Good Sunday morning. President Trump kicked off a beautiful game day for pro football by tweeting that fans should quit buying NFL tickets if protests take place:
Situational awareness: Germans are voting, with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world, expected with win a fourth term. Polls close at noon ET; AP says preliminary results expected about 6 p.m.
Opinionated athletes have a lot of company. Other than white, straight, Christian men, it's hard to think of a group President Trump hasn't offended or attacked as a candidate or in office:
Be smart: Trump's mostly white, mainly rural, majority-male base clearly laps this up — and he knows it.
White House director of social media Dan Scavino last evening cc'd Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of communications (@NFLprguy), on a Trump tweet criticizing Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The taunt reflects the fact that far from being sheepish about the president's sudden war with athletes, the Trump team is reveling in it.
With predictions of "potential mass protest Sunday along NFL sidelines," here's what the two sides are thinking, based on my high-level conversations, texts and emails.
What Trump is thinking:
What the NFL is thinking:
Doug Sosnik — longtime NBA adviser, and former Clinton White House senior adviser and political director — emails me this theory: "One of Trump's typical moves is to toss a bomb out of nowhere to deflect what is really bothering him, in the hopes that the press will be distracted."
P.S. WashPost's Sally Jenkins column at top of Sports front: "NFL shows restraint ... Goodell and others in the league are getting it right by responding to the president's baiting comments with civility."
Trump and Republican leaders plan to cut the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.6% to 35% and dramatically reduce taxes on big and small businesses, per details leaked to Axios' Jonathan Swan.
Trump warns in a Saturday-night tweet: "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"
From her N.Y. Times column today, "Will Zuck 'Like' This Column? Facebook has to face facts — it got manipulated":
Elon Musk ... has been sounding the alarm for years about the danger of Silicon Valley's creations and A.I. mind children getting out of control and hurting humanity. ... Zuckerberg ... likes to paint himself as an optimist and Musk as a doomsday prophet.
But ... Musk is right: The digerati at Facebook and Google are either being naïve or cynical and greedy in thinking that it's enough just to have a vague code of conduct that says "Don't be evil," as Google does.
"Peace may be breaking out in the battle between Uber and London, as the ride-sharing giant signalled last night that it was prepared to make concessions on passenger safety and benefits for its drivers," per a Sunday Times of London front-pager (subscription).
Some of the oldest daguerreotypes and photographs of U.S. landscapes are about to go on display in New Orleans, as part of the first exhibit and study of such landscapes made east of the Mississippi River, per AP's Janet McConaughey: