to tackle entitlement reform in an election year. The Wisconsin Republican has narrowed his expectations after several GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol expressed concern about the political optics of cutting the safety net for the elderly or poor when GOP majorities are on the line, according to two sources familiar with high-level discussions. But the speaker plans to pitch a welfare overhaul this weekend nonetheless and is already framing the changes as ‘poverty reform.’

“On top of all that, Republicans face tough votes ahead that will require Democratic support, likely resulting in compromises that divide the party and alienate the base. Congress is eyeing a massive bipartisan spending deal to increase funding for the Pentagon and domestic programs and avoid a government shutdown in two weeks. Lawmakers also must soon raise the $20 trillion debt ceiling, a toxic vote for the right. And they’re trying to come up with a solution to shield more than 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.” http://politi.co/2CMbK5w

— UH, OH: “Trump cools to idea of taking on welfare programs, seeing little chance of success in Congress,” by WaPo’s Josh Dawsey: “President Trump has begun telling advisers that it will likely be impossible to advance legislation this year to reduce welfare spending and enrollment — a priority he previously embraced with the backing of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and a number of conservative activists. In conversations with aides and outside advisers in recent days, Trump has said his supporters would embrace the idea — but that it remains unlikely because the votes will not be there in Congress and it would be a difficult undertaking in an election year.” http://wapo.st/2qwTE1B

****** A message from DaVita: The time is now to give thousands of vulnerable patients access to integrated care. Support the PATIENTS Act. MyKidneyCare.org ******

TAKING A VICTORY LAP — “McConnell dances on Bannon’s grave,” by Kevin Robillard and Eliana Johnson: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his allies rang in the new year with a week-long celebration of Steve Bannon’s self-immolation. But the festivities may prove to be short-lived. The Republican leader still has a slate of brutal GOP primaries looming in the first half of this year that could jeopardize his party’s hold on the Senate — even with Bannon out of the picture, assuming that his breakup with President Donald Trump and the wealthy Mercer family lasts.

“Still, McConnell’s team believes — probably with good reason — that their job in 2018 is now significantly easier without Bannon to marshal insurgent forces against incumbent Republican senators and cost the party crucial Senate seats. That’s precisely what they blame him for doing in Alabama, where the party nominated Bannon-backed Roy Moore only to watch him blow a seemingly can’t-lose race. ‘Taking that counter-argument out of the game here clears the path for a very clear-eyed political strategy for the year,’ said Scott Jennings, a Republican political strategist and former McConnell aide. ‘Bannon would have dramatically complicated that.’” http://politi.co/2m2pfCP

THE INVESTIGATIONS …

— DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “President Donald Trump’s associates on Friday brushed off a New York Times article detailing Trump’s attempted interventions into the Justice Department’s Russia probe as overblown, and rejected claims that it shows Trump tried to obstruct justice. ‘Another NYT nothing burger,’ Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, said in an email.

“But legal scholars say the report, which dominated cable television since it appeared online Thursday night, reveals insights into Trump’s motives and intent — critical elements to any potential finding of obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.” http://politi.co/2m58l7u

— FROM DOWN UNDER: “‘Romantic encounter’ set off Australia’s role in triggering Donald Trump investigation,” by the Sydney Morning Herald’s David Wroe: “Fairfax Media can reveal a woman in London with whom [George] Papadopoulos became involved happened to know Alexander Downer and told the Australian High Commissioner about Papadopoulos, a newly signed staffer for Donald Trump. Downer, being a canny diplomat, followed it up and arranged a meeting with the young American, who was mostly living in London at the time. What followed was the now infamous May 2016 conversation over many glasses of wine at the swanky Kensington Wine Rooms, during which the 28-year-old Papadopoulos spilled to Downer that he knew of a Russian dirt file on the rival Clinton campaign consisting of thousands of hacked emails.” http://bit.ly/2m71XN3

— THE KUSHNER PROBE: “SEC Looks Into Kushner Cos’ Use of EB-5 Program for Immigrant Investors,” by WSJ’s Erica Orden: “The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the real-estate company run by the family of President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner for its use of a federal investment-for-visa program known as EB-5, according to people familiar with the matter. In May 2017, Kushner Cos. received a subpoena from the SEC requesting information about its use of the program … As The Wall Street Journal reported last year, that month the company received a separate subpoena from New York federal prosecutors asking for information about development projects financed in part by the EB-5 program. The SEC probe, which hasn’t been previously reported, is being conducted out of the commission’s Texas office and in collaboration with federal prosecutors from the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office.” http://on.wsj.com/2CK1pqC

GETTING CREATIVE … via NYT’s Nick Corasaniti and Alan Rappeport in Fair Lawn, N.J.: “Faced with a new federal tax law that limits state and local tax deductions, three communities in New Jersey have come up with a novel solution: They want people to donate to a town-run charity as a way of mitigating their property taxes.

“The three towns — Paramus, Park Ridge and Fair Lawn — announced on Friday that they would allow residents to donate the same sum they would have been charged in property taxes to pay for municipal services. Under the tax bill signed by President Trump last month, deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes, are limited, but charitable donations are not.” http://nyti.ms/2CMu2Dv

EXECUTIVE SCREENING — “Trump White House Asks to Screen Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post,’” by the Hollywood Reporter’s Pamela McClintock: “President Donald Trump’s team has requested, and been granted, access to the 20th Century Fox political drama for both 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and Camp David, where the president is scheduled to host a summit on Saturday and Sunday with top GOP lawmakers. For decades, Hollywood has provided movies for the first family or White House staff to watch, when asked.

“Continuing that tradition, sources say the Trump White House has been fed a steady diet of new releases. That doesn’t mean, however, that Trump himself is engaging. Nevertheless here’s a certain amount of irony to The Post ask. Stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are critics of the commander in chief, while Spielberg says he rushed to make the movie to remind people of the importance of the First Amendment amid the current political climate and Trump’s repeated attacks on the media.” http://bit.ly/2CKkaJO

COMING ATTRACTIONS? — “How the U.S. and North Korea could stumble into World War III,” by Bryan Bender and Jacqueline Klimas: “U.S. military officials increasingly worry that a mistake or miscommunication – even more than an intentional act of war – could start a nuclear conflict in Korea. A North Korean provocation, a U.S. warning shot, malicious hackers or a simple accident could be the cause that starts a new war between two nations with a long history of tensions and suspicion.

“‘Miscalculation is now at a stage [that is] higher than probably any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis,’ former Obama administration Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said days after President Donald Trump boasted on Twitter that his nuclear button is ‘a much bigger & more powerful one’ than Kim Jong Un’s. These are some of the potential scenarios that most worry former nuclear commanders, policymakers and experts on Korea. ‘A pure accident’ … North Korean escalation … A limited U.S. strike … A cyberattack … Taunts without talking.” http://politi.co/2CyJ2AU

— OH TEHRAN: “AP Interview: Tillerson eyes fix to keep U.S. in Iran deal,” by Matt Lee and Josh Lederman: “The Trump administration is working with key lawmakers on a legislative fix that could enable the United States to remain in the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. The changes to the U.S. law codifying America’s participation the 2015 agreement could come as early as next week or shortly thereafter, Tillerson said. … While the talks involving the White House, the State Department and Congress wouldn’t increase restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the U.S. enforces the agreement, perhaps persuading Trump that it’s worthwhile for the U.S. to stay in it.” http://bit.ly/2CIYJJg

SHUTDOWN COUNTDOWN: 13 days …

2018 WATCH — “ACLU to storm 2018 midterms,” by Isaac Dovere: “The American Civil Liberties Union, rarely an active player in national campaigns, is jumping into the 2018 midterms with plans to spend upward of $25 million promoting ballot initiatives and issues in contested races across the country. Soaring after a banner year — the ACLU raised $93 million online in the 12 months after Donald Trump was elected president, up from $5.5 million the year before, and its membership quadrupled to 1.6 million — the civil rights group is in the midst of a dramatic makeover. The group aims to rival the [NRA] as a force on the left and become a hub of the anti-Trump movement.

“‘It’s clear that a larger portion of the American public is deeply engaged in politics in a way they’ve never been before,’ said Executive Director Anthony Romero — and the ACLU aims to be a hub of liberal political activism. Most of the ACLU’s spending in 2018 will be directed at Republicans, though operatives haven’t ruled out indirectly going after Democrats on the wrong side of their issues, too. It will not form a PAC or endorse candidates, moves that would mean losing its 501(c)(4) nonprofit status, instead limiting its activity to promoting issues and initiatives. Among them are voting rights, the travel ban, disability rights, reproductive rights and immigration.” http://politi.co/2qt8vdo

— BIG STORY: “Josh Mandel’s shocking exit has Republicans concerned. And they don’t have much time to replace him,” by Cincinnati Enquirer’s Scott Wartman, Jessie Balmert and Deirdre Shesgreen: “Minutes after Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel quit the race Friday afternoon, reality set in for Republicans. … The shocking move leaves Republicans with a month to find a formidable candidate by the Feb. 7 deadline. … Mandel cited the health of his wife, Ilana Shafran, as the reason he will no longer seek the Republican nomination to run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. … The names of GOP gubernatorial candidates Rep. Jim Renacci and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor came up frequently. … Other names included Cleveland-area U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce and ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author J.D. Vance.” http://cin.ci/2ABKTmU

— PAT TIBERI, the congressman who recently resigned with $6 million in his campaign account, is not interested in running, he’s telling people.

DEPARTURE LOUNGE …

— “Top Pence aides quietly depart in new year,” by CNN’s Elizabeth Landers and Jamie Gangel: “Vice President Mike Pence’s chief lawyer and domestic policy director are leaving his office at the beginning of the new year, according to four sources familiar with the staff turnover. … CNN has learned that longtime senior staffers Mark Paoletta and Daris Meeks are leaving Pence’s office. … Paoletta serves as Pence’s chief counsel … [and] will remain in the administration as the counsel for the Office of Management and Budget … Meeks serves as Pence’s director of domestic policy … [and] is expected to go back into the private sector.” http://cnn.it/2CyH5EA

— “Senior Treasury Official McGahn to Leave Post, Return to Capitol Hill,” by Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin: “Shannon McGahn, the wife of the White House’s top lawyer, is leaving her senior post at the Treasury Department to return to what may be a short-term job on Capitol Hill. McGahn is a counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and becomes the first high-level political appointee to exit the department. Her last day [was] Friday. … McGahn will return to the House Financial Services Committee as Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling’s staff director … Her role there may be short-lived: Hensarling … in November announced he will not seek re-election in 2018.” https://bloom.bg/2CyGCSW

FUN CLICK — @GrahamDavidA: “These Corey Lewandowski book-signing publicity photos are the funniest thing I’ve seen all year” http://bit.ly/2qzWEdE

NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN and NICK CORASANITI on CHRIS CHRISTIE from PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY: “In the last weeks of Chris Christie’s eight years as their governor, New Jersey’s residents have largely started to ignore him. But in Washington, the most powerful man in the country has sought his counsel. Mr. Christie, a friend of President Trump for 15 years, was one of his early supporters, and remains among the few people who will administer tough love to a president facing sagging poll numbers and the specter of a special counsel investigation.

“By Mr. Christie’s own account, he has warned the president, in regular phone calls and occasional visits, that you can do nothing to make investigations any shorter, but “you can do lots of things to make them longer.” He has told him that predictions like those by the president’s legal team, about when the special counsel’s investigation will wrap up, are ‘shooting in the dark.’ And while he has not openly criticized the president for his divisive rhetoric, Mr. Christie said he has warned him that in 2016, Hillary Clinton lost the election, but the 2020 election will be about only Mr. Trump. …

“As for his own thwarted presidential ambitions, he had a simple response to a question of whether he believes that without the Bridgegate scandal and Mr. Trump’s entry into the race, he could have been the Republican nominee in 2016 and living in the White House today. ‘I do,’ he said, then paused. ‘I don’t think there’s any other way to answer it.’” http://nyti.ms/2CKrMvH

YIKES — “Roy Moore accuser’s Gadsden home burns; arson investigation underway,” by Anna Claire Vollers in AL.com: “Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson lost her home Wednesday in a fire that is now under investigation by the Etowah County Arson Task Force. Tina Johnson, who first came to public notice for accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of grabbing her in his office in the early 1990s, said her home on Lake Mary Louise Road in Gadsden caught fire Tuesday morning. … By the time the flames were extinguished, Johnson and her family had lost everything they owned. ‘I am devastated, just devastated,’ said Johnson on Friday morning. ‘We have just the clothes on our backs.’” http://bit.ly/2m10Mho

GREAT LEDE – “How Kaspersky’s Software Fell Under Suspicion of Spying on America,” by WSJ’s Shane Harris, Gordon Lubold and Paul Sonne: “Eugene Kaspersky was late for his own dinner party. At his invitation, guests from the Washington cybersecurity community waited one evening in 2012. Seated at the National Press Club were officials from the White House, State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies, said people who were there. Guests had started their first course when Mr. Kaspersky arrived, wearing a tuxedo with a drink in hand.

“Mr. Kaspersky, chief executive of Russian security-software vendor Kaspersky Lab, proposed a toast to the ranking guest, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, whose country had suffered a cyberattack five years earlier. The assault followed Estonia’s decision to remove a Soviet-era monument from its capital, and U.S. officials suspected Russia was behind it. ‘Toomas,’ Mr. Kaspersky said. ‘I am so sorry that we attacked you.’ The comment stopped all conversation until Mr. Ilves broke the silence. ‘Thank you,’ he said, raising his glass. ‘This is the first time anyone from Russia has ever admitted attacking my country.’” http://on.wsj.com/2Czbliu

DEPT. OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES — “Did Jeff Sessions Just Increase the Odds Congress Will Make Marijuana Legal?,” by James Higdon in Politico Magazine: “When Jeff Sessions announced Thursday morning he had removed the barrier that had held back federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana cases in states that had made pot legal, he delivered on something he had all but promised when he was nominated as attorney general. Most of the marijuana world saw it coming, but they freaked out anyway.

“A fund of marijuana-based stocks dropped more than 9 percent in value and, as a sign of how mainstream marijuana has become, Sessions’ decision to repeal the Cole Memo, an Obama-era protection for states that have legalized marijuana, even affected the stock price of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which dropped more than 5 percent. Business leaders in an industry that was worth $7.9 billion in 2017, called Sessions’ action revoking ‘outrageous’ and ‘economically stupid.’

“Capitol Hill screamed just as loudly. And it wasn’t just the Democratic members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. It was Republican senators, too. Cory Gardner of Colorado took the Senate floor to issue an ultimatum to Sessions: ‘I will be putting a hold on every single nomination from the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment he made to me in my pre-confirmation meeting with him. The conversation we had that was specifically about this issue of states’ rights in Colorado. Until he lives up to that commitment, I’ll be holding up all nominations of the Department of Justice,’ Gardner said. ‘The people of Colorado deserve answers. The people of Colorado deserve to be respected.’ Gardner is no fringe Republican; he’s the chair of the NRSC.” http://politi.co/2CL7MsY

— BUT IN SHORT, the answer to this question is ‘no.’ Congress doesn’t do anything unless it has to.

****** A message from DaVita: WE HAVE AN HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE CARE FOR SOME OF OUR COUNTRY’S MOST VULNERABLE PATIENTS. The PATIENTS Act would expand access to integrated care, allowing dialysis providers, nephrologists and caregivers to better coordinate care for kidney patients. People with kidney disease are among the most critically ill populations in our country, and most of them depend on Medicare. Integrated care can help reduce hospitalizations and improve the lives of thousands of people. Congress should pass the PATIENTS Act to expand access to integrated care for kidney patients. MyKidneyCare.org ******

CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers http://politi.co/2D1pB4X

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

— “How a Liberal Scholar of Conspiracy Theories Became the Subject of a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory,” by Andrew Marantz in the New Yorker: Cass Sunstein: “‘It’s my job to put ideas out there. If that comes with the risk that someone is gonna do something horrible with it, well, that’s life.’” http://bit.ly/2CK1zON

— “How I Learned to Look Believable,” by Eva Hagberg in the NY Times – per Longreads.com’s description: “Possibly the most powerful piece the Times’ Style section has ever produced, this interactive story beautifully illuminates how self-consciously women must move through the world, especially after they dare to be audacious enough to speak out about their victimization.” http://nyti.ms/2CxOhAK

— “American reams: why a ‘paperless world’ still hasn’t happened,” by David J. Unger in the Guardian: “In a world seduced by screens, the future of paper might seem uncertain. But many in the industry remain optimistic – after all, you can’t blow your nose on an email.” http://bit.ly/2CY0YG8

— “America’s Worst Graveyard Shift Is Grinding Up Workers,” by Peter Waldman and Kartikay Mehrotra on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek: “Cleanup at the slaughterhouse is as dangerous as it is repulsive, and the immigrants who do the work are under pressure to complete it faster than ever.” https://bloom.bg/2D0ZOtC

— “The Real Future of Work,” by Danny Vinik in the Jan./Feb. issue of POLITICO Magazine: “Forget automation. The workplace is already cracking up in profound ways, and Washington is sorely behind on dealing with it.” http://politi.co/2CFEJHp

— “How a Decade of the iPhone Changed Global Kidnapping,” by Danielle Gilbert in War on the Rocks – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “The terms of trade have moved in the kidnappers’ favour. They used to need mainstream media to publicise their demands; now they post videos straight from iPhone to YouTube, which both conceals their location and increases their incentive to mistreat captives on-screen through deprivation, mutilation, humiliation.” http://bit.ly/2CZmmed

— “Longform Podcast: Ben Taub, New Yorker staff writer”: “‘I don’t think it’s my place to be cynical because I’ve observed some of the horrors of the Syrian War through these various materials, but it’s Syrians that are living them. It’s Syrians that are being largely ignored by the international community and by a lot of political attention on ISIS. And I think that it wouldn’t be my place to be cynical when some of them still aren’t.’” http://bit.ly/2CvPM2A

— “The flavour revolutionary,” by Nadia Berenstein in Aeon Magazine: “Henry Theophilus Finck sought to transform the modern United States, by appealing to Americans’ tastebuds.” http://bit.ly/2m3A8oJ

— “Inside the C.I.A.’s Journal,” by the New Yorker’s Nicholas Schmidle: “The spy agency has published ‘Studies in Intelligence,’ a mix of literary criticism, analysis, and derring-do, since 1955.” http://bit.ly/2m2FVeq

— “The Strike That Brought MLK to Memphis,” by Ted Conover in the Jan. issue of Smithsonian: “In his final days, Martin Luther King Jr. stood by striking sanitation workers. We returned to the city to see what has changed—and what hasn’t.” http://bit.ly/2CK4N4S

— “Rethinking Infidelity,” by Daphne Merkin in Tablet Magazine: “‘This thing has existed since marriage was invented,’ says Esther Perel, author of ‘The State of Affairs.’” http://bit.ly/2EdJ2a6$16.39 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2CyKzXM

— “The Evangelist of Molecular Biology,” by Algis Valiunas in the New Atlantis: “James D. Watson’s unfinished quest to master genetic destiny.” http://bit.ly/2EbXM9r

— “At home with the Ceausescus,” by David Gelber in Apollo Magazine: “The governments of East and West, vying for his favour, showered him with gifts, turning his home into a museum of princely luxuries. Louvre tapestries and Meissen porcelain sat cheek by jowl with Ming vases and Persian carpets. Kim Il-sung sent Korean antiques, while President Mobutu of Zaire chipped in with an assortment of ivory miniatures.” http://bit.ly/2EcgE83

— “Drone photography diehards pick their favorite shots of 2017” – Quartz: http://bit.ly/2lYy1C0

— “My Year on ‘Mars,’” by Christiane Heinicke in Scientific American: “I found it hard not to be able to walk in a straight line for more than 36 feet or sleep with the window open. And I missed eating fresh raspberries. One thing that all six of us agreed on was that the endless stretch of volcanic rock [in a geodesic dome in Hawaii] made us miss the vibrant colors of living nature all the more.” http://bit.ly/2m0TYAh

TRANSITIONS — SEAN CAIRNCROSS has been named as President Trump’s choice to be CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, subject to Senate confirmation. He currently serves as a deputy assistant to the President and senior adviser to the chief of staff and was COO of the RNC.

BIRTHDAYS: Eric Trump is 34 … Joseph Whitehouse Hagin II, Trump White House deputy chief of staff for operations (hat tip: Tom Hoare) … Kimball Stroud (h/ts Christine Delargy and Hannah Meyer) … Kate McKinnon of “Saturday Night Live” is 34 … Tricia Russell … Julie Chen is 48 … former FBI director Louis Freeh is 68 … Nancy Baker … Hamilton Place Strategies partner Stuart Siciliano is 33 … Henry R. Kravis is 74 … Laura Belleville, VP of conservation and trail programs at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (h/t Jon Haber) … Kelsey Hayes … Michael Corn, senior E.P. of “Good Morning America” … NBC News producer Shaq Brewster … Chris Gordon, a new hire at the WSJ D.C. bureau, is 23 (h/t Craig Brownstein) … David Polyansky, president of Clout Public Affairs of Axiom Strategies. He’s celebrating by spending time with his kids and in a planning meeting for Ted Cruz’s Senate reelect (h/t Chris Wilson) …

… Natalie Boyse, special assistant at the Dept. of Education (h/t brother Fentress) … Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent at NY Mag, is 25 (h/t Michelle Fields) … Olivia Martinez, communications manager at NARAL and the pride of SoCal (h/t James Owens) … Michael “Twenty Clicks” O’Neil, former special assistant to President Obama who is now the Chicago-based head of partnerships at Airbnb, and the pride of Defiance, Ohio (h/t Ben LaBolt) … WSJ’s Kate O’Keeffe … Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is 57 … Diego Galvez de Yturbe, a Morgan Stanley alum now getting his MBA at Stanford GSB … Jennifer Donelan … Âriel de Fauconberg … Kiel Brunner … Julia Blakeley … Jodi Lynn Jacobson … Tricia King … Dave Grimaldi III … Mark Hyman is 6-0 … Scott Neumyer … Mary L. Bartels … Daniel Francis … Linda Kildea … Lola Elfman … AP alum Matt Ford, now founder and CEO of Vignette Interactive … Dalit Toledano … Peter O’Keefe … David Katz … Debra Cole … Norman Prusslin … Stuart Perlmutter … Ashley Baker.

THE SHOWS by @MattMackowiak, filing from Miami:

— CBS’s “Face the Nation”: CIA Director Mike Pompeo … Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) … Haley Barbour … Tom Donilon and Michael Morrell. Panel: Mike Allen, Molly Ball, Jeffrey Goldberg and Ramesh Ponnuru

— “Fox News Sunday”: CIA Director Mike Pompeo … Corey Lewandowski. Panel: Karl Rove, Julie Pace, Guy Benson and Rachael Bade

— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … Michael Wolff. Panel: New York Times columnist David Brooks, The New York Times Magazine’s Mark Leibovich, AEI SVP Danielle Pletka and MSNBC anchor Joy Reid

— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … David Axelrod and Mark McKinnon. Panel: Van Jones, Amanda Carpenter and Jen Psaki and Michael Caputo

— ABC’s “This Week”: Guests to be announced. Panel: Matthew Dowd, Stephanie Cutter, Sara Fagen, Roland Martin and Matt Schlapp

— Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) … Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) … Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) … Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.). Panel: Former Ed Rollins and Mary Kissel

— Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Anthony Scaramucci … Shannon Pettypiece … Mo Elleithee … Shelby Holliday … Gayle Trotter … Capri Cafaro … Kristin Tate.

— CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Josh Green, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Jeff Zeleny and Mary Katharine Ham (substitute anchor: CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson)

— CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: The New York Times’ Thomas Erdbrink and Karim Sadjadpour. Panel: Richard Haass, Jane Harman and Dan Senor

— CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein, The Atlantic’s Michelle Cottle, Boston Globe columnist and Poynter’s Indira Lakshmanan and Sentinel Newspapers executive editor Brian Karem

— Univision’s “Al Punto”: Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) … Dreamer advocate Erika Andiola … journalist and Animal Politico director Daniel Moreno … actor Tom Hanks and actress Meryl Streep

— C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon (from Murray Hill, N.J.) … “Newsmakers”: DSCC chair Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), questioned by The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan and Politico’s Kevin Robillard … “Q&A”: Author and Meijer, Inc. executive chairman Hendrik Meijer

— MSNBC’s “Kasie DC”: Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) … Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) … Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) … Haley Barbour … Bob Costa … Jonathan Swan … Catherine Lucey … Rick Tyler … Lanhee Chen … Ken Dilanian … Kimberly Atkins

— PBS’ “To the Contrary”: Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)

— Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2mCW4tB): Author, King’s College senior fellow and Ballotpedia Editor-at-Large Scott Rasmussen.

****** A message from DaVita: SOME OF OUR COUNTRY’S MOST VULNERABLE PATIENTS ARE DEPENDING ON CONGRESS TO DO THE RIGHT THING. People with kidney disease are among the most critically ill populations in our country, and most of them depend on Medicare. Integrated care can help reduce hospitalizations and improve the lives of thousands of people. The PATIENTS Act would expand access to integrated care, allowing dialysis providers, nephrologists and caregivers to better coordinate care for kidney patients. Congress should pass the PATIENTS Act to expand access to integrated care for kidney patients. MyKidneyCare.org ******

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