Good Monday morning. SIREN — ALEX ISENSTADT: “White House squeezes Jeff Flake”: “The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents. Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.

“Since taking office, Trump has spoken with Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, a top official on his 2016 campaign, on at least two occasions, according to two sources familiar with the talks. Since June, White House officials have also had discussions with former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has announced her bid, and former Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham, who like DeWit is exploring a campaign.” http://politi.co/2tid77g

Story Continued Below

— IF TRUMP BACKS a challenger to Flake, it will be a big, big deal. The White House merely meeting with candidates is certain to raise ire in the Senate Republican Conference. Loyalty is a big deal in the Senate. The NRSC vociferously tries to head off primary challenges, and senators often bristle when outsiders try to displace one of their own. Despite apparent ideological differences with the White House, Flake is a pretty popular senator. We can’t imagine Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will be happy with this. Bottom line: Trump needs McConnell in order to get virtually anything done in Congress. And this is sure to get him riled up. BUT, BUT, BUT … The Trump team has threatened and ultimately abandoned primary challenges in the past.

IMPORTANT READ — MCCAIN COULD BE OUT FOR TWO WEEKS — “McCain’s Surgery May Be More Serious Than Thought, Experts Say,” by NYT’s Denise Grady and Robert Pear: “The condition for which Senator John McCain had surgery on Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two, medical experts said on Sunday. …

“The statement from Mr. McCain’s office said a two-inch blood clot was removed from ‘above his left eye’ during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, ‘following a routine annual physical.’ … A craniotomy is an opening of the skull, and an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain, neurosurgeons who were not involved in Mr. McCain’s care said. …

“But many questions have been left unanswered, including whether Mr. McCain had symptoms that prompted doctors to look for the clot. In June, his somewhat confused questioning of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, led to concerns about his mental status, which he later jokingly dismissed by saying he had stayed up too late watching baseball the night before. ‘Usually, a blood clot like this is discovered when patients have symptoms, whether it’s a seizure or headaches or weakness or speech difficulties,’ Dr. Baxi said. ‘Generally, it’s not found on a routine physical because doctors would not know to look for it.’” http://nyti.ms/2u0Rs0A

— A TWO-WEEK MCCAIN ABSENCE would put a vote during the first week of August. That’s a long time for this bill to linger. This timeline means the House would likely be forced back into session in August if the Senate passes its bill when McCain returns.

BY THE WAY … The Congressional Budget Office will not release a budgetary score of the healthcare bill today. Burgess and SMK say it could come Tuesday.

**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh

BURGESS EVERETT and SEUNG MIN KIM: “Obamacare repeal bill plunges into new uncertainty”: “Republicans’ long-held plans to repeal Obamacare are again in serious doubt, with no clear timetable for a Senate vote following the surprise news that John McCain will be out as he recovers from surgery. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shelved a vote planned for this week following the disclosure of McCain’s procedure, which leaves the GOP clearly short of support to advance the bill. McConnell’s office could give no new schedule for the vote, and most on Capitol Hill are waiting for a pathology report to assess how long it will be before McCain returns after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye.

“Privately, Republicans said the delay could be as little as a week as McCain recovers in Arizona, though others worried it could stretch for several weeks and jeopardize the entire repeal effort. … Whether the bill would advance even if McCain were in Washington is another question altogether, as the Arizona senator is one of more than half a dozen undecided Republicans, any one of whom could tank the bill.” http://politi.co/2uxiYFX

DOH! — “How the White House and Republicans underestimated Obamacare repeal,” by Nancy Cook and Burgess Everett: “The Trump transition team and other Republican leaders presumed that Congress would scrap Obamacare by President’s Day weekend in late February, according to three former Republican congressional aides and two current ones familiar with the administration’s efforts. Republican leaders last fall planned a quick strike on the law in a series of meetings and phone calls, hoping to simply revive a 2015 repeal bill that Obama vetoed. Few in the administration or Republican leadership expected the effort to stretch into the summer months, with another delay announced this weekend, eating into valuable time for lawmakers to tackle tax reform, nominations or spending bills.

“‘It’s easier to rage against the machine when you’re not in control of the machine, No. 1. And the perception that we are in control of the machine is inaccurate,’ said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). ‘Needing 50 out of 52 members on the same page in the Senate? I think that is not being in control of the machine.’” http://politi.co/2v97w0v

— ANOTHER KEY QUOTE IN NANCY AND BURGESS’S STORY: Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.): “I would have much preferred to start off with tax. But that wasn’t my decision. Tax is the heavy lift here. It’s not going to be easier than health care. And we’ve been doing this for seven months.”

A GOOD REMINDER: tax reform is going to be hard. Really hard.

NUMBERS DU JOUR: 9 LEGISLATIVE DAYS until the planned August recess. Still lingering: Obamacare repeal and replace, executive branch nominations and the debt ceiling. 53 LEGISLATIVE DAYS left in 2017, per the House’s calendar.

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: {Video} Small business owners work hard to build their businesses and turn their dreams into realities. Under the House-proposed Border Adjustment Tax, they are at risk to lost it all. Watch Vivian’s story. ******

TOUGH JOB – “Meet Obamacare repeal’s top salesman: Sen. John Cornyn faces his toughest task yet as the GOP’s whip,” by Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett: “Senate Republicans are in a grumpy mood these days. Then there’s John Cornyn, who’s almost unfailingly optimistic about the GOP’s chances of passing its Obamacare repeal bill despite the increasingly long odds. ‘I mean, if you’re going to be in a leadership role, you don’t have the luxury of public hand-wringing,’ Cornyn, the Senate majority whip, said in a recent interview in his Capitol office. Whether he’s wringing his hands in private is another matter, but the Texas Republican is facing his toughest test yet in his 4 1/2 years as chief vote-counter for the Senate GOP: rounding up 50 votes to dismantle Obamacare. …

“Though Cornyn keeps a literal whip on his desk, his style isn’t heavy-handed; it’s more gentle pushing and information-dispensing, senators say. Cornyn acknowledges: ‘If you try to strong-arm a senator, they’re just as likely to push back or punch back.’ … In the POLITICO interview, Cornyn also essentially ruled out any bipartisan health care fixes with Democrats even if the GOP’s repeal effort fails, saying problems with Obamacare are too big to solve without major structural changes.” http://politi.co/2vsiKMV

— FRED BARNES in the WSJ: Republicans Aren’t Team Players: GOP Senators who defect from ObamaCare repeal will hurt themselves, their party and the country” http://on.wsj.com/2t75hcg

BREAK IN — “Burglary at Heller’s Las Vegas office investigated,” by the Las Vegas Sun’s Ricardo Torres-Cortez: “Metro Police say they are investigating a Sunday morning burglary at U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s southwest Las Vegas office. Officers were dispatched about 9 a.m. to Heller’s local office … Metro Lt. Patricia Spencer on Sunday night confirmed that ‘entry did occur’ at Heller’s office, but only said that the investigation was ongoing. Further details were not immediately available.” http://bit.ly/2u09oZ7

JARED WATCH — “Fate of Kushner’s security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump,” by Austin Wright and Josh Dawsey: “Kushner’s actions — including initially failing to disclose meetings with Russian officials — would be more than enough to cost most federal employees their security clearances, according to people familiar with the security-clearance process. … Not having a security clearance would hobble him from doing large swaths of his job. On many days, he receives classified briefings, according to a senior administration official — and he is often in the room with his father-in-law for sensitive decisions about classified issues. …

“Jamie Gorelick, a lawyer for Kushner, said her client had ‘prematurely’ filed the first security clearance application form but has since done everything possible to be accurate and transparent with his meetings. … Omitting facts from a security questionnaire could be disqualifying if it was part of a deliberate effort to conceal them, according to federal guidelines; an inadvertent omission would not be so costly. Similarly, making ‘prompt, good-faith efforts’ to correct the omission can mitigate security concerns.” http://politi.co/2thrgRW

FACT CHECK — “U.S. Secret Service rejects suggestion it vetted Trump son’s meeting,” by Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed and Howard Schneider: “The U.S. Secret Service on Sunday denied a suggestion from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that it had vetted a meeting between the president’s son and Russian nationals during the 2016 campaign. … In an emailed response to questions about [Jay] Sekulow’s comments, Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said the younger Trump was not under Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting, which included Trump’s son and two senior campaign officials. ‘Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time,’ the statement said.” http://reut.rs/2tvSM9O

THE COST OF WAR — “President Trump’s Air War Kills 12 Civilians Per Day,” by Samuel Oakford in The Daily Beast: “Civilian casualties from the U.S.-led war against the so-called Islamic State are on pace to double under President Donald Trump, according to an Airwars investigation for The Daily Beast. Airwars researchers estimate that at least 2,300 civilians likely died from Coalition strikes overseen by the Obama White House—roughly 80 each month in Iraq and Syria. As of July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians appear to have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated—upwards of 360 per month, or 12 or more civilians killed for every single day of his administration.” http://thebea.st/2upNNMq

MIDDLE EASTERN PALACE INTRIGUE — “UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials,” by WaPo’s Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima: “The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May that sparked the ongoing upheaval between Qatar and its neighbors, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Officials became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation. The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done. … In a statement released in Washington by its ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE said the Post story was ‘false.’” http://wapo.st/2t5IEVV

POLLS DU JOUR — “Americans Feel Good About the Economy, Not So Good About Trump,” by Bloomberg’s John McCormick: “Just 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing in the White House, and 55 percent now view him unfavorably, up 12 points since December. Worse, even more — 61 percent — say the nation is headed down the wrong path, also up 12 points since December. … And despite his assurances that he and congressional Republicans will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a ‘beautiful’ new health care bill, 64 percent of Americans say they disapprove of his handling of the issue. That’s especially significant because health care topped unemployment, terrorism and immigration as the issue poll respondents chose as the most important challenge facing the nation right now.” https://bloom.bg/2vtqezb

–“Iowa Poll: As independents sour on Trump, disapproval rating tops 50%,” by Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble: “Self-identified independents have turned against Trump, with 59 percent now saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing compared with 35 percent who approve. In an Iowa Poll five months ago, his disapproval rating among independents was 50 percent, 9 percentage points lower than now.” http://dmreg.co/2vsnHoY

TRUMP’S MONDAY — The President will have lunch with Vice President Pence and then will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Later in the day, he will take part in a “Made in America product showcase.”

THE JUICE …

NYT: “Joe Biden’s New Book to Be Released in November,” by Concepcion de Leon: “On Monday, Flatiron Books revealed that the acquisition, which was first announced in April as part of a joint deal with Mr. Biden’s wife, Jill Biden (details about her book have yet to be given), would be titled ‘Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose’ and be released on Nov. 14. In it, Mr. Biden will reflect on that painful year and the challenges he faced fulfilling his political duties while mourning the death of his son. …

“This fall Mr. Biden will also embark on a tour, traveling to 19 cities across the country, starting with New York on Nov. 13, to host panel discussions with local leaders. (The events will be overseen by Creative Artists Agency, which represents Mr. Biden.) He hopes to start conversations that go beyond ‘the 24-hour news cycle and 140-character arguments,’ a statement said. Tickets, which go on sale July 28, will include a copy of his book.” http://nyti.ms/2u0paDl

— THE BLUE DOGS, a group of conservative Democrats, gathered more than 250 people at the Greenbrier in West Virginia this weekend. Up for discussion: planning for 2018 and candidate recruitment. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who is in charge of the PAC, and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) headed up the weekend. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), both non-Blue Dog members, were special guests.

SPOTTED: Ryan Guthrie, Katreice Banks, Libby Greer, Dan Turton, Jeff Murray, Jay Vroom, Chris Long, Norberto Salinas, Jesse Price, Lee Friedman, Angela Reimer, Gordon Taylor, Matt Sulkala, David Burns, former Reps. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) and Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Kelley Williams and Jen McPhillips.

SPORTS BLINK — HELP ON THE WAY — WAPO: “Nationals acquire Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from Athletics in exchange for Blake Treinen, two others,” by Chelsea Janes: “For months, a deal to repair the Washington Nationals’ broken bullpen seemed inevitable, and Sunday, after months of frustration and speculation, they finally made one. The Nationals acquired right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Blake Treinen, left-handed pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo, and 2016 second-round pick Sheldon Neuse. The move immediately adds two experienced relievers to the Nationals’ bullpen for the rest of this season and at least all of next, though the team will have a club option for Doolittle in 2019 and 2020, too. In other words, this is not just a patch — it is a legitimate upgrade around which the Nationals can build next season, too.” http://wapo.st/2uqoda0

SUSAN GLASSER’S THE GLOBAL POLITICO – “Don’t Compare Trump to Nixon. It’s Unfair to Nixon”: “Are we watching Watergate the rerun? … [I]nevitably, the magazine articles and essays, radio talk shows and book lists all mention a single remarkable work: Elizabeth Drew’s Washington Journal. Drew, at the time the New Yorker’s Washington correspondent and host of a weekly interview show on PBS, wrote the journal as a real-time diary of how the American political world handled the spiraling investigations of 1973 and 1974 … [I]f anything, Drew has come to believe that the Trump investigation could yield even more serious abuse of power or failure to execute the office than the years’ worth of Nixon probes. What’s more, the Russia scandal, she says, ‘is in many ways more complicated than Watergate was.’” http://politi.co/2vt7FevTranscript http://politi.co/2u0np9gSubscribe http://apple.co/2kJ9q1U

POLITICO HEALTH CARE GURU DAN DIAMOND has two major policy stories looking at the key drivers of health care costs and focuses on how big hospitals are increasingly being run like big businesses.

— “How hospitals got richer off Obamacare”: “The Affordable Care Act drove billions of dollars in new revenue to hospitals while cutting their charity care spending and protecting their valuable tax exemptions — and not necessarily making their communities healthier, a POLITICO investigation reveals. And while Sen. Chuck Grassley led the battle to crack down on not-for-profit hospitals ahead of Obamacare negotiations, local leaders have since suffered repeated defeats and no one in Washington has stepped forward to pick up the fight.” http://politi.co/2v8KG95

— “How Cleveland Clinic gets healthier while its neighbors stay sick”: “The Cleveland Clinic has brought patients, pride and revenue to this Midwestern city — but also stirred up tensions, as residents ask if the world-renowned Clinic is doing enough to save its local neighborhood, where many residents are poor, in ill health and worried about the gunshots they hear every night.” http://politi.co/2vtmEVD

WHAT MIKE FLYNN IS UP TO THESE DAYS – “Flynn returns to hometown, surfing in respite from scandal,” by AP’s Michelle R. Smith in Middletown, Rhode Island, and Jennifer McDermott in Providence: “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, at the center of multiple probes into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, seeks sanctuary from the swirling eddy of news coverage in the beach town where he grew up surfing and skateboarding, one of nine siblings crammed into a 1,200-square foot house. Middletown is his refuge and the ocean is his therapy, and he’s spent recent weeks here surfing and figuring out his path forward, according to friends and family members. …

“‘Have you seen that in the news? They talk about Mike as a traitor? The thought of that is absolutely insane to me,’ said older brother Jack. … Thomas A. Heaney Jr., a retired Army colonel who has known Flynn since they were 9 years old, said Flynn has been doing well and has begun work again as a consultant after shutting down his old firm. … Middletown could even become his permanent base, Heaney said. Flynn and his wife, Lori, who started dating as high school sophomores, grew up here and have deep family ties in the area.” With a great pic of Flynn surfing http://bit.ly/2vtfwZn

DATA DU JOUR — “South Carolina May Prove a Microcosm of U.S. Election Hacking Efforts,” by WSJ’s Alexa Corse: “To understand the scale of the hacking attempts against election systems in the 2016 presidential election, consider South Carolina. On Election Day alone, there were nearly 150,000 attempts to penetrate the state’s voter-registration system, according to a postelection report by the South Carolina State Election Commission. And South Carolina wasn’t even a competitive state. … In harder-fought Illinois, for instance, hackers were hitting the State Board of Elections ‘5 times per second, 24 hours per day’ from late June until Aug. 12, 2016, when the attacks ceased for unknown reasons, according to an Aug. 26, 2016, report by the state’s computer staff. Hackers ultimately accessed approximately 90,000 voter records.” http://on.wsj.com/2uyPzLG

DEEP DIVE – NATHAN HELLER in The New Yorker, “Mark as Read: What do we learn when our private e-mail becomes public?”: “Not long after the Enron Corporation imploded amid revelations of accounting fraud, in 2001, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seized the e-mail folders of a hundred and fifty one mostly high-ranking employees … The Enron archive came to comprise hundreds of thousands of messages, and remains one of the country’s largest private e-mail corpora turned public. … Only six per cent of the e-mails … had any greeting at all; most began in medias res. The employees most likely to use a friendly greeting were women not in positions of authority, followed by men in subservient positions. Powerful men were the most likely just to open an e-mail window and start typing. In some cases, an e-mail would simply be addressed ‘Guys.’” http://bit.ly/2upINYh

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: The overwhelming majority of retailers are small businesses, with more than 98% of all retail companies employing fewer than 50 people. While small in size, their voices are loud and clear when fighting to be heard on decisions and policies that impact their businesses and the customers they serve every day. Hear more industry stories on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. ******

VALLEY TALK — “Google San Jose: Can the search giant prevent traffic, housing woes?” by San Jose Mercury News’ Ethan Baron: “Google will be traveling a razor’s edge of love and hate all the way to its planned new 20,000-worker San Jose campus as it brings jobs and star power to a city that needs both while delivering extra helpings of the ills that have sparked public ire against Silicon Valley’s big technology companies. The potential downsides to Google’s planned campus in the heart of downtown check all the boxes on the list of Bay Area horrors: escalating traffic, overburdened transit systems, skyrocketing housing costs, displacement of lower-income people.” http://bayareane.ws/2uyJfDH

ON THE WSJ OP-ED PAGE: “Why Europeans Oppose the Russia Sanctions Bill,” by Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference http://on.wsj.com/2vsVy0I

MEDIAWATCH — OOPS — “Dow Jones Inadvertently Exposed Some Customers’ Information,” by WSJ’s Robert McMillan: “An error by Dow Jones & Co. in configuring a cloud-computing service left addresses and other information about subscribers to some of its products, including The Wall Street Journal, exposed to possible unauthorized access. About 2.2 million subscribers’ records were affected, a Dow Jones spokesman said. Some of the records included customer names, usernames, email and physical addresses, and the last 4 digits of credit-card numbers, although some records were missing parts of that information … The exposed data was discovered by UpGuard Inc., a cybersecurity firm, which said they notified Dow Jones of the leak on June 5.” http://on.wsj.com/2uyztSl

FLAGGING FOR SPICER AND SANDERS — ABC NEWS TO LAUNCH A W.H. BRIEFING AFTER-SHOW — Per Morning Media’s Hadas Gold: “The new live digital show, launching today, is called ‘The Briefing Room,’ and will cover the ‘White House press briefings and the latest political reporting from Washington,’ the network announced. Following the briefings (when they actually happen), correspondents like Jonathan Karl, Cecilia Vega, Mary Bruce and Rick Klein will cover the “news and announcements from the press conference with a play-by-play rundown of the topics discussed from the podium and context on the current political climate.’”

— @PhilipRucker: “We saw President Trump & family watching @jessebwatters’s Fox show on jumbo TV aboard Air Force One tonight en route home from Bedminster.”

— “Top Republicans Aren’t Signing Up For Trump’s War With The Media,” by BuzzFeed’s Alexis Levinson: “While Trump spews bile and a narrative-hungry Twitter machine looks for evidence of a trend, Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill are emphatically not on board with the president’s attacks and are, indeed, openly supportive of the free American press.” http://bzfd.it/2uqk0mP

–EMILY SCHULTHEIS has been named a 2017-18 Robert Bosch Foundation fellow and has arrived in Berlin, where she will be working on a year-long reporting project on populism and elections in Europe. She is a CBS News, National Journal and Politico alum and most recently covered the French elections. http://bit.ly/2u0OwBb

SPOTTED: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and her husband on last night’s 8 p.m. American Airlines Boston to DC shuttle seated in the exit row.

TRANSITIONS — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) has hired senior staff to prepare for his 2018 re-election campaign. Keren Dongo, a Kaine aide and deputy state director for Hillary’s 2016 Virginia campaign, will be campaign manager. Ian Sams, a Hillary and DNC alum and recent comms director for Tom Perriello’s Virginia governor campaign, will be comms director. Jenny Nadicksbernd, Kaine’s PAC director and longtime finance aide, will be finance director. Jess Reid, a DNC alum and Hillary’s 2016 Virginia digital director, will be digital director. Megan Apper, a BuzzFeed, Maggie Hassan and American Bridge alum, will be research director.

… Katherine Charlet has been named the inaugural director of the Washington-based Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Charlet has spent the past decade at DoD and the White House and most recently was the principal director and acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy. http://ceip.org/2upmdyI

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – OBAMA ALUMNI: Caitlin Hayden, an Obama NSC alumna who now works at Edelman, and Erlingur Erlingsson, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Iceland in DC, email friends and family: “On July 15, 2017 at 9:14 p.m., Erlingur and I were thrilled to welcome Sophie Ásta Erlingsson to the world, weighing 6 pounds and 9 ounces. … Sophie’s middle name was chosen in honor of Erlingur’s mother, whom we lost to cancer a year ago. Our hope is that we can raise Sophie to be the same kind of fearless, generous, loving woman that Ásta was and that my mother, Ramona, is.” Pics http://bit.ly/2vsegWohttp://bit.ly/2theR0lhttp://bit.ly/2thrjNG

OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED on Saturday night at Obama alum Zaina Javaid’s 30th birthday party at a backyard in Bloomingdale: Amb. Pete Selfridge and Parita Shah, Mike Brush, Tim Hartz, Kaitlin Gaughran, Maju Varghese, Michael Donovan, Rachel Ruskin, Peter Velz, Desiree Barnes, Alex Evans, Jennifer Close, Elizabeth Pan, Morgan Finkelstein, Andy Estrada, Kate Berner, Charlie Fromstein, Alice Muglia, Hannah Orenstein, Bailey Cox, Kenny Thompson and Jeremy Slevin.

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Kayla Tausche, CNBC Washington correspondent. How she’s celebrating: “Close friends, a glass of bourbon, and my balcony on the actual day. My husband and I will celebrate with a long weekend on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2uuquk4

BIRTHDAYS: Catherine Frazier, senior comms adviser for Sen. Cruz … Katie Zezima, who covers “drugs, guns, gambling & vice,” for WaPo, per her Twitter … former U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios … Seth Bringman is 36 … David L. Wade … Reuters’ Mike Stone … Politico’s Caitlin O’Connell, Jessica Cuellar, Collin Greene and William Hackney … German Chancellor Angela Merkel is 63 … Kyle Dropp, co-founder and chief research officer at Morning Consult, is 31 … Opal Vadhan of HRC HQ (hat tip: Nick Merrill) … coach Kathy Kemper, a Washington fixture who hosts all sorts of gatherings with admin. officials, lawmakers and diplomats (h/t Juliet Eilperin) … Stacy Helen Schusterman (h/t Jewish Insider) … Axios’ Caitlin Owens … Eeda Wallbank … Ben Deutsch … Jon Graham … Cathie Levine Isay … Jon Monger … Jonathan Lee … Laura MacInnis … Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) is 54 … Matt Berger, senior adviser for strategic comms at Hillel International …

… Anna Bross, senior director of comms at The Atlantic … Andy Barr … Steve Spinner, founder and CEO of RevUp, the campaign fundraising software firm … Mercury’s Caitlin Klevorick … Ben Shannon, a manager in the health care practice at Burson-Marsteller in D.C. who formerly held multiple roles at HHS in the Obama Administration and worked on President Obama’s reelection campaign (h/ts Fabien Levy and Ben Chang) … Politico Europe’s Lawrence Wakefield … Dan Comstock is 33 … David Vandivier … Dani Simons … Shannan Butler Adler … Ben Softy … Sara Clinton Lowenstine … Steph Anderson … Cat Gross … Carter Baer … David A. Steinberg … Annabel Ascher … Myrna Lim … Shell’s Marnie Funk … Chris Buki, senior LA in House T&I Chairman Bill Shuster’s personal office, is 28 (h/t Walt Roberts) … Caroline Koss … Suzy Wagner … Nicole Tarbet … Bashir Rostom … Lizzie Cooper … Evi Wareka … Susan Kennedy … Rich Judge … Tony Sheehen (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: The overwhelming majority of retailers are small businesses, with more than 98% of all retail companies employing fewer than 50 people. While small in size, their voices are loud and clear when fighting to be heard on decisions and policies that impact their businesses and the customers they serve every day. Hear more industry stories on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. ******

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