WHAT A WORLD! -- PAUL PELOSI JR. -- Nancy Pelosi’s son -- spotted at Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve. He snapped a photo with Ivanka Trump. http://bit.ly/2ADgVi1
TRUMP’S WEEK -- MONDAY: The president is going to Tennessee and Georgia. It’s been reported that he’ll attend Monday night’s football national championship in Atlanta, where Alabama faces off against Georgia. TUESDAY: The president will meet with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss immigration. He’ll also meet with Defense Secretary James Mattis. WEDNESDAY: The president will have a Cabinet meeting, and will meet with the prime minister of Norway. FRIDAY: The president will visit Walter Reed.
Good Sunday morning. N.Y. POST COVER -- “DON’T WORRY AMERICA! ‘I’M, LIKE, REALLY SMART … A VERY STABLE GENIUS’” http://nyp.st/2CC3Nvo
WOW -- MOST CONTENTIOUS SUNDAY SHOW APPEARANCE IN A LONG TIME ... STEPHEN MILLER with JAKE TAPPER on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION.” These 12 minutes check all the boxes: Top White House adviser dumping on the press, unleashing on Steve Bannon and praising the president -- a true depiction of a Trump administration aide speaking to an Audience of One. Tapper patiently tries to get Miller to answer questions, and when it’s clear he won’t, he stops the interview.
FIRST, Miller dumped all over Steve Bannon and Michael Wolff -- checking an important box for the Audience of One: President Donald J. Trump.
ABOUT MICHAEL WOLFF: “The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction. And I also will say that the author is a garbage author of a garbage book … The portrayal of the president in the book is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him, to my own experience having spent the last two years with him. … The reality is that the president is a political genius.”
MEDIA BASHING -- MILLER: “Your network’s been going 24/7 with all this salacious coverage and I know that it brings you a lot of you guys a lot of joy to try to stick the knife in. But the reality is that page after page after page of the book is pure false. I see sections of the book where events I participated in are described and I have first-hand knowledge that as they’re described they are completely and totally fraudulent.” TAPPER: “Nobody at CNN is sticking knives in anybody. There are a lot of people in the White House quoted in the book.”
MILLER SAID THIS OF TRUMP TWICE: “A self-made billionaire who revolutionized reality TV.”
MILLER WANTED TO DISCUSS HIS AIR TRAVEL WITH TRUMP -- HE TRIED TWICE: “You know, on the campaign, I had the chance to travel all across the country with the president on Trump Force One. It would be the president, me, Dan Scavino, Hope Hicks, a few other people going from rally to rally to rally to rally.
“And I saw a man who was a political genius, somebody who we would be going down, landing in descent, there would be a breaking news development. And in 20 minutes, he would dictate 10 paragraphs of new material to address that event.”
-- FOR GOOD MEASURE: MILLER: “I travel with Donald Trump all across the country and the world. I would -- I would be with the president on a campaign plane with a rally in 20 minutes, and he would be able to come up…” TAPPER: “You have already made this point, Stephen.” MILLER: “He would be able to come up with material in the blink of an eye.” TAPPER: “You have already made this -- you have already made -- you have already said that. We let you say that at the top -- at the top.”
TAPPER: “The only person who has called himself a genius in the last week is the president.” MILLER: “Which happens to be a true statement. A self-made billionaire who revolutionized reality TV and changed the course of our politics.” TAPPER: “I’m sure he’s watching and he’s happy you said that.” MILLER: “Jake, you can be condescending.” TAPPER: “I’m not being condescending.” MILLER: “You can be condescending. That was a snide remark … Let me tell you something. … You can be as condescending as you want. It’s part of your M.O. ...” TAPPER: “I have no idea why you’re attacking me.”
-- TAPPER: “Stephen, I'm trying to get to the issue of the president’s fitness, which a lot of people are questioning.” MILLER: “Well, and I’m getting to the issue of your fitness.”
TAPPER CLOSED OUT THE INTERVIEW BY SAYING: “There’s one viewer that you care about right now. You’re being obsequious. You’re being a factotum in order to please him, OK? And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.” Miller tried to interrupt, but Tapper shut him down.
WHEN HE GOT BACK FROM COMMERCIAL, Tapper said: “Welcome back to ‘State of the Union’ and planet Earth.”
-- AND, AS WE THOUGHT ALL ALONG, THE AUDIENCE OF ONE RESPONDS at 10:15 a.m.: “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!” Watch the 12-minute interview http://cnn.it/2m6rvJx
CHUCK TODD talks with MICHAEL WOLFF on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS: TODD: “Did you leave out good stuff because it got in the way of the narrative, like if people said positive things about him, not saying that you left it out because you thought took it away from the thesis of the book that you wanted to get out there?” WOLFF: “If I left out anything it’s probably stuff that was even more damning … It’s that bad. I mean, it’s an extraordinary moment in time and the last, the last several days focused on my book are proof of this. … It’s not unreasonable to say this is 25th Amendment kind of stuff.”
TODD: “There are a lot of little errors … It adds up. Why shouldn’t a reader be concerned about some of these mistakes?” WOLFF: “I think a reader should read the book. The book speaks for itself.” TODD: “Do you regret some of these errors ... It feels as if you didn’t get a copy edit.” WOLFF: “I think I mixed up a Mike Berman and a Mark Berman, for that I apologize. But the book speaks for itself. Read the book. See if you don’t feel like you are with me on that couch in the White House. And see if you don’t feel alarmed, as you say.”
U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: HALEY: “You know, the one thing about this book, having been a governor and now an ambassador, I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to to lie for money and for power. It’s really -- this is like taking it to a whole new low.” … STEPHANOPOULOS: “Except that Michael Wolff says he had 200 interviews. He says he has interviews on tape. We know he spent a lot of time in the White House over the course of the first several months, and a lot of the most damning anecdotes have not been denied by those involved.” HALEY: “You know, I can’t vouch for anything like that. I don’t know if it was 200 interviews with Steve Bannon, or if it was 200 interviews with himself.”
CIA DIRECTOR MIKE POMPEO to CHRIS WALLACE on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” on the whose-nuclear-button-is-bigger tweet: “That tweet is entirely consistent with what we are trying to communicate. We want the regime to understand that unlike before, we are intent on resolving this. And it is our firm conviction that resolving this diplomatically is the correct answer but that this administration is prepared to do what it takes to ensure that people in Los Angeles, Denver and New York aren’t at risk from Kim Jong Un having a nuclear weapon. That tweet is entirely consistent with that policy.”
-- STEPHANOPOULOS talks with SEN. TOM COTTON (R-ARK.) about the potential of a new job: STEPHANOPOULOS: “There has been some talk that the president might be asking you soon to join his administration as CIA director. Are you open to that?” COTTON: “Well, George, last time I checked, the CIA has a director and he’s doing a pretty good job. And I’m honored to be serving in the Senate for the people of Arkansas.”
MORE FROM THE PRESIDENT -- @realDonaldTrump at 9:40 a.m.: “I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!” … at 9:33 a.m.: “Leaving Camp David for the White House. Great meetings with the Cabinet and Military on many very important subjects including Border Security & the desperately needed Wall, the ever increasing Drug and Opioid Problem, Infrastructure, Military, Budget, Trade and DACA.”
EXTRAORDINARY PARAGRAPH in an A1 story in the NYT, written by Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman: "Mr. Trump’s self-absorption, impulsiveness, lack of empathy, obsessive focus on slights, tenuous grasp of facts and penchant for sometimes far-fetched conspiracy theories have generated endless op-ed columns, magazine articles, books, professional panel discussions and cable television speculation." http://nyti.ms/2ABywab
STORY OF THE WEEK -- THE WHITE HOUSE BEAUTY PARLOR -- ANNIE KARNI: “The Mooch’s gift to Trump staff: A taxpayer-funded stylist”: “She may be the most lasting legacy of Anthony Scaramucci’s 11-day stint in the White House. Professional stylist Katie Price, who has previously worked as a hair and makeup artist for Russia Today and CNN, is now a full-time White House official with a desk in the press office and the title of ‘production assistant,’ which includes her daily duties getting press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, counselor Kellyanne Conway, and other White House staffers coiffed and camera-ready.
“That position was created for her last fall thanks, in part, to public praise from ‘The Mooch’ for Price’s briefing room stylings, which include loose curls and dark eye shadow on the women and what appear to be heavy layers of pancake makeup heaped on the men. In his brief moment in the spotlight, the smooth-talking Long Island financier went on CNN last July to give Price's work his seal of approval. ‘Sarah, if you're watching, I loved the hair and makeup person we had on Friday,’ Scaramucci said during an interview two days after taking on the role of communications director. ‘So I'd like to continue to use the hair and makeup person.’
“The White House dropped Scaramucci but kept Price, placing her on the government payroll. Officials declined to reveal her salary, though it will become public next summer as part of an annual release of the salaries of all West Wing staff.” http://politi.co/2CBogke
TRUMP DOWNLOAD AT CAMP DAVID -- “Trump insists his Russia actions were ‘100 percent proper,’ pledges ‘bipartisan’ plans for 2018,” by Andrew Restuccia, Rachael Bade, and Seung Min Kim: “President Donald Trump again denied on Saturday that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia and dismissed claims he obstructed justice by trying to prevent the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from a Justice Department probe into Russian election meddling. ‘Everything I’ve done is 100 percent proper,’ Trump said during a press conference on the sidelines of a meeting with congressional leaders at Camp David. ‘That is what I do, is I do things proper.’
“He added later, ‘Just so you understand, there’s been no collusion, there’s been no crime.’ The president took questions from reporters for about 10 minutes on issues ranging from the GOP’s 2018 legislative agenda to North Korea to an explosive new book that alleges concern among White House aides about his mental condition. ‘I consider it a work of fiction,’ Trump said, complaining about what he called the country’s weak libel laws. ‘Libel laws are very weak in this country,’ he said. ‘If they were stronger, hopefully, you would not have something like that happen.’
“The president also cast doubt on a Thursday New York Times report that said Trump asked the White House’s top lawyer to convince Sessions not to recuse himself in March from the Justice Department's inquiry into Russia’s 2016 election interference. Trump said the story was ‘off,’ but did not explain why. … Trump said he continues to have confidence in Sessions, even though the attorney general did not participate in the Camp David summit, which included several other Cabinet secretaries.
“Trump added that he ‘hopes’ National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn stays in his job — but then joked, ‘If he leaves, I’m going to say, I’m very happy that he left.’ The president also said he would be open to talking to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite the fiery rhetoric he has employed against him. ‘Sure, I always believe in talking,’ he said. In October, Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was ‘wasting his time’ by trying to communicate with the nuclear-armed Asian dictatorship.
“GOP leaders speaking alongside Trump seemed to acknowledge that 2018 would be a difficult year for their party. Instead of detailing specific policy plans for the coming months, Republicans spent much of the press conference touting their 2017 accomplishments. McConnell declared 2017 to be ‘the most consequential year in the many years that I’ve been here in Congress,’ and touted judicial nominations in particular.” http://politi.co/2m3q8v1
2018 WATCH -- “The 2018 midterms are fast approaching. First up: Primary fights for both parties’ future,” by WaPo’s David Weigel and Michael Scherer: “Long before voters decide in November who will control the House, the Senate and 36 governor’s seats across the country, the most wide-open primary season in decades will plunge the nation’s two major political parties into historic battles over who they are. The long-anticipated 2018 midterm elections are rapidly approaching — a referendum on President Trump and the GOP majority, and a gauge of Americans’ expectations of government. But first the parties and their voters must chart a course through their nominating contests.
“Between March 6 in Texas and Sept. 18 in Massachusetts, thousands of contenders, Republican and Democrat, will compete at every level of elected office below the presidency for the chance to appear on the ballot in November. Races that Democrats once left uncontested are now brimming with candidates. Races in which Republicans had hoped to clear the field have grown crowded. And the power of national parties on both sides to moderate the conflicts remains low, as populist passions roil both the liberal and conservative grass roots.” http://wapo.st/2Eh24My
-- AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN: “Democrats see opportunity in these Texas congressional districts,” by Maria Recio: “With the March 6 Texas primaries fast approaching, leaders in both parties see three GOP-held districts as critical to writing the November election narrative in Texas: The 23rd Congressional District, which runs from San Antonio to El Paso and has changed hands three times in the past decade, is held by Will Hurd, who lives in suburban San Antonio.
“The 7th Congressional District, which runs from Houston’s tony River Oaks neighborhood to the city’s western and northwestern suburbs, is represented by John Culberson. The 32nd Congressional District, which runs from near downtown Dallas to suburbs Richardson, Garland and Wylie, is represented by Pete Sessions.” https://atxne.ws/2EjuAND
WHAT AMERICA IS READING -- ARIZONA REPUBLIC: “DACA vs. the wall: How Trump’s border security demands could spell trouble for bill that would give relief to ‘dreamers’” http://bit.ly/2m3RJfB … BOSTON GLOBE: “Gone but still growing on us: The serial eruptions of Trump’s first year haven’t done much for his image, but have been gold for his predecessor’s. Does Obama’s surging popularity help or hinder his party’s prospects?” http://bit.ly/2CKrvJr … STAR-LEDGER (Newark, New Jersey): “YOU’LL ‘MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE’: With his tumultuous 8 years as governor nearly done, Christie says achievements will benefit N.J. for decades” http://bit.ly/2F5Zbj3
HOW ABOUT THAT! -- AL.COM -- “Roy Moore’s wife reveals their ‘Jewish attorney’ and he’s a Christian,” by Greg Garrison: “The wife of former U.S. Senate Republican nominee Roy Moore has revealed the identity of the Moores' ‘Jewish attorney’ she mentioned in a Dec. 11 speech.
“It's not the person everyone speculated that it was, Kayla Moore said. Several publications, including the Jewish publication Forward and the Washington Examiner, have claimed that the attorney she was referring to was Richard Jaffe, a Jewish attorney who represented Roy and Kayla’s son, Caleb Moore, in a case several years ago. …
“‘We read where we were against Jews -- even calling us Nazis,’ she wrote in an email to AL.com. ‘have a Jewish lawyer working for us in our firm - Martin Wishnatsky. Judge hired him while Chief Justice, then I hired him at the Foundation.’ …
“But Wishnatsky said he accepted Christ in his thirties. ‘I had an experience of the reality of God at 33,’ Wishnatsky said. ‘I knew God was real but I wasn't sure who he was.’ He became a Mormon first, then later became an evangelical Protestant Christian. ‘I’m a Messianic Jew,’ Wishnatsky said. ‘That’s the term they use for a Jewish person who has accepted Christ.’” http://bit.ly/2CEs4RL
KNOWING JOHN KELLY -- “In Latin America, John Kelly trained for a job serving Trump,” by WaPo’s Nick Miroff: “A few weeks after John F. Kelly was placed in charge of U.S. military affairs in Central and South America in late 2012, he went to Colombia to meet the country’s defense minister, Juan Carlos Pinzón. Pinzón, a young Princeton-educated economist, brought Kelly to visit soldiers maimed by the land mines of leftist guerrillas. Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert M. Kelly, had been killed after stepping on a mine in Afghanistan two years earlier, and to friends and colleagues, the tall, jaunty Marine general seemed to have turned gaunt, as if withered by grief.
“Kelly embraced the legless and disabled Colombian troops one by one. ‘It was an emotional moment,’ Pinzón said. ‘He immediately identified with my soldiers. And after that we became very close friends.’ From that day until Kelly’s retirement from military service in 2016, he spent more than three years working in Latin America as head of U.S. Southern Command (Southcom). The period was a bridge in Kelly’s late-career transformation from four-star general to field marshal of the Trump White House, where as chief of staff he spends long hours battling the agents of executive disorder.” http://wapo.st/2COvNiI
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE … NYT A1, “Tapes Reveal Egyptian Leaders’ Tacit Acceptance of Jerusalem Move,” by David Kirkpatrick: “As President Trump moved last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an Egyptian intelligence officer quietly placed phone calls to the hosts of several influential talk shows in Egypt.
“‘Like all our Arab brothers,’ Egypt would denounce the decision in public, the officer, Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi, told the hosts. But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Captain Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.
“‘How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?’ Captain Kholi asked repeatedly in four audio recordings of his telephone calls obtained by The New York Times.” http://nyti.ms/2m0So1g
WHAT ANNA IS EXCITED ABOUT -- ESPN: “In epic title game, North Dakota State edges James Madison to win back FCS throne”: http://es.pn/2F5WWfD
MEXICO REPORT -- “Mexico’s Trumpian populist could mean trouble for Donald Trump: If the left-leaning nationalist wins Mexico’s presidency, it could boost tensions over immigration, trade and border security,” by Sabrina Rodriguez in Mexico City: “Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s campaign rhetoric can make him sound like a Mexican Donald Trump. The left-leaning front-runner in Mexico’s presidential race is overtly nationalistic, pushes ‘Mexican people first’ policies and peppers his speeches with anti-establishment slogans that thrill the working-class Mexicans who flock to his rallies. But while his style might be distinctly Trumpian, his policy prescriptions could not be more different.
“Indeed, the election of the former mayor of Mexico City could be disastrous for Trump and his administration, creating an even more charged relationship between the two countries that could reduce cooperation on border security, trade and immigration. ... Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul ... and others fret that Trump himself could help put López Obrador over the top by following through on his threat to pull out of NAFTA — a development likely to produce more voter frustration that López Obrador could capitalize on.” http://politi.co/2D6w2ni
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Saudi Arabia Arrests Princes for Criticizing Government,” by WSJ’s Margherita Stancati, Summer Said and Benoit Faucon: “Saudi authorities arrested 11 princes for criticizing the government, the latest indication that the country’s rulers are moving to stamp out traces of internal dissent as it pushes through a painful economic transition. Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said the princes were arrested after staging a sit-in outside a royal palace in Riyadh to protest the government’s decision to stop paying electricity and water bills for members of the extended royal family. He said they were also asking for compensation for the execution of a relative who was sentenced to death for murder last year.” http://on.wsj.com/2COqu2M
ON THE WORLD STAGE – NYT A1, “How U.S. Intelligence Agencies Underestimated North Korea,” by David Sanger and William Broad: “At the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, American intelligence agencies told the new administration that while North Korea had built the bomb, there was still ample time — upward of four years — to slow or stop its development of a missile capable of hitting an American city with a nuclear warhead. The North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, faced a range of troubles, they assured the new administration, giving Mr. Trump time to explore negotiations or pursue countermeasures. One official who participated in the early policy reviews said estimates suggested Mr. Kim would be unable to strike the continental United States until 2020, perhaps even 2022.
“Mr. Kim tested eight intermediate-range missiles in 2016, but seven blew up on the pad or shattered in flight — which some officials attributed partly to an American sabotage program accelerated by President Barack Obama. And while the North had carried out five underground atomic tests, the intelligence community estimated that it remained years away from developing a more powerful type of weapon known as a hydrogen bomb. Within months, those comforting assessments looked wildly out of date.” http://nyti.ms/2qE0fYh
MEDIAWATCH -- “Is Facebook preparing to open up on fake news?,” by Jason Schwartz: “After months of criticism over their refusal to share data on whether efforts to halt the spread of false news are working, Facebook officials told POLITICO this week that they may be ready to slowly open up. Tessa Lyons, a product manager at Facebook, said that the company has invited representatives from the U.S. fact-checking groups it has partnered with to its Menlo Park, California headquarters in early February to discuss, in part, what information could finally be shared.
“Going ahead and doing so would represent a major shift for the social media giant. While Facebook is unlikely to fully throw open the vault, the meeting could help thaw what has been, at times, a tense relationship with the fact-checking groups—FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, Snopes, The Weekly Standard, ABC News, and the AP —which it began enlisting shortly after the 2016 election to sweep the platform for misinformation.” http://politi.co/2EgPm0k
-- “The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market,” by Snigdha Poonam in the Guardian – per Longreads.com’s description: “In parts of India where jobs are so scarce that college graduates apply to be street sweepers, people are willing to work as scammers who extract money from gullible Americans by impersonating US tax officers and taking their computers hostage with fake viruses. They also prey on other Indians.” http://bit.ly/2Ay6Lzo
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
-- “In the Jungle,” by Rian Malan in the May 2000 issue of Rolling Stone, reprinted by Longform: “How American music legends made millions off the work of a Zulu tribesman who died a pauper.” http://bit.ly/2CwGVxA
-- “The Teens Trapped Between a Gang and the Law,” by Jonathan Blitzer in the New Yorker: “On Long Island, unaccompanied minors are caught between the violence of MS-13 and the fear of deportation.” http://bit.ly/2CgQTGz
-- “A Cruel and Elusive Family History,” by Adam Kirsch in Tablet Magazine: “Almost every Ashkenazi Jewish community in the world has roots in Poland. The Jews of all countries are only four or so generations removed from Poland. It is the mother of us all, but a cruel mother, one we are glad of having escaped. When the descendants of Irish or Italian — or Polish — emigrants go to visit the Old Country, they find relatives and ancestral villages. When Jews go to Poland, there is little for them to see, except Auschwitz.” http://bit.ly/2m2zx6a
-- “Adderall Risks: Much More than You Wanted to Know,” by Scott Alexander in Slate Star Codex: http://bit.ly/2CH35k6
-- “Wilderness of Mirrors,” by Jefferson Morley in the Intercept: “Documents reveal the complex legacy of James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief and godfather of mass surveillance.” http://bit.ly/2CGokT7
-- “Prison Food Is Making U.S. Inmates Disproportionately Sick,” by Joe Fassler and Claire Brown in the New Food Economy: “Lapses in food safety have made U.S. prisoners six times more likely to get a foodborne illness than the general population.” http://bit.ly/2CwWHZ6
-- “A Dying Town,” by Sarah Brown and Karin Fischer in the Chronicle of Higher Ed: “Here in a corner of Missouri and across America, the lack of a college education has become a public-health crisis.” http://bit.ly/2AwZ7W1
-- “Donald Trump’s Empty Governance,” by Robert W. Merry in the American Conservative: “The president’s personal limitations have kept him from being a great leader, leaving his supporters the most vulnerable.” http://bit.ly/2m1zF6I
-- “Is Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump?” by the Atlantic’s Dr. James Hamblin: “It is best not to diagnose the president from afar, which is why the federal government needs a system to evaluate him up close.” http://theatln.tc/2CJhewY
-- “Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection,” by Kiera Feldman of The Investigative Fund in ProPublica -- per TheBrowser.com’s description: “Tales from the New York garbage-collection trade. The Mafia were forced out in the 1990s, but the unions went with them, and conditions for workers have got worse since then. Private waste collectors have the most dangerous job in America after loggers, fishermen, roofers, and aircraft pilots.” http://bit.ly/2m0uiDN
-- “The Ghost and the Princess,” by Anthony Gottlieb in Lapham’s Quarterly: “The correspondence of René Descartes and Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia—a debate about mind, soul, and immortality.” http://bit.ly/2j8AOaC (h/t ALDaily.com)
-- “Why Do We Need to Sleep?” by Veronique Greenwood in the Atlantic: “At a shiny new lab in Japan, an international team of scientists is trying to figure out what puts us under.” http://theatln.tc/2quQtaS
-- “The Book That Incited a Worldwide Fear of Overpopulation,” by Charles C. Mann in the Jan. Smithsonian: “‘The Population Bomb’ made dire predictions—and triggered a wave of repression around the world.” http://bit.ly/2EdQj9H
SPOTTED: U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman and his wife, Mary Kaye, in NYC at Jack's Stir Brew Coffee in the Roxy Hotel (formerly the Tribeca Grand, the exterior of which was Hugh Grant’s residence in “Two Week’s Notice”). Mary Kaye was overheard saying it was “colder here than in Russia.” The Huntsmans were in TriBeCa in NYC visiting their new granddaughter, Isabel Grace, born to Fox News’ Abby Huntsman and KKR’s Jeff Livingston. Instapic http://bit.ly/2CQnnIu
WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- TIM MILLER, partner at Definers Public Affairs, Crooked Media’s “token Republican” and a Jeb alum, and TYLER JAMESON, director of government relations at Impossible Foods, post on Instagram: “Meet Toulouse Anne! Born Wednesday morning. She loves attention, is a night owl, has perfect skin, and hair for days. Dads are over the moon. We’ll be in a remote location for the next few weeks but Toulouse is welcoming all guests in Oakland in February and March.” Four Instapics http://bit.ly/2AA3cJ1
TRANSITIONS -- Kristan King Nevins has been hired as chief of staff for Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas). She most recently was chief of staff for the second lady, Karen Pence.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: John Reiss, executive producer of NBC’s “Meet the Press”. How he got his start in journalism: “I got a reporting internship at the Buffalo Evening News. Three jobs and a short four years later I was hired as a writer at ABC News in Washington.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2m3TOIc
BIRTHDAYS: Katie Couric ... Jordan Karem, WH deputy director of advance and the president’s trip director ... NSC’s Dave Banks, lead adviser for international energy policy for the president (hat tip: Chrissy Harbin) … Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is 55. He’ll celebrating by appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and then a family dinner in Bowling Green, Kentucky. ... Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is 57. He’s “celebrating with brunch with his kids who are making him huevos rancheros, and then a play date with his three grandkids in the South Dakota snow” … Jann Wenner is 72 ... Monument Policy Group founder and partner Stewart Verdery, also a Bush 43 DHS alum, is 51 (h/t Ed Cash) ... The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf, founding editor of The Best of Journalism newsletter, is 38 ... Politico’s Conor Skelding, Jonathan Clark and Taylor Gee ... Holly Shulman ... Max Mallory, director at Hamilton Place Strategies ... Adam Entous, staff writer at the New Yorker ... Yohannes Abraham ... Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) is 52 ... former Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) is 58 ...
... Megan Brown Clarke, VP of guest booking at Fox News (h/t Lauren Fritts) ... Ashley Callen ... Britta Ritter-Armour of WeWork ... Monica Lee ... Maura Keefe, COS for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Rishi Sahgal …APCO’s Tim Kraus ... Alex Pazuchanics ... Meghan Cline … Cory Crowley ... Garth Spencer ... BNY Mellon’s Michael F. Longo is 25 ... Chris McCreight ... Matt McKinney ... Andrea Elizabeth Hailey ... Ken Lindeman ... Kelly Marie Fay Rodríguez of the Solidarity Center... Eric Pfeiffer ... Axios’ Ben Geman ... British politician Nick Clegg is 51 … Brianna Labuskes … Andrea Elizabeth Hailey ... Jim Bohannon ... Jeff Gulko ... Sarah Youssef Wright ... Justin Martin ... William Flynn ... Brett Shogren ... Michael Ward ... Bush-Cheney ’04 alum Brian Summers ... Neal Osborne is 3-0 ... Yvonne Conza ... Caleb Michael ... Bill Shoehigh ... David Walsh ... Naomi Rosen Marx (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)