My onstage conversation with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the debut of my Axios News Shapers event series, will air live on C-SPAN 2 at 8 a.m.
The fate of the healthcare bill is unknowable after yesterday's embarrassing delay and President Trump's strong-arm gamble of demanding a vote today. "Failure is an option," Axios' David Nather writes.
But lessons from the debacle are already apparent:
The top players' thinking going into today, per Axios' Jonathan Swan:
AP timeline: "Procedural vote possible 10 a.m. EDT, final passage possible afternoon."
Regardless of the outcome, Trump has succeeded in one thing: He has maneuvered so that if the bill passes, he gets the credit. If it fails, Ryan gets the blame.
CNN's Dana Bash emailed her colleague Brian Stelter, for his Reliable Sources newsletter: "What is really fascinating is standing in the hallway right now with Steve Bannon — who ran a web site egging on the conservative hell no caucus — now meeting with them trying to get them to yes."
Dems gloat ... Axios in-box, from a savvy Democrat, with subject line "Unraveling": "It has always been the case that as soon as Trump had to make policy choices, his ability to be all things to all people would evaporate ... taxes next, then the budget, then trade — and don't forget about the dumb wall, which border-state members secretly hate. Oh, and then there is Russia."
Shot ... Fox's James Rosen: "Republican congressional investigators expect a potential 'smoking gun' establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week."
Chaser ... "Rick Gates, the longtime deputy to ... Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was forced to leave his position with [America First Policies,] a nonprofit supporting Trump this week due to his longstanding relationship with Manafort."
"Black lawmakers call on FBI to help on missing black girls," by AP's Jesse Holland: "Black members of Congress are calling for the Justice Department to help police investigate a large number of missing children in Washington, D.C."
"[O]fficials said there has been no increase in the numbers of missing persons ... 'We've just been posting them on social media more often.'"
This issue got on our radar earlier this week when WTOP's Neal Augenstein posted, "DC police address concerns over missing teens":
"The figure is startling — more than a dozen black and Latina teens [most of them girls] have been reported missing in D.C. since March 1. The apparent jump in the number of missing young people in the District has raised concern in neighborhoods and on social media."
@JimVandeHei tweeted: "TWELVE [teens] missing since march 1 in 1 corner of DC and police say this is BELOW norm. Short walk from Capitol Hill ... Read this and imagine this was happening in Bethesda or Old Town, Alexandria...and police say this is normal."
"The bank lending slowdown is bad news for U.S. economy," Axios' Chris Matthews writes from New York:
Rupert Murdoch got $1 for selling back his $125 million investment in shares of Theranos, the battered blood-testing start-up, per a Wall Street Journal story on p. B1.
Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger, 66, "previously was expected to leave the company at the end of June 2018. His new deal ends July 2, 2019." (L.A. Times)
Vincent DiForte — a Facebook product marketing manager visiting D.C. from HQ in Menlo Park, Calif. — seemed to inhale an onslaught of pizza slices last night as he showed me Facebook Camera, a feature being tested to the left of News Feed in a dozen overseas markets, including Ireland, Spain and Taiwan.
The Snapchatty tools also let you shoot lasers out of your eyes, and give a photo the blue and gold brushstrokes of van Gogh's "The Starry Night."
Economist cover story, "Corporate ambitions ... Amazon ... is just getting started":
Fortunes's 2017 World's Greatest Leaders:
"Historic move": Women rising at ESPN ... "Samantha Ponder, Suzy Kolber will replace Chris Berman on ESPN's Sunday and Monday NFL shows," per Yahoo Sports:
"Ponder is just the third host of 'Sunday NFL Countdown' in its 32-year history: Bob Ley was the original host when it began in 1985, with Berman taking over a year later. The wife of former NFL quarterback Christian Ponder, Samantha Ponder has been part of the network's college football broadcasts."
Bonus fun thing: "Las Vegas casinos are favoring North Carolina as the NCAA Tournament resets to a 16-team field. Futures odds compiled by Pregame.com ... show the Tar Heels as a 5-1 favorite, followed by Kansas at 6-1 and Gonzaga and Arizona each at 7-1." (AP)