WELCOME TO THE DOORSTEP OF 2018 — @realDonaldTrump at 8:36 a.m.: “Why would smart voters want to put Democrats in Congress in 2018 Election when their policies will totally kill the great wealth created during the months since the Election. People are much better off now not to mention ISIS, VA, Judges, Strong Border, 2nd A, Tax Cuts & more?”
— FRONT PAGE OF THE L.A. TIMES (and other Tronc-owned papers like the Hartford Courant): “GOP faces Democratic wave in ‘18: For all their successes, Republicans end 2017 confronting bad signs for keeping control after midterm vote” http://bit.ly/2C0O213
Story Continued Below
Happy New Year’s Eve! SPOTTED LAST NIGHT, at Wilbur Ross’s birthday party in Palm Beach: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Tom Quinn and Lynly Boor, David Koch, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and wife Mila, Christopher Ruddy and Talbott Maxey, Dr. Mehmet Oz and wife Lisa Lemole, Bret and Amy Baier, David Rubenstein, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco David Fischer, Ken and Jackie Duberstein and Nelson Peltz.
THE PRESIDENT will eat lunch today with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and they will “discuss ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, the need to improve the nation’s aging infrastructure and other matters important to Floridians,” per the White House, via WSJ’s Mike Bender.
THE STORY EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT … NYT’S SHARON LAFRANIERE, MARK MAZZETTI and MATT APUZZO: “How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt”: “During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign. Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear.
“But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role. … The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election? It was not, as Mr. Trump and other politicians have alleged, a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by a rival campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies.” http://nyti.ms/2CgehEW
— @tomgara: “Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat at the center of this new Papadopoulos story, is from my home city, and here’s the best photo of him in his lesser political years (he went on to become Australian foreign minister)” http://bit.ly/2lppSqM
THE INVESTIGATIONS … WAPO’S KAROUN DEMIRJIAN: “Devin Nunes, targeting Mueller and the FBI, alarms Democrats and some Republicans with his tactics”: “‘I’m interested in getting access to the information and not the drama,’ Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said earlier this month, when Nunes began threatening contempt citations for FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein in the wake of revelations former Mueller team members had exchanged anti-Trump texts.
“More recently, Gowdy said that his ‘heart would be broken’ if Nunes follows through on reported plans to issue a corruption exposé about the FBI, citing concerns that issuing such a report outside the context of a comprehensive investigation of the Justice Department could prove damaging to law enforcement.” http://wapo.st/2CqajJa
–POLITICAL FALLOUT — “Republican Attacks on Mueller and F.B.I. Open New Rift in G.O.P.,” by NYT’s Nick Fandos: “A growing campaign by President Trump’s most ardent supporters to discredit the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the law enforcement agencies assisting his investigation is opening new fissures in the Republican Party, with some lawmakers questioning the damage being done to federal law enforcement and to a political party that has long championed law and order. … [S]ome Republican lawmakers are speaking out, worried that Trump loyalists, hoping for short-term gain, could wind up staining the party, dampening morale at the F.B.I. and Justice Department, and potentially recasting Democrats as the true friends of law enforcement for years to come.” http://nyti.ms/2CroevP
BULLETIN FROM AP IN TEHRAN at 7:55 a.m.: “Iran state TV says authorities temporarily block Instagram, messaging app Telegram to ‘maintain peace’ amid protests.”
— THE LATEST: “2 protesters in Iran killed as social media apps blocked,” by AP’s Amir Vahdat in Tehran and Jon Gambrell in Dubai: “Iran on Sunday blocked access to Instagram and a popular messaging app used by activists to organize and publicize the protests now roiling the Islamic Republic, as authorities said two demonstrators had been killed overnight in the first deaths attributed to the rallies. The demonstrations, which began Thursday over the economic woes plaguing Iran and continued Sunday, appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election.
“They were fanned in part by messages sent on the Telegram messaging app, which authorities blocked Sunday along with the photo-sharing app Instagram, which is owned by tech giant Facebook. Many in Iran are learning about the protests and sharing images of them through Telegram, a mobile phone messaging app popular among the country’s 80 million people. On Saturday, Telegram shut down one channel on the service over Iranian allegations it encouraged violence, something its moderator denied.” http://bit.ly/2CgHCPB
— REUTERS/LONDON: “Iran warned of a crackdown on Sunday against demonstrators who pose one of the biggest challenges to both the government and clerical leadership in power since the 1979 revolution. Tens of thousands of Iranians have protested across the country since Thursday against the Islamic Republic’s unelected clerical elite and Iranian foreign policy in the region. …
“Videos posted on social media showed people chanting: ‘Mullahs, have some shame, leave the country alone.’ … ‘Those who damage public property, violate law and order and create unrest are responsible for their actions and should pay the price,” state media quoted Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli as saying.’” http://reut.rs/2CuiMsc
— @realDonaldTrump at 8:03 a.m.: “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”
ON THE UPHEAVAL IN IRAN — @AlirezaNader: “As opposed to 2009, Iranians have this time lost trust in reformists as well. This is also directed at Rouhani. #iranprotests have lost hope in the entire system because conditions in Iran are so terrible and life is so difficult.” …
… @farnazfassihi: “A first in #IranianProtests #Rasht crowds chant: ‘Death to Revolutionary Guards.’ #Iran #IRGC”. 1-min. video http://bit.ly/2DCFUnE … “#Tehran Azadi street today: ‘Death to Khamenei.’ #Iranianprotests #Iran”. 30-second video http://bit.ly/2Crw1MA … @ragipsoylu: “BBC video from a small town Abhar, Iran shows protestors taking down Iran Supreme Leader’s banner”. 41-second video http://bit.ly/2lsoIe1 …
… @ColinKahl: “Clearly the Iran Deal didn’t legitimize the ayatollahs, nor was it a sufficient windfall to save the economy from corruption. It didn’t empower reform either. What it DID do was open up Iran more to the world & take away the regime’s ability to blame problems on sanctions.” …
… @BillKristol: “Here’s a crazy idea: The foreign policy/Middle East/Iran experts who are taking shots at each other for alleged past Iran policy mistakes might spend just a little of their time helping figure out what the U.S.–the administration, Congress, others–could usefully do now.”
****** A message from Google Year in Search 2017: In 2017, the world asked “how…?” From “how to move forward” to “how to make a difference,” the questions we asked showed our shared desire to understand our experiences. Watch the film and see top trending lists from around the world at g.co/2017. ******
IN PUERTO RICO — “‘We have a big problem’: Puerto Rico seeks aid for tens of thousands of squatters,” by Lorraine Woellert in San Juan, Puerto Rico: “When Hurricane Maria ripped across Puerto Rico, it revealed the damage wrought by years of government neglect. It also exposed an open secret generations in the making: Tens of thousands of island residents are in fact squatters, living illegally on abandoned or government land.
“For years, squatters were ignored or used as political pawns as the bankrupt central government swung from crisis to crisis. That changed with Maria, which tore through these low-lying barrios with particular ferocity. Now, with no legal claim to their homes or the land they’re built on, squatters find themselves unmoored from federal aid — and high on the government’s list of priorities.
“Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who took office in January, wants to fix his squatter problem by embracing it. He’s proposed giving 48,000 illegal settlers legal title to their land, a plan that could cost up to $30 million. He needs federal disaster aid to make the project work. ‘Before the emergency, it was something we needed to do; now it’s a more ambitious project,’ said Puerto Rico Housing Secretary Fernando Gil. ‘It would be helping out 48,000 people who thought that they couldn’t get any help.’” http://politi.co/2lyYFB8
HIDDEN WINNERS IN TAX BILL — “Tax cut on booze triggers fears of more abuse and drunken driving,” by Brian Faler: “People hoisting a beer mug or tipping a champagne glass to ring in the New Year have an extra reason to celebrate: Congress just slashed taxes on alcohol for the first time in decades. But public-health advocates fear the effects of the Republican tax law will be dire — more drunken driving, underage drinking and other alcohol-related programs. …
“Though the issue drew hardly any debate during the dash to pass the once-in-a-generation tax-code overhaul, the alcohol industry is one of the biggest winners of the Republican plan President Donald Trump signed into law Dec. 22. It cuts taxes on wine, beer, whiskey, vodka, tequila and other forms of alcohol. That translates to $1.6 billion in savings next year for MillerCoors; Diageo, the maker of such brands as Captain Morgan rum and Ketel One Vodka; and smaller beer and spirits operators that had pushed for the cut.” http://politi.co/2Chq6dI
BIG READ — NYT’S PETER BAKER, “For Trump, A Year of Reinventing the Presidency” as part of the paper’s “Trump’s Way” series: “When President Trump meets with aides to discuss policy or prepare for a speech, he may ask about the pros and cons of a new proposal. He may inquire about its possible effect. He may explore the best way to frame his case. But there is one thing he almost never does. ‘He very seldom asks how other presidents did this,’ said John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff. …
“Under Mr. Trump, it has become a blunt instrument to advance personal, policy and political goals. He has revolutionized the way presidents deal with the world beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, dispensing with the carefully modulated messaging of past chief executives in favor of no-holds-barred, crystal-breaking, us-against-them, damn-the-consequences blasts borne out of gut and grievance.
“He has kept a business on the side; attacked the F.B.I., C.I.A. and other institutions he oversees; threatened to use his power against rivals; and waged war against members of his own party and even his own Cabinet. He fired the man investigating his campaign and has not ruled out firing the one who took over. He has appealed to base instincts on race, religion and gender as no president has in generations. And he has rattled the nuclear saber more bombastically than it has been since the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“The presidency has served as a vehicle for Mr. Trump to construct and promote his own narrative, one with crackling verve but riddled with inaccuracies, distortions and outright lies, according to fact checkers. Rather than a force for unity or a calming voice in turbulent times, the presidency now is another weapon in a permanent campaign of divisiveness. Democrats and many establishment Republicans worry that Mr. Trump has squandered the moral authority of the office.” With cameos by Michael Beschloss, Bill Daley, Andy Surabian, Ron Klain, Jon Meacham, Robert Dallek, David Axelrod, Chris Ruddy, Pat Caddell, Stuart Spencer, Eliot Cohen, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Martha Joynt Kumar http://nyti.ms/2q55LCH
— CHANGING D.C.: “How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Tran: “Nearly a year into his takeover of Washington, President Trump has made a significant down payment on his campaign pledge to shrink the federal bureaucracy, a shift long sought by conservatives that could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades.
“By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees, according to an analysis of federal personnel data by The Washington Post. …
“The White House is now warning agencies to brace for even deeper cuts in the 2019 budget it will announce early next year, part of an effort to lower the federal deficit to pay for the new tax law, according to officials briefed on the budgets for their agencies. One possible casualty: a pay raise that federal employees historically have received when the economy is humming. … By the end of September, the federal government had 1.94 million permanent workers, down nearly 16,000 overall since the beginning of the year, according to the most recent OPM data. …
“During the first six months of the administration, 71,285 career employees quit or retired. That’s up from 50,000 who left during the same period in 2009 … The Presidential Management Fellows program, a prestigious internship for top graduate students, has been unable to place many recruits because of a lingering hiring freeze at many agencies, according to a half-dozen current fellows.” http://wapo.st/2lwGyf3
FROM PALM BEACH — “Who is using the Trump corporate chopper at Mar-a-Lago?,” by the Palm Beach Post’s Sarah Elsesser and Christine Stapleton: “For over a week, a private helicopter bearing the Trump logo and name has sat on the helipad at Mar-a-Lago — a helipad that is supposed to be used only for presidential business.
“Until Donald Trump became president, aircraft were forbidden from landing in the exclusive island town. But the town agreed to allow a helipad to be built and helicopters to land at Mar-a-Lago with certain conditions: The helipad must be removed when the president leaves office. Until then, the helipad can only be used for official presidential business.
“The helicopter currently sitting on the pad is co-owned by DT Connect II and DT Connect II Member Corp. The president’s sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., are executives at those companies, according to state corporate records.
“The Secret Service referred those questions to the White House. White House spokesman Raj Shah said on Saturday that neither the White House nor the Marines requested the helipad or were involved in building it or paying for it. Local officials said they don’t know who is using the helipad. ‘I wish I could answer that,’ said Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio about who was using the helicopter and why. ‘If that’s the case and it’s being used for official business, so be it.’” http://pbpo.st/2DBGCBJ
–SPOTTED in the lobby at the Breakers yesterday (separately): David Rubenstein and Bret Baier
2018 WATCH — “The top 10 governor’s races of 2018,” by Daniel Strauss: http://politi.co/2q68A6G
— “Former Obama Administration Officials Vie to Unseat House Republicans,” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews: “At least a dozen former aides and policy staff who worked for President Barack Obama have entered the midterm races, running for office for the first time. The Obama administration alumni are part of a Democratic Party effort to take back control of the House of Representatives and create a counter to President Donald Trump’s efforts to rollback Obama-era policies. In many cases, these new candidates are opposing GOP incumbents who have been identified by House Democrats as potentially vulnerable to a challenge.” http://on.wsj.com/2lz4gXV
WAHOO! – Quartz has named Susan Glasser’s “The Global Politico” podcast as the best politics podcast of the year. “The former editor of Foreign Policy and longtime Washington Post foreign correspondent probes an impressive selection of top politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, think-tankers, and journalists with a subtle, revelatory questioning style.” http://bit.ly/2lx97cj
PENCE’S VACATION — “VP Mike Pence gets message from Aspen neighbors: Make America Gay Again,” by Aspen Times’ Jason Auslander: “‘Make America Gay Again,’ the rainbow banner reads. Neighbors of the home near Aspen where Pence and his wife, Karen Sue, are staying posted the message Wednesday or Thursday on a stone pillar that sits at the end of driveways to both homes, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Buglione said Friday. … The Secret Service agents were not at all perturbed about the banner, Buglione said. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said one of his deputies was present when the man who lives in the home came out and first draped the banner over the stone pillar.” With a pic of the sign http://bit.ly/2Cgmwk5
CHANGING TIMES IN OREGON — COVER OF THE PORTLAND OREGONIAN: “Emboldened white nationalists? Look no further than this liberal Oregon college town,” by Noelle Crombie and Shane Dixon Kavanaugh http://bit.ly/2C1caRa
SUCH A FUN STORY — “Biggest Winner of Famed Buffett Bet? Girls Charity: Charity will be beneficiary of a decade-old wager that an index would top hedge funds,” by WSJ’s Nicole Friedman: “Mr. Buffett bet $1 million in 2007 that an index fund would outperform a basket of hedge funds over a decade. The proceeds would go to charity, and Mr. Buffett designated his local Girls Inc. affiliate as the recipient if he won. When the closing bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange Friday, the famed investor locked in his victory.
“Mr. Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has said throughout this year that he is confident he would win. From the start of the bet through the end of 2016, Mr. Buffett’s S&P 500 index fund returned 7.1% compounded annually. The competing basket of funds of hedge funds selected by asset manager Protégé Partners returned an average of 2.2%.” http://on.wsj.com/2CgVnO4
****** A message from Google Year in Search 2017: As this year draws to a close, Google analyzed Search Trends data to see what the world was searching for. The data showed that 2017 was the year we asked “how…?” How do wildfires start? How to calm a dog during a storm? How to make a protest sign? These questions show our shared desire to understand our experiences and come to each other’s aid. Watch the Year in Search 2017 and see top trending lists from around the world at g.co/2017. ******
CLICKER – “2017: A very Wuerker year: A look back at 2017’s political cartoons from the desk of Matt Wuerker.” 29 keepers http://politi.co/2C4dWAZ
BONUS GREAT HOLIDAY WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico:
— “Revealed: The Secret KGB Manual for Recruiting Spies,” by Michael Weiss in the Daily Beast: “The document is from the Cold War. But the material it teaches is still being used today by Vladimir Putin’s clandestine cadres.” http://thebea.st/2DzYfld
— “‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’” by Sarah Smith in ProPublica – per Longreads.com’s description: “A devastating indictment of America’s failure to treat mental illness. ProPublica reporter Sarah Smith tells the story of Tyler Haire, who was sent to jail at age 16 for a violent crime and then spent years locked away while waiting for a psychological evaluation. Tyler struggled since early childhood, but state services are underfunded and only designed to help when a crisis occurs. His family, frustrated and exhausted, was unable to find a way for him to get the help he needed — until it was too late.” http://bit.ly/2CkwbVX
— “Dr. Phil says he rescues people from addiction. Others say his show puts guests’ health at risk,” by STAT’s David Armstrong and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe: “In its pursuit of ratings, the ‘Dr. Phil’ show has put at risk the health of some of those guests it purports to help, according to people who have been on the show and addiction experts. Guests have been left without medical help as they face withdrawal from drugs, a STAT/Boston Globe investigation has found, and one person said she was directed by a show staff member to an open-air drug market to find heroin for her detoxing niece.” http://bit.ly/2BUiERK
— “The Grand Tour to Florence. Italy Timelapse & Hyperlapse,” by Kirill Neiezhmakov on Vimeo – 3-min. video http://bit.ly/2CnK9Xh
— “Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking,” by Mara Hvistendahl in Wired: “In 2014, the State Council, China’s governing cabinet, publicly called for the establishment of a nationwide tracking system to rate the reputations of individuals, businesses, and even government officials. The aim is for every Chinese citizen to be trailed by a file compiling data from public and private sources by 2020 … For the Chinese Communist Party, social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism.” http://bit.ly/2pVqkl5
— “Charles Dickens Had Serious Beef with America and its Bad Manners,” by Samantha Silva in LitHub: “He found Americans vulgar and insensitive, braggarts, hypocrites, and acquisitive beyond all imagining.” http://bit.ly/2CkrDPv
— “How Facebook’s Political Unit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda,” by Bloomberg’s Lauren Etter, Vernon Silver, and Sarah Frier: “Some of [the] unit’s clients stifle opposition, stoke extremism.” https://bloom.bg/2DyTl7Y
— “Longform Podcast: Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House Correspondent”: “If I start thinking about it, then I’m not going to be able to just keep doing my job. I’m being as honest as I can — I try not to think about it. If you’re flying a plane and you think about the fact that if the plane blows up in midair you’re gonna die, do you feel like you can really focus as well? So, I’m not thinking about [the stakes]. This is just my job. This is what we do. Ask me another question.” http://bit.ly/2zNel8O
— “Does Beto O’Rourke Stand a Chance Against Ted Cruz?” by Eric Benson in the Jan. issue of Texas Monthly with the print headline “What Makes Beto Run?”: “The El Paso congressman is waging a long-shot campaign to prove a Democrat can win in Texas.” http://bit.ly/2ljN5ug (h/t Longform.org)
— “Prodigies’ Progress: Parents and superkids, then and now,” by Ann Hulbert in the Jan.-Feb. issue of Harvard Magazine: “In her new book [‘Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies’], Ann Hulbert ’77 explores the fascination with child genius over the past century in America. She probes the stories of 16 exceptionally gifted young people, including two precocious students who arrived at Harvard in 1909.” http://bit.ly/2pXnNqA … $27.08 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2zRc1h7
— “Sex and intellect,” by Naomi Wolf in the Times Literary Supplement – per ALDaily.com’s description: “Sexual liberation in fiction. Edith Wharton’s writing on sex was informed by Whitman, Nietzsche, and Wilde, and an affair with a journalist.” http://bit.ly/2C9Unep
— “He killed his parents in Omaha at age 16 and escaped from prison nearly a decade later. Then he simply vanished,” by Henry Cordes of the Omaha World-Herald: “What inside the head of a boy could drive him to lash out so violently after his mom had refused to let him take his girl to the drive-in? And how could [William Leslie] Arnold proceed to take her to the movie that night after all? And then to go on living his life the next two weeks as if nothing had happened — going to school, attending church, even showing up to open his dad’s business — until his web of lies finally unraveled?” http://bit.ly/2pU3p9T
— “Kenji Dreams of Sausage,” by Jonah Weiner in Grub Street – per Longreads.com’s description: “A profile of beloved food writer J. Kenji López-Alt, who uses science to perfect cooking methods and is opening a beer hall in Silicon Valley.” http://grb.st/2DyW0hZ
— “The Good Samaritan: how politics transformed the meaning of a biblical story,” by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, in the New Statesman, in a review of “The Political Samaritan: How Power Hijacked a Parable,” by Nick Spencer.” per TheBrowser.com’s description: “The parable of the Good Samaritan lends an aura of retrospective goodness to Samaritans in general. But relations between Jews and Samaritans were ‘poisonous’ in biblical times. Any story with a Samaritan as a positive character would have been offensive.” http://bit.ly/2CbphDt … $12.23 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2CkwVdU
— “Murder at the Vatican,” by Catherine Fletcher in History Today: “Cardinal Alfonso Petrucci was strangled in his cell in the Castel Sant’Angelo on 4 July 1517. He was 26. He had been a prisoner in the papal fortress for six weeks, one of five cardinals accused of plotting to poison Pope Leo X. His execution was judicially sanctioned, but in the most dubious of circumstances. Was there really a plot? Or were Petrucci and his colleagues framed by Leo in the interests of his family, the Medici?” http://bit.ly/2CpQrTX
— “‘The World’s Biggest Terrorist Has a Pikachu Bedspread,’” by Kerry Howley in NYMag: “This is perhaps the most surprising thing about the story of Airman Reality Winner, linguist, intelligence specialist, who spent years of her life dropping in on conversations among people this country considers potential enemies: It did not occur to her, in a moment of crisis, that someone might be listening.” http://nym.ag/2BWdUee
ENGAGED – Adam Conner, who was most recently Slack’s first employee in D.C. and started Facebook’s D.C. office in 2007, proposed to Lauren Smith, policy counsel who runs the Connected Cars Project at the Future of Privacy Forum and is a former policy adviser in the Obama WH Office of Science and Technology. The couple “spent the week of Christmas on a sailboat with friends exploring the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. On Boxing Day [the couple] were exploring a beautiful place called Urupukapuka Island and hiked to the top of a vista overlooking the bay. Adam got down on one knee, and with the ring he had smuggled into the country, asked Lauren to marry him. She gave an emphatic yes!” Pic http://bit.ly/2Cv1wmN … Instapic http://bit.ly/2Cu5wUk
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — @senjohnthune posts on Instagram: “Scott and Larissa with our newest grandchild, Hewitt Thune Hargens, born [Friday]. He joins big sister Henley. We are very grateful for healthy kids and grandkids. #blessed #grandkidsrock”. Instapic http://bit.ly/2CmZLKC
WEEKEND WEDDINGS – “Erica Andersen, Jonathan Donenberg” – N.Y. Times: “The bride, 34, who specializes in patent litigation, is a partner at the Washington law firm Covington & Burling. She graduated from Princeton, magna cum laude, and received a law degree with highest distinction from the University of Iowa. … The groom, 35, is chief counsel and legislative director to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Illinois and received a master’s degree in technology policy from the University of Cambridge as a Fulbright scholar; he also received a law degree from Yale.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2lwWLAM
–“Marisa Franklin, Raphael Graybill” — N.Y. Times: “The bride, 28 is the mathematics instructional coordinator at the Montana Office of Public Instruction in Helena, Mont. … She graduated from Barnard College and received a master’s degree in education from Boston University. … The groom, also 28, is chief legal counsel to Governor Steve Bullock, Democrat of Montana. He graduated, summa cum laude, from Columbia and received a master’s degree in philosophy from Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also received a law degree from Yale.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2EpOIyj
ANNIVERSARY: Happy 20th anniversary to Politico senior editor David Cohen and Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Josh Rogin, WaPo columnist and CNN political analyst, celebrating in Punta Cana with Ali. A fun fact about Josh: “In 2009 I was hit by a D.C. taxicab near my apartment and then given a ticket for ‘reckless walking.’ I broke my arm, after which I got bipartisan filibuster proof majority of 60 U.S. senators to sign my cast, part of a public awareness campaign for pedestrian safety. In a signing ceremony in his office, Mitch McConnell said, ‘I always wanted to be the 60th vote on something.’” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2lrzgKh
BIRTHDAYS: Donald Trump Jr. is 4-0 … David Wilezol, State Department chief speechwriter … Pete Souza, former chief official WH photographer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, with a new book, “Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs,” is 63 … Sir Alexander Ferguson, CBE, whose beloved Manchester United sit second in the Premier League at the moment (and is the favorite team of Katie Lillie), is 76 (h/ts Ben Chang) … Brian Danza, CTO of Daily Caller, is 37 (h/ts Blain Rethmeier and Tim Burger) … WaPo’s Joel Achenbach is 57 … Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is 55 … Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is 8-0 … former Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) is 46 … WSJ’s Naftali Bendavid … Dick Short … Karina Cabrera Bell … Peter G. Miller … Wayne Pines, president of APCO’s health care practice … Nathan Martin is 31 … Jim Long is 53 … fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 71 … Mark Ein, new owner of Washington City Paper along with Capitol Acquisition IV, Venturehouse Group, and World Team Tennis, is 53 (h/t Jayne Sandman) …
… Betsy Barrett is 4-0, and celebrating in Valparaiso, Chile with Adrienne Elrod and Erin McPike … John Davis is 41 … Henry Hunter, sports law adjunct at Georgetown University (h/ts Jon Haber) … Simon Kennedy, executive editor of Bloomberg Economics in London … Ronnie Cho, Emmy winning former MTV exec and Obama campaign and WH alum, is 35 … Travis Wolfe … Nati Nieuwstraten … Martin J. Kady, WaPo alumnus and father of Politico’s Marty Kady, is 72 … Wade Atkinson … Axios’ Shannon Vavra … Shelby Hodgkins … Danny Shea, head of global expansion at Thrive Global and a HuffPost alum … Reuben Johnson … Meeghan Prunty, a managing director at Blue Meridian Partners … former Obama WH photographer Lawrence Jackson … Becca Brukman … Bill Bagley … Jeff Milstein … Jackson Fauvre … Marni Karlin … Darren Reisberg, VP and Deputy Provost at UChicago … Andy Sere … Bob Dietz … Lisa Lindo … John Francis Kucera is 58 … Moody’s Danielle Reed … Jeff White is 56 … Patrick Holtz is 42 … William Morales … Meg Boland … Chris Donesa is 51 … Becca Ferguson (h/t Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Google Year in Search 2017: As this year draws to a close, Google analyzed Search Trends data to see what the world was searching for. The data showed that 2017 was the year we asked “how…?” How do wildfires start? How to calm a dog during a storm? How to make a protest sign? All of the “how” searches featured in the Year in Search film were searched at least 10 times more this year than ever before. These questions show our shared desire to understand our experiences and come to each other’s aid.
From “how to watch the eclipse” and “how to shoot like Curry,” to “how to move forward” and “how to make a difference,” here’s to this Year in Search. Watch the film and see top trending lists from around the world at g.co/2017. ******
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