Mike Allen
Featured

Dems are having a new wave of angst

Steven Senne / AP

A flurry in The Wilderness is triggering a new wave of angst for Dems. This week, we had: the announcement of the first public event by former President Obama (speaking to students Monday at University of Chicago) ... the publication of "Shattered," the juicy autopsy of Hillary's campaign ... the launch of Elizabeth Warren's book tour ... Bernie's road show ... and more GOP weakness in special elections.

All this has done is highlight Democratic rifts and the prayers for a new The One to lead the party, or for guidance from the old One: Obama. But dreams of Obama returning frequently to the public stage are unlikely to be satisfied.

A speed read:

  • The key point, from The Atlantic's Clare Foran: "[I]deological divides within the party [including abortion and economic populism] continue to cause division even after the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump alone will not be enough of a unifying force to paper over those rifts."
  • The problem: "The same debates that divided Democrats throughout the 2016 presidential primary ... threaten to make it more difficult for Democrats to rally around the very candidates who could help the party make inroads in conservative parts of the country."
  • "Very raw": It may have been inevitable, the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin points out, that there would be a collision when the biggest star on the left (Bernie) is a class warrior at a time when Democrats are increasingly defined by cultural issues. JMart's front-page dispatch, about a DNC "Unity Tour" stop in Omaha this week, "At a 'Unity' Stop in Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But."
  • And for those who want hope ... Top of WashPost column 1, "Democratic newcomers gear up for 2018 fight," by Ed O'Keefe and Mike DeBonis: "At least 15 declared [House] candidates or contenders on the verge of announcing have emerged in districts that Democrats must win ... [T]he key ingredient this year is the grass-roots urgency, but the hope is to combine that with organizing heft."
Featured

The real story behind Trump's tax cut promise

Susan Walsh / AP

When President Trump told AP's Julie Pace yesterday that he'd announce a "massive" tax cut for both individuals and corporations next week ("bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever"), he "surprised Capitol Hill" and left his own Treasury officials "speechless," as the N.Y. Times put it.

Between the lines: Insiders tell us the surprise was deliberate: Trump wanted to light a fire under his own aides, who are working on the tax package this weekend.

Trump's vow to unveil the plan "Wednesday or shortly thereafter" puts the announcement just after Congress returns from the two-week Easter recess — and just ahead of Friday's deadline for avoiding a government shutdown, and Saturday's 100-day mark for his presidency.

Sources quickly told Axios' Jonathan Swan that it would be kind of principles, plus: a 100,000-foot document, with no real path for how to get there — just targets.

No BAT: Bloomberg correctly reported that the plan "likely won't include a border-adjusted tax that House Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed." (Awkward!)

Despite breathless reporting about House action on health reform next week, a Republican lobbyist told me there's zero chance to pull that off at the same time you're negotiating a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown: "You'd have a better chance of repealing the laws of physics."

Here's the real timeline: Health care passes the House by the end of May ... Health care passes the Senate by the end of July ... Tax reform to the president's desk by the end of the year.

P.S. In case you wonder how closely Trump tracks timelines, he told Julie Pace: "I've only been here now 93 days, 92 days. President Obama took 17 months to do 'Obamacare.' I've been here 92 days, but I've only been working on the health care, you know, I had to get like a little bit of grounding, right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I've been working on health care for 60 days. ... we're very close. And it's a great plan ... we have to get it approved."

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Axios AM

Most (not all) Axios AMers loved the faster-format weekend Top 5 we tried on Easter. These are fascinating, complex times, and I have a lot to say. But one of the top values of Axios is that we don't waste your time. And there are some days when your time is better spent doing something besides reading a newsletter. This is one of those days. Happy Saturday — see you at brunch. And you can always reach me by replying to this email, or mike@axios.com.

1 big thing: The "100 days" week

After walking from the White House (next door), Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin arrive at the Treasury Department, where POTUS signed financial-services executive orders / AP's Susan Walsh

When President Trump told AP's Julie Pace yesterday that he'd announce a "massive" tax cut for both individuals and corporations next week ("bigger, I believe, than any tax cut ever"), he "surprised Capitol Hill" and left his own Treasury officials "speechless," as the N.Y. Times put it.

  • Between the lines: Insiders tell us the surprise was deliberate: Trump wanted to light a fire under his own aides, who are working on the tax package this weekend.

Trump's vow to unveil the plan "Wednesday or shortly thereafter" puts the announcement just after Congress returns from the two-week Easter recess — and just ahead of Friday's deadline for avoiding a government shutdown, and Saturday's 100-day mark for his presidency.

Sources quickly told Axios' Jonathan Swan that it would be kind of principles, plus: a 100,000-foot document, with no real path for how to get there — just targets.

  • No BAT: Bloomberg correctly reported that the plan "likely won't include a border-adjusted tax that House Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed." (Awkward!)

Despite breathless reporting about House action on health reform next week, a Republican lobbyist told me there's zero chance to pull that off at the same time you're negotiating a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown: "You'd have a better chance of repealing the laws of physics."

  • Here's the real skyline: Health care passes the House by the end of May ... Health care passes the Senate by the end of July ... Tax reform to the president's desk by the end of the year.

P.S. In case you wonder how closely the president tracks timelines, he told Julie Pace: "I've only been here now 93 days, 92 days. President Obama took 17 months to do 'Obamacare.' I've been here 92 days, but I've only been working on the health care, you know, I had to get like a little bit of grounding, right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I've been working on health care for 60 days. ... we're very close. And it's a great plan ... we have to get it approved."

2. The Wilderness: disarray and pipe dreams

Senator Sanders in Omaha on Thursday, seen through one of the Bernie cutouts that were popular in the crowd / AP's Charlie Neibergall

A flurry in The Wilderness is triggering a new wave of angst for Dems. This week, we had: the announcement of the first public event by former President Obama (speaking to students Monday at University of Chicago) ... the publication of "Shattered," the juicy autopsy of Hillary's campaign ... the launch of Elizabeth Warren's book tour ... Bernie's road show ... and more GOP weakness in special elections.

All this has done is highlight Democratic rifts, and the prayers for a new The One. Or even the old One: Dreams of Obama returning frequently to the public stage are unlikely to be satisfied. A speed read:

  • The key point, from The Atlantic's Clare Foran: "[I]deological divides within the party [including abortion and economic populism] continue to cause division even after the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump alone will not be enough of a unifying force to paper over those rifts."
  • The problem: "The same debates that divided Democrats throughout the 2016 presidential primary ... threaten to make it more difficult for Democrats to rally around the very candidates who could help the party make inroads in conservative parts of the country."
  • "Very raw": It may have been inevitable, the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin points out, that there would be a collision when the biggest star on the left (Bernie) is a class warrior at a time when Democrats are increasingly defined by cultural issues. JMart's front-page dispatch, about a DNC "Unity Tour" stop in Omaha this week, "At a 'Unity' Stop in Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But."
  • And for those who want hope ... Top of WashPost column 1, "Democratic newcomers gear up for 2018 fight," by Ed O'Keefe and Mike DeBonis: "At least 15 declared [House] candidates or contenders on the verge of announcing have emerged in districts that Democrats must win ... [T]he key ingredient this year is the grass-roots urgency, but the hope is to combine that with organizing heft."

3. Life lesons: "Verbal judo"

Kopp Illustration / The New York Times

A secret to life is having a sane, calm, big-hearted person in mind whose behavior you'll model when you're inclined to flip out in an everyday situation.

The Rental-Counter Rule is: When things get slow or dumb, what kind of behavior are you going to model for your significant other, your kids or the people around you?

So think of someone with composure, and be them. Mine is Josh Deckard, a Bush 43 guy I go to church with. When I'm inclined to lose it, I just think, "What would Josh do?" and simmer down.

Whether you're raising kids or managing people, you'll get some worthy tips from a fun and illuminating read that's the cover of tomorrow's N.Y. Times Business section, "How Airline Workers Learn to Deal With You."

The article — by Ron Lieber, the paper's "Your Money" columnist — is written off of a class in "verbal judo" that "offers a window on how flight crews are taught to defuse situations." The takeaways:

  • The Voice: "[W]hen gate agents or flight attendants slow down dramatically, lower their voice or get down on one knee to address you, it's probably on purpose. And you'll probably calm down, lest you feel utterly hysterical and completely ridiculous."
  • The most American (nationality, not airline) question of all is: "Why?" When we explain why, we're showing respect.
  • The Choice (Is Yours): "This bit of context setting is part of a five-step process that begins with an employee's ask and ends with a confirmation and the requested action. After the why, there may need to be a set of options if someone is not satisfied with the explanation and proceeds to do his own thing."
  • I love this one ... The Mile-Making Machine: "Things go awry. No airline is perfect, and no single flight is, either. Not everyone wants a free drink for the trouble ... Enter Delta's hand-held mile-making machine, which it uses for 'service recovery.' Did your tray table fall apart in your hands as you attempted to use it? That will be 5,000 SkyMiles into your account. ... [F]light attendants have flexibility in distributing them."

4. Brick-and-mortar stores shut at record pace

The Wall Street Journal

Based on the pace of store-closings so far this year, the brokerage Credit Suisse estimates that U.S. retailers will close more than 8,600 locations this year, which would eclipse the number of closings during the 2008 recession.

That's the takeaway from the lead story of the Wall Street Journal's second section, by Suzanne Kapner:

  • The killer stat: "[C]losings have been announced for 2,880 retail locations this year, including hundreds of locations being shut by national chains such as Payless ShoeSource Inc. and RadioShack Corp. That is more than twice as many closings as announced during the same period last year."
  • Lingo, for the land grab over the past three decades, icluding the influx of fast-fashion and off-price chains: "over-storing."
  • How brick-and-mortar chains are coping: "In a bid to better compete with Amazon.com, [Walmart] has been scooping up e-commerce startups, including Jet.com and ModCloth. And just this past week, PetSmart Inc. bought Chewy.com, a fast-growing online rival."

5. 1 fun thing: "10 things to toss"

Steven Wilson / The Washington Post

The WashPost Outlook section has an annual "Spring Cleaning" feature, in which a variety of writers nominate something we'd be better off without. The highlights of tomorrow's edition:

  • Countdown clocks, by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.): "Just 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes to go until The Washington Post publishes its 2018 Spring Cleaning issue. ... [I]t seems like news channels are always counting down to something. But I can't quite agree with the networks about what's considered a clock-worthy 'event.' New Year's? Sure. A presidential address? Possibly. Rachel Maddow's Trump tax return 'exposé'? Hardly."
  • No reservations, by Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema: Customers of hot D.C. restaurants "are increasingly asked to stand in line for the opportunity to taste the handiwork of top chefs. ... [A]s someone whose first priority is diners, I'd like to point out that 'restaurant' is derived from the French word for 'restore,' and restaurants that don't let you plan in advance are anything but fortifying."
  • "Unconscious bias," by Kara Swisher, Recode co-founder and executive editor: "You can't throw a hammer in Silicon Valley these days and not hit a gender or race bias controversy. ... The worst excuse is what is widely called 'unconscious bias' — bias that kicks in automatically, with our supposedly unthinking brains making often-inaccurate snap judgments. ... Here's a suggestion for tech execs: Pick up your head and look."

Other entries ... "Healthy substitutes" by Nina Teicholz ... "Cropped pants" by Tim Gunn ... "Playoffs" by Dan Sternberg ... "Self-care" by Amanda Ericsson ... "Tweet storms" by Jeff MacGregor ... "Wedding registries" by Caitlin Flanagan ... "College football" by Patrick Hruby.

Featured

How Trump and Brexit could predict the French elections

Michel Euler / AP

With the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the shooting death of a policeman on Paris' iconic Champs-Élysées just ahead of Sunday's first-round French elections, social media and commentators see a change in the voting atmosphere that could benefit the far-right populist Marine Le Pen.

Why it matters: If she won the runoff May 7, it would be a seismic manifestation of the global populist and nationalist trends that propelled Trump and the Brexit.

On the Twitters: "Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!" Trump tweeted this morning.

Axios' Shane Savitsky says she could win, and notes she has promised a referendum to leave the EU:

  • "If Trump's victory taught us anything, it should be that Le Pen certainly might win the French presidency. But Trump taught us something else — talking the talk is easy, but following through once in power can be much harder. Le Pen's call to destroy the 'anti-democratic monster' of the EU works well as a sound bite, but implementing it won't be easy."
  • For one thing ... Frexit would be more difficult than Le Pen lets on because France's participation in the EU is codified in its constitution.

Axios' Steve LeVine, a longtime foreign correspondent for the big papers, sees a "better than 50-50 chance" LePen goes all the way, based partly on the "rule of threes" following the upset victories for Trump and Brexit. Steve emails me:

  • A wild card: "The first round is a tight race among four candidates, and one of them — Jean-Luc Mélenchon — is every bit [the firebrand] as Le Pen, only from the far left. It's conceivable that the second round will pit [them] against one another. Like Le Pen, Mélenchon threatens to abandon the euro — which would likely lead to a collapse of the unifying monetary union. In addition, Mélenchon vows to quit NATO, the IMF and the World Trade Organization."
  • The takeaway: "These positions are why the French election ultimately is more important to the U.S. than Brexit."
Featured

Axios AM

1 big thing: Could Frexit be next?

Police seal off the Champs-Élysées / AP's Kamil Zihnioglu

With the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the shooting death of a policeman on Paris' iconic Champs-Élysées just ahead of Sunday's first-round French elections, social media and commentators see a change in the voting atmosphere that could benefit the far-right populist Marine Le Pen.

If she won the runoff May 7, it would be a seismic manifestation of the global populist and nationalist trends that propelled Trump and the Brexit.

Trump tweeted this morning: "Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!"

Axios' Shane Savitsky says she could win, and notes she has promised a referendum to leave the EU:

  • "If Trump's victory taught us anything, it should be that Le Pen certainly might win the French presidency. But Trump taught us something else — talking the talk is easy, but following through once in power can be much harder. Le Pen's call to destroy the 'anti-democratic monster' of the EU works well as a sound bite, but implementing it won't be easy."
  • For one thing ... Frexit would be more difficult than Le Pen lets on because France's participation in the EU is codified in its constitution.

AM in-box ... Axios' Steve LeVine, a longtime foreign correspondent for the big papers, sees a "better than 50-50 chance" LePen goes all the way, based partly on the "rule of threes" following the upset victories for Trump and Brexit. Steve emails me:

  • A wild card: "The first round is a tight race among four candidates, and one of them — Jean-Luc Mélenchon — is every bit [the firebrand] as Le Pen, only from the far left. It's conceivable that the second round will pit [them] against one another. Like Le Pen, Mélenchon threatens to abandon the euro — which would likely lead to a collapse of the unifying monetary union. In addition, Mélenchon vows to quit NATO, the IMF and the World Trade Organization."
  • The takeaway: "These positions are why the French election ultimately is more important to the U.S. than Brexit."

2. Potentially very significant

A win for Bannon ... Financial Times lead story, "Trump fires protectionist warning over steel industry," by Shawn Donnan in D.C. (paywall): "The US has set the stage for a global showdown over steel, launching a national security investigation that could lead to sweeping tariffs on steel imports in what would be the first significant act of economic protectionism by President Donald Trump."

  • Why it matters: "The decision to use a 1962 law allowing the US government to limit imports that threaten its security readiness is intended to deliver on Mr Trump's campaign promises ... But it risks setting off trade tensions with China."
  • The big picture, from a New York Times front-pager by Mark Landler, "White House Roaring Again On Free Trade": "From Mr. Trump's 'buy American, hire American' rallying cry in Wisconsin this week to Vice President Mike Pence's warnings to Japan and South Korea about the need to rewrite trade deals, the Trump administration is moving against free trade on multiple fronts."
  • What's next: "A senior White House official said there would be two trade-related events a week for the next few weeks."
  • Key sentence: "The flurry of activity amounts to a comeback by nationalists like Mr. Bannon."

3. Connecting the dots

The autocratic turn in Turkey, the rise of the nationalists, a free-speech crisis on campuses ... David Brooks' column, "The Crisis of Western Civ," says it's all part of a collapse of the "higher reaches of the humanistic ideal":

  • "It is as if a prevailing wind, which powered all the ships at sea, had suddenly ceased to blow. Now various scattered enemies of those Western values have emerged, and there is apparently nobody to defend them."
  • "If [hard-right Marine Le Pen and the hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon] end up in the [French] finals, then the European Union and NATO, the two great liberal institutions of modern Europe, will go into immediate crisis."
  • "While running for office, Donald Trump violated every norm of statesmanship built up over these many centuries, and it turned out many people didn't notice or didn't care. The faith in the West collapsed from within.
  • "[T]he whole idea of Western civ is assumed to be reactionary and oppressive. ... [I]f you think that was reactionary and oppressive, wait until you get a load of the world that comes after it."

4. "New normal" may be back: anemic economic growth

A Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Moves in Markets Show Signs Investors Souring on Economy," by James Mackintosh, warns that "markets are flashing red on growth as investors begin to return to pre-election bets on the 'new normal' — a persistently weak economic expansion":

  • "[T]here are signs that the sugar rush of Donald Trump's victory and global-growth hopes has faded, raising doubts among some investors about whether stocks can stay high."
  • "Technology stocks' return to favor also suggests investors are looking for companies able to deliver growth even if the economy is weak."
  • Caveat: "[T]here is a long history of first-quarter data being wrong due to seasonal adjustment errors."

5. How Amazon will become the first $1 trillion stock

The case for "AMZN $1T" by Scott Galloway, founder of marketing company L2 and an NYU professor, is spelled out in a MarketWatch post:

  • The strategy: "I think Amazon is going to say to a series of households, 'Tell you what: You don't need any other retailer."
  • The long game: "Jeff Bezos & Co. have declared war on conventional brands, changed the relationship between a company and its shareholders, and deployed Alexa ... in clever ways. ... Amazon is giving people a discount on laundry detergent and other products when they order through Alexa."
  • Why it matters: "[T]he stock's going to become the first $1 trillion market cap company in the history of business."

P.S. "Facebook's record lobbying quarter," by Axios' David McCabe: "Facebook spent more on [federal] lobbying in the first three months of 2017 [$3.21 million] than it has in any previous quarter since registering in 2009."

  • What it lobbied on: Immigration, surveillance and connectivity, among many other issues.

6. If you read only 1 thing

The ultimate megatrend, from the N.Y. Times Magazine's forthcoming Climate Issue ... "Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present: How do we live with the fact that the world we knew is going and, in some cases, already gone?" by Jon Mooallem:

The future we've been warned about is beginning to saturate the present. We tend to imagine climate change as a destroyer. But it also traffics in disruption, disarray: increasingly frequent and more powerful storms and droughts; heightened flooding; expanded ranges of pests turning forests into fuel for wildfires; stretches of inhospitable heat. So many facets of our existence — agriculture, transportation, cities and the architecture they spawned — were designed to suit specific environments. Now they are being slowly transplanted into different, more volatile ones, without ever actually moving.

And in case that wasn't enough, from the same issue ... "Why the Menace of Mosquitoes Will Only Get Worse: Climate change is altering the environment in ways that increase the potential for viruses like Zika," by Maryn McKenna:

The unpredictable weather patterns stimulated by climate change affect infectious diseases, as well as chronic ones. Warmer weather encourages food-borne organisms like salmonella to multiply more rapidly, and warmer seas foster the growth of bacteria like Vibrio that make oysters unsafe to eat. Spikes in heat and humidity have less visible effects, too, changing the numbers and distribution of the insect intermediaries that carry diseases to people.

7. Trump's "trickiest task"

Get smart fast ... "Dealmaker, meet deal-breaker," says The Economist's cover story, "How to deal with the world's most dangerous regime":

  • "For all his eccentricities, [North Korea's Kim Jong-un] is behaving rationally. He watched Muammar Qadaffi of Libya give up his nuclear programme in return for better relations with the West — and end up dead. He sees his nuclear arsenal as a guarantee that his regime, and he, will survive. (Though it would be suicidal for him to use it.)"
  • "Mr Trump can do little to change his mind. Economic sanctions that harm his people will not spoil his lunch. Cyber-attacks, which may account for the failure of some recent missile launches, can slow but not stop him. America can solve the Korean conundrum only with China's help."
  • "The crucial message for Mr Kim as for his predecessors is that, if the North were to use its nukes, the regime would be obliterated. In the long run, reunification is inevitable and desirable. Meanwhile, the junior god-king can be deterred."

8. Tracking power: James Murdoch rising

NBC Nightly News

Pulling back the camera from Bill O'Reilly and the $25 million he was paid to leave (the value of one year on his contract), the Hollywood Reporter's Michael Wolff nails the generational fallout in "It's James Murdoch's Fox News Now":

  • "Rupert Murdoch's son [the 21st Century Fox CEO] has overthrown his own network as he moves to reinvent the family company's profit machine at great risk."
  • "James Murdoch ... kept repeating with horror to his friends and executives: 'This is on the front page of The New York Times!' ... James Murdoch's longtime annoyance if not disgust with Fox News became cold fury."
  • "[L]ikewise, it would be hard to imagine how James could have been regarded with more contempt by many of the people at Fox News. James was rather exhibit No. 1 of the liberal elite entitlement that Fox had so profitably programmed against."
  • CNN's Brian Stelter has this "smart thought from a TV newser": "Murdoch's children are playing the same kind of moderating role for Rupert that Trump's children are playing for the president."
  • WashPost's Paul Farhi: O'Reilly successor Tucker Carlson "speaks to the same older conservative audience that was O'Reilly's core viewer. ... Carlson, 47, is 20 years younger than O'Reilly, and thus gives the Murdochs a younger face around which to build the network's future."

9. Bob Costa's new hat

Bob with last week's guests: Michael Crowley, AP's Vivian Salama, Peter Baker and Molly Ball.

WashPost's Bob Costa (who'll continue with the paper) writes to viewers of PBS' Friday night classic, "Washington Week," after being named moderator, succeeding the late Gwen Ifill:

"Washington Week is a treasured resource for so many viewers who value civil conversation and who care about how our democracy works. The past moderators of the program, and most especially Gwen Ifill, earned the trust and affection of a large and loyal audience."

"I met Gwen when I was a first-time guest on Washington Week in 2014 and she told me about her values, a conversation I'll always remember. ... Early in the 2016 campaign, I remember being with Gwen in New Hampshire during the primaries. It was a crazy day on the campaign trail, but somehow it didn't seem to faze Gwen. Even after her decades in the business, she still loved being there. Gwen loved politics, her colleagues and her viewers. "

Jonathan Swan tweets at Costa: "Congrats to a generous guy and old fashioned (in a good way!) reporter."

10. 1 foodie thing

From Instagram of Aska, located in an 1860s restored warehouse building at the edge of the Williamsburg Bridge: Finnish caviar and grilled onion with a broth of the charred onion skins and lemon verbena.

GQ's 10 Best New Restaurants in America (alphabetical order), by Brett Martin, "exploring everything from neo-Nordic in Brooklyn to Korean pizza in Minneapolis to ecstatic Mexican food in LA":

  • Aska (Brooklyn): Scandinavian high notes beneath the Williamsburg Bridge.
  • Flowers of Vietnam (Detroit): A son of Palestinian immigrants does Southeast Asian in Mexicantown.
  • Han Oak (Portland, Ore.): Casual Korean tasting menu collides with Portland cool.
  • Kato (L.A.): A West L.A.'s strip mall hosts the city's best-valued Asian tasting menu.
  • Kemuri Tatsu-ya (Austin): Giddy, riotous Japanese-Texan "Austin izakaya."
  • Rooster Soup Co. (Philadelphia): Israeli chef Michael Salomonov's posse elevates Jewish diner favorites.
  • Salazar (L.A.): Ecstatic, escapist Mexican food near the L.A. River.
  • Side Chick (L.A.): Transcendant Hainan chicken at the Westfield Santa Anita mall.
  • Tarsan i Jane (Seattle): Characteristic Catalan and Valencian inventiveness for the Northwest.
  • Young Joni (Minneapolis): Wood-fired pizzas and Korean small plates, in equal measure. America in 2017 on a menu.

Featured

The facts of life for Bill O’Reilly

Adam Rountree / AP

The brutal but foreseeable banishment of Bill O'Reilly pushes aside all other global events and gets a two-column lead splash from the N.Y. Times, "Fox News Ousts O'Reilly, A Host Central to Its Rise." It's partly a victory lap by the paper that lit the fuse with rat-tat revelations of cascading harassment allegations, triggering an advertiser exodus. But it's also a reflection of the change as a signal moment in the converging worlds of business, media, culture and politics. Your quick read on the aftermath:

See our amazing timeline, by Stef Kight and Laz Gamio.

Sentence of the day, from an emailer to CNN's Brian Stelter: "Have you ever stopped to consider how the world would have been different if Roger Ailes had just given Gretchen Carlson the new contract she wanted? All of this over a deal for his 2pm anchor."

Crucial context: "21st Century Fox is much bigger than O'Reilly, Fox News and its aging, conservative audience. It's home to movie and TV studios; a slew of sports and other cable channels; and the Fox broadcast network ... It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered."

Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison: "The most unsettling feeling among some at Fox News ... is that Wednesday's events are only the beginning. 'There's more to come,' one Fox News insider told me, suggesting that there are more women with stories of harassment who have not come forward publicly. ... Others are equally concerned about the attention that is being drawn to 21st Century Fox's handling of the allegations."

The new lineup: O'Reilly's show, with Dana Perino filling in, was renamed "The Factor" last night. Tucker Carlson replaces O'Reilly at 8 p.m. starting Monday. "The Five" moves to Carlson's 9 o'clock slot. Martha MacCallum stays at 7 p.m. with the renamed "The Story." Eric Bolling gets a 5 p.m. show starting May 1.

Mikey Facts of Life: Life is more fair than unfair. If you do the right things for the right reasons, the arc of life bends toward goodness — with good results. But if you do the wrong thing for the wrong reason, the arc of life bends toward justice — almost always with bad results. Who cares if you make millions, and earn fame and power, if you end in public or private humiliation?

Featured

Axios AM

1 big thing: Trump's on-edge management style

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Last Tuesday night, just after 8 p.m., Steve Bannon's cellphone started lighting up. Colleagues and friends were sending him the link to the column by the New York Post's Michael Goodwin quoting President Trump as saying "I like Steve, but... ." They wanted to know if the story was as bad as it looked.

As part of our "Trump 101" series on this president's style and decision making, Axios' Jonathan Swan writes that the stunning episode illuminates Trump's improvisational management style:

He's always been more of a creative deal-maker and salesman than a manager. In his business career, he oversaw a very lean executive team, and he preferred his deals to be mano-a-mano. He made phone calls from early morning to late into the night. He stayed loose, always open to next idea.

The bigger the concept, the more potential for glamor, the better. And he always, always — as Bannon, Reince and the rest now keenly know — kept his associates on edge.

In a one-paragraph statement for this story, trusted Trump aide Hope Hicks described him with the words "unbelievably successful," "incredibly effective," "great," "leadership," "ingenuity" and "high energy."

Click here to read the 7 elements of Trump's management style.

2. Fallen star

The brutal but foreseeable banishment of Bill O'Reilly pushes aside all other global events and gets a two-column lead splash from the N.Y. Times, "Fox News Ousts O'Reilly, A Host Central to Its Rise."

It's partly a victory lap by the paper that lit the fuse with rat-tat revelations of cascading harassment allegations, triggering an advertiser exodus. But it's also a reflection of the change as a signal moment in the converging worlds of business, media, culture and politics. Your quick read on the aftermath:

  • See our amazing timeline, by Stef Kight and Laz Gamio.
  • Sentence of the day, from an emailer to CNN's Brian Stelter: "Have you ever stopped to consider how the world would have been different if Roger Ailes had just given Gretchen Carlson the new contract she wanted? All of this over a deal for his 2pm anchor."
  • Crucial context: "21st Century Fox is much bigger than O'Reilly, Fox News and its aging, conservative audience. It's home to movie and TV studios; a slew of sports and other cable channels; and the Fox broadcast network ... It's also home to ambitions that the O'Reilly crisis may have hindered."
  • Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison: "The most unsettling feeling among some at Fox News ... is that Wednesday's events are only the beginning. 'There's more to come,' one Fox News insider told me, suggesting that there are more women with stories of harassment who have not come forward publicly. ... Others are equally concerned about the attention that is being drawn to 21st Century Fox's handling of the allegations."
  • The new lineup: O'Reilly's show, with Dana Perino filling in, was renamed "The Factor" last night. Tucker Carlson replaces O'Reilly at 8 p.m. starting Monday. "The Five" moves to Carlson's 9 o'clock slot. Martha MacCallum stays at 7 p.m. with the renamed "The Story." Eric Bolling gets a 5 p.m. show starting May 1.
  • Mikey Facts of Life: Life is more fair than unfair. If you do the right things for the right reasons, the arc of life bends toward goodness — with good results. But if you do the wrong thing for the wrong reason, the arc of life bends toward justice — almost always with bad results. Who cares if you make millions, and earn fame and power, if you end in public or private humiliation?

3. Facebook's focus on futuristic tech

Franklin Miranda-sibrian uses an Oculus headset at Facebook's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose / AP's Noah Berger

Facebook's new interests in technology for reading brain waves — and mixed reality that barely exist today — shows that it wants to compete with Google when it comes to tech moonshots, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.

The big news from the closing day of this year's Facebook developers' conference:

  • Facebook wants you to wear AR glasses: Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash described a future in which we all wear glasses that mix augmented and virtual reality. But we're still at least five years away from augmented reality's "MacIntosh" moment — when it becomes a mainstream technology.
  • Facebook wants you to type with your mind: Facebook's secretive Building 8 unit, led by former DARPA director and Google executive Regina Dugan, unveiled two of its projects: One aims to let people type using their brain waves, and the other is working on letting them hear and detect language through their skin.
  • Other new tech: Facebook execs also discussed new improvements and projects in the areas of 360-video cameras, internet connectivity, and artificial intelligence.

4. Day 91: Operation Normal persists

The "America First" president who vowed to extricate the U.S. from onerous overseas commitments is warming to global agreements, AP's Matt Lee and Josh Lederman write:

  • Get smart fast: "From NAFTA to the Iran nuclear agreement to the Paris climate accord, ... Trump's campaign rhetoric is colliding with the reality of governing. Despite repeated pledges to rip up, renegotiate or otherwise alter them, the U.S. has yet to withdraw from any of these economic, environmental or national security deals, as Trump's past criticism turns to tacit embrace of several key elements of U.S. foreign policy."
  • The takeaway: "[W]ith one exception — an Asia-Pacific trade deal ... — Trump's administration quietly has laid the groundwork to honor the international architecture of deals it has inherited."

P.S. WashPost top of column 1, "U.S. sows confusion on foreign affairs," by David Nakamura and Karen DeYoung: "[T]he normally meticulous care that goes into formulating and coordinating U.S. government policy positions or even simple statements is often absent. Institutional memory is lacking, ... former officials said, and mistakes and contradictions easily slip through the cracks."

5. Trump takes on steel dumping

President Trump plans to issue a memo today calling for the Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports hinder national security. Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs broke the story on Twitter. Jonathan Swan confirmed it and reads between the lines:

  • Why it matters: By initiating investigations under the umbrella of "national security," Trump is creating a pretext for using extraordinary measures to crack down on steel dumping. This could complicate the U.S.-China relationship at a time when Trump is explicitly linking trade negotiations to China's behavior with North Korea, as China is the top culprit for dumping cheap steel into the American market.
  • Something else you should know: This memo is much, much, milder than some of the ideas that were initially kicked around inside the West Wing.
  • Shifting power: An early concept pushed by administration nationalists was to impose immediate supplemental 25% tariffs on a wide range of product categories they believed were being unfairly dumped into the United States such as industrial chemicals, household appliances, paper and tires.

6. Navigating the new Washington

On Feb. 24, Trump gives a pen he used to sign an executive order on reg reform to "my friend" Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, as other business leaders applaud in the Oval / AP's Pablo Martinez Monsimais

"AP Exclusive: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study," by AP's Michael Biesecker: "Dow Chemical is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species."

  • What happened: "Lawyers representing Dow, whose CEO also heads a White House manufacturing working group, and two other makers of organophosphates ... asked [three Cabinet agencies] 'to set aside' the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed."
  • Why it matters: "Dow Chemical chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is a close adviser to ... Trump. The company wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump's inaugural festivities."
  • The context: "The industry's request comes after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month he was reversing an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food."
  • The response: An EPA spokesman said Pruitt won't "prejudge" any potential rule-making decisions as "we are trying to restore regulatory sanity to EPA's work."

P.S. Wall Street Journal 2-column lead, "Exxon Seeks Waiver for Russia Deal," by Jay Solomon and Brad Olson: "Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft."

7. Security tightens around White House

The upper arc marks the old fence line; the lower arc marks the new boundary for the public / WTOP

After a series of embarrassing jumper incidents, the Secret Service announced that the sidewalk along the White House south fence closed permanently at 11 last night, WTOP and other outlets reported:

  • What changed: "Since 2015, the sidewalk and park land between the south fence and E Street Northwest, between West Executive Avenue and East Executive Avenue, has been closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily." Now it's permanent.
  • The new look: Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan told WTOP that the plan was to create "space between the fence and people." When people stood right up to the fence, "it limited our ability to identify and respond to potential hazards."
  • The new restriction "won't require building any new physical barriers ... The existing barriers simply won't be opened in the daytime hours."
  • The context: "Milhoan said the move wasn't in response to any specific incident ... Last month, a man jumped the White House fence and spent 17 minutes on the grounds while ... Trump was inside."
  • The spin: "Milhoan said that people who wanted to see or photograph the iconic view of the White House from the south would still be able to get it — just about 25 yards back, across E Street by the Ellipse."
  • What's next: "A higher fence around the White House was approved earlier this year ... [T]he project will go out to bid later this year, and construction is slated to begin next year."

8. More millennials at home

The Census Bureau yesterday released a study, "The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood From 1975-2016," concluding that today's 18-to-34-year-olds "look different from prior generations in almost every regard: how much education they have, their work experiences, when they start a family":

  • "Young people are delaying marriage, but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 people married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married."
  • "More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, 25% of young men ages 25 to 34 had incomes of less than $30,000 per year. By 2016, that share rose to 41% ... (incomes for both years are in 2015 dollars)."
  • "Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent of all women ages 25 to 34."
  • More than one-third of adults live at home: 34% in 2015 vs. 26% in 2005.

9. Rising star

Chris Buck / GQ

The May issue of GQ has a four-page spread on CNN's Jake Tapper as "The Hardest-Working Brow in the Business," by Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

[T]he Jake Tapper WTF Face [is] that unique look through which he transmits his seeming disbelief and outrage ... There is the JTWTFF that is a mere frown ... a hood over his downward-turning, disappointed eyes. ... My favorite Jake Tapper WTF Face is the one where his eyebrows arch but also corrugate into small bowl-shaped caterpillars ...

Tapper allows an incredulousness, and maybe even a smidge of disgust, to sneak on through. In those moments, when he augments the standard newsman persona to include his own come-off-it realness, he has a way of embodying all of us.

10. 1 old-school thing: Roger Stone is back

Roger Stone in his Manhattan apartment / Photo by Mike Allen

The colorful, controversial Roger Stone — author of "The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution" — is the WashPost Style section cover story, "A bedrock of dark politics," by Manuel Roig-Franzia in Oakland Park, Fla.:

Stone, a prolific author who hosts a radio program and runs a website, StoneColdTruth.com, never really went away. He's been talking nonstop for decades, pointing an accusing finger at Lyndon Johnson for alleged complicity in the Kennedy assassination, rooting around in Bill Clinton's extramarital misdeeds, depicting the Bushes as a "crime family." It's just that now there are more people listening.

His studio — a man-cave-style haunt slathered floor to ceiling with Nixon memorabilia and conspiracy books — has been stocked with professional lighting and a broadcast-quality audio line by Stone's 19-year-old grandson, Nick. ...

Stone met his Cuban American wife, Nydia, during one of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns, where she was working as a photographer. In a Polaroid picture taped to her computer monitor, the future married couple are slender and stylish with deep 1980s tans.

Featured

Fox test

Day 91

1. Test

Fox News addressed the departure of Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night, as the show that used to bear his name debuted as simply "The Factor."

Dana Perino, who has been filling in for O'Reilly since he announced an extended break earlier this month, announced that he was no longer with the network.

Perino said at the top of the show that, "We know you, his loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about it."

Both Fox and O'Reilly confirmed O'Reilly's departure from the network earlier Wednesday.

His ouster came after reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. O'Reilly has maintained his innocence.

2. Test

3. Test

Net income last year shrank to $1.6 million from $183.6 million in 2015, a 99 percent decline. The 2015 profit figure was bolstered by a one-time, $165 million tax benefit. AP's 2014 net income of $140.9 million was also boosted by a large non-recurring gain from the sale of a stake in a sports data company. In 2013, net income at the AP — a not-for-profit news cooperative — was $3.3 million.

Featured

What happens next in the high-stakes Georgia runoff

John Bazemore / AP

President Trump got to claim a Twitter victory early this morning after the high-stakes special House election in the Atlanta suburbs. The two parties now plunge into an expensive two-month runoff as they try to excite their donors and bases heading into next year's congressional midterms.

The bottom line, from Atlanta-Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein: "The proxy fight between Democrats and Republicans will continue in Georgia for two more months."

The lead: "Democrat Jon Ossoff [48%] is headed for a runoff in June against a Republican contender after failing Tuesday to score an upset victory to [replace now-HHS Secretary Tom Price in] a suburban Atlanta district in Congress. He goes into a June 20 runoff against Karen Handel," who got 20%. (The numbers.)

Trump's tweet: "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!"

What's next, from N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin and Richard Fausset, from Atlanta: "Ossoff's strong showing will ensure that national Democrats continue to compete here and will increase pressure on the party to contest a special House election next month in Montana that it has so far ignored."

What it means: "Combined with Democrats' better-than-expected performance in a special House election in Kansas last week, the Georgia result will be an immediate boon to Democratic groups, lifting their fund-raising and bolstering candidate recruitment efforts, while sobering Republicans who are assessing whether to run in Mr. Trump's first midterm election."

Adding it up: "Already, Republican candidates and outside groups have had to spend over $7 million against Democrats in a series of deeply conservative districts."

Featured

Axios AM

1 big thing: Red scare

Karen Handel, Republican candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional seat,celebrates her birthday at an election-night watch party in Roswell, Ga. / AP's David Goldman

President Trump got to claim a Twitter victory early this morning in that high-stakes special House election in the Atlanta suburbs. The two parties now plunge into an expensive two-month runoff as they try to excite their donors and bases heading into next year's congressional midterms:

  • The bottom line, from Atlanta-Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein: "The proxy fight between Democrats and Republicans will continue in Georgia for two more months."
  • The lead: "Democrat Jon Ossoff [48%] is headed for a runoff in June against a Republican contender after failing Tuesday to score an upset victory to [replace now-HHS Secretary Tom Price in] a suburban Atlanta district in Congress. He goes into a June 20 runoff against Karen Handel," who got 20%. (The numbers.)
  • Trump's tweet: "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!"
  • What's next, from N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin and Richard Fausset, from Atlanta: "Ossoff's strong showing will ensure that national Democrats continue to compete here and will increase pressure on the party to contest a special House election next month in Montana that it has so far ignored."
  • What it means: "Combined with Democrats' better-than-expected performance in a special House election in Kansas last week, the Georgia result will be an immediate boon to Democratic groups, lifting their fund-raising and bolstering candidate recruitment efforts, while sobering Republicans who are assessing whether to run in Mr. Trump's first midterm election.
  • Adding it up: "Already, Republican candidates and outside groups have had to spend over $7 million against Democrats in a series of deeply conservative districts."

2. The bigger fight

Other big signs of energy among liberal donors ... Both parties see a surge in donations ahead of next year's Senate races, per USA Today's lead story, by Fredreka Schouten:

  • "Many vulnerable Senate Democrats saw their campaign donations soar during the first three months of the year ... The 10 Democratic incumbents up for re-election in states carried by President Trump collectively raised nearly $19 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, more than twice what they collected during the comparable period of their last Senate campaigns."
  • "Leading the pack: Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill ... raised $2.8 million during the first quarter of the year, far outpacing the $1.1 million she had collected at this point six years ago. ... [A] possible McCaskill challenger, Republican Rep. Ann Wagner, had amassed a $2.8 million war chest."
  • Senate Republicans "raised $7 million in March alone, [the NRSC's] highest monthly haul in a non-election year."
  • "[S]everal House Republicans considering bids against vulnerable Senate Democrats have assembled massive war chests."

3. Megatrend: Retail workers being displaced in droves

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

After a steep rise following the financial crisis, U.S. retail jobs have been plummeting since the start of the year, Axios' Steve LeVine writes:

  • Why it matters: The likely irreversible plunge in these relatively low-wage jobs — $18-an-hour employment for teens, adults, immigrants and senior citizens for generations — primarily affects the working class people whose shrinking opportunities have underpinned populist politics in the U.S. and abroad.
  • The jobs being created in their stead, in online warehouses for companies like Amazon, are too few to soak up those displaced.
  • Our thought bubble: Until now, retail workers — unlike the car-making and coal-mining industries — have made little political splash. Look for that to change.

4. Beyond the bubbles: "Getting" Trump

U.S. flags hang outside a downtown building whose storefronts are made up of businesses started by African immigrants who have settled in Lewiston, Maine / AP's David Goldman

A worthy-of-your-time Trump Country package from AP ... "Refugees and Resentment — How a community changed by refugees came to embrace Trump," by Claire Galofaro in Lewiston, Maine:

This "working-class community, built along the banks of the Androscoggin River in the whitest state in America, is a place that some point to as proof that refugee integration can work. And yet for the first time in 30 years, voters in Androscoggin County chose a Republican for president, endorsing Trump's nativist zeal against the very sort of immigrants who share their streets and their schools. ...

The sprawling brick mills that line the river sit mostly shuttered. A quarter of children grow up poor. Taxpayers pick up the welfare tab. So Trump's supporters here tie their embrace of his immigration clampdown to their economic anxieties, and their belief that the newcomers are taking more than they have earned.

5. Local, state tax deductions on Gary Cohn's list

Trump top economic adviser Gary Cohn has privately said he's warming to the idea of eliminating the local and state tax deduction to pay for tax cuts and simplify the code, Axios's Jonathan Swan reports:

  • What it means: The White House needs a ton of money to pay for corporate, individual and small business tax cuts (not to mention the "Ivanka credit" for childcare.) Getting rid of these state and local deductions is a dream Republicans have long held and would raise an estimated $1 trillion over 10 years.
  • Caveat: No final decisions have been made, and the administration's tax reform plans are still a long way from prime time.
  • What the White House says: "We haven't reached the stage of talking about which deductions would stay or go because we are still in listening mode, hearing from key stakeholders before developing a comprehensive plan. To the extent state and local deductions have been discussed, they've been among a laundry list of options that could be explored — no more those than any others."

6. A quiet strategy, and a "false narrative"

The case of the elusive aircraft carrier ...

The memorable headline on the N.Y. Times' 1-column lead story: "AIRCRAFT CARRIER WAS NOT HEADING WHERE U.S. SAID: FAR FROM NORTH KOREA — After a Week of Asian Tensions, Officials Detail Miscues," by Mark Lander and Eric Schmitt:

  • "[T]he carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula."
  • "White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military's Pacific Command to a partially erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea."
  • The bottom line, from the WashPost's lead story, "U.S. tough talk belies actions": "While officials are eager to signal a break from previous U.S. policy, their strategy appears to be a continuation of the Obama administration's attempt to use international economic and diplomatic pressure to force results in Pyongyang."

7. Facebook's next frontier

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at yesterday's F8 conference / AP's Noah Berger

Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes from Facebook's developers' conference in San Jose that the social network's next frontier is using devices like smartphones to decorate, distort, animate, or annotate the world around us. Yesterday's hot announcements:

  • Camera Effects Platform: A set of software tools for developers and creators that lets them build filters and effects that can recognize objects and add 3D effects to photos and videos.
  • Facebook Spaces for Oculus: A new virtual reality app for hanging out with friends. But socializing in a world of avatars requires special devices and technology that's still in its early days.
  • Messenger 2.0: Admitting that last year's release of chat bots wasn't as polished as it could have been, Facebook came back with new and improved ones, along with other fresh features for its messaging app. It's clear Facebook wants to turn Messenger into the way businesses interact with customers.

What's next: Facebook today is expected to unveil new gadgets its secretive Building 8 unit has been developing.

8. "Factor"ed out

Representatives for Fox News and Bill O'Reilly "have begun talking about an exit" and "he will probably not be back on the "Factor," per CNN's Brian Stelter:

So: Dana Perino? Eric Bolling? Jesse Watters [O'Reilly's most frequent fill-in]? An 8pm edition of "The Five?" Something else?

Axios AM is told corporate execs would love to bring in an outside, non-political big name from another network ...

9. 1 important thing

Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan (left) presents Free Speech Award to Apple CEO Tim Cook / Photo by @JimVandeHei

Honorees last night at the Newseum's second annual Free Expression Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Rep. John Lewis
  • Free Speech Award: Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Free Press Award: ABC's Martha Raddatz
  • Religious Freedom Award: Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, executive director of Becket Law
  • Arts and Entertainment Award: Christie Hefner, Hugh Hefner

Fun fact: Tim Cook was seated between two of my co-founders at Politico, Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan and Axios CEO Jim VandeHei.

10. 1 fun thing: Bean-counting on the Strip

"In Las Vegas, Drinks Flow a Little Less Freely: Casinos are introducing technology to signal when a person has played enough poker to get a complimentary pour; 'Is my light green?'" — Wall Street journal A-Hed, by Chris Kirkham:

As Las Vegas has transformed into one of the world's most-visited tourist destinations, casino operators are re-examining the perks that historically lured gamblers. Over the past year, casinos have started charging for parking at resorts on the Strip, eliciting criticism from locals and longtime visitors who view free casino parking as a sacred tradition. Now operators have started scrutinizing complimentary drinks, introducing new technology at bars that track how much someone has gambled—and rewards them accordingly ...

It's a shift from decades of more-informal interplay between bartenders and gamblers. ... Casinos on the Strip now derive a smaller share of revenue from gambling. In 1996, more than half of annual casino revenue on the Strip came from gambling. Last year, the share was down to about a third, according to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. More of the revenue comes from hotels, restaurants and bars....

So far the system applies only to machines at casino bars. Players at slot machines on the floor can still wave down cocktail servers for free drinks.