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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 Wednesday afternoon. TEXAS DEMOCRAT INTRODUCES IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION -- TEXAS DEMOCRATIC REP. AL GREEN has noticed a resolution on the House floor to IMPEACH President Donald Trump. THE HOUSE will likely be forced to take action on this resolution at some point, but not today. If and when it does vote, the GOP-controlled chamber will likely table the resolution, which will put the issue to rest. BUT, BUT, BUT ... Green -- who represents the Houston area -- has opened a new front in the Democrat-versus-Trump war.

BUZZ -- MITCH MCCONNELL and DONALD TRUMP are scheduled to have dinner next week, according to multiple sources familiar with the plan. Trump has been warring recently with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a Senate committee chair and ally of McConnell's.

GOOD NEWS, WASHINGTON ... MAYBE?: The Nationals have named Stephen Strasburg the starter for tonight's must-win game against the Chicago Cubs, per WaPo's Chelsea Janes. First pitch is at 4:08 p.m. After last night's drama, we're not convinced of anything until the pitcher takes the mound.

A REAL HEADLINE IN AMERICA IN 2017: "Trump Threatens NBC's TV Licenses After Report That He Wanted More Nukes," by Bloomberg's Alex Wayne and Todd Shields: https://bloom.bg/2gvpVPa

-- THE TWEETS: @realDonaldTrump at 9:45 a.m.: "Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a 'tenfold' increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!" ... at 9:55 a.m.: "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!"

-- THE REALITY -- @joshgerstein: "They don't really have licenses. Their owned/operated stations do. And their affiliates, but other companies own those ... Also as w/equal time rules, GOP led charge for FCC to back off rigorous look at whether stations operate in 'public interest'".

THIS IS A BIG DEAL... GOODBYE BLUE SLIPS -- The Weekly Standard's FRED BARNES talking to MITCH MCCONNELL: "No longer will 'blue slips' be allowed to deny a nominee a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation. In the past, senators have sometimes barred a nominee from their state by refusing to return their slip to the committee, thus preventing a hearing and confirmation.

"'The majority' -- that is, Republicans -- will treat a blue slip 'as simply notification of how you're going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball,' McConnell told me. The use of blue slips, he noted, is not a Senate rule and has 'been honored in the breach over the years.' Now it won't be honored at all." http://tws.io/2xy9P1K

-- JUDICIARY CHAIR CHUCK GRASSLEY'S RESPONSE, per a spokesman: "The chairman of the Judiciary Committee will determine how to apply the blue slip courtesy for federal judicial nominees, as has always been the practice. Over the years, chairmen have applied the courtesy differently, but the spirit of consultation has always remained." More from Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim http://politi.co/2zgBTEi

SCOOP -- "Trump expected to name Kelly's White House deputy as DHS secretary," by Eliana Johnson, Andrew Restuccia and Daniel Lippman: "President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to run the Department of Homeland Security, possibly as soon as Wednesday, according to two administration officials and three outside advisers familiar with the process. Nielsen served as White House chief of staff John Kelly's chief of staff during his time as DHS secretary and moved with him to the West Wing as his principal deputy chief of staff when he was appointed in July, leaving the cabinet post vacant. ...

"People familiar with the search cautioned that, as with everything in the Trump White House, nothing is final until publicly announced. Nielsen, 45, is a cybersecurity expert and an attorney with an extensive background in homeland security, including stints at the Transportation Security Administration and on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush." http://politi.co/2zg4JV6

THE LATEST ON RUSSIA -- "Nunes signs off on new subpoenas to firm behind Trump-Russia dossier," by CNN's Evan Perez, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb: "The chairman of the House intelligence committee has issued subpoenas to the partners who run Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the dossier of memos on alleged Russian efforts to aid the Trump campaign, according to sources briefed on the matter. The subpoenas -- signed by California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes -- were issued Oct. 4, demanding documents and testimony later this month and early November.

"Earlier this year, Nunes announced that he was stepping aside from directing the committee's Russia inquiry after he became the subject of an ethics investigation into his handling of classified information. But more recently, he has made clear that he is still playing an influential role, despite announcing that he had delegated authority on the Russia matter to Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas.

"A source familiar with the matter told CNN that all Russia-related subpoenas have been approved by Conaway, and Conaway confirmed to CNN Monday he asked for the most recent subpoenas. ... A Democratic committee source said 'the subpoenas were issued unilaterally by the majority, without the minority's agreement and despite good faith engagement thus far by the witnesses on the potential terms for voluntary cooperation.'" http://cnn.it/2xxpgHE

****** A message from Chevron: When an endangered butterfly was found near a Chevron refinery, we protected the habitat and still plant the only thing they eat-buckwheat. Watch the video: http://politi.co/2y5XNvF ******

IMPORTANT STORY -- "Desperate calls to save those trapped by fire, but emergency alert system failed many," by LA Times' Paige St. John, Dakota Smith, Hailey Branson-Potts and Joy Resmovits: "The distress calls crackled over the Napa County sheriff's dispatch radio in a rapid staccato late Sunday as flames sped toward residents on Atlas Peak Road. 'Parents trapped in garage,' an officer called in to the central dispatcher. Then: 'The fire is moving quickly through here.' Two minutes later, the dispatcher sent someone to another house on the same road: 'Two people trapped.' A minute passed, then a call to still another house: 'An elderly lady trapped.'" http://lat.ms/2wNEEuN

PUERTO RICO UPDATE -- "Puerto Rico's Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria," by NYT's Frances Robles: "Harry Figueroa, a teacher who went a week without the oxygen that helped him breathe, died here last week at 58. His body went unrefrigerated for so long that the funeral director could not embalm his badly decomposed corpse. ... 'Because of the electricity situation, a lot of people died, and are still dying,' said Mr. Figueroa's daughter, Lisandra, 30. 'You can't get sick now.'"

"Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many sick people across the island remain in mortal peril. The government's announcements each morning about the recovery effort are often upbeat, but beyond them are hidden emergencies. Seriously ill dialysis patients across Puerto Rico have seen their treatment hours reduced by 25 percent because the centers still lack a steady supply of diesel to run their generators. Less than half of Puerto Rico's medical employees have reported to work in the weeks since the storm, federal health officials said." http://nyti.ms/2zfwRro

INTERESTING PERK -- "An old-school pharmacy hand-delivers drugs to Congress, a little-known perk for the powerful," by Stat's Erin Mershon: "Nearly every day for at least two decades pharmaceutical drugs have been brought by the carload to the Capitol -- an arrangement so under the radar that even pharmacy lobbyists who regularly pitch Congress on their industry aren't aware of it.

"The deliveries arrive at the secretive Office of the Attending Physician, an elaborate medical clinic where Navy doctors triage medical emergencies and provide basic health care for lawmakers who pay an annual fee of just over $600. Every one comes from Washington's oldest community pharmacy, Grubb's. ... 'At first it's cool, and then you realize, I'm filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,' [Grubb's owner Mike] Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer's." http://bit.ly/2xyFmR6

SPY VS. SPY -- "China grabbed American as spy wars flare," by Ali Watkins: "It was January 2016. The U.S. official had been working out of the American consulate in the central Chinese metropolis of more than 10 million. He may not have seen the plainclothes Chinese security services coming before they jumped him. In seconds he was grabbed off the Chengdu street and thrown into a waiting van.

"The Chinese officials drove their captive -- whom they believed to be a CIA officer -- to a security facility where he was interrogated for hours, and, according to one U.S. official, filmed confessing to unspecified acts of treachery on behalf of the U.S. government.

"It wasn't until the early morning hours of the following day that other U.S. officials -- who were not immediately informed by their Chinese counterparts of the consular official's capture -- arrived to rescue him. He was eventually released back to their custody and soon evacuated from the country." http://politi.co/2zhOPcW

FOR YOUR RADAR -- "Game of Drones: U.S. poised to boost unmanned aircraft exports," by Reuters' Matt Spetalnick and Mike Stone: "The Trump administration is nearing completion of new "Buy American" rules to make it easier to sell U.S.-made military drones overseas and compete against fast-growing Chinese and Israeli rivals, senior U.S. officials said. ... [T]he U.S. administration is pressing ahead with its revamp of drone export policy under heavy pressure from American manufacturers and in defiance of human rights advocates who warn of the risk of fueling instability in hot spots including the Middle East and South Asia." http://reut.rs/2kHCRGc

PRICE'S (TEMPORARY) REPLACEMENT -- "Trump taps Eric Hargan as acting HHS secretary," by Dan Diamond: http://politi.co/2zfQvU4

CAMPAIGN STOPS -- "Pledge to Impeach Trump, a Key Donor Demands of Democrats," by NYT's Alex Burns: "One of the Democratic Party's most prominent financial backers is demanding that lawmakers and candidates on the left support removing President Trump from office, putting pressure on Democrats to make Mr. Trump's ouster a defining issue in the 2018 midterm elections.

"Tom Steyer, a billionaire California investor who spent more than $91 million supporting Democrats in the 2016 elections, issued the demand to his party in a letter on Wednesday. In his message, Mr. Steyer described Mr. Trump as a 'clear and present danger to the republic' and called on Democrats to pledge that they would seek to remove him from office if they take control of Congress next year. ... The letter, which was sent to Democratic congressional offices and the party's House and Senate campaign committees, and shared with The New York Times by an aide to Mr. Steyer, represents a significant boost to efforts on the left to make impeachment a mainstream political consideration." http://nyti.ms/2zgknjw ... The letter http://bit.ly/2zfuWTM

-- "Undisclosed deal guaranteed Roy Moore $180,000 a year for part-time work at charity," by WaPo's Shawn Boburg and Robert O'Harrow Jr.: http://wapo.st/2zeyENn

HMM... -- "Fed Economists' Stakes in Forecasting Firm Spur an Internal Probe," by WSJ's Katy Burne: "The Federal Reserve's internal watchdog is probing a group of Fed economists who also own shares in a U.K. economic-forecasting company, a person familiar with the matter said. At issue is whether the economists' ownership stakes in the private firm could have created a conflict of interest. The inquiry, by the Fed's Office of Inspector General, centers on four economists who also have owned shares in London-based Now-Casting Economics Ltd. ... The inquiry is at a preliminary stage." http://on.wsj.com/2zfzWro

THE PARTY OF BANNON -- "Republicans nationwide begin to chase Steve Bannon's endorsement," by McClatchy's Katie Glueck: "It's not just the Senate -- Bannon is backing Michael Grimm, the ex-GOP congressman who was jailed for felony tax fraud and is now seeking his old Staten Island House seat again. Bannon recently spent time with a Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, Scott Wagner, who appeared with him at a conservative gathering in St. Louis and talked up spending 'two hours on the plane with Steve Bannon. I was pretty emboldened before, but I can tell you right now I'm like 500 percent more emboldened.'

"'And in a sign of just how far-reaching Bannon's influence is perceived to be among conservative candidates, multiple House -- and even statehouse -- hopefuls are also seeking to wrangle Bannon's support, looking for introductions and tracking him down at events." http://bit.ly/2xz81Ww

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION -- "Michelin Releases Its 2018 Bib Gourmand List for DC: Per usual, there are some head-scratchers on the guide's 'cheap eats' list," by the Washingtonian's Ann Limpert: http://bit.ly/2zfrEjk

MEDIAWATCH -- HOT JOB -- The New York Times is hiring for a one year residency for a reporter to "tell image-driven stories focusing on subcultures" like "punk rappers in Seattle, Bachata performers in Vietnam, vintage Ralph Lauren collectors in Brooklyn and motocross racers in Jamaica." http://bit.ly/2zg1mNX

-- Alex Miehls started last week as an associate producer for Fox News' "The Story with Martha MacCallum." He was previously deputy press secretary for the House Oversight Committee and press secretary for Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.).

TRANSITIONS -- Beth Lynk has been promoted to assistant director of federal advocacy communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She was previously state policy press officer.

WEEKEND WEDDING -- Morgan Wilson, senior legislative associate at the National Governors Association, and Tom Sisk, an official at DoD, were married this weekend in the bride's hometown, Birmingham, Alabama, at Avondale United Methodist Church followed by a reception at Avondale Brewing Company. Pic http://bit.ly/2y2jM7c

****** A message from Chevron: This is a story about DOERS, butterflies, and buckwheat. In '75, the endangered El Segundo Blue butterfly was found near a Chevron refinery. We protected the habitat and planted the only thing they eat-buckwheat. We're still planting and keeping an eye on our littlest neighbor. Watch the video: http://politi.co/2y5XNvF ******

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