Good Thursday morning. Situational awareness: "Toys 'R' Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 American jobs in the coming months." (WSJ)
Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), center, with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
Top Democrats tell me that if they take back the House in November, a restoration of Speaker Nancy Pelosi is no longer guaranteed.
One Democratic source told me that Pelosi hears footsteps: “She used to be retributional. Now she’s more inclusive.”
One scenario, from a Pelosi ally:
Be smart: If there's a post-election coup against Pelosi, Crowley is the likely winner because Schiff and the others would scramble the field and Joe is acceptable to all factions.
Yesterday was crazy. The rumor mill was in overdrive with reports that President Trump could replace as many as four senior administration officials, including a Scott-Pruitt-for-Jeff-Sessions switcheroo at Justice, if you believe the latest reports.
We can tell you that Trump has been putting on a heck of an act privately in the past two days, if he really does have all these elaborate plans that are being attributed to him.
Bottom line: The reason this White House is so bad at tamping down speculation is because the guy in the Oval Office quite likes all the gossip and is constantly floating ideas.
P.S. Trump just tweeted: "Larry Kudlow will be my Chief Economic Advisor as Director of the National Economic Council. Our Country will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labor force leading the way! #MAGA"
Larry Kudlow's "Trumpian" moment ... He tells CNBC how he found out yesterday that his appointment as Gary Cohn's successor had been confirmed by the White House:
Shot ... Nate Silver on March 5, linking to our four reasons Dems are poised to win the House: "Seems like people haven't learned too much from 2016. Democrats are modest favorites to win the House, but not particularly heavy ones; less than Clinton was in No[v]ember 2016, and that race was much more competitive than news accounts implied."
On the Colorado state Capitol grounds yesterday, Aaron Durst, 17, a student at East High School in Denver, raises his hand in protest against gun violence.
"Imagine Wall Street Without Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein ... The succession plans at JPMorgan and Goldman say a lot about where the companies — and the Street — are headed," by Bloomberg Businessweek's Hugh Son:
"Congress moved a step closer to relaxing the wave of crisis-era restrictions placed on the banking industry, ... with Senate approval of a bipartisan plan to ease rules for small and midsize banks," per Wall Street Journal:
Rob Nichols, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, said the strongly bipartisan vote provides a formula for other accomplishments in a gridlocked age:
CNN: "A 'demand for arbitration' document dated February 22, 2018, names Jill Martin, a top lawyer at the Trump Organization based in California, as the attorney representing 'EC, LLC.' 'EC, LLC' is Essential Consultants, according to Daniels' lawsuit, a company that [Michael] Cohen established ... to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Daniels."
"In fundraising speech, Trump says he made up trade claim in meeting with [Canadian Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau," per WashPost's Josh Dawsey, Damian Paletta and Erica Werner:
Philippe Reines, who played Donald Trump in mock debates with his longtime boss Hillary Clinton, has this advice for 2020 Dems, in a WashPost opinion piece:
"Major U.S. airlines are hiring pilots at a rate not seen since before 9/11, and that is encouraging more young people to consider a career in the cockpit," AP's David Koenig reports from Dallas:
Thanks for reading. See you on Axios.com!