REMEMBERING ALAN KRUEGER -- NYT’S BEN CASSELMAN: “Alan B. Krueger, Economic Aide to Clinton and Obama, Dies at 58”: “Princeton announced his death on Monday, without specifying a cause. Mr. Krueger was an assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2010, as President Barack Obama’s administration tried to lead the United States out of its worst recession since the Great Depression. Later, he was the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the early days of the economic recovery, from 2011 to 2013.
“From 1994 to 1995, he was the Labor Department’s chief economist under President Bill Clinton. Mr. Krueger, a labor economist by training, was known for his early work finding that the minimum wage did not reduce employment among low-wage workers. More recently, he studied the role of the opioids epidemic in reducing employment among men.” NYT
THE POMPEO BUBBLE … WAPO’S ANNE GEARAN (@agearan): “This is NOT ruling it out: @SecPompeo to the local Fox affiliate in Kansas City today re possible future Senate run: ‘I’ve learned in life one needs to work hard, keep your head down, do your job as well as you can and then the next thing will come to you.’”
NEW … DAVID SIDERS (@davidsiders): “@BetoORourke planning to hit all New Hampshire’s 10 counties in 2 days Tuesday-Thursday.”
-- THE SIX-MILLION-DOLLAR MAN … CAITLIN OPRYSKO: “Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours after launching his presidential campaign, crushing the first day hauls of many of his Democratic competitors and surpassing even the massive 24-hour total brought in by Sen. Bernie Sanders.” POLITICO
THE NEW MAJORITY … A NEW SIENA POLL shows REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO CORTEZ (D-N.Y.) with 31 percent favorability and 44 percent unfavorability in New York. 26 percent did not have an opinion. SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-N.Y.) has 51percent favorability. The details
-- NYT’S SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and ROBERT PEAR: “Democrats Pledged to Lower Health Costs. They Just Haven’t Figured Out How”: “Centrists from swing districts, with the tacit support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, favor incremental moves to shore up the Affordable Care Act and to lower the out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs and medical care. They are pushing a variety of measures, such as shutting down cheap, short-term insurance plans that do not cover pre-existing medical conditions and allowing people to buy into Medicare at age 50 or 55. …
“But they are butting up against an aggressive and expanding group of more than 100 outspoken Democrats — as well as at least four of the party’s presidential candidates — who want to … upend the whole system with a single government insurance plan for all Americans — the old concept of single-payer, now called ‘Medicare for all.’ … The fight will play out in the coming weeks as the new House majority assembles its first budget.” NYT
-- THE DAILY BEAST’S ERIN BANCO and SAM STEIN: “House Judiciary Committee Planning Hearing on the Rise of White Nationalism”: “Though plans are still being finalized, the committee expects to bring in officials from within the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for questioning on the rise of white nationalism in the U.S and the efforts the agencies are currently adopting to combat it. One lawmaker said the goal is to ‘have a hearing in early April.’” The Daily Beast
-- KTVI’S DERRION HENDERSON: “Nancy Pelosi headed to Ferguson as she pushes to restore government ethics”
AN INTERESTING TWIST … BLOOMBERG: “At Hedge Fund That Owns Trump Secrets, Clashes and Odd Math,” by Katherine Burton, Sridhar Natarajan and Shahien Nasiripour: “The threat was blunt: Back off, or there will be trouble.
“The 2016 presidential campaign had just ended, and Michael Cohen was fresh off handling hush money for Donald Trump. Now he was working on behalf of Chatham Asset Management, a $4.3 billion hedge fund that owns the National Enquirer.
“Chatham and the Enquirer’s publisher, David Pecker, had turned to Trump’s fixer as a mediator. They wanted to kill a lawsuit by the former head of another Chatham company. Before long, the Chatham camp would make good on its threat against that executive, unleashing a tale of sex and money worthy of the Enquirer. Playing tough is the Chatham way. The firm and its founder, Anthony Melchiorre, have a reputation for hard-edged business.” Bloomberg
Good Monday afternoon. SPOTTED: Dick Morris at the Colony Club in Palm Beach on Sunday. Pic
A message from AARP:
The big drug companies don’t see us as people. They see us as profits. Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world while they rake in billions. We shouldn’t have to choose between buying medication and buying food. Congress, stop the greed. Cut drug prices now. https://www.aarp.org/Rx
HEADS UP … SHOOTING IN THE NETHERLANDS … “Utrecht shooting: Three killed, gunman still at large,” by NBC’s Rachel Elbaum and Nick Bailey: “Three people were killed in a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning … The gunman remained on the loose Monday afternoon. Dutch officials raised the threat alert to its highest level around the town of Utrecht. Nine people were also injured in the attack …
“‘We expect a terror motive. Our thoughts are with the next of kin and the witnesses of this horrific event,’ the town's mayor Jan van Zanen said. On Monday afternoon, police released a photo of a man they believe is connected to the shooting, and told the public not to approach him. They identified him as Gökmen Tanis, a 37-year-old born in Turkey.” NBC
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ON THE WORLD STAGE -- AP/ROME: “U.S., Russia to hold talks on Venezuela in Rome”: “The U.S. State Department says Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, will hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and other Russian officials on Monday and Tuesday.” AP
WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND -- @realDonaldTrump at 7:37 a.m.: “General Motors and the UAW are going to start ‘talks’ in September/October. Why wait, start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast! Car companies.....”
… at 7:45 a.m.: “....are all coming back to the U.S. So is everyone else. We now have the best Economy in the World, the envy of all. Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”
2020 WATCH -- NYT’S ASTEAD HERNDON: “2020 Democrats Want to Build a Movement, Not a Traditional Campaign”: “As the primary process kicks into full swing, some Democrats are bypassing the kind of experienced Washington ‘wiseguys’ who operated in the caldron of beltway politics … Instead, campaigns are increasingly filling senior positions with a new generation of activist-driven operatives, whose political formation took place in grass-roots movements.” NYT
DIGGING INTO MOULTON’S PAST … THE BOSTON GLOBE’S JOSHUA MILLER: “The failed weight-loss company behind Seth Moulton’s time as a ‘successful’ entrepreneur”: “The Massachusetts Democrat, who is considering a run for president … has spoken with pride about cofounding a company aimed at providing a solution to obesity. But a closer look at his 2013 foray into the weight-loss industry, mention of which his campaign later removed from his website, reveals a less illustrious chapter of a career marked by service and ambition.
“Eastern Healthcare Partners Inc. never came close to its early goal of opening weight-loss and same-day obesity surgery centers in the Middle East, where Moulton and his colleagues believed there was a growing market. In fact, after Moulton left, the firm stiffed Johns Hopkins University in the middle of a clinical trial, the school says, and still owes what could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in Delaware taxes.” The Boston Globe
THE INVESTIGATIONS … “Federal Authorities Raided Trump Fundraiser’s Office in Money Laundering Probe: A sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica shows federal agents scoured Elliott Broidy’s office for documents related to China, Saudi Arabia and a Miami Beach club promoter,” by ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi and Justin Elliott: “The search warrant cites three potential crimes that authorities are investigating: conspiracy, money laundering and violations of the law barring covert lobbying on behalf of foreign officials. To obtain a search warrant, authorities have to convince a judge that there’s a probable cause they will find evidence of those specific crimes.” ProPublica
-- USA TODAY’S SUSAN PAGE and DEBORAH BARFIELD BERRY: “Poll: Half of Americans say Trump is victim of a ‘witch hunt’ as trust in Mueller erodes”
-- NBC’S TOM WINTER (@Tom_Winter): “NEW: The federal judge presiding over Michael Cohen's case in New York has ordered that redacted copies of the search warrant materials be made public tomorrow.”
MICHIGAN OR UVA? UNC OR DUKE? VILLANOVA OR KENTUCKY? Pick the winner in the Playbook Pool College Basketball Bracket Challenge! Track who’s up and who’s down throughout the tournament and compete against friends, top political insiders and VIPs to win bragging rights and great prizes. Fill in your bracket by noon on Thursday, March 21, to compete and win. Click HERE to get in the game!
NYT’S MATT APUZZO and BENJAMIN NOVAK in Budapest: “Hungary Rolls Out Red Carpet for Obscure Russian Bank, Stoking Spy Fears”: “[I]f the Europeans are now concerned about the Russian bank, so are the Americans, especially since the Trump administration has cultivated Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, as an ally. Days before Parliament granted immunity to the Russian bank, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Mr. Orban in Budapest and warned against allowing Russia to drive a wedge between friends.” NYT
SCOTUS WATCH -- WAPO’S ROBERT BARNES: “Supreme Court to consider whether Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo deserves new sentencing”: “After a 2003 trial … a jury decided against the death penalty. Instead, it recommended life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. But since then, the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on juvenile murderers has changed. It said the death penalty was off-limits for juveniles, and in 2012 said that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole were unconstitutional for those under 18.” WaPo
IMMIGRATION FILES -- NYT’S CHRISTINA GOLDBAUM in Homer, N.Y.: “Trump Crackdown Unnerves Immigrants, and the Farmers Who Rely on Them”: “It has long been an open secret in upstate New York that the dairy industry has been able to survive only by relying on undocumented immigrants for its work force. Now, this region has become a national focal point in the debate over President Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants and their role in agriculture. …
“The farmers are struggling with a shrinking labor pool as fewer migrants cross illegally into the country and migrants who are long-term residents become too old for field work. This year the labor shortage has been compounded by Mr. Trump’s trade war and extreme weather.” NYT
-- THE DAILY BEAST’S SCOTT BIXBY: “ICE Has Detained a 72-Year-Old Grandfather With Alzheimer’s for Nine Months”
VALLEY TALK -- WSJ’S KEACH HAGEY: “Facebook Wants to Feed Users More Local News. There Just Isn’t Enough of It”: “One-third of Americans live in a place where Facebook can’t find enough local news being shared on its service to justify building a localized aggregator for that area, according to data released by Facebook on Monday. …
“On Monday, it also announced the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, a grant and mentoring program for local news outlets. The company also announced that it would be sharing its data about local-news ‘deserts’ with leading academics … to further their research.” WSJ
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MEDIAWATCH -- Walter Isaacson is now editor-at-large and senior adviser at Arcadia Publishing. He is a bestselling author and Tulane University professor.
NEW CONTRIBUTORS … NYT’s Astead Herndon and The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui are now CNN political analysts. NYT’s Caitlin Dickerson is now a CNN contributor. … Donna Brazile is now a Fox News contributor.
TRANSITIONS -- INTERIOR ARRIVAL LOUNGE -- Molly Block started on Monday as press secretary at Interior. She previously was press secretary at EPA.
-- OMB ARRIVAL LOUNGE -- Wesley Denton is now senior adviser to the director and Jason Yaworske is now associate director for legislative affairs at OMB. Denton previously was senior director for communications at the Conservative Partnership Institute. Yaworske previously was chief of staff for Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio).
-- Kate Bukowski is now D.C. director for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. She previously was director of corporate relations at the Democratic Governors Association. … Boris Zilberman is now director of public policy and strategy at the Christians United for Israel Action Fund. He previously was deputy director of congressional relations at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. …