Rusty Capitol Hill aides — Republicans and Democrats — shed suit jackets and bowl a few frames, before eating pizza and pouring soda out of two-liter bottles.
They're at the White House, in the basement of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, as part of an intense effort by the Trump White House to make amends with lawmakers and their staffs — who felt ignored for most of the Obama years, and blindsided by early Trump actions.
While bosses were home on recess last week, the White House held two bowling nights and a bowling lunch for top staff left in D.C. (The White House's two-lane alley has photos on the wall of past presidents bowling.) So far, 45 Hill aides have watched one of Washington's great spectacles — a Marine One departure from the South Lawn.
The legislative-outreach strategy, and how it's working, based on conversations with lawmakers, their aides, and White House staff:
What doesn't really matter:
What really does matter:
An efficient, evocative dispatch by AP's Bill Barrow from the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta: "When Tom Perez stepped to the stage as the newly elected Democratic national chairman, his first official act was to invite his vanquished rival to join him as deputy chairman. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison accepted on the spot and two men stood together, smiling like a national ticket at a presidential nominating convention."
Bernie Sanders tweets: "It's imperative Tom understands that the same-old, same-old isn't working and that we must bring in working and young people in a new way."
Trump tweets: "Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!"
Perez answers: "Call me Tom. And don't get too happy. @keithellison and I, and Democrats united across the country, will be your worst nightmare."
Trump adds this morning: "The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally 'rigged.' Bernie's guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez."
SIREN ... "
Warren Buffett released his highly-anticipated annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders yesterday (29-page PDF). Takeaways by Axios' Alayna Treene:
President George W. Bush unveils a new passion project — a 192-page book of oil paintings, "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," out Tuesday from Crown. Bush aide Freddy Ford emailed details to Bush family and friends last evening:
A slipcover edition signed by President Bush is available here.
Axios AM moved metals markets this week with the scoop that the infrastructure bill is likely to be crowded off the stage this year, and instead pushed to 2018 for both practical and political reasons. Barron's sees the moment as a sign that the Trump rally is starting "to show signs of age."
"Streetwise" columnist Kopin Tan has several columns' worth of astute points in "Eight Years a Bull: The bull market's eight-year anniversary is just around the corner [March 9] — and cracks in its façade are beginning to show":
The lead story of the N.Y. Times, "Agents Discover a New Freedom on Deportations," is an evocative look at the emboldened esprit and aggressive new tactics of immigration officers around the country under Trump:
George Will uses today's column, "How big government disguises its growth," to illuminate a big idea in a Brookings paper by John DiIulio of the University of Pennsylvania, who ran George W. Bush's first faith-based office:
Snap's IPO prompts the L.A. Times' Nina Agrawal to dive deep on an anomaly about the company: It has no headquarters building or campus, but instead sprawls among bungalows on or near Venice Beach, just north of LAX.
How Facebook's clones ripped off Snapchat (chart by Bloomberg).
Key storyline for tonight's Oscars (ABC, 7 p.m., hosted by Jimmy Kimmel) — AP Film Writer Jake Coyle: "'La La Land' goes into Sunday's 89th Annual Academy Awards with a record-tying 14 nominations, including best picture. But a cultural backlash against the candy-colored musical has raised the possibility of an upset win by the more socially relevant 'Moonlight' or 'Hidden Figures.'"
Sound smart: "[M]any have already lamented the increasingly self-congratulatory nature of Hollywood's already exceedingly self-congratulatory awards season. ... But if 'La La Land' pulls out the win, ... it may just prove that Hollywood doesn't need another pat on the back, but a pep talk."
Hollywood loves movies about ... Hollywood: "Damien Chapelle's ... 'La La Land' is part of a grand tradition going back beyond 'Singin' in the Rain' and running past 'Mulholland Drive.'"
Celebrities who may get political in tonight's speeches, tipped to be the most political ever.
Political speeches at past Oscars ceremonies.
Vanity Fair's 1-page printable ballot for your Oscars party, with a spot to score correct picks out of 24.
See the N.Y. Times ad, "The truth is hard," that will air during the Oscars — and Trump's tweet about it this morning!