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Today's Playbook Power Briefing presented by Chevron


By ANNA PALMER (; @apalmerdc), JAKE SHERMAN (; @JakeSherman), DANIEL LIPPMAN (; @dlippman), ZACH MONTELLARO ( ; @ZachMontellaro)



Good Thursday afternoon. Good news for those of you going to Nats game tonight: Energy provider Exelon -- which owns Pepco -- is ponying up the extra money to keep the Metro open late tonight so fans can get home from the game. The WAMU story

THE REALITY IN PUERTO RICO -- "Three weeks since Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico still dark, thirsty and frustrated," by WaPo's Manuel Roig-Franzia and Arelis Hernandez in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico: "When night comes, the vast majority of this 100-mile long, 35-mile wide island plunges into profound darkness, exposing the impotence of a long-troubled power grid that was tattered by Maria's winds and rains. Eighty-four percent of the island is still without power, according to the governor's office, and local officials in many areas are steeling themselves -- with a sense of anger and dread -- for six months or more without electricity. ...

"Roughly half of Puerto Ricans have no working cellphone service, creating islands of isolation within the island and cutting off hundreds of thousands of people in regions outside the largest metropolitan areas from regular contact with their families, aid groups, medical care and the central government. Christine Enid Nieves Rodriguez, who has set up a community kitchen near the southeastern city of Humacao, has dubbed the new reality Puerto Rico's 'dystopian future.'"

TRUMP'S TAKE ON THE ISLAND -- @realDonaldTrump at 6:49 a.m.: "'Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.' says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of....." ... at 6:58 a.m.: "...accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend...." at 7:07 a.m.: "...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

-- PUERTO RICO'S REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR -- @ricardorossello: "The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation."

PAUL RYAN'S BIG MONEY -- Dotty's founder Craig Estey gave the speaker $200,000. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, gave him $100,000.

****** A message from Chevron: We're piloting a program that uses drones to keep an eye on Chevron wells, tanks, and pipelines-all to keep DOERS and what they're doin' safer. Watch the video: ******

WHAT TRUMP SIGNED THIS MORNING -- Adam Cancryn: "President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order directing an overhaul of major federal health regulations, calling it the first step toward fulfilling the GOP's promise to repeal Obamacare. The order is aimed at encouraging the rise of a raft of cheap, loosely regulated health insurance plans that don't have to comply with certain Obamacare consumer protections and benefit rules. They'd attract younger and healthier people -- leaving older and sicker ones in the Obamacare markets facing higher and higher costs.

"'We've been hearing about the disaster of Obamacare for so long,' Trump said. 'I just keep hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace. Well we're starting that process.'"

-- Members of the International Franchise Association were in the Roosevelt Room for the president signing an executive order on health care: Shelly Sun, Reem Aloul, Catherine Monson, Howard James, Gordon Logan, Al Rodriguez, Mitch Cohen, Tom Baber, David Barr and Robert Cresanti. Pic

PAGING JARED AND IVANKA -- "Trump's Gay Backers No Longer See Him as the Great Straight Hope," by The Daily Beast's Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: "[Conservative gay rights activist Chris] Barron and others are alarmed at the direction the administration is taking. Trump is responsible for some of it, having signed a directive banning the recruitment of transgender troops. But much of it has originated from his agencies. The Justice Department has changed its position on whether sexual orientation is covered under the Civil Rights Act, withdrawn federal protections for transgender kids in schools, and said it will not prosecute organizations who cite religious objections when declining to serve gay customers."

GOOD NEWS -- "American woman, Canadian husband and children freed in Pakistan after 5-year hostage ordeal," by WaPo's Shaiq Hussain and Brian Murphy: "A Taliban-linked faction has freed an American woman and her Canadian husband who were abducted more than five years ago and had three children in captivity, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday. The Pakistani military said in a statement that the couple and their three children were found 'through an intelligence-based operation' in coordination with U.S. agencies tracking the hostages along the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"The statement, however, gave no further details of the rescue effort staged Wednesday or possible casualties. The White House praised it as a 'positive' sign of closer cooperation with Pakistan on counterterrorism efforts."

HAPPENING TONIGHT -- POLITICO will host the annual POLITICO 50 celebration, honoring our list of the thinkers, doers and dreamers reshaping American politics in 2017 -- and beyond. AND YES, we'll have the Nats game on. RSVP

TURTLE BAY WATCH -- "U.S. Will Withdraw From Unesco, Citing Its 'Anti-Israel Bias'," by NYT's Eileen Sullivan: "The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would withdraw from Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of America distancing itself because of what it called the group's 'anti-Israel bias.' ... While the United States withdrew from the group, the Trump administration said it wanted to continue to be engaged with Unesco to provide American perspective and expertise, but as a nonmember observer. The United States withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018. ...

"The Obama administration cut off funding to Unesco in 2011 because the group admitted Palestinians as full members, which the United States saw as undercutting its influence in countries around the world. America lost its vote in the organization in 2013 because it ended its financial contributions."

AFTERNOON READ -- "How the VA fueled the national opioid crisis and is killing thousands of veterans," by Art Levine in Newsweek: "In 2011, veterans were twice as likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses as non-veterans. One reason, as an exhaustive Newsweek investigation-based on this reporter's book, Mental Health, Inc.-found, is that for over a decade, the VA recklessly overprescribed opiates and psychiatric medications. Since mid-2012, though, it has swung dangerously in the other direction, ordering a drastic cutback of opioids for chronic pain patients, but it is bungling that program and again putting veterans at risk."

ATTENTION TRAVELERS -- "Hotel at iconic TWA terminal will evoke glamour of jet age," by AP's Karen Matthews: "The hotel ... will include two new buildings with 505 rooms, a rooftop pool, an observation deck where guests can watch planes take off and a museum stocked with artifacts, including uniforms lent by former TWA flight attendants. But the starring feature will be the long-closed TWA Flight Center, designed by architect Eero Saarinen. The center will be preserved, along with its Charles Eames furniture and Noguchi fountain, as the hotel's lobby."

TRANSITIONS -- Nathan Brand is joining Todd Rokita's Senate campaign in Indiana as communications director. He comes from America Rising Squared and is an alum of the Kelly Ayotte and Marco Rubio campaigns. ... Kendra Arnold has been named executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative ethics watchdog group. She was previously the group's general counsel.

WEEKEND WEDDINGS - ROMNEY ALUMNI -- Bruce Nilson, VP of Red Curve Solutions and alum of Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, and Nancy Weindruch, VP of communications for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, got married Wednesday afternoon by Mitt Romney at the state house in Boston. "They met at Kramer Books in DuPont in March of 2016. Governor Romney became aware of their engagement in August and his office reached out to the couple last week. ... A wedding celebration weekend for friends and family will take place in the new year." Pics ...

-- Anna Douglas, a former Washington correspondent for the Raleigh News and Observer who is now a reporter for the Charlotte Observer, got married to accountant Hillary Holt at the Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, N.C. Pic by Elizabeth Koh

WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Steven Luckett, a multimedia producer and former longtime producer/assignment editor at NBC4, and Desiré Greene of boutique federal government consulting firm V2/Vergys LLC, recently welcomed Christian Marcellus Luckett, who weighed in at 6 lbs., 5 oz. and 20". Pic

SPOTTED -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on an American Airlines flight from Louisville to DCA, seated in coach.

****** A message from Chevron: This is a story about energy, safety, and some truly high-flyin' doin'. We're piloting a program that uses drones, HD imaging, and thermal mapping to help keep a close eye on Chevron wells, tanks, and pipelines-all to keep DOERS and what they're doin' safer. Watch the video: ******

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