Good Monday morning. It's Day 193 for President Trump, and Day 1 for White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. It's the last day of July.
Here's one way to please your boss: Later this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to release figures showing a jump in the number of leak cases pursued so far this year, compared to all of last year.
The figures will be finalized in the next few days. Administration officials believe the increase is both because there's more leaking going on, and because the Justice Department is being more aggressive.
The event announcing the leak war is expected to include officials from the Justice Department and the intelligence community.
A senior administration official said one purpose of the public announcement of the figures is to try to curtail the "culture of leaks": "Leaks beget more leaks."
Be smart: Trump is going to find that leaks are a symptom, not the disease. You can crack down all you want. But he has so antagonized permanent Washington, and made so many of his aides feel insecure about their own positions, that information and intrigue will find its way out.
Never mind President Trump's weekend of after-the-whistle tweeting about health reform. The White House, Senate and House are all united in moving on full steam to tax reform this week — with heightened urgency, since Republican lawmakers are more desperate than ever to pass something substantial ahead of midterms.
A K Street official tells us: "The business community is organized and activating their leadership, and associations and think tanks are making a push with their members. ... Passing tax reform will require relentless engagement ... to ensure ... political momentum."
"Sage Advice From the 'Gold Standard' of White House Chiefs of Staff" ... The N.Y. Times' Peter Baker — who's writing a biography of James Addison Baker III with his wife, Susan Glasser — quotes the former chief of staff for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush:
In Milwaukee yesterday, a nacho-toting Gov. Chris Christie paused at the game between the Brewers and the Chicago Cubs to get in a fan's face and call him a "big shot," according to WISN Channel 12.
The fan, Brad Joseph, said: "I called him a hypocrite, because I thought it needed to be said. He turned around back towards me and got in my face ... First he told me, 'Why don't you have another beer?' which I thought was a decent comeback ... Then he started calling me a tough guy."
From Vanity Fair's September issue, by James Warren:
The New Yorker ... "The Dream Deferred: Bernie Sanders's not-quite-finished campaign ... Sanders is not a natural storyteller; his great political gift is his relentlessness," by Benjamin Wallace-Wells: In the convention halls of Middle America, Bernie Sanders is the leader of an improbable progressive movement. ... His speeches, blunt and workmanlike, depend upon dramatizing social statistics. ... Death and despair have been Sanders's themes since he launched his Presidential campaign. From West Virginia, he headed to Covington, Kentucky, in an area where the opioid epidemic has been particularly devastating. What had gone so badly in people's lives that they were turning to heroin and opioids? 'There is something going on in West Virginia and Kentucky which is unbelievable, which is what sociologists call the illnesses of despair," Sanders told me. He had been to parts of West Virginia where there were very few jobs, "fewer that pay a living wage," and there was a steep psychic cost. "There is a lot of pain. And we've got to understand that reality. And then tell these people that their problems are not caused by some Mexican making eight dollars an hour picking strawberries."
Jon Cohen, chief research officer at Survey Monkey, gives Axios readers a first look at data from an online poll of 3,405 adults, taken Thursday through Sunday:
Scott Pruitt is the most aggressive leader in the EPA's almost 50-year history, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her "Harder Line" energy column:
Amy's thought bubble: Pruitt's environmental views are actually in line with most of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980. What's changed is how empowered Pruitt is under President Trump, the emergence of climate change as a top environmental issue, and a prior administration that was aggressive in issuing regulations.
"Locked up for life" ... "Five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory life without parole for juveniles in murder cases. Last year, the court went further, saying the more than 2,000 already serving such sentences must get a chance" at release.
"But prison gates don't just swing open." AP's Sharon Cohen and Adam Geller take a deep look at the confusion, heartbreak and hope:
"Youth sports travel is scoring big as communities across the United States build multisport complexes ... in hopes of drawing ... parents who spend big on transportation, hotels, food and family entertainment," AP's Terrance Harris reports from Orlando:
P.S. "The owners of D.C. United, Washington's Major League Soccer team, are quietly weighing a sale ... [T]he team has reached out to ... Daniel Snyder, the owner of the ... Redskins, and Ted Leonsis, owner of the N.B.A.'s ... Wizards and the N.H.L.'s Capitals." (NYT's Michael de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin)