NEW WSJ/NBC POLL: “Democrats Maintaining Advantage Over GOP in Voter Sentiment Poll”: “While Democratic interest in the election rose from March, the spike didn’t translate into gains for the party in a broader measure of the political climate: Asked which party should control the next Congress, voters favored Democrats over the GOP by 47% to 40%, down from a 10-point spread last month.” https://on.wsj.com/2H0Zz6O
-- IN MAY 2010, six months before Republicans won 63 seats, voters were evenly split -- 44% to 44% -- when asked who should control Congress. https://on.wsj.com/2IWrMrX
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND -- @realDonaldTrump at 7:42 a.m.: “Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe. In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!”
… at 7:57 a.m.: “The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”
… at 8:08 a.m.: “Comey throws AG Lynch ‘under the bus!’ Why can’t we all find out what happened on the tarmac in the back of the plane with Wild Bill and Lynch? Was she promised a Supreme Court seat, or AG, in order to lay off Hillary. No golf and grandkids talk (give us all a break)!”
… at 8:19 a.m.: “The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term ‘Mission Accomplished.’ I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!”
… at 8:32 a.m.: “I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His ‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!”
… at 8:56 a.m.: “Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past. I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!”
… 9:06 a.m.: “Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”
WORTH POINTING OUT AGAIN -- “Fact-check: Comey didn’t say he reopened Clinton investigation because of poll numbers,” by Matt Nussbaum: https://politi.co/2IWKVKo
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS talks to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’s “THIS WEEK”: STEPHANOPOULOS: “And are you sure you all want to be engaged in a credibility contest with James Comey … Our new poll shows that Americans by a pretty wide margin think that James Comey has more credibility than President Trump.”
SANDERS: “I have to disagree with your poll to a great deal. There’s a daily Rasmussen Poll that has the president up at about 50 percent, which is actually better than President Obama at this point.”
THE PRESIDENT is in Florida most of the week. He’s hosting a “tax cuts for Florida small businesses roundtable” tomorrow in the Sunshine State. He’s hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY. On THURSDAY, he’s visiting the Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Florida.
Good Sunday morning. THE BIG PICTURE -- NYT’S PETER BAKER: “‘Mission Accomplished!’ But What Is the Mission in Syria?”: “For most of Mr. Trump’s presidency, it has been to defeat the Islamic State and then get out. But what Mr. Trump outlined in his televised speech to the nation on Friday night was something more complicated. He promised a sustained campaign to stop Syria’s government from again using chemical weapons on its own people, while also emphasizing the limits of America’s ability or willingness to do more to stop the broader bloodletting that has devastated that country for seven years.
“Mr. Trump finds himself in a position not all that different from that of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, and with no easier answers. The strike brought home Mr. Trump’s competing impulses when it comes to Syria — on the one hand, his manful chest-thumping intended to demonstrate that he is the toughest one on the international block, and on the other, his deep conviction that American involvement in the Middle East since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has been a waste of blood and treasure.
“He did little to reconcile those impulses with his retaliatory strike to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack a week ago that killed dozens of people. But then again, he reflected the contradictions of an American public that is tired of trying to solve other people’s problems in the Middle East yet recoils at the haunting images of dead children choked by gas.” https://nyti.ms/2HCiK4e
SUNDAY BEST, (CONT.): SEN. ANGUS KING (I-Maine) to JAKE TAPPER on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: “I think it is very difficult to say mission accomplished if the mission is to deter the use of chemical weapons. We hope that will be the case. But we did a strike a year ago for that same purpose, and it was deemed a success, but the chemical weapons have continued to be used.
“So, I think it is impossible to say at this point that the mission has been accomplished. They had -- it was a more significant strike than a year ago. They hit three sites, instead of one, more -- more missiles. It was accomplished apparently with -- with the precision that our military is capable of. But saying the it has been a success, we won’t know until we see whether the regime continues to use chemical weapons.”
-- U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY to CHRIS WALLACE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: “Mission accomplished is a military term, and as a military spouse I know that mission accomplished means you have one task currently in front of you and when it’s completed, it is mission accomplished.
“Politically, mission accomplished means something broader. And I think that the president was referring in military terms. We of course know that our work in Syria is not done. We know that it is now up to Bashar al-Assad on whether he’s going to use chemical weapons again and should he use it again the president has made it very clear that the United States is locked and loaded and ready to go.”
ASSAD UNDETERRED … “A Day After U.S. Airstrikes in Syria, Assad Launches New Onslaught Against Rebels,” by WSJ’s Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut: “Syrian armed forces on Sunday unleashed airstrikes against rebels and shelled what rescue workers said were civilian homes, demonstrating President Bashar al-Assad’s undiminished ability to wage the civil war a day after a U.S.-led missile attack. ... Less than 36 hours after the Western attack, Syria’s civil war grinded on almost as if nothing happened, with Mr. Assad’s forces moving against areas outside regime control north of Damascus.
“Regime planes conducted at least 28 strikes in the countryside of Homs and Hama followed by artillery shelling, including on civilian areas, the White Helmets rescue group said on Sunday. On Saturday, the regime took full control of Douma, the scene of the suspected chemical weapons attack and the last rebel-held pocket of Eastern Ghouta, which had been under siege for five years.” https://on.wsj.com/2HomMza
THE BACKSTORY -- “‘Big price to pay’: Inside Trump’s decision to bomb Syria,” by WaPo’s Phil Rucker, Missy Ryan, Josh Dawsey and Anne Gearan: “The missile strikes Friday night came at an especially traumatic moment. The commander in chief was increasingly agitated over the past week as legal and personal crises converged around him, exhibiting flashes of raw anger, letting off steam on Twitter and sometimes seeming distracted from his war planning.
“As the military brass put together the final details on the Syria strike plan, for instance, Trump was following the New York court proceedings involving his personal lawyer Michael Cohen and was fixated on media coverage of fired FBI director James B. Comey’s new memoir.
“The book paints a scathing portrait of the president’s conduct in office and character, and Trump was personally involved Friday in drafting the scorching statement attacking Comey that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read from her podium Friday, according to a senior administration official.” https://wapo.st/2vdJvcI
NANCY COOK -- “Trump risks political blowback from his base on Syria”: “President Donald Trump staked much of his 2016 campaign on vowing to solve problems at home instead of entangling the U.S. in conflicts abroad. Yet as president, he’s gone the other way, deciding to launch airstrikes against Syria this weekend a second time since taking office in retaliation for President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own citizens.
“Other presidents have promised an anti-interventionist policy only to switch course in office in the face of unexpected events, but for Trump it carries a unique political risk heading into a difficult midterm election, especially if the conflict escalates into a larger regional crisis or a confrontation with Russia or Iran.
“‘The president is underestimating how important his non-interventionist foreign policy was to his appeal and will regret having to now own his own Middle East boondoggle,’ said one Republican close to the White House.” https://politi.co/2vfH75f
-- “Trump’s Syria identity crisis: The president is torn between his own — and his party’s — hawkish and isolationist instincts,” by Michael Crowley and Bryan Bender: https://politi.co/2HmN2tP
VP MIKE PENCE speaking to the pool Saturday in Lima, Peru, via Jenna Johnson: “Well, I can assure you that any time that our commander in chief puts forces in harm’s way, we consider every potential response by the enemy, and every eventuality was explored over the past week, and we continue to monitor the environment in the region very, very carefully.
“The United States is ready to respond, to defend our forces -- and, to be clear, the United States is also ready to take additional action in a sustained way to ensure that Syria understands there will be a price to pay if they ever use chemical weapons again. But we carefully examined the possibility of a response by Syria or by its allies, Russia and Iran, in this calculation. And the president made the decision to target chemical weapons facilities.”
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP nominated Susan McCue to be on the board of the Millenium Challenge Corporation, on the recommendation of Chuck Schumer, and former Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), on the recommendation of Kevin McCarthy.
-- SPOTTED: Kevin McCarthy at Del Frisco’s Saturday evening. … NPR’S RACHEL MARTIN (@rachelNPR): “Spotted at Georgetown waterfront taking a stroll together on a beautiful day...Speaker of the House contender Kevin McCarthy and WH advisor Stephen Miller.”
FRONT PAGE OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: “The ‘Cheesehead Revolution’ is all but over: With Ryan’s retirement, state’s influence wanes” … Story has photos of Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus and Scott Walker -- A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2GZUADB
SUNDAY BEST -- CHUCK TODD talks with SPEAKER PAUL RYAN on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: TODD: “You retired as a politician. I heard you say you probably won’t run for office again. Is this what this feels like?” RYAN: “Yeah. … Obviously there’s a lot of causes I care about.” TODD: “I understand.” RYAN: “-- and a lot of issues I'm going to be involved in. And then I'll find ways of doing that. You know I certainly wouldn’t -- I mean I just -- You never say never, I suppose. But, I just don’t, you know, I have no plans to do anything else.” TODD: “Is it fair to call you a retired politician?” RYAN: “Sure. Sure, I mean, at the end of the fall, at the end of the year.”
-- ON TRUMP: TODD: “[Did President Trump] try to talk you out of it?” RYAN: “He was disappointed. We -- We have a good relationship. We’ve gotten a lot done together. And, you know, I basically explained to him my whole family dynamic. And it’s -- the thing is, I feel content because I’ve actually gotten a lot done.
“And I’ve gotten much of what I came here to do done. Not everything, but much of what I wanted to do. And, you know, I feel like I’ve accomplished great things. And my kids aren’t getting any younger. And I kind of just walked him through my thinking. And he said, ‘Well, I can’t argue with that.’”
-- ON THE FUTURE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY: TODD: “But you [and the president] have the same vision for the Party?” RYAN: “I can’t speak to that. You’d have to ask him that. We have -- look, on trade obviously we don’t agree, I mean, on everything on that. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve had --”
TODD: “On entitlements you don’t either. He doesn’t want to make any cuts on that.” RYAN: “Yeah, well, I think -- I think he’s going to realize that that’s, that’s an important thing. He agreed with us. Look, two out of the three health care entitlement programs, he was there with us on health care. … So on, you know, nine out of ten things we’re rolling in the same direction. And sure, no two people are going to agree on everything. We have different styles. We have different ideas. But it’s a big tent party. And we represent different corners of the tent.”
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Abortion foes seize on chance to overturn Roe,” by Jen Haberkorn: “The anti-abortion movement believes it’s one Donald Trump-appointed Supreme Court justice away from a shot at overturning Roe v. Wade, and advocates are teeing up what they hope will be the winning challenge. From Iowa to South Carolina, lawmakers are proposing some of the most far-reaching abortion restrictions in a generation, hoping their legislation triggers the lawsuit that eventually makes it to the high court.
“Mississippi just approved the earliest abortion ban in the country — at 15 weeks of pregnancy — and Kentucky last week banned the procedure used in most abortions after 11 weeks. Legislatures in Ohio and South Carolina are weighing total prohibitions of the procedure, while Iowa is considering a ban as soon as a heartbeat is detected — all bills that if signed into law would violate Roe and prompt lawsuits.” https://politi.co/2vhCTtB
2018 WATCH -- “GOP devotes $250M to midterm strategy: Keep House majority,” by AP’s Steve Peoples: “The [RNC] has committed $250 million to a midterm election strategy that has one goal above all else: Preserve the party’s House majority for the rest of President Donald Trump’s first term.
“Facing the prospect of a blue wave this fall, the White House’s political arm is devoting unprecedented resources to building an army of paid staff and trained volunteers across more than two dozen states. The RNC is taking the fight to Senate Democrats in Republican-leaning states, but much of the national GOP’s resources are focused on protecting Republican-held House seats in states including Florida, California and New York.” https://bit.ly/2H2tfg3
-- “Priorities USA super PAC ramps up fundraising for 2018,” by Scott Bland: “Priorities USA Action, the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC that reinvented itself in 2017 with a broader mission and a focus on digital campaigning, raised $4.5 million in the first three months of 2018 as it prepares for the midterm elections. The super PAC’s sister nonprofit, Priorities USA, raised $2.2 million, for a combined first-quarter total of $6.7 million.” https://politi.co/2qxUxoc
SNL COLD OPEN – “Meet the Parents Cold Open”: JEFF SESSIONS (played by Kate McKinnon): “I don’t know, Mr. Vice President. I feel like I say this every week but this week was bad. I’m beginning to regret my wish to become a real boy. I toss and turn in my shoebox every night, wondering what’s the FBI going to do next?” MIKE PENCE (Beck Bennett): “I know, we’re in a real pickle, Jeff and you know how uncomfortable I am around pickles.”
SESSIONS: “I can’t believe they raided Michael Cohen’s office. What are we going to do Mike?” PENCE: “The important thing is to stay calm. In a couple months, the president will be back to normal.” SESSIONS: “How’s that?” PENCE: “Because it’ll be me.” 7-minute video with Michael Cohen as Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro as Robert Mueller http://bit.ly/2H3BA7e
BEYOND THE BELTWAY -- “Metal Detectors the Norm at Schools and Ballparks. State Capitols? Not So Much,” by NYT’s Alan Blinder: “You can’t cheer on the Utah Jazz in their home arena without going through a metal detector. But visiting the Utah Capitol for a field trip, a protest, a meeting with the governor or a wedding photo shoot? Step right in, no scan required. There aren’t any metal detectors at the towering Capitol in Nebraska, either. Or in Vermont, or Michigan, or more than a dozen other states. The entrance to the West Virginia Capitol, on the other hand, can resemble an airport checkpoint. ...
“Even in this era of active shooter seminars and gun control debates, more than one-third of the country’s state capitols lack the kinds of security measures that have become routine at many middle schools, museums and big-league ballparks.” https://nyti.ms/2GZv1OS
BUSINESS BURST -- “WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell Steps Down,” by WSJ’s Nick Kostov and Suzanne Vranica: “Martin Sorrell has stepped down as chief executive of WPP following the conclusion of an investigation into an allegation of personal misconduct, ending his more than three decades of leadership atop the world’s largest advertising company. … Mr. Sorrell’s exit is a shocking turn of events and a sudden end to the career of a man who had become one of the oracles of the advertising business.
“The 73-year-old Mr. Sorrell had been at the helm since he founded the company in 1986, helping to transform a little-known U.K. wire-shopping-basket manufacturer called Wire & Plastic Products into the largest advertising holding company in the world. … Mr. Sorrell never penned a jingle or crafted a TV commercial, but the cerebral, finance-minded executive rose to the top of Madison Avenue by being an astute serial acquirer, buying up firms across advertising, marketing, public relations, media, research and technology. … The ad giant has a market value of £15 billion ($21.3 billion) and employs more than 200,000 people.” https://on.wsj.com/2JMD0Aw
GOOD READ -- BOSTON GLOBE’S ANNIE LINSKEY: “In the era of Donald Trump, New England’s biggest GOP donor is funding Democrats”: “Boston hedge fund billionaire Seth Klarman lavished more than $7 million on Republican candidates and political committees during the Obama administration, using his fortune to help underwrite a GOP takeover of the federal government.
“But the rise of Donald Trump shocked and dismayed Klarman, as did the timid response from the Republican-controlled House and Senate, which have acquiesced rather than challenge the president’s erratic and divisive ways. So, in an astonishing flip, Klarman, at one point New England’s most generous donor to Republicans, is taking his money elsewhere: He’s heaping cash on Democrats.
“He’s given roughly $222,000 since the 2016 election to 78 Democrats running for Congress, according to federal election data from 2017 and a preview of Klarman’s first-quarter donations provided to the Globe by a person familiar with his giving.” http://bit.ly/2qAkLWr
UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED IN PUERTO RICO -- “FEMA’s plan underestimated Puerto Rican hurricane,” by Danny Vinik: “The federal government significantly underestimated the potential damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria and relied too heavily on local officials and private-sector entities to handle the cleanup, according to a POLITICO review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s plan for the disaster.
“The plan, which was developed by a FEMA contractor in 2014 in anticipation of a catastrophic storm and utilized by FEMA when Maria hit last September, prepared for a Category 4 hurricane and projected that the island would shift from response to recovery mode after roughly 30 days.
“In fact, Hurricane Maria was a ‘high-end’ Category 4 storm with different locations on the island experiencing Category 5 winds. More than six month after Maria made landfall, the island is just beginning to shift to recovery mode.” https://politi.co/2EMvYZ5
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
-- “This Is What It Was Like Learning To Report Before Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In The World,” by BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith: “You learn how to be a reporter in large part by making mistakes, and I made most of my worst ones in Belarus. When I returned to the subject recently I found I’d been wrong about more than I realized.” https://bzfd.it/2qqtFFQ (h/t TheBrowser.com)
-- “The Impossible Dream,” by This American Life’s Zoe Chace: “Before he leaves the Senate for good, Republican Jeff Flake is trying to get a bill passed. He has his work cut out for him, with a Senate that barely brings anything to the floor, a party he feels estranged from, and a president who seems to hate his guts. Producer Zoe Chace hung out with him for four months.” http://bit.ly/2ITpUjX
-- “People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think,” by Brendan de Kenessey in Vox: “The messy truth is that addiction lies somewhere in between choice and compulsion. Addictive cravings work in much the same way as the cravings that everyone experiences — for Netflix or chips, say. They do not take over one’s muscles like an internal puppeteer. They pull one’s choices toward the craved object, like a psychological kind of gravity.” http://bit.ly/2GXzlOG
-- “How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America,” by Leila Fadel in NatGeo: “They’re a vibrant and increasingly visible part of the tapestry in communities across the nation.” https://on.natgeo.com/2JJ03MA
-- “The Dawn of Dining,” by Eugène Briffault in Lapham’s Quarterly: “When leisure became the ultimate object of French society, dinner, taken by warriors during the first hours of daylight, drew closer to the middle of the day. In the 17th century the daily devotions fixed the time for dinner, placing it at the end of Mass. Later, dinner seemed to interfere with the dissipated life publicly avowed by the entire court; the previous century’s timing seemed impractical when bedtime was at daybreak.” http://bit.ly/2HxOAPf
-- “Can Abiy Ahmed Save Ethiopia?” by Nizar Manek in Addis Ababa in Foreign Policy: “The announcement of a new prime minister has led to widespread celebrations, but reforming the country without alienating the army will not be easy.” http://bit.ly/2HxiGCJ
-- “A Reckoning with Reality (TV),” by Lucas Mann in the Paris Review: “Lucas Mann’s love letter to his wife—and to the jacked-up emotions of reality TV.” http://bit.ly/2JGzJD2 (h/t Longreads.com)
-- “Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer?” by Stephanie Mencimer in the May/June issue of Mother Jones: “The science on the link is clear, but the alcohol industry has worked hard to downplay it.” http://bit.ly/2vcASij (h/t Longform.org)
-- “Trouble in Paradise,” by William Prochnau and Laura Parker in the Jan. 2008 issue of Vanity Fair: “Settled in 1790 by mutineers from the storied H.M.S. Bounty, Pitcairn Island is one of the British Empire’s most isolated remnants, a mystical hunk of rock that was largely ignored until 1996. Then Pitcairn’s secret was exposed: generations of rape and child molestation as a way of life. Delving into the South Pacific island’s past, the authors chronicle its 10-year clash with the British legal system, which ripped apart a tiny society.” http://bit.ly/2HjMGV2
-- “Neal Freeman’s National Review,” by John R. Coyne Jr. in the American Conservative – per ALDaily.com’s description: “Bill Buckley’s conservative irregulars. In its early days, the National Review’s staff included a former spokesman for Leon Trotsky, a nocturnal ex-Communist, and Russell Kirk.” http://bit.ly/2HnMRP1
-- “The Secret Language of Ships,” by Erin Van Rheenen in Hakai Magazine – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “How to decode a Plimsoll Line, and other markings on the hulls of big ships. The original 19C Plimsoll Line was a circle with a horizontal line through it; if the line sank below sea-level, the ship was overloaded. Marks were added in later years for maximum loads under particular climatic conditions: W the maximum in winter temperate seawater, S in summer temperate seawater, T in tropical seawater, F in fresh water, and TF in tropical fresh water, like that of the Amazon River.” http://bit.ly/2GYtg4C
-- “The Alchemy of John Prine,” by Marissa R. Moss in Nashville Scene: “Talking with the songwriter’s songwriter about love, death and his new album ‘The Tree of Forgiveness.’” http://bit.ly/2vfVnea
-- “Trump’s ICE Chief Loves His Deportation Force — And Thinks You Should Too,” by Roque Planas in HuffPost: “Thomas Homan is unlike anyone who has run Immigration and Customs Enforcement before. What happens when you put a cop in charge of deporting people?” http://bit.ly/2qsFb3w
SPOTTED: former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on a United flight from Dulles to Austin for a Texas Dem Blue Wave funder ... George Will at the Nats-Rockies game on Friday
SPOTTED at the inauguration of Sylvia Burwell as the 15th (and first female) president of American University: John Podesta, Denis McDonough, Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch, Ernest Moniz, Maria Echaveste, and former Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). Burwell’s friends Davis Guggenheim (director and executive producer of “An Inconvenient Truth”) and Atul Gawande, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser all spoke at the ceremony -- pics http://bit.ly/2vfc7lA … http://bit.ly/2IY3FJD
WEEKEND WEDDING – OBAMA ALUMNI: “Diana Banks, Emile Thompson” – N.Y. Times: “Ms. Banks, 36, is a senior counsel at the American Bankers Association in Washington. She graduated from Stanford University and received a law degree from Harvard. She was previously a deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama administration. ... Mr. Thompson, 34, works in Washington as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta and received a law degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.” With a pic https://nyti.ms/2IXWLEd
HAPPY 51st ANNIVERSARY to Pat and Bob Schieffer
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Tom Rosenstiel, executive director at American Press Institute. How he thinks the Trump presidency is going: “There is one rule of journalism that is immutable: Speed is the enemy of accuracy. The speed or pace of news under Trump is a kind of strange dopamine that leads us to never fully understand much of anything because the crises go by so fast. We never really understand any presidency in hindsight. We may not even grasp what happened in the Trump presidency, let alone its consequences, with a good deal of hindsight.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: https://politi.co/2vcfUA4
BIRTHDAYS: Pete Rouse, firmwide co-chair of the public and strategic affairs group at Perkins Coie and former counselor to President Obama … Kathryn Wellner, senior adviser at the State Department Bureau of Public Affairs (hat tip: Heather Nauert) ... Frank Benenati, director of corporate communications at United ... John F.W. Rogers, EVP, chief of staff and secretary to the board at Goldman Sachs, is 62 (h/t Dina Powell) … Sarah Bloom Raskin, Rubenstein fellow at Duke Law and former Treasury deputy secretary (h/t Marina McCarthy) ... Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ... DHS’s Jason Lamote ... Amie Parnes (h/ts Jon Allen and Ben Chang) ... Esther Parnes ... Ray Locker, Washington enterprise editor at USA Today, is 58 ... Alex Miller, senior account executive at kglobal ... Grace Mary Aylmer of Public Citizen ... Leslie Shedd, VP of comms at the National Restaurant Association (h/t Kurt Bardella) ... Rishi Banerjee ... Dana Gansman ... FERC’s Mary O’Driscoll ...
… Max Neuberger of Jewish Insider ... Brandon Lynaugh ... Alexandra Hudson, who recently left the Dept. of Education to work on a book on civility and human dignity (hubby tip: Kian) ... John Ey ... Maia Daniels ... Bart Jackson (h/t Andrew Bates) ... Sander Gerber ... Phil Goldfeder ... former Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) is 77 ... Rachel Kleinfeld ... Linda Bloodworth-Thomason ... Rachel Clark of Weber Shandwick ... Nina Rees, president and CEO of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (h/t Kris Anderson) … Steven Clift ... Cheyenne Hopkins Beach, SVP at Edelman ... Michael Taube … Jonathan Singer is 34 ... Kate Bernard, senior manager for federal affairs and international policy at Boeing (h/ts daughter Alice and Phil Musser) … Rajan Trivedi … Katie Scharf Dykes … Brian Montopoli, producer at MSNBC … Patrick Henry ... WJLA’s Stan Melton Jr. ... Robyn Swirling ... Jaimey Sexton ... Carol Ao Wolf ... Ethel Ann Koch … Rosemary Potter ... Cheryl Cohn ... Claudia Cardinale is 8-0 (h/t Nadia Szold)