Good Sunday morning. BREAKING — at 10:42 a.m.: A WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON put out the following statement in response to questions about President Trump’s remarks yesterday, per pooler Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner. “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.” Morrongiello writes “POTUS will continue to receive regular updates from his team about the events that unfolded yesterday in Charlottesville, Va.”


Story Continued Below

THE LATEST, via the Daily Progress’s Bryan McKenzie: “A 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured after a driver sped into a crowd of counter-protesters at Fourth Street Northeast and Water Street mid-afternoon.

“The crash occurred after the rally had broken up and a large number of protesters were marching down Water Street. A Dodge Challenger sped into the crowd at Fourth Street Northeast, slamming into pedestrians and into the rear end of another car. The Dodge backed up the street quickly and sped away despite heavy front-end damage.

“The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run with injury. About two hours after the car crash, two state troopers were killed when their police helicopter crashed and burned near Old Farm Road. The helicopter was involved in providing surveillance and information during the day.

“Alt-right torchbearer Richard Spencer said he was outraged by what he said was a lack of police protection. ‘I have never been so outraged at my government,’ he said, addressing a crowd of approximately 100 supporters who had relocated to McIntire Park after Emancipation Park was cleared. ‘We are never backing down. We are going to be back here.’ …

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe thanked local and state law enforcement and the National Guard and said white supremacists are not welcome in Virginia. ‘Our message is plain and simple: Go home,’ he said. ‘You are not wanted in this great town.’”

James Alex Fields Jr.’s mugshot.

FIELDS’ MOTHER SPEAKS — AP’s Sarah Rankin: “Fields’ mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn’t know it was a white supremacist rally. ‘I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,’ said Bloom, who became visibly upset as she learned of the injuries and deaths at the rally. ‘He had an African-American friend so …,’ she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she’d be surprised if her son’s views were that far right.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS OPENS FEDERAL PROBE: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions called late Saturday for a federal investigation into the racially tinged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. ‘The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,’ Sessions stated. ‘When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia. The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day. U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail.’”

CHARLOTTESVILLE MAYOR MICHAEL SIGNER (D) speaking with JOHN DICKERSON on CBS’ “FACE THE NATION — DICKERSON: “Mr. Mayor, the president said that he wanted to know what was going on in Charlottesville and that we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country, he said. What’s your answer to that?” SIGNER: “You know, I don’t want to make this too much about Donald Trump, we have a lot of grieving, a lot of work to do as a– as a city and as a country, but he should look in the mirror. I mean, he made a choice in his presidential campaign, the folks around with him, to, you know, go right to the gutter, to play on our worst prejudices. And I think you are seeing a direct line from what happened here this weekend to those choices. He has the opportunity, as do we all, to have a fresh beginning.”

THE GUV. — AP: “Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will visit two Charlottesville churches and speak to congregants following violent clashes in the city between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters that left three dead. The governor’s office says in a release that Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam will join McAuliffe at both Sunday services. McAuliffe and Northam are scheduled to visit Mount Zion First African Baptist Church and Visit First Baptist Church.”

PRESIDENT TRUMP is facing widespread criticism from Republicans and Democrats after he declined to condemn by name white nationalists behind a deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump, who was speaking at his golf club Saturday in New Jersey: “The hate and the division must stop and must stop now. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.” He later tweeted “condolences” to the family of the women and two Virginia State Police who died.

— QUITE THE LEAD, from Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman on A14: “President Trump is rarely reluctant to express his opinion, but he is often seized by caution when addressing the violence and vitriol of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and alt-right activists, some of whom are his supporters.”

NRSC CHAIRMAN CORY GARDNER (R-COLO.) was the most high-profile Republican to directly push back on Trump. He tweeted: “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” … GARDNER to Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “I think the president needs to step up today and … call it for what it is. It’s evil, it’s white nationalism, it’s bigotry and it’s unacceptable. And if he doesn’t do that, we can continue to answer the question of why. But I believe he has a chance to do that today.”

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R-FLA.): “White supremacists, Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites are the antithesis of our American values. There are no other ‘sides’ to hatred and bigotry.”

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA put out a rare tweet quoting deceased South African President Nelson Mandela — @barackobama: “‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…’” … “‘People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love…’” … “‘…For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ – Nelson Mandela”.

IVANKA TRUMP (@IvankaTrump) at 8:09 a.m.: “1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.” … “2:2 We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville”.

TOP TWEETS — @gabrielsherman: “When I asked senior WH official why Trump didn’t condemn Cville Nazis, he said: ‘What about the leftist mob. Just as violent if not more so’” … @GlennThrush: “It is neither unfair nor inaccurate to point out that the president has been tougher on Mitch McConnell than Putin or Nazis in last 24 hours” … @marcorubio: “Nothing patriotic about #Nazis,the #KKK or #WhiteSupremicists It’s the direct opposite of what #America seeks to be. #Charlottesville”. …@senorrinhatch: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. –OGH” …

****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): If you know only one fact about rising drug costs, know this one: drug makers set prices for prescription drugs. To help manage nearly double-digit price increases, employers, unions and government programs use PBMs to negotiate lower net prices to help curb costs for employers and patients. Learn more at ******

… Ken Schwencke (@schwanksta): “This is the White House’s only response to my asking three times if the President condemns white supremacists” [“Hi Ken – On background, the President condemns all acts of violence.”] “Worth noting no one in congressional leadership so far has called for hearings into rise of white supremacist/neo Nazi/racist movement”.

THE DAILY STORMER, a neo-Nazi publication: “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate … on both sides! So he implied the antifa [anti-fascists] are haters. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”


CLICKER – “Chaos and violence: Scenes from Charlottesville’s white nationalist rally”30 pix

FLASHBACK — PLAYBOOK SCOOP, June 23: “The Department of Homeland Security is restarting a stalled $10-million grant program for ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ this morning. Life After Hate, a group dedicated to deradicalizing neo-Nazis and stopping white extremism, was slated to get $400,000 in the final days of the Obama administration ( before the program was halted for review, but the Trump administration dropped them from the new grant list that’s getting announced today. The group has seen a twenty-fold increase in requests for help since Election Day ‘from people looking to disengage or bystanders/family members looking for help from someone they know,’ the organization’s founder Christian Picciolini told us.”


— WAPO: “Three dead in wake of clashes at white nationalist gathering in Virginia,” by Joe Heim, Ellie Silverman and T. Rees Shapiro in Charlottesville and Emma Brown in Washington: “Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to ‘take America back’ — clashed with counter-protesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.

“Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials identified them as Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va., who was the pilot, and H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Va., who was a passenger. State police said their Bell 407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48. …

“Video recorded at the scene of the car crash shows a 2010 gray Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying — and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti-Semitic epithets. A 32-year-old woman was killed, according to police, who said they were investigating the crash as a criminal homicide.”

— NED OLIVER of the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “‘When it hit, it hit hard and people just started flying into the air,’ said Byron Woods, a Waynesboro resident who witnessed the crash. ‘This is a sad day today in this great United States we live in.’ Witnesses said there was no question the collision was intentional, describing the gray Dodge Challenger appearing to speed up over the course of two blocks before it rammed into a stopped vehicle just ahead of the mass of the people, who were chanting anti-racist slogans.

“‘They’d thought they’d driven the Nazis out of town,’ said city resident Eberhard Jehle, describing a generally jovial mood among the group. He said the driver, going at least 35 mph, made no attempt to stop. ‘Oh, it was absolutely intentional,’ he said.”

COMING ATTRACTIONS — LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER: “Lexington mayor says Confederate statues at courthouse will be moved,” by Beth Musgrave: “Mayor Jim Gray said Saturday he is taking steps to remove two controversial Confederate-era statues from the lawn of the former Fayette County Courthouse on Main Street. Gray’s announcement came the same day as multiple people were killed and injured in Virginia after a vehicle drove into counter-protesters who had clashed with white nationalists around a Confederate-era statue in Charlottesville. … ‘We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens,’ Gray said in a statement. ‘The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.’”

DRIP, DRIP – NYT A1, “Mueller Is Said to Seek Interviews With West Wing in Russia Case,” by Mike Schmidt, Matt Apuzzo and Maggie Haberman: “In a sign that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election will remain a continuing distraction for the White House, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is in talks with the West Wing about interviewing current and former senior administration officials, including the recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, according to three people briefed on the discussions.

“Mr. Mueller has asked the White House about specific meetings, who attended them and whether there are any notes, transcripts or documents about them, two of the people said. Among the matters Mr. Mueller wants to ask the officials about is President Trump’s decision in May to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, the two people said.”

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Iran lawmakers raise missile, Guard spending to challenge U.S.,” by AP’s Nasser Karimi in Tehran and Jon Gambrell in Dubai: “Iran’s parliament voted overwhelmingly Sunday to increase spending on its ballistic missile program and the foreign operations of its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, chanting ‘Death to America’ in a direct challenge to Washington’s newest sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The lawmakers’ vote comes amid growing anger in Iran over U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to renegotiate the nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015. While they stressed the bill wouldn’t violate the terms of that agreement, it again increases the friction between the two nations that routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf.”

— BLOOMBERG: “Top U.S. General to Meet South Korean Leader Amid Tensions,” by Heejin Kim: “The U.S.’s top general plans to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday, just days after his counterpart Donald Trump said military options against North Korea were ‘locked and loaded.’ General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with senior military officials along with Moon … He will head to China next on the previously scheduled visit, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified military official.”

TRUMP’S OBAMACARE SUPPORT– “How the Trump administration is spending millions to shore up Obamacare,” by Rachana Pradhan: “President Donald Trump has threatened to blow up Obamacare. But his own administration is separately dangling hundreds of millions of dollars before states to bail out their insurance markets. Alaska will get $323 million over the next five years to coax its lone Obamacare insurer to remain in the market and hold down premiums. At least four other states, including some that have vociferously opposed the Affordable Care Act, are seeking similar deals.

“The efforts come as the GOP push to repeal and replace the law is in disarray and state officials in both red and blue states seek ways to shore up their shaky markets. They have the blessing of the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services — even as the president himself is threatening to cut off key subsidies as early as this week. That move could send premiums skyrocketing and potentially collapse insurance markets nationwide. The White House said Thursday it applauds the stabilization efforts even as Trump steps up the pressure on the Senate to resume efforts to try to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

GET SMART FAST — “Think Obamacare repeal was hard? Wait for tax reform,” by Rachael Bade and Bernie Becker:

SUNDAY BEST … JAKE TAPPER speaks with HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER TOM BOSSERT: TAPPER: “Are you willing to at least concede that President Trump was not clear enough in specifically condemning white supremacy?” BOSSERT: “No, the words of the ignorant bear little with me and should bear less with you in the media. Unfortunately they don’t. What I would say is that the president not only condemned the violence and stood up at a time and a moment when calm was necessary and didn’t dignify the names of these groups of people but rather addressed the fundamental issue. So, Jake, what you need to do is focus on the rest of his statement. The president didn’t just call for human beings to respect one another, which is his pragmatist core, fundamental bare minimum but he called for ideally for Americans to love one another. For all God’s children to love one another. That is a fundamental assault on the very nature that we’re seeing here.”

— TAPPER: “When you just condemn groups, as opposed to specifically white supremacists, Nazis, clan members, it creates this vagueness that … allows neo Nazis to think, ‘he’s not condemning us, he’s condemning anybody that was violent.’ And that’s the problem. And you, on this show today, have said that you condemn groups, condemn actions, condemn bigotry, but I haven’t heard you say, ‘I condemn white supremacists, I condemn neo Nazis, I condemn the alt right.’ I haven’t heard that. And I think a lot of people were upset — a lot of Republican officials — they didn’t hear it from President Trump. But I don’t want to belabor this point.” BOSSERT: “Well, I think you’ve belabored it. So let me say, I condemn white supremacists, and racists and white Nazi groups, and all the other groups that espouse this kind of hatred and exclusion.”

H.R. MCMASTER to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: “Any time that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism.”

— ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI to George: STEPHANOPOULOS: “If you were White House communications director yesterday would you advise he give that statement?” SCARAMUCCI: “Well I wouldn’t have recommended that statement. I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that. I applaud Gen. McMaster for calling it out for what it is: it’s actually terrorism. And whether it’s domestic or international terrorism with the moral authority of the presidency you have to call that stuff out.”

CHRIS WALLACE speaks to CIA DIRECTOR MIKE POMPEO on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: WALLACE: “You’re saying you don’t believe there’s anything imminent in terms of North Korean action — another missile test, another nuclear test, firing those missiles towards Guam?” POMPEO: “Chris, I’m quite confident that he will continue to try to develop his missile program. So it wouldn’t surprise me if there was another missile test. He conducted two in July. So it wouldn’t surprise me if there was another missile test.” WALLACE: “But, when you say there’s…” POMPEO: “There’s no but to that.” WALLACE: “When you say there’s nothing imminent…” POMPEO: “What I am talking about is I’ve heard folks talking about we being on the cusp of a nuclear war. I’ve no intelligence that we are in that place.”

CHUCK TODD speaks with ADM. MIKE MULLEN on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS” — TODD: “You said you’re concerned the rhetoric has limited options. What options are you concerned that the president has eliminated with his rhetoric?” MULLEN: “Well, I think it eliminates maneuver space for him because it looks like brinkmanship to me. And it looks like clearly he’s, at least, verbally focused very specifically on the military options with the rhetoric that’s out there. It’s almost a fire and brimstone, ‘Don’t make another move or else.’ And the comment that military options are locked and loaded – We’ve always had military options, and they’re very complex, but they can be executed. It almost seems as if we’re leading with those, which makes an awful lot of, it unsettles an awful lot of people.”

— ON KIM JONG-UN: “I don’t think he’s a rational actor. He’s got a rich history in his family, the legacy to uphold. He is on a race to gain this capability. Much different from his father or his grandfather in terms of developing capability. He is in a flat-out sprint to develop this capability, and then see what happens. I just can’t bring myself to the point where we say, ‘Well, it’s okay if this leader has these devastating weapons.’”

TRUMP’S WEEK AHEAD – Monday: Trump signs “a Presidential Memorandum on China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology” . … Tuesday: Trump heads a discussion on infrastructure. … Wednesday: Trump visits a VA hospital. … Thursday: Trump meets with small business owners and SBA administrator Linda McMahon. … Friday: Trump visits an opioid clinic.

WARREN WORLD — LAUREN DEZENSKI goes “Inside the Elizabeth Warren merchandising empire”: “Prayer candles. Action figures. Temporary tattoos. Coloring books. Elizabeth Warren isn’t just a progressive icon, she’s a merchandising industry unto herself. The Massachusetts senator and presidential prospect is at the center of a sprawling business built around her appeal to liberals across the country — a reminder of the unabashed devotion she inspires on the left and the footprint she’ll cast in the 2020 Democratic primary. ‘Elizabeth Warren is an increasingly popular brand that people want to associate with,’ said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. ‘She’s the Apple of politics.’

“It’s impossible to know the true size of the Warren merchandising-industrial complex. The bulk of it exists beyond the senator’s control on sites like online marketplace Etsy. And her campaign, which hosts its own online store, declined to disclose the exact amount of money it raises from merchandise sales. But it’s safe to say no other senator has anything like it. Warren’s campaign store has expanded beyond traditional political fare such as buttons, bumper stickers, tote bags and t-shirts to offer a line of products that capitalize on the ‘Nevertheless, she persisted’ meme spawned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s much-publicized admonishment of Warren on the Senate floor earlier this year.”

TRUMP’S WASHINGTON — “Trump’s Easing of Postcrisis Wall Street Rules Gains Momentum,” by WSJ’s Ryan Tracy and Dave Michaels: “Regulators in the Trump administration have started easing restrictions that were placed on Wall Street after the financial crisis, using broad powers to revisit rules intended to constrain everything from trading risks to executive pay. Several agencies are reviewing the Volcker rule, a part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that limits banks’ trading. Some regulators also recently dropped a plan to restrict bonuses on Wall Street that had been opposed by banks and brokerage firms.

“And the Labor Department on Wednesday disclosed an 18-month delay in the so-called fiduciary rule that requires brokers to act in clients’ best interests when they handle retirement accounts. The moves show that while President Donald Trump might be struggling to advance his legislative agenda in Congress, his administration is making headway in changing some of the myriad rules that Wall Street has sought for years to overturn or water down.”

****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers and other health care purchasers; however, the list price – the important starting point for those negotiations — continues to rise, at a rate of nearly ten percent in 2016 alone. Increased competition, faster reviews of generics and biosimilars and ending anti-competitive practices can also bring down the cost of medications for patients. Learn more at ******

BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

–“To Catch a Counterfeiter,” by Joshua Hunt in California Sunday Magazine: “Counterfeiting is a $400 billion industry in China. There are real car dealerships selling knockoff cars and fake Apple Stores where the employees aren’t in on the scam. China sends millions of pairs of counterfeit shoes to the EU and billions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit pharmaceuticals to Africa and Southeast Asia.”

— “The Rise of the Valkyries,” by Seyward Darby on the cover of September’s Harper’s: “In the alt-right, women are the future, and the problem.” cover

— “Hiroshima,” by John Hersey in The New Yorker’s Aug. 31, 1946 issue: “At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.”

— “Total Eclipse,” by Annie Dillard in The Atlantic in 1982: “The sky snapped over the sun like a lens cover. The hatch in the brain slammed. Abruptly it was dark night, on the land and in the sky. In the night sky was a tiny ring of light. The hole where the sun belongs is very small. A thin ring of light marked its place. The eyes dried, the arteries drained, the lungs hushed. There was no world. In the sky was something that should not be there.” (h/t

— “The complete history of the IBM PC, part one: The deal of the century,” by Jimmy Maher in Ars Technica: “Bill Gates, mysterious deaths, and the business machine that sparked a home revolution.”

–“Giving ‘The Devil’ His Due,” by David Grann in the June 2001 issue of The Atlantic: “For several years in the early 1990s U.S. intelligence maintained close ties with a Haitian named Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the founder of a savage paramilitary group that has been held responsible for a prolonged wave of killings and other atrocities. Toto Constant today walks the streets of Queens, a free man. How did he come to find refuge in the United States? Who has been holding up his deportation?”

–“Richard Dawkins Offers Advice for Donald Trump, and Other Wisdom,” by John Horgan in Scientific American: “The biologist and atheist, whose latest book was released this week, talks about the reliability of science, artificial intelligence, religion and the president.”

–“Telemetry,” by Jeff Sharlet in VQR: “I’m told the pain [from a heart attack] can be instantly alarming. Not for me. It was only an ache, or sometimes a ripple, weak as chamomile, never sharper than nettles. That is, I did not know it was a heart attack. Then, after midnight, my chest began to fill as if with heavy water. My breath was cut into small and ragged pieces. I was being pressed, as if by a hard hand, back into the rocking chair in which I sat until dawn.”

–“A Guide to Russia’s High Tech Tool Box for Subverting U.S. Democracy,” by Garrett Graff in Wired: “Understanding just how extensive and coordinated Russia’s operations against the West are represents the first step in confronting—and defeating—Putin’s increased aggression, particularly as it becomes clear that the 2016 election interference was just a starting point.”

–“Fools, Cowards, or Criminals?” by Ian Buruma, reviewing “The Memory of Justice” in the N.Y. Review of Books: “The film never suggests that Auschwitz and My Lai, or French torture in Algiers, are equivalent. Ophuls tries to complicate the problem of moral judgment. What makes human beings who are normally unexceptional commit atrocities under abnormal circumstances?”

–“What it feels like to conduct an auction,” by Dan Davies: “Recommended warm-up exercises include reciting Humpty Dumpty with your tongue extended out as far as possible, and speaking with a big smile on your face, which makes your voice sound better.”

–“The creator of the pig-human chimera keeps proving other scientists wrong,” by Usha Lee McFarling in Stat:

–“The Fifteenth Century is the Most Interesting Century” – Modern Indonesia blog on Medium: “Before 1492 CE the world was divided in two. One part consisted of the Americas, representing a hundred million people. They had bell peppers, syphilis, tobacco, and turkey, but no measles, onions, or beef. The other part consisted of Afro-Eurasia, an enormously diverse series of societies from Iceland to New Guinea. These people had wheat, rice, millet, garlic, peas, and aubergines, but before 1492 none of them had ever seen a tomato.”

–“Ghoulish Acts & Dastardly Deeds,” by Alan Bellows in Damn Interesting: “At each of the [around 30] bomb sites [in the 1950s in NYC] — among the scattered detritus of pipe fragments, shell casings, broken plaster, glass, nuts, and bolts — police kept encountering one thing that was not like the others: a partially consumed throat lozenge. The point or purpose of the lozenge was as mysterious as the bomb-maker’s motives.”

–“Why we fell for clean eating,” by Bee Wilson in The Guardian: “The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked – but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it.” (h/t

–“The True American,” by Robert Pogue Harrison in the N.Y. Review of Books: “These days the question of what it means to be a ‘true’ American resists rational analysis. Whatever one can say about Americans that is true, the opposite is equally true. We are the most godless and most religious, the most puritanical and most libertine, the most charitable and most heartless of societies. … We are outlaws obsessed by the rule of law, individualists devoted to communitarian values, a nation of fat people with anorexic standards of beauty.”

–“The bomb ended World War 2: And other myths about nuclear weapons,” by Ashutosh Jogalekar in Curious Wavefunction: “On the ground the [nuclear] bombing looked no different from the relentless pounding that dozens of major Japanese cities had received. The firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945 killed more civilians than the atomic bomb”.” (h/t

SPOTTED IN NANTUCKET: David Gregory and Katie Couric last night at the Boston Pops concert at Jetties Beach on Nantucket, where the Beach Boys also performed … Greta Van Susteren walking this morning through town … former RNC chair and Veterans Affairs secretary Jim Nicholson and his wife strolling yesterday on Federal Street in downtown Nantucket … Dana Bash waiting in line for the Nantucket fast ferry yesterday in Hyannis.

SPOTTED: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) yesterday at Starbucks in Menlo Park, California … Rob Saliterman, Lara Crystal, Sheena Arora and Rodell Mollineau overlapped for a day in Cape Town on their respective honeymoons so they got together yesterday at Italian meat restaurant Carne SA to celebrate their “one week anniversary” – pic … former Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander and Texas Democratic Reps. Joaquin Castro and Beto O’Rourke on Friday at the Westin Galleria hotel in Dallas at the Young Democrats of America national convention

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — “Katrina Valdes, Joseph Bishop IV” — N.Y. Times: “Mrs. Valdes Bishop, 26, is the communications director in Washington for Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida. She graduated from George Washington University. … Mr. Bishop, also 26, is a government contractor in Washington. He also graduated from George Washington. … Though the bride and the groom attended George Washington and had many mutual friends through their Greek organizations, they did not meet until after they had both graduated, in September 2013.” With a pic pics

–SPOTTED: Sean and Amanda Evins, Caitlin Rush, Christian Hertenstein, Greg and Meredith Dolan, Bale Dalton, Gaby Boffelli and Nate Gately, Shelby Hodgkins and Kevin Hartley, Sarah Hodgkins and Austin Ankney.

— Andrew Moylan, EVP of the National Taxpayers Union, and Lori Sanders, associate VP of federal affairs at R Street, got married on Saturday night in a born on a horse farm in Shepherdstown, W.Va. They met at a state policy network conference in 2012 and then worked together for four years with the R Street Institute. Pic

–SPOTTED: Joey Coon, Brooke Oberwetter, Brandon Arnold, Gordon Cummings, Stacie Rumenap, Chris Myers, Dan Rothschild, Alan Smith, Ian Adams, Dave Bahr, R.J. Lehmann, Pat Michaels, Joe Henchman, Chaz Cirame, Rebekah Bydlak, Arin Greenwood, Richard Lorenc, John Stephenson, and Brian Walsh of the White House.

TRANSITIONS – Ben Geldon starts this week as a senior producer for the weekday edition of CNN’s “Inside Politics.” He most recently was a VP at SKDK and is a Bloomberg TV and “Reliable Sources” alum.

BIRTHDAYS: Sarah Huckabee Sanders is 35. She’s celebrating with her family (hat tips: Bryan Sanders and Sean Spicer) … twin bros Jeremy and Alan Bash … Molly Henneberg … Vanessa Lindlaw … Fed Chair Janet Yellen is 71 … Sam Champion is 55 … Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) is 65 … former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 84 … Nate Jablow … Addy Baird, reporter at ThinkProgress … Joshua James Romney is 42 … Jim Spiegelman, Aspen Institute’s VP and chief external affairs officer (h/t Doug Farrar) … Kelly Rzendzian, special assistant to Commerce Secretary Ross … Allison Lessne, VP at BlackRock … Tim Johnson … Crystal King … Nora McAlvanah … USA Today White House editor Sara Sorcher is 3-0 (h/t Arie Lipnick) … Sam Gaynor, principal at Altamont Capital, is 32 … Adam Sharon, managing director of Prime Strategies, is 4-0 … Karine Jean-Pierre … Gonzo Gallegos, senior adviser at State … Lauren Kirshner, a finance alum of Gov. Walker, Crossroads and RNC, is 3-0 (h/t Brian Baker) …

… Chris McCannell, partner at boutique gov’t relations firm Eris Group … Douglas Rivlin, comms director for Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) … Jeff Snow, research director at the NRSC and pride of Brookfield, Wisconsin (h/ts Charlie Hoffmann and Lauren Fine) … Ben Pack … Andrew Malkin is 25 … Fred Miller of Weyerhaeuser … Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) is 68 … former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) is 63 … Seth Minkel … Sharlett Mena … Politico Europe’s Aurélie Burnier … Mallory Morrison … Alec Davis … FAO’s Gabriel Laizer … Josh Hollander … Bitsy Whipple … Google’s Kelly Pilchard … Monique Lyons … AP’s Kelly Daschle … Samuel Tenenbaum … Alice McKeon … Samuel Tenenbaum … Goody Marshall … Elizabeth Wilkerson … Andrea Sims … Maer Roshan … Karine Jean-Pierre … Joanna Ossinger … Jeff Kuepper … Susan Garraty.

****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): The high prices that drug makers set for prescription drugs can put financial strain on patients, employers, unions and others who provide health care coverage to more than 50 percent of Americans. Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate the lowest net price for prescriptions on behalf of employers, unions and government programs. But, as list prices – the starting point for those negotiations — continue their nearly double-digit increases, the effects ripple throughout the system. The key to ensuring greater access and affordability lies in fostering greater competition. Facilitating faster reviews of generics and biosimilars, identifying off-patent drugs with little or no generic competition, and ending anti-competitive practices that keep safe, effective alternatives out of the market are also key to abating rising drug costs for patients. Learn more at ******

SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook York Playbook Playbook Jersey Playbook Playbook Playbook Playbook Playbook our political and policy tipsheets

Original Source link