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TRUMP to go to CAMP DAVID -- POTUS ‘yelling at television sets’ in the W.H., expanding his legal team -- POTUS discloses wealth and income from Mar-a-Lago -- Scalise shooter had list of lawmakers on him -- B’DAY: Newt

TRUMP to go to CAMP DAVID -- POTUS ‘yelling at television sets’ in the W.H., expanding his legal team -- POTUS discloses wealth and income from Mar-a-Lago -- Scalise shooter had list of lawmakers on him -- B’DAY: Newt
by [email protected] (Daniel Lippman) via POLITICO - TOP Stories
URL: http://ift.tt/2sDRk9g
BREAKING -- NYT: "Judge in Bill Cosby Case Declares a Mistrial": "The judge presiding over the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial declared a mistrial Saturday after jurors reported being hopelessly deadlocked. The exhausted jurors had been deliberating since Monday, sometimes for as much as 12 hours a day. The mistrial, which Mr. Cosby’s lawyers had supported, means that prosecutors will need to decide whether to retry Mr. Cosby on the charges at a later date." http://nyti.ms/2rGZuZD
TODAY’S MUST READ -- AN ORAL HISTORY from KYLE CHENEY, HEATHER CAYGLE and ELANA SCHOR in POLITICO Magazine -- “‘Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me’: Five terrifying minutes on a baseball field, in the words of the people who were there.” http://politi.co/2sAA3Nq
Good Saturday morning. Today is the 45th anniversary of the Watergate break in. THE PRESIDENT’S MOOD -- AP’s Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire: “Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy to discredit — and potentially end — his presidency.” http://apne.ws/2sc8GbV
-- WHAT MIGHT KEEP THE PRESIDENT UP AT NIGHT: “Mueller’s staff grows to 13, with ‘several more in the pipeline,’” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has added 13 attorneys -- with more still to come -- as his investigation quickly expands beyond potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign with Russia to potential obstruction of justice case by the president. ... [The] prosecution team [has] experience going after everything from the Mafia and Enron to al Qaeda and President Richard Nixon.” http://politi.co/2sDRvS8
-- HOW HE’S EXPANDING HIS LEGAL TEAM: “Trump hires another high-profile lawyer as FBI probe heats up,” by Josh Dawsey: “John Dowd, who investigated Pete Rose for Major League Baseball and represented John McCain during the Keating Five Scandal, among other high-profile clients, has joined the president’s legal team, according to two people familiar with the pick. Dowd declined to comment Friday. The addition of Dowd, a 76-year-old former prosecutor who has practiced law in Washington for decades, adds an experienced hand in the investigation. He joins Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s longtime New York lawyer, Jay Sekulow and Mark Bowe, who works with Kasowitz.” http://politi.co/2sDRldf
-- WHAT HE’S DOING WITH HIS POWER:“5 things Trump did while you weren’t looking: Week 2,” by Danny Vinik: “1. U.S. and China make nice on beef, dairy and poultry ... 2. Education Department targets Obama-era student protections ... 3. The Pentagon flexes its muscles ... 4. VA civil service reforms heads to Trump’s desk ... 5. New food labels? Not so fast.” http://politi.co/2tbw0F2
-- WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS: “White House Officials Push for Widening War in Syria Over Pentagon Objections,” by Foreign Policy’s Kate Brannen, Dan De Luce, and Paul McLeary: “A pair of top White House officials is pushing to broaden the war in Syria, viewing it as an opportunity to confront Iran and its proxy forces on the ground there, according to two sources familiar with the debate inside the Donald Trump administration. Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council, and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top Middle East advisor, want the United States to start going on the offensive in southern Syria, where, in recent weeks, the U.S. military has taken a handful of defensive actions against Iranian-backed forces fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Their plans are making even traditional Iran hawks nervous, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who has personally shot down their proposals more than once, the two sources said.” http://atfp.co/2tdq4f0
-- WHERE HE’S SPENDING HIS SATURDAY: “From regal to rustic, Trump heads to Camp David for weekend,” by AP’s Catherine Lucey: “President Donald Trump is picking simple over swanky this weekend. Nearly five months into his presidency, Trump is heading to Camp David, the government-owned retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, for the first time. A frequent weekend traveler, Trump has favored his palatial residences in Florida and New Jersey over the wooded hideaway used by many presidents for a break from Washington. No one expects the luxury-loving leader to make this a regular thing. After all, Trump told foreign newspapers earlier this year that Camp David was ‘very rustic’ and ‘you know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.’” http://apne.ws/2tyun3D
TRUMP is expected to leave for Camp David sometime this morning.
-- HOW HE’S SO RICH: “Trump reports assets of at least $1.4 billion in financial disclosure,” by Theo Meyer and Matt Nussbaum: “The Trump International Hotel, which opened last year just blocks from the White House in a building leased from the federal government, brought in nearly $20 million in revenue for the president, according to Trump’s latest financial disclosure, released by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Friday. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which he visited often in the early months of his presidency, raked in $37 million – up from $30 million in the report Trump filed last year and about $16 million in the report filed two years ago.
“Sales of Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal’ brought in as much as $1 million for Trump, compared to the less than $100,000 in royalties that Trump reported in his 2016 filing. And sales of Trump’s book ‘Crippled America’ brought in up to another $5 million. Trump reported assets of at least $1.4 billion and income of at least $596.3 million in the 2016 calendar year and the early months of 2017. He reported owing at least $310 million to various financial institutions, including at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank.” http://politi.co/2tduBOt
--HOT DOC: Trump’s financial disclosure http://bit.ly/2rCqr5H
DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Escalating investigation puts Trump and his staff at legal odds”: “The legal interests of President Donald Trump and his aides are dramatically diverging as special counsel Robert Mueller expands his probe into possible obstruction of justice – and as the president ratchets up his attacks on the investigators. While Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, recently told White House staffers they can rely on him, rather than hire their own lawyers, some of the people closest to Trump aren’t taking that advice. … More White House staffers are likely to hire lawyers and splinter off as the president’s response to the investigation grows increasingly aggressive.” http://politi.co/2sAqH4i
CORRECTION OF THE DAY -- WaPo: “A May 19 Page One article about investigations into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign incorrectly quoted President Trump. Speaking in the wake of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a special counsel, Trump said, ‘I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between -- certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians. Zero.’ He did not say, ‘I can only speak for myself and the Russians.’”
SCARY -- “Alexandria Gunman Carried List With Names of 3 Republican Lawmakers,’ by NYT’s Adam Goldman: “The gunman who targeted Republican congressmen this week at a baseball field in suburban Washington was carrying a list with the names of at least three lawmakers, and had pictures of the ballpark stored on his cellphone, two law enforcement officials said on Friday. One of the officials said there were no explicit threats written on the list that was found on the body of James T. Hodgkinson, who was killed on Wednesday morning in a shootout with the police in Alexandria, Va., after he took aim at Republican lawmakers preparing for a charity baseball game against congressional Democrats.
“The official said the list included at least three names:Representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Trent Franks of Arizona, according to the two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the shooting remained under investigation.
“Both officials said Mr. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., had also taken pictures of the ballpark, nestled in a mostly liberal neighborhood seven miles south of the nation’s capital. For several weeks, Mr. Hodgkinson had hung out at a Y.M.C.A. center located next to the ballpark, using its locker room facilities and sitting for hours in the lobby while on his laptop. Authorities believe he was living out of a van since leaving Illinois in March; his brother said he was in the capital region to protest President Trump.
“The morning of the shooting, Mr. Hodgkinson approached Mr. Duncan in an adjacent parking lot and asked for the political affiliation of the lawmakers on the playing field. ‘I told him they were Republicans,’ the lawmaker recalled. ‘He said, ‘O.K., thanks,’ turned around.’” http://nyti.ms/2slNsql
-- THE DAILY CALLER’s Peter Hassoon originally broke this story. http://bit.ly/2tyCQE0
-- THIS WILL ONLY ESCALATE the discussion about ramping up security for members of Congress.
FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Seven sailors missing after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with container ship in Japan,” by Reuters’ Toru Hanai and Megumi Lim in Yokosuka, Japan: “U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald sailed back to its base in Yokosuka, with seven of its sailors still missing after it collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship more than three times its size in eastern Japan early on Saturday. … Search and rescue efforts by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels were continuing for the seven missing sailors, the Navy said. Their names are being withheld until the families have been notified, it said.” http://reut.rs/2scminK
2020 WATCH -- “How Jason Kander Won by Losing,” by Isaac Dovere in Manchester, N.H.: “Jason Kander was wearing a mic pack here as he wandered around the Puritan Backroom, chatting with local activists and politicians at the Manchester Democratic Club chicken dinner. A videographer, who followed him around as he moved from table to table, was being paid out of his campaign account. Kander’s Senate race ended seven months ago. He lost. …
“The 36-year-old Kander — who came shockingly close to ousting Missouri’s Republican Sen. Roy Blunt last November despite Hillary Clinton’s blowout loss in the state—has been a man in demand the last seven months, starting with a major Iowa progressive group that reached out after the election to ask him to come to its holiday party. He drew a slightly bigger crowd than Bernie Sanders had at the same event two years earlier. He’s kept doing presidential-ish travel and generating presidential-ish buzz, though the highest office he’s ever held is secretary of state—of Missouri.
“‘All I can tell you is what people say when they invite us,’ Kander said, sitting down for an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. ‘They say that they want me to come talk about the future of the party, how we were able to run 16 points ahead.’” http://politi.co/2rBZheX … Listen and subscribe to Off Messagehttp://apple.co/2nEa7y0
HMM -- “Democratic 2020 contenders? Voters haven’t heard of them,” by Steven Shepard: “President Donald Trump’s poor poll numbers have dozens of Democrats reportedly considering challenging him in 2020. But voters haven’t heard of the vast majority of them. According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that tested voters’ views of 19 potential Democratic presidential candidates — a list that includes eight senators, five governors, one congressman, a big-city mayor and a failed Senate candidate — most of the prospects are unknown among at least half the electorate. Since the next presidential election won’t start in earnest for at least 18 months, that leaves a limited time for no-name candidates to build name recognition and familiarity among voters.” http://politi.co/2tyjmzi
IMPORTANT READ -- “Trump threatens to break the glass on DOJ succession plan,” by Annie Karni: “An abstract, in-case-of-emergency-break-glass executive order drafted by the Trump administration in March may become real-world applicable as the president, raging publicly at his Justice Department, mulls firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Since taking office, the Trump administration has twicerewritten an executive order that outlines the order of succession at the Justice Department -- once after President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his travel ban, and then again two months later. The executive order outlines a list of who would be elevated to the position of acting attorney general if the person up the food chain recuses himself, resigns, gets fired or is no longer in a position to serve.
“In the past, former Justice Department officials and legal experts said, the order of succession is no more than an academic exercise -- a chain of command applicable only in the event of an attack or crisis when government officials are killed and it is not clear who should be in charge. But Trump and the Russia investigation that is tightening around him have changed the game.” http://politi.co/2sJnRdC
KNOW HER NOW -- RACHEL BRAND PROFILE – “The Obscure Lawyer Who Might Become the Most Powerful Woman in Washington: If the deputy attorney general resigns or gets fired, oversight of the Trump-Russia investigation would fall to the Justice Department’s No. 3, Rachel Brand,” by Philip Shenon in POLITICO Magazine: “Brand has enjoyed a glittering career, one that marked her early for a top job at the Justice Department in a Republican administration. Raised with three siblings on an Iowa farm, she graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and, three years later, from Harvard Law School. ... Brand was part of the legal team representing Bush in the Florida vote recount in 2000. She went on to be hired as a Supreme Court clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy before joining Bush’s Justice Department. There, she helped shepherd the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. In 2011, Brand became a top lawyer for the United States Chamber of Commerce, dealing with regulatory issues.” http://politi.co/2sAEacw
SCOOP -- “House Russia investigators want to bring in Trump digital director,” by CNN’s Tom LoBianco: “House Russia investigators are planning to call on Brad Parscale, the digital director of President Donald Trump’s campaign, as the congressional and federal probes dig into any possible connections between the Trump digital operation and Russian operatives. ... The House Russia investigation is planning to send an invite to Parscale soon, as they begin scheduling witnesses over the summer … The Senate intelligence committee is also interested in how Russian bots were able to target political messages in specific districts in critical swing states, although it is not clear if Parscale will be called before the Senate panel as well.” http://cnn.it/2tyo2oX
BOB COSTA ON GEORGIA’S SIXTH -- “Trump’s shadow and stalled GOP agenda loom over close Georgia race”: “The unfolding drama over Russian meddling in the 2016 election and President Trump’s handling of ensuing investigations has transfixed Washington — and bored Mather Lindsay.
“‘Probably a little overdone,’ Lindsay, a 46-year-old economistand father of three girls, said during lunch this week at the Salt Factory Pub. What grabbed Lindsay’s attention was the GOP’s stalled legislative agenda -- in particular, the promised overhauls of the tax code and the nation’s health-care law. ‘Trump’s self-inflicted wounds are my biggest disappointment,’ Lindsay said. ‘He has squandered a huge opportunity to get all that done.’ ‘Someone,’ he added, ‘needs to take his Twitter away.’
“Republicans in this wealthy community on the outskirts of Atlanta -- and in traditionally right-leaning suburbs nationally -- are facing a reckoning. So far, they have been willing to stomach a torrent of Trump outbursts and worrying twists in the Russia probes, but they are beginning to wonder if their patience is worth it. A crucial test of that patience will come Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, home not only to well-educated, mostly white Republicans but also to what has become the most expensive House race in history.” http://wapo.st/2sAxQBE
LIFEVEST -- “Sources: Federal officials vetting [Sam] Brownback for position in Trump administration,” by Kansas City Star’s Bryan Lowry and McClatchy’s Lindsay Wise: “Two close associates of Brownback confirmed to The Star that they were interviewed by federal officials about the governor’s character and qualifications last month. And a congressional source said people close to the governor and senior officials at the White House have said that it’s a matter of when, not if, he gets a post. ... [T]he appointment ... will most likely be with the U.S. State Department.” http://bit.ly/2smk1EK
NOT SO FAST -- “DACA still ‘under review,’ Trump administration says,” by Ted Hesson: “The future of an Obama-era deportation relief program remains undecided, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday. The announcement was meant to clarify the department’s position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows nearly 788,000 undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
“‘The future of the DACA program continues to be under review with the administration,’ a DHS spokesperson said in a written statement. ‘The president has remarked on the need to handle the issue with compassion and with heart.’ DHS felt compelled to issue a statement on the program’s fate after POLITICO and other outlets reported Thursday on guidance posted to the DHS website that suggested DACA would remain on firm footing under the Trump administration.” http://politi.co/2rGPkIE
MICHAEL GRUNWALD in Camageuy, Cuba: “Trump’s Strange Retreat from Cuba”: http://politi.co/2sEbmAD
HOW MEGYN KELLY WOOED ALEX JONES -- “Alex Jones Scoops Megyn Kelly And Proves The Media Isn’t Ready For The Trolls,” by BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel: “At 3 a.m. Friday, Infowars delivered on part of its promise and published a 30-minute video to YouTube containing roughly 10 minutes of Kelly’s pre-interview where she’s attempting to get Jones to agree to the interview. In the tape, Kelly repeatedly reassures Jones she intends to be fair. ‘You’ll be fine with it,’ she can be heard saying. ‘I’m not looking to portray you as a bogeyman ... The craziest thing of all would be if some of the people who have this insane version of you in your heads walk away saying, “You know, I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.”” http://bzfd.it/2rqawmR
--“What Megyn Kelly says in leaked audio from Alex Jones” – Media Matters: http://mm4a.org/2tyHbXQ
-- TV NEWSER: “Connecticut NBC Station Won’t Air Megyn Kelly Interview with Alex Jones”: MEMO FROM THE NETWORK: “Whenever there is news regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy, we know that the pain resurfaces for our community, our viewers and for you, our colleagues at WVIT. Over the last few days, we have listened intently to Sandy Hook parents, our viewers and importantly, to you. We have considered the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal. Because those wounds are understandably still so raw, we have decided not to air this week’s episode of Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly. We will continue our local coverage, including a special report on our Sunday 11pm newscast, which includes Sandy Hook parents, Governor Malloy and others who work to affect change around violence and mental illness. For those in our viewing area who still wish to see the show, it will be available Monday on NBCNews.com.” http://bit.ly/2rCamwO
TV TONIGHT -- MSNBC is re-airing at 9 p.m. “All the President’s Men Revisited,” a documentary on the Watergate scandal on the 45th anniversary of the infamous break-in at the DNC.
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,”edited by Matt Wuerker -- 16 keepers http://politi.co/2rES09B
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:
--“How the Saudi-Qatar Rivalry, Now Combusting, Reshaped the Middle East The Interpreter,” by The Upshot’s Max Fisher: “Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the crown prince of Qatar ... believed Qatar could find security only by transforming itself from Saudi appendage to rival. But how? The audacious plan he put in motion set off something of a regional cold war, in time remaking not just the politics of the oil-rich Persian Gulf, but also those of the entire Middle East, culminating in last week’s crisis.” http://nyti.ms/2twiH1h
--“Remembering the Murder You Didn’t Commit,” by Rachel Aviv in The New Yorker: “DNA evidence exonerated six convicted killers. So why do some of them recall the crime so clearly?” http://bit.ly/2rzORwG
--“What Both the Left and Right Get Wrong About Race,” by Dalton Conley and Jason Fletcher in Nautilus magazine: “Setting the scientific record straight on race, IQ, and success.” http://bit.ly/2sHZwoO
--“The Food Stamp Program Is An Overwhelming Success. That Might Also Be Its Downfall,” by HuffPo’s Arthur Delaney: “Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress could cut benefits for millions.” http://bit.ly/2tweivF
--“Rigged,” by Brett Murphy in USA Today: “Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.” https://usat.ly/2sBKe51
--“Knowing Me, Knowing Me,” by Sarah Ditum in the Literary Review, reviewing “Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed & What It’s Doing to Us,” by Will Storr: “Each of us ... has an internal ‘storyteller’. This is a narrative voice that turns the daily barrage of experience into a comprehensible arc of actions and reactions, positioning us as the hero of the story. The trouble is, this voice is a dangerous liar. It tells us that we are good and rational and that other people are venal and flawed. And in a world that defines a good person as high-achieving, high-status, slim and attractive, sometimes the strain of maintaining the story is too much.” http://bit.ly/2s9YS1Z (h/t ALDaily.com)
--“A Sociology of the Smartphone,” by Adam Greenfield in Longreads, in an excerpt of “Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life”: “Smartphones have altered the texture of everyday life, digesting many longstanding spaces and rituals, and transforming others beyond recognition.” http://bit.ly/2roRRYA ...$19.19 on Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2sBGznU
--“Ray Spencer Didn’t Molest His Kids. So Why Did He Spend 20 Years in Prison for It?” by Maurice Chammah in Esquire: “Matt and Katie accused their father of sexual abuse. Then they started to question their memories.” http://bit.ly/2sC8nsh
--“How America Lost the War on Drugs,” by Ben Wallace-Wells in Rolling Stone in Dec. 2007: “After thirty-five years and $500 billion, drugs are as cheap and plentiful as ever. An anatomy of a failure.” http://rol.st/2twr2Ca (h/t Longform.org)
--“When Neurology Becomes Theology,” by Robert A. Burton in Nautilus magazine: “The pursuit of the nature of consciousness, no matter how cleverly couched in scientific language, is more like metaphysics and theology. It is driven by the same urges that made us dream up souls and afterlife. The human urge to understand ourselves is eternal, and how we frame our musings depends upon prevailing cultural mythology. In a scientific era, we should expect philosophical and theological ruminations to be couched in the language of physical processes.” http://bit.ly/2royVJj
--“Jungle Law,” by William Langewiesche in May’s Vanity Fair: “In 1972, crude oil began to flow from Texaco’s wells in the area around Lago Agrio (‘sour lake’), in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Born that same year, Pablo Fajardo is now the lead attorney in an epic lawsuit—among the largest environmental suits in history—against Chevron, which acquired Texaco in 2001. Reporting on an emotional battle in a makeshift jungle courtroom, the author investigates how many hundreds of square miles of surrounding rain forest became a toxic-waste dump.” http://bit.ly/2rEYwx3
GREAT WEEKEND LISTEN, curated by Jake Sherman:
-- MY FIRST Phish show was 13 years ago today at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. http://bit.ly/2tduxhH
SPOTTED: HHS Secretary Tom Price yesterday sitting in first class on the 7:23 p.m. Delta flight to Atlanta from DCA
OUT AND ABOUT: Ambassador of Jordan to the U.S. Dina Kawar hosted an Institute for Education media and tech dinner last night at her residence, which overlooks Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s household in Kalorama. WaPo’s Tory Newmyer was the special guest for the night and “discussed regulation, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the lack of civility hindering the completion of mutually agreed regulatory reform,” according to an attendee. Coach Kathy Kemper, founder and CEO of IFE, thanked the ambassador for hosting, and noted that Kawar has been decorated by four countries, Jordan, Holy Sea, France and Portugal. SPOTTED: John Paul Farmer, David Edelman, Alex Hoehn-Saric, Grace Koh, Seamus Kraft, Hud Batmanglich and Jim Valentine.
TRANSITIONS -- Jennifer Lackey is now parliamentarian for the House Financial Services Committee. She was most recently legislative director for Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and previously worked for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and the House Judiciary Committee. ... Prime Policy Group has hired Blaine Nolan as its deputy chief of staff. She was previously director of scheduling for Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
BIRTHDAYS: Tory Burch (Nolita tips: Dina and Autumn) … GW athletic director Patrick Nero … Desiree Barnes ... Newt Gingrich is 74 … Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives, is 43 ... Scooter Braun is 36 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Matt Canter, SVP at Global Strategy Group, is 37 ... Matt Miller, partner at strategic advisory firm Vianovo (h/t Jon Karl) … Politico’s Alex Weprin ... Chris Bedford, editor in chief at The Daily Caller News Foundation, vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, “Kansas City Barbeque Society judge & bartender extraordinaire,” per his Twitter, is 31 (h/ts Benny, Danza) ... Airbnb’s Maxwell Nunes, an HFA alum ... Christina Wilkie Sumner ... Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) is 71 ... Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) is 48 … Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) are 59 ... CNN White House producer Allie Malloy (h/t Kevin Bohn) ... Jordan Wells, military LA for Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), is 27, celebrating on a CODEL with the boss (h/t Ben Goodman) ... Chad Clanton is 46 ... Competitive Enterprise Institute President Kent Lassman ... Diane Blagman of Greenberg Traurig ... Jon Leibowitz, former FTC chairman, now with Davis Polk & Wardwell (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Gabe Horwitz ... Chris Garcia, acting national director of the Minority Business Development Agency (h/t Paris Dennard) ... Samuel Garrett-Pate, account executive at comms firm RALLY, is 25 (h/t Mackenzie Long) ... Katie Lingle, deputy press secretary for Sen. Thune’s personal office (h/t Ryan Wrasse) ... Kevin McCarthy intern Boris Abreu is 2-0 (h/t Uncle Rob) ...
... Katie Grant, comms. director and senior advisor for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer … Nate Thomas … June Shih, the pride of Alexandria, Va. (hubby tip: Josh Gerstein) … Paul Steinhauser, NH1 political director, anchor and reporter, and CNN alum … former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is 68 ... Scott Thuman, chief political correspondent for WJLA and Sinclair Broadcast Group ... Szabolcs Panyi ... Nicole Domenica Sganga ... Lee Newton Rhodes ... Kerri Chyka ... Emily Adams ... PBS NewsHour’s Jaywon Choe (h/t Simone Pathe) ... John Dimos ... Rose Gault ... Michael McLendon ... Michael Grisso ... Nicole Auerbach ... Linda Chavez … Craig Roberts, CoS for Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) ... environmental consultant Miro Korenha is 3-0, celebrating with new husband Kurt and visiting parents (hubby tip: Kurt Bardella) ... Pat Bauer … Joyce Johnson ... Rob Johnson ... Joni Klaassen (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Chris Jennings … Aaron Harrison ... Melissa Sabatine ... Jeffrey Grimshaw ... Priscilla Jones Stanzel ... Robert Becker is 49 ... Janice R. Lachance ... Katie Koenen Wright ... David Dolkart ... Barry Manilow is 74 ... Thomas Haden Church is 56 ... Greg Kinnear is 54 ... tennis player Venus Williams is 37 ... Kendrick Lamar is 3-0 (h/ts AP)
THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:
--NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) … Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Jay Sekulow
--CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) … member of Donald J. Trump’s legal team Jay Sekulow. Panel: Slate and CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie, CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru and The Washington Post’s Phil Rucker
--CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Jay Sekulow … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Bakari Sellers, Rick Santorum, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
--“Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) … Jay Sekulow … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Panel: Brit Hume, Julie Pace, Lisa Boothe, Juan Williams … “Power Player” of the week with Comfort Cases founder Robert Scheer
--ABC’s “This Week”: Guests to be announced
--Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) … Newt Gingrich (whose birthday is today) … Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) … Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas). Panel: Ed Rollins and Mary Kissel
--Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Erin McPike … Guy Benson … Michael Tomasky … Susan Ferrechio … Rich Lowry … Dan Abrams … Carley Shimkus
--CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Panel: Karoun Demirjian, Abby Phillip, Jeff Zeleny and Phil Mattingly. (Substitute anchor: CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson)
--CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Matt Schlapp, Alex Conant, Kaitlan Collins, Steve Deace and Sally Kohn … Mo Ryan and BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) … Oliver Stone
--Univision’s “Al Punto”: Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales … White House Director of Policy and Interagency Coordination Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … former Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) … Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló
--C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: Walt Mossberg …“Newsmakers”: Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), questioned by Politico’s Connor O’Brien and CQ Roll Call’s Kellie Mejdrich …“Q&A”: David Garrow (“Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama”)
--Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2omgw1D): Author and former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Adm. James Stavridis.
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[Table] IAmA: I am Theodore Gray, author of The Elements, founder of Touch Press. We have just released "Disney Animated", which has been called the most ambitious app ever created. Ask me what it's like dancing with the Mouse, or anything else.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-08-13
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Would you rather fight one horse-sized atom or 1x1027 atom-sized horses? The nucleus of a horse-sized atom would burrow to the center of the planet and destroy all life on earth. 1027 atom-sized horses would be some kind of nano-bots that no one would stand a chance against, but at least others could live. So I'd sacrifice myself for the good of the planet.
Do you have any plans for a sequel to The Elements? What would it be? Compounds, then Reactions. A trilogy.
What's your favorite element and why? Ah, yes, that question, and good on iamthewaffler for giving the correct answer: I would not tell you my favorite child either. But titanium is pretty cool. I have a lot of cool titanium things, including this amazing titanium turbine fan blade from a passenger jet, which I haven't photographed yet. By the way, one of my kids has pointed out the problem with my standard answer to this question: It implies that I have a favorite child, even if I'm not saying which one it is. Hm, let me think which one has just ticked themselves off the list...
Do you think ebooks will completely replace physical books? Do you ever read physical books? No, for the same reason that photography has not replaced painting. Different media serve different purposes, and a beautiful, well-printed book will always have a place in the world. Cheap, badly printed paperbacks maybe not so much: They might vanish.
What made the Disney Animated app so difficult and complex? It has a lot of moving parts. Lots of print books have been written about animation, and lots of DVD documentaries have been made. In both those cases the technical and licensing issues are well understood. But no one had ever tried doing this as an interactive ebook before, and there were a lot of completely unanticipated issues around, for example, the use of voice and music, and around we should balance the "play it back as video" vs. "study it as individual frames" issue. And on top of the book-like portions of the app (which are amazing) it also has a bunch of separate interactive workshops, each of which is a separate piece of software development we had to do from scratch.
What advice can you give to a teenager aspiring to become a scientist(chemist or physicist) and element collector? Spend your time doing the thing you are most driven to spend time doing, regardless of what that is. That's what you will work the hardest on, and as long as it's not self-destructive, following your passion is what will make you interesting and give you an interesting path in life. If that happens to be science, fine, if not, that's fine too. But you're better off being a passionate baker than a half-hearted scientist, if that's your muse.
Do you find Disney to be over bearing and controlling? Disney is a big company with a lot of balls in the air. It's interesting to say, "we should do this" and get back ten reasons why that would be a really bad idea, none of which I'd thought of before, but at least some of which make sense. I wouldn't say "controlling", more like "concerned". In a good way.
The Elements was amazing, and such brilliant pictures too. You mentioned in the book, when talking about the alkali metals, that you were an advisor for a T.V show where they were throwing all these metals into a bath full of water, and they got some complaints that the 'explosions' were faked, or enhanced with some other explosives. Was this the U.K T.V show Braniac by any chance, and if so what was your experience like? I wasn't an advisor to that show, and if I had been, there's no way I would have let them get away with that faking. It was really unacceptable. I have a page about it: Link to theodoregray.com
Unfortunately it seems that since the death of Google Video, none of the videos links from that page work any more. Are they available anywhere else? Oops, I need to fix that...
What's it like dancing with the Mouse? I guess I should have seen that one coming... It was interesting. And if you have more specific questions, I can give a more specific answer... We (Touch Press) are a very small company and they are a very, very, very big company, but in the end you're still just dealing with people one on one. People are interesting and fun to work with, on the whole.
I love your Mad Science book and you do some pretty crazy things in it. Was there any experiment you wanted to put in but couldn't for safety reasons? So far there's nothing I've been willing to do that I haven't done and put in the book. I'm actually a complete wimp and nothing I do in that book is actually dangerous in the sense that there was a risk of my seriously hurting myself. Not any more so than driving across town. What there are is things that if you did them wrong would be very dangerous. So the trick is not to do things wrong.
Which experiment in that book would you say could go most spectacularly wrong? Salt from blowing chlorine gas into molten sodium, dropping a turkey into hot oil, and anything involving white phosphorus. That stuff does not mess around. Liquid oxygen is also a very dodgy substance, but I feel I understand it well enough to trust that I know what it will do. It's the only way I light the grill these days. Seriously, every time.
Now that I'm thinking about that, what would happen if you dipped thermite in liquid oxygen? Would it burn better than normal, or would it be the same because the magnetite is already mixed in (and the oxygen isn't)? Sounds like a bad thing to try... I'm not sure what would happen between the explosive vaporization of the oxygen and the reaction of aluminum powder with liquid oxygen, etc. On the other hand, the thermite reaction only works when it's starting from a very high temperature, so the cold LOX might actually just stop the process, if it isn't already well underway.
I find myself using ptable.com more often than yours. What are your thoughts on ptable? Looks fine, whatever. It looks like something that wraps wikipedia in a less convenient interface. If you want useful information about elements (or just about anything else), you go to wikipedia, that is the gold standard. My site isn't about being useful, and I would not recommend it if you actually want information about elements.
Do you plan on doing any more writing for PopSci? I've actually just been kind of laid off by them... I was really, really bad about doing columns for a good six months because I was just so busy doing the Disney project, and then just when I was ready to start doing more columns, they said, uh, we don't have any more budget to pay freelancers like you. So for now, I'm an ex-columnist. You could complain to them if you want me re-hired...
Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses? Ha, if I didn't know who you are I might answer this question... But consider: This is isn't a hypothetical question, both those creatures exist, or used to. Another way of putting it is, would you rather fight a velociraptor or similar sized dinosaur, or a hundred padus or similar duck-sized, horse-like animals?
Which are the hardest elements to come by for making your Coffee Table Periodic Table and how many have you made/sold so far? That is the coolest thing, ever, and I bug my wife about getting one. Only one table table, but we've sold dozens of the vertical periodic table displays to universities, museums, chemical companies, etc.
What would you say was the first really "mad science" experiment you've ever done? On a related note, what is the "maddest" science experiment you've ever done? And which experiment would you say best matches the "Hollywood science" often seen in movies? The first would have been when I was a kid making gunpowder. That was fun. Maddest is perhaps making salt by blowing chlorine gas into a pool of molten sodium. That's a bad idea on many levels. Most hollywood like might be dipping a frozen turkey in hot oil. Big fireball.
I'm 11. I've been collecting the elements for a year and a half. Do you have any lighters containing pure elements? Any shiny silver-colored light is probably plated with pure chromium. That's the only one that comes to mind.
Okay, then, who's your favorite dwarf? Mine's Grumpy. Dopey, because when Walt Disney mentions him in the clip we have in our app, he gets this silly grin on his face that makes you think, yea, this guy was actually real, and probably kind of a goofy guy himself. When he wasn't busy being a hard-nosed businessman.
How is your magnesium canoe doing??? I'm jealous!! For a while I would scour the web occasionally in order to try to find one for myself. How does one go about repairing a magnesium canoe? Have you met and other magnesium canoe owners? Did you ever get a picture of yours up on the website? Do you have any guesses as to how many are still in existence? Sadly it's still sitting in my shed waiting to be sand blasted. It's been there for years and I really don't know when I'm going to have time to deal with it.
I'd like to thank you and your team at Wolfram for Mathematica. Even back in the relatively primitive days of the mid-90s I couldn't have earned my CS degree without your application. Now to the question; which is more beautiful to you, deMorgan's laws or Euler's identity? Well, now that I've looked up both those names... The epi i = -1 thing is so confusingly improbably, and combines three seemingly unrelated quantities in such a surprising way, that I think I would have to go with that one. The other one seems more like just a fact, which I use on a regular basis for purely practical reasons, I never really thought of it as being a beautiful rule with a name...
How concerned are you about the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Crisis in USA, i.e. "not recruiting young American boys/girls into STEM careers" (Washington DC politician has termed a National Security issue), most of graduating PhDs in leading American Univs are FOREIGN BORN. I've made a point to query many young people I meet (high school, college, etc) about STEM experience in K-12. Not many come back with STEM (many in Arts), I just met someone in Chemistry. "Inspiration before Outreach", how do you "light the fire" for Chemistry? I think we're on a long slide down hill and there's not much to be done about it other than slow it down and hope things don't get too bad at the bottom. The future is in places like China, where there is spirit and energy. We will become like the old world is now, a place of general competence and decaying but mostly functional society, with pockets of brilliance and beauty embedded in the drab everyday. It's not a great future, but it could be worse, and a lot of people, the smart ones, will do what people of earlier generations always have: They will move to where the action is. That used to be here, now it's the far east, but so be it, the world changes, people change, countries change. As I said in another answer, I have no interest in convincing anyone that chemistry is interesting. If people don't think it's interesting, then they can go do something else, that's perfectly fine with me. I write about what's interesting to me, and anyone who also finds that interesting is welcome to read my work. Or not, I don't care, that's not why I write. I wrote about Disney animation because, even though I didn't know much about it to start with, once I started learning, I found it deep and fascinating and worth writing about, so I convinced them that I was the guy for the job, and then I got to write the book. (Er, the app, because it's really not a book, it's an app, which is a very different animal.)
Why do you think the United States and really everyone except China is so far behind in mining of rare earth metals? And, which rare earth metal would be the most detrimental to our society (economy, technology, medical research, etc.) if China no longer mined it? We actually have lots of rare earth resources in the US. As long as someone else is willing to mine theirs and sell them to us, we should take them and save ours for later when these minerals actually start getting rare. Same with oil: The last thing you want to do is mine your own while someone else is still foolish enough to sell you theirs.
Is it true you were on Hanna Montana??? That can't be right. Not me, just my poster... There's one episode where there is a scene set in a science classroom, and my poster is on the back wall behind the actors pretty much the whole time. I believe they were telling some kind of awkward joke.
I just watched the trailer and I think this is a very cool app! Can the app do simple motion capture to animate characters? For example, if I wave my hand could I make a character wave too? etc No, it has an animation tool where you can make Vanellope wave at you, but you have to do it manually, as you would in Maya for example (except much, much, much simpler interface!). The only motion capture is in the Frozen snow workshop where it captures your hand motion on the screen and makes a flurry of snow in the style of Elsa from Frozen (not released yet). The biggest part of the app is about showing how movies are made, more so than making your own.
Are you open to e-book ideas from people? How would one go about telling you about them? Sorry for missing this question earlier. Most of our projects are done in collaboration with some other company that has an interesting project, for example Faber & Faber for poetry, the Philharmonia and Deutsche Gramophone for music, Disney for animation, and others. We have published some works on our own, but like any publisher, we're inundated with more project proposals than we can handle, so we don't go out of our way to encourage people to propose yet more of them. But my email isn't a secret, and I read all of it...
I am a big fan of your apps and was wondering when you plan to issue iOS 7 updates? The Orchestra and Disney Animated have some sound issues in iOS 7. Also, will you ever update X is for X-Ray to support retina iPads?? We'll be adding OS7 support as time goes by. Orchestra and Disney are definitely high priorities, so if there are issues, we'll deal with them. X-Ray is harder, because unfortunately it's not sold very well. Frankly I think it's entirely the wrong format for those pictures. I would like to release the x-ray rotational photography, which is mind-blowing, in a different form, more like an art book than an alphabet book, because rhyming alphabet books devalue the art that's in them and are a turnoff for adults who would really like the x-ray images.
What's your opinion of Khan Academy? Would you consider collaborating with them? I think they are amazing, and if they asked me to do something, I would certainly talk to them about it.
Imagine you met someone who doesn't believe in Chemistry. What Mad Science experiment would you show them in order to convince them? Depends what you mean by "doesn't believe in chemistry"... If they just think it's boring, I would find someone else to talk to, because that person is probably a boring person themselves, and I've got better things to do than talk to someone who's so uncurious about the world that they think chemistry is boring. If they don't believe it actually works, I still wouldn't want to talk to them because they are probably nuts or a fundy or new ager or something equally uninteresting person to spend one's time with. Basically I have no interest in convincing anyone this stuff is interesting. If someone don't get it, fine, they don't have to get it, I really don't care what they do or don't find interesting. I think chemistry is fun, and that's why I write about it.
I saw you present Disney Animated at D23 on Sunday! I promptly purchased the app as soon as I got home, and it is truly a wealth of information. I have interest in some of the, ah, lesser Disney features and noticed a few (Home on the Range, for example) are lacking in content compared to the more popular films. You mentioned in the presentation as well that you didn't have a color map for Frozen yet because, of course, it's not out. Is Animated going to receive updates into the future when new films are released, and will we see more content added for legacy films? We included absolutely as much stuff as we could without pushing the app into the truly unacceptable range of hugeness... Unfortunately that means some movies got short changed. There will definitely be an update for Frozen when it comes out. We were toying with the idea of releasing an update with the color map before it's actually out in theaters, but quickly realized that there's no way we could do that, because the complete thumbnail sequence would almost certainly give away some plot twists or spoilers. So it will have to wait until the movie is actually out.
I am going into the sixth grade and I have a home chemistry lab that I use with my Dad. Do you have any recommendations for experiments? I'm not very good about recommending things you should try... Mostly I recommend things you shouldn't try, as in my two Mad Science books.
Theodore, I've watched my 2 digital native sons (6 & 11) approach Orchestra, Elements & X-ray as hypertexts, and have been thinking about the neurological implications of hypertexts (apps, ebooks etc.) - they facilitate that wonderful Aristotelean unity of a holistic overview magically integrated with rich detail - exemplified in Elements. So my question is this, what new kinds of cognitive and philosophical modes are we unlocking for ourselves? We so often in the past have used new technologies as new metaphors for cognition, so where are we heading now? I don't know if these technologies unlock anything new in the human psyche, but they do allow existing modes of comprehension to be used in new ways. Music is a good example: Prior to the advent of interactive media, the only way to learn certain things about music was in person with a skilled teacher by your side. That's still the best way, but for people who don't have that opportunity, apps like Orchestra, Beethoven's 9th, and Liszt (and of course others by other people) give you things you can't get any other way.
Quick without looking it up, what is the atomic weight of beryllium? And for extra credit: why? Uh, ah, um, without looking it up...I would guess 8 just because I think the atomic weight is 4 and it seems like one ought to have about as many neutrons as protons on the whole. OK, I'll bite, why is it actually 9?
Hi Dr. Gray. Do you guys at Touch Press have present of future projects with Wolfram Alpha or Mathematica? Yes, we're working on one right now.
Have you ever considered developing a Periodic Table product with the folks behind the Video Periodic Table at the University of Nottingham? I've talked to the guy with the big hair... I think they do some very nice work, it would be fun to do a project together some day, but nothing is currently planned.
Do you think it would be possible to allow somehow for the purchase of the iPad app to include the Mac App too? That's completely out of our control: Apple determines everything to do with the sale of the app through their app store. It seems reasonable to me that you should be able to buy it once, and then use it on any device you have (just like you can, for example, with music you buy in iTunes). But for now at least, the iPad/iPhone and Mac versions are completely separate applications. (And by the way, the Mac version includes demonstration videos that aren't in the iPad version, so you do actually get something new...)
Could you please have the little girl that sings the elements song on the ipad app also sing it in English? My daughter loves the girl singing, not the "old guy," and while we like the Japanese version we would like her to learn it in English as well. I can ask them...
What's your favorite science experiment/chemical reaction/cool phenomenon/etc. that you've done? I think I'd have to go with the turkey dropped in hot oil. There's just so much fire created!
Do you still have a thousand pounds of hard drive platters? Yes, yes I do.
Have you memorized all the atomic weights of the elements - from my 9 yr old son who is a fan.. Note, I don't memorize anything. I could probably tell you a lot of them other than the rare earths, but only because I've spent so much time with them.
As someone who purchased most of your (printed and e-) books and apps (all are among my children's favorite), I'd like to know how you view or value your impact to the Mathematica world, vs to the educational world via eBooks such as the Elements. Thanks. With Mathematica I contributed one part (the user interface) to something built by a hundred or more people over 25 years. My Popular Science column (and thus also my Mad Science books) were heavily edited by the magazine, and are really collaborative works.
With Elements, the book is something I wrote pretty much completely on my own (i.e. all the text is mine, with only minimal editing, and when there was any argument about what it should say, I always did it my way). My colleague Nick Mann took many of the pictures in the book, but so did I, and he did it the way I wanted them taken. So The Elements is very much my vision, it's what I wanted to do with the least amount of pushing around by other people. I like its purity of vision, and I like the fact that people respond to it the way they do. I've never done anything before or since that people feel as strongly about as The Elements, and I can only hope to do it again some time.
At our school we used your elements app. What inspired you to make the elements song. Every kid played it constantly and eventually they made us remove the app :( The elements song was actually recorded by Tom Lehrer in 1959: I just used it because it's so much fun.
Last updated: 2013-08-18 04:05 UTC
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