Happy Saturday. Get up — it's Game Day! Situational awareness: Bob Mueller moves ever closer to the Oval. A team of his investigators yesterday interviewed former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for the full day.
Jaw-dropper from NBC News, on Paul Manafort's "$60 million relationship with a Russian oligarch": "Manafort's spokesman, Jason Maloni, ... released a statement ... saying, in part, 'Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.' He later revised the statement, removing that sentence entirely."
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey overnight promised "a more aggressive stance" to deter harassment and protect speech, in an effort to defuse #WomenBoycottTwitter:
And Twitter finally coughs up more for Hill ... "Twitter [this week] handed over to Senate investigators the profile names, or 'handles,' of 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the ... election," AP's Ryan Nakashima reports:
Be smart: Twitter is following the pattern Facebook did: grudgingly turning over data, only after lawmakers express impatience. The reticence has raised suspicions in Congress about what else the tech companies know, and increased the appetite for further regulation.
Two ways of thinking about this week's big Trump policy moves:
1. Trump going it alone ... Reuters' James Oliphant: "After weeks of seeing his agenda imperiled by Republican divisions and infighting among his aides, Trump has been ... reasserting his campaign priorities and trying to deliver wins for his fervent but frustrated base of supporters."
2. Undoing Obama ... CNN: "The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Paris climate accords. The Iran nuclear deal. Transgender people serving in the military. And, now, that most personal of policies for the former president: The Affordable Care Act."
P.S. "Global fund championed by Ivanka Trump to help women entrepreneurs begins operations." (ABC)
"President Trump lit a fuse this week that will blow a hole in the Affordable Care Act, but the collateral damage could very well include fellow Republicans," the Boston's Globe's Victoria McGrane writes on p. 1:
How it's playing ... L.A. Times lead story, "Trump move threatens to deliver chaos to health care: Insurance markets are expected to raise premiums sharply after key cost-sharing subsidies are blocked."
Methodology: Axios' Stef Kight looked through every Trump tweet since the inauguration, and noted each time he used Twitter exclusively to name-call, shame, insult or mock a specific person, company or industry, as well as each entity being attacked. (Not every negative comment qualified as an "attack.")
"Signs of progress cheered battle-weary firefighters Friday after their multi-pronged attack using helicopters, air tankers and hand crews significantly corralled the deadly fires spreading across Northern California," the S.F. Chronicle reported early this morning, ET:
"Former hostage Joshua Boyle says the Haqqani network in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter and raped his American wife during the five years they were held in captivity," AP reports from Toronto:
"Black Monday 2: The Next Machine-Driven Meltdown ... In the rise of computer-driven trading, some hear echoes of the stock market's 1987 crash," per the Barron's cover story, by Ben Levisohn:
"Weinstein Co. is exploring a sale or shutdown and is unlikely to continue as an independent entity, a person close to the company said," per a Wall Street Journal front-pager:
Nationalist wave rolls on ... In election tomorrow, "Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam," by AP's George Jahn in Vienna:
Here's how the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History describes the napkin above:
In 1974 economist Art Laffer sketched a new direction for the Republican Party on this napkin. Displeased with President Gerald Ford's decision to raise taxes to control inflation, four men got together at a Washington, DC restaurant to think about alternatives.
Laffer was joined by journalist Jude Wanniski and politicians Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Laffer argued that lowering taxes would increase economic activity. Wanniski popularized the theory, and politicians Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney carried it out. The cloth napkin was taken as a souvenir by Jude Wanniski.
But the N.Y. Times' Binyamin Appelbaum today discloses the disruptive backstory:
[Th]e napkin now celebrated for starting a tax revolt is not, in fact, the original napkin, according to the people who were at the fabled meeting at what was then the Two Continents restaurant in Washington. In an interview last week, Mr. Laffer, 77, said it was most likely a keepsake created a few years later.
Among the clues: It is cloth, while the original napkin was paper. It is dated 9/13/74, while the original meeting took place after the November 1974 midterm elections. And it is inscribed to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then Ford's chief of staff. Mr. Laffer met with Dick Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld's deputy.
Mr. Laffer said that he had drawn on the Smithsonian's napkin, but that he had most likely done so several years later, at the request of the journalist Jude Wanniski, who wanted a keepsake of the famous moment.
The cover story of tomorrow's N.Y. Times Magazine, "More American Teenagers Than Ever [Are] Suffering From Severe Anxiety," is this week's most-read story on NYTimes.com, and worthy of your weekend time:
P.S. I like to leave you on an uplifting note, so I also recommend the cover story of the WashPost Magazine, food critic Tom Sietsema's Top 10 D.C. restaurants.