NBC/WSJ: Trump at 38 percent approval — POTUS to lunch with Sessions Monday — SPOTTED at Hillary Clinton’s 70th birthday party — JOE LOCKHART and JUSTIN MUZINICH profiles — WEEKEND READS — BDAY: Tony Sayegh

BULLETIN — “NBC NEWS /WSJ POLL: TRUMP’S JOB APPROVAL RATING NOW AT 38 PERCENT, LOWEST OF HIS PRESIDENCY”. http://nbcnews.to/2yUQMyM

— STATE OF PLAY: The stock market is through the roof. Jobless numbers are low. And the president still has a 38-percent approval rating. A charge in the Mueller investigation is likely coming tomorrow. Control of the House is up for grabs. … ANOTHER DATA POINT FROM THE POLL: “48 percent of registered voters in the poll say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, while 41 percent want a Republican-controlled Congress.”

Story Continued Below

WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 9:12 a.m.: “As usual, the ObamaCare premiums will be up (the Dems own it), but we will Repeal & Replace and have great Healthcare soon after Tax Cuts!” … at 9:53 a.m.: “Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?),….” at 10:02 a.m.: “…the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia,….”

… at 10:09 a.m.: “.’collusion,’ which doesn’t exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics, but the R’s…” at 10:17 a.m.: “…are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!” at 10:48 a.m.: “All of this “Russia” talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!”

— TRUMP’S WEEK: MONDAY: TRUMP is meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, lunching with VP Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. WEDNESDAY: Trump has another cabinet meeting, and lunch with Pence, Tillerson and Mattis.

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BUZZFEED: “FBI Probe Of Paul Manafort Focuses On 13 ‘Suspicious’ Wire Transfers,” by Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier: “The FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013. Much of the money came into the United States.

“These transactions — which have not been previously reported — drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.” http://bzfd.it/2xw8X9O

Happy Sunday. SPOTTED at HILLARY CLINTON’S SURPRISE 70TH BIRTHDAY PARTY yesterday afternoon at Elizabeth Frawley Bagley’s house in D.C. (Hillary was indeed surprised, and champagne, finger food and chocolate cake were served): Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Madeleine Albright, who spoke to the crowd, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), former Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Tom Nides, Ron Klain, Dennis Cheng, Mike Taylor, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Philippe Reines, Brian Fallon and Katie Beirne Fallon …

… Kiki McLean, Adrienne Elrod, Karen Finney, Bob Barnett and Rita Braver, Capricia Marshall, Lona Valmoro, Tony Podesta, John Podesta, Maya Harris and Tony West, Heather Samuelson, David Kendall, David Brock, Sidney Blumenthal, Huma Abedin, Maria Cardona, Guy Cecil, Lauren Peterson, Neera Tanden, Karen Dunn, Judy Lichtman and Allida Black.

NEW – AP at 11:02 a.m.: “SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Puerto Rico governor demands cancellation of $300M Whitefish contract amid scrutiny of Montana company after hurricane.”

GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY — “Trump team’s response to Russia news: Focus on Clinton, leaks or anything else: Caught off guard by reports of criminal charges in the Russia probe, Trump advisers sought to keep up their political attacks and divert attention from allegations of Russian collusion,” by Annie Karni: “Two of Trump’s top lawyers were traveling out of town when the first report broke Friday night that a federal grand jury had approved the first indictment in the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. One of Trump’s personal attorneys, Ty Cobb, was relaxing on his deck in South Carolina, while the entire team was still working to confirm the veracity of the CNN report over the weekend. The lack of information, on a case that could have major ramifications for the president, left many current and former Trump advisers livid, focusing their rage on how the information leaked and on a forever target: Hillary Clinton.” http://politi.co/2zWCFXc

— “Trump lawyers scramble to prepare for new stage of Russia probe,” by Darren Samuelsohn: “Several attorneys who said they were in touch with the Manafort and Flynn lawyers said they had not been notified of any matter related to an indictment — which is customary in a white-collar criminal investigation — leading them to believe it wasn’t either of those two former high-ranking Trump aides. … The attorneys close to the case also said they wouldn’t be surprised if the charges were targeting Flynn or Manafort family members, or a longtime accountant or lawyer.” http://politi.co/2gUGN5x

— “Gowdy hits grand jury leaks in Russia probe,” by Victoria Guida: “House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said on Sunday Special Counsel Robert Mueller should crack down on leaks, pointing to reports over the weekend about grand jury charges having been filed in Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. ‘It is kind of ironic that the people in charge of investigating the law and executing the law would violate the law,’ Gowdy told host Chris Wallace on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘Make no mistake, disclosing grand jury material is a violation of the law. So, as a former prosecutor, I’m disappointed that you and I are having the conversation because somebody violated their oath of secrecy.” http://politi.co/2icJEDj

ON TAX REFORM …

— “House GOP tosses conservative playbook in bid for tax reform,” by Brian Faler: “House Republicans are so desperate for a win on taxes that they’re agreeing to proposals that would have caused internal party warfare just a year or two ago. They’re considering forgoing a big cut in the top income tax rate on the rich, offering moderate-income Americans so many tax breaks that many would be excused from paying taxes entirely and passing a potentially 1,000-page tax bill few have seen within a matter of weeks.” http://politi.co/2zgBXH1

— THIS IS BIG: “House Tax Writer Gives Ground on a State and Local Tax Break,” by Bloomberg’s Ben Brody: “Bowing to concerns from Republican House members in high-tax states, the chamber’s chief tax writer said he’ll preserve a federal income-tax break for property taxes. ‘At the urging of lawmakers, we are restoring an itemized property tax deduction to help taxpayers with local tax burdens,’ House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement Saturday afternoon. …

“But in a sign of the complex balancing act that Brady must perform to produce a tax-overhaul bill this week, the property-tax announcement came on the same day that the National Association of Home Builders pulled its support for the legislation. The group’s chief cited concerns that the bill might undermine existing tax breaks that support the housing market. Likewise, a coalition that includes the National Association of Realtors said in an emailed statement that it ‘will vigorously oppose this plan.’” https://bloom.bg/2ybPkbI

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BIG — “Ryan loses key ally on tax reform after switch on breaks for homeowners,” by Lorraine Woellert: “The National Association of Home Builders on Saturday accused House Speaker Paul Ryan of abruptly reversing course on a mortgage tax credit proposal and announced it would oppose the tax-reform proposal that GOP lawmakers expect to unveil on Wednesday. The about-face by the housing-industry lobbying group strips Republicans of a powerful ally. … ‘All the resources we were going to put into supporting are now going to go into opposing the plan,’ NAHB Chief Executive Officer Jerry Howard told POLITICO.

“Home builders and other groups had been working with Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) on a plan to preserve tax breaks for homeowners. House Republicans have been planning to weaken the deduction that home mortgage borrowers currently get for the interest they pay on their mortgages by raising the standard deduction, leading much of the housing lobby to line up against the plan.” http://politi.co/2zg86P6

— WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN KEVIN BRADY: “At the urging of lawmakers, we are restoring an itemized property tax deduction to help taxpayers with local tax burdens. The homebuilders have been great partners in developing a new home credit that helps more Americans with both their mortgage and property taxes, by expanding this tax relief to homeowners who don’t itemize. I hope members of Congress will examine it closely to determine if they want it included before tax reform heads to the president’s desk.”

— THE HOMEBUILDERS and the REALTORS opposing House Republicans’ tax bill is a major blow. The groups will give cover to other industries to ratchet up pressure on individual lawmakers to vote against the bill. And unlike other industries — every lawmaker has homebuilders and realtors in their district.

YOU’RE INVITED — KEVIN BRADY, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, will sit down with Jake and Anna FRIDAY (Nov. 3) at noon to discuss the Republicans’ tax plan. The bill will be introduced this week, so we’ll have plenty to talk about. The event will be at THE NEWSEUM (555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). RSVP http://bit.ly/politicobrady Outside cameras welcome!

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS — “Trump Unlikely to Name Top Two Fed Officials at Same Time, Mnuchin Says,” by NYT’s Alan Rappeport in Abu Dhabi: “‘I think for the moment we’re focused on the Fed chair decision. That’s really the focus at the moment,’ Mr. Mnuchin said. He added that market reaction to the pick was not a ‘primary consideration’ in whom Mr. Trump plans to choose to lead the Fed.” http://nyti.ms/2yUIIhu

THE LATEST ON OBAMACARE — “Confusion clouds open enrollment with Republicans still eager to dismantle Obamacare,” by Paul Demko, Rachana Pradhan, and Adam Cancryn: “Obamacare is about to have its worst open-enrollment season ever — and that’s no accident. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress still aim to dismantle the 2010 law. Making it look bad helps their cause, even as they’ve failed repeatedly to repeal or replace Obamacare. The new theory for Republicans: If fewer people enroll in Obamacare, there will be less of a constituency to save it.” http://politi.co/2gLNnYl

TRUMP INC. – “Trumps set to launch two real estate projects in India, despite conflict-of-interest concerns,” by WaPo’s Annie Gowen in Kolkata, India: “President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., is expected to launch two residential projects in India for the Trump Organization in the coming weeks, continuing the family’s promotion of the Trump empire despite concerns over the president’s potential conflicts of interest with foreign governments. The Trump Organization vowed early on there would be ‘no new foreign deals’ during Trump’s tenure as president; these two projects in India were inked before his election. But the high-profile launches demonstrate that the pledge comes with an asterisk — agreements made years ago can move forward or be revitalized, such as the Trumps’ 2007 deal to build a luxury beachfront resort in the Dominican Republic that may be revived.” http://wapo.st/2zgCAk2

BOSTON GLOBE’S ANNIE LINSKEY: “The Mercers bring their politics, and millions, to Massachusetts”: “The radio attack spots, played during Red Sox games, attempt to sow some doubt. Does Senator Elizabeth Warren discriminate against women? Does Warren really care about student debt and bankruptcy?

“They attempt to paint Massachusetts’ populist senator as phony and an elitist, a go-to playbook for her political opponents. But this time the attacks are coming from someone new: Robert Mercer, a New York billionaire who is trying to remake American politics and who bankrolled former Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s Republican revolution.” http://bit.ly/2zYbJ9y

FOR YOUR RADAR – REUTERS: “White nationalists stage anti-refugee protests in Tennessee,” by Bryan Woolston in Shelbyville, Tennessee: “About 300 white nationalists and neo-Nazis held back-to-back rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state, which sued the federal government over the issue earlier this year. The ‘White Lives Matter’ rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, organized by some of the same groups involved in a Virginia march that turned violent in August, drew an equal number of counter-demonstrators and a heavy police presence. The protesters started in Shelbyville, then traveled about 35 miles north to Murfreesboro for a second rally. Both towns are near Nashville, center of a metropolitan area has become home to refugees from Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere.” http://reut.rs/2z2DwYx

BIG JOE LOCKHART PROFILE — NYT — KEN BELSON: “In interviews with about a dozen league and team executives — all of whom refused to speak on the record — several owners seemed pleased with his approach to addressing the anthem controversy, which was to strive for a way for the N.F.L. to appear patriotic while respectful of its players who were kneeling to raise awareness of racism and police brutality toward African-Americans.

“But there has been friction. Some owners were upset with a comment by Lockhart a few days after President Trump criticized the league and its players for kneeling during the anthem. Lockhart told reporters that players talking about police brutality is ‘what real locker room talk is.’ The statement was viewed as a flagrant jab at the president, who had dismissed as ‘locker room banter’ comments he made about forcing himself on women, heard in a video leaked during the campaign. In a meeting at N.F.L. headquarters the next day, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder confronted Lockhart to tell him his remarks would inflame an already fiery issue.” http://nyti.ms/2iH2ypI

SUNDAY BEST — GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS interviews REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CALIF.) on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: STEPHANOPOULOS: “I want to begin with this question that Governor Christie raised here, the idea that the president is not under investigation. Is that your conclusion?” SCHIFF: “I can’t comment on that, George, I can’t answer that one way or the other. STEPHANOPOULOS: “One way — you wouldn’t know whether Robert Mueller is investigating the president?” SCHIFF: “I can’t comment on that at all.” …

STEPHANOPOULOS: “How about this question of the president’s pardon power and whether or not it would be appropriate for him to issue preemptive pardons before a trial?” SCHIFF: “Now, I don’t think the president’s power is all that absolute, as people have been suggesting. The president cannot pardon people if it’s an effort to obstruct justice, if it’s an effort to prevent Bob Mueller and others from learning about the president’s own conduct. So, there are limitations. If it were truly unlimited, it would have the effect of nullifying vast portions of the constitution. The president could tell Justice Department officials and other law enforcement to violate the law and that if they did, and it was ever brought up, they were brought up on charges, he would pardon them.”

JAKE TAPPER speaks to GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: TAPPER: “Some of President Trump’s allies in the media and on Capitol Hill are calling on Bob Mueller to step down as special counsel. I’m not really sure where you stand on this issue. Have you seen any concrete evidence, or concrete reasons why Bob Mueller should step down?” CHRISTIE: “Well, listen, I think that he has to be very, very careful about making sure that the public believes that he has no conflicts and that his integrity is unquestioned. And I think that, you know, Director Mueller has to continue to review that with his own legal staff. And I have not yet seen anything that makes me think that he must step down as an absolutely indisputable conflict. But I think he’s got to be careful and be watching this all the time.”

— CHRIS WALLACE talks with OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: WALLACE: “I do want to pursue this question of the philosophy of the Republican Party because Steve Bannon and his supporters say, well, look, sure, Flake and Corker made tough speeches, but they basically — the bottom line is that they announced that they are quitting, and that there was silence for most other Republicans. So can’t one argue that what you call the inward-looking, the populist, nationalist wing of the Republican Party is taking over?”

KASICH: “No, I don’t think so. I think the bulk of the Republican Party, and I’ve been in the Republican Party since I was a college student, is one that believes in the fact that America has a place in the world. You know, Reagan talked about it, advances in humanity. I agree. I think the bulk of the Republican Party does believe that immigration provides energy to our country. I think that the bulk of the Republican Party believes that America is special and has a place in the world at which to advance freedom and free enterprise and all those things.

“I think that this move towards nationalism or looking inward, a lot of loud voices, but I don’t happen to think it’s — it’s the bulk. And we — we will have to see over time. But for those — that debate, that debate, to some degree, is going to be settled by the demographics in the near future. Maybe not today, not tomorrow, but soon it’s going to be decided by that new wave of new thinking by these young people who can bring a lot of energy to the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”

— CHUCK TODD spoke with SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO.) on NBC’S MEET THE PRESS”: CHUCK TODD: “You recently bragged about not supported Harry Reid when he was the Senate Democratic leader. And you did that in 2014 because you thought maybe there was a leadership problem in the Democratic Party. I’m curious, do you still think the Democratic Party has a leadership issue?” MCCASKILL: “Well, I think it’s hard when we are the minority party, that we have lots of folks that are leaders and want to be leaders. We have so many people that are trying to position themselves to run for president I think it’s hard to say who is the leader. And there’s a lot of angst about that. I, frankly, don’t worry about any of that.”

SPORTS BLINK — “Dodgers pull even in World Series by defeating Astros 6-2 in Game 4,” by L.A. Times’ Andy McCullough: http://lat.ms/2zgBB3s

WORTH THE CLICK – “Inside Pyongyang, the Loneliest City in the World” – Politico Magazine: “Eddo Hartmann spent four years photographing North Korea. Now, as tensions rise with the United States, he finds a city on edge.” 11 pix http://politi.co/2gLwtZM

THE BIG QUESTION FOR DEMOCRATS — “Nancy Pelosi isn’t going anywhere. Will it help or hurt Democrats in 2018?,” by WaPo’s Michael Scherer: “After three decades in Congress, Pelosi, 77, makes an unlikely general to lead the troops into another change election. Her party, deemed elite and out of touch in 2016, is struggling to win back Midwestern working-class voters, and anger at Washington’s entrenched leaders is pretty much the only thing that unites the country. But rather than shrink from the spotlight, Pelosi is once again in control — her party’s top fundraiser, senior midterm election strategist and top legislative negotiator, in partnership with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). …

“‘I am a master legislator. I just love it,’ she said of her inherited appetites. ‘I consider myself a weaver, like I have a loom. And I bring all these different threads together.’” http://wapo.st/2yZYVBw

TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION — “HUD Explores Temporarily Housing Puerto Ricans on U.S. Mainland,” by Bloomberg’s Joe Light: “The Trump administration is exploring ways to relocate tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the U.S. mainland for an extended period as parts of the territory remain devastated more than a month after Hurricane Maria. Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development late last week started to develop a plan to provide housing to some of Puerto Rico’s displaced population … And given the shortage of available options on the island, the possibility of evacuating large numbers to the mainland has emerged as an option. … [U]sing large commercial cruise liners had been suggested to move residents en masse.” https://bloom.bg/2zOK75X

— “AP sources: DeVos may only partly forgive some student loans,” by Maria Danilova: “The Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration’s policy of erasing that debt. Under President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of students deceived by now-defunct for-profit schools had over $550 million in such loans canceled. But President Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is working on a plan that could grant such students just partial relief.” http://bit.ly/2lqR36Q

JUSTIN MUZINICH PROFILE — “The Little-Known Pragmatist Who Is Shaping the Trump Tax Cuts,” by NYT’s Alan Rappeport: “Justin Muzinich, a top aide to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was deep into writing the administration’s tax plan this fall when he got an email from his high school math teacher imploring him to remember his old lessons and not deliver a giveaway for the rich. ‘He quickly wrote back and immediately said, ‘It’s great to hear from you,’’ recalled Hoyt Taylor, a retired teacher and squash coach at the elite Groton School in Massachusetts. ‘He didn’t respond on the taxes.’

“With President Trump’s revamping of the tax code taking center stage in Washington, key figures within the administration who for months have been toiling in obscurity are increasingly in the spotlight and under pressure. Scrambling to get a tax bill passed by the end of the year, they are juggling the competing forces of a fractious Congress, frenzied corporate lobbyists and even voices from the past.

“Mr. Muzinich, a 39-year-old newcomer to Washington, has emerged as a central player in the Trump administration’s tax overhaul effort. The former investment banker and hedge fund manager is the Treasury point man on taxes, accompanying Mr. Mnuchin into ‘Big Six’ meetings with top Republican lawmakers drafting the tax plan and laying out the administration’s positions on which taxes and deductions to cut or preserve. His task is about to get even tougher as the House, which plans to release its bill this coming week, and the Senate begin the difficult process of hashing out the details and negotiating with the administration over the final legislation.” http://nyti.ms/2iJJsQ1

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MORE HARASSMENT FALLOUT — “When men with power go too far: After years of whispers, women speak out about harassment in California’s Capitol,” by LA Times’ Chris Megerian, Melanie Mason and Jack Dolan: “It started with a dinner invitation from a former assemblyman more than twice her age. He had offered his services as a mentor, but his hand reaching for her knee under the table revealed other intentions. Then came the late-night phone calls and unexpected appearances at events she had to attend for her job in the Capitol. Fresh out of college, Amy Brown did what she thought women were supposed to do in these situations — she reported him.

“The former assemblyman accused her of slander, an experience that left her so humiliated that she left Sacramento for a new job in San Jose. … The stories are flooding into public view after an open letter raising the alarm about sexism and harassment around the Capitol. Emboldened by the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, the famed Hollywood producer toppled by allegations of sexual assault and harassment, more than 300 women have signed the letter, double the original tally.” http://lat.ms/2ibJTP9

BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

— “Orbiting Jupiter: my week with Emmanuel Macron,” by Emmanuel Carrère in The Guardian: “Is France’s new president a political miracle, or a mirage that is already fading away?” http://bit.ly/2ya3vht

— “The Jared bubble,” by Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review: “What my 18 months as Jared Kushner’s first editor [at the N.Y. Observer] taught me about the Trump family and the press.” http://bit.ly/2ze26Gs

–“Twenty years ago, in Moscow, Matt Taibbi was a misogynist a***ole—and possibly worse,” by Aimee Levitt in the Chicago Reader: In “The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia,” Mark “Ames and Taibbi additionally write about how they also mercilessly sexual harassed and occasionally assaulted the women they encountered, both their colleagues in the Exile office and Russian women—some as young as 15—they met socially.” http://bit.ly/2ycK3R5

— “Pushing the Limit,” by Alexandra Starr in Harper’s: “What the U.S. Olympic Committee can — and can’t — do about sexual abuse.” http://bit.ly/2ybgqPZ (h/t Longreads.com)

— “A hesitant radical in the age of Trump: David Brooks and the search for moderation,” by Jason Cowley in the New Statesman: “‘Public conversation is over-politicised and under-moralised. We analyse every movement in the polls, but the big subjects — relationships, and mercy, and how to be a friend – these are the big subjects of life and we don’t talk about them enough. Or we have our moral arguments through political means, which is a nasty way to do it because then you make politics into a culture war.’” http://bit.ly/2i9ehcJ (h/t TheBrowser.com)

— “Four Quitters Walk Into a Bar…,” by HuffPost’s Lydia Polgreen: “To swap war stories from an administration they couldn’t serve for one more minute.” http://bit.ly/2iCiklH

— “Serving as targets,” by Margaret Carlson in the N.Y. Daily News: “Think women get harassed and assaulted a lot in Hollywood and New York media circles? The military is worse.” http://nydn.us/2z1FwzV

— “The Body Trade: Cashing in on the donated dead: In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead,” by Reuters’ Brian Grow and John Shiffman: “When Americans leave their bodies to science, they are also donating to commerce: Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market. Grisly abuses abound.” http://reut.rs/2zbmrfz

— “Wackadoodles, Establishment Hacks, And The Big, Ugly, Local Battle For The Heart Of The GOP,” by BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Petersen: “The ‘whiteopia’ of North Idaho has become one of the most desirable places in the West for conservatives to relocate. So why is the local Republican party tearing itself apart — and who’s responsible?” http://bzfd.it/2yZggKZ

— “The Ironic History of Mar-a-Lago,” by Michael Luongo in Smithsonian’s Nov. issue: “A deep dive into an obscure archive reveals that the Palm Beach property had once been envisioned as a ‘Winter White House.’” http://bit.ly/2xuJVrA

— “How the Horrific 1918 Flu Spread Across America,” by John M. Barry in Smithsonian’s Nov. issue: “The toll of history’s worst epidemic surpasses all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined. And it may have begun in the United States.” http://bit.ly/2ll82ay

— “Inside the Mind of Thru-Hiking’s Most Devious Con Man,” by Brendan Borrell in Outside magazine: “For more than two decades, Jeff Caldwell has lured in hikers, couchsurfers, and other women (and they’re almost always women), enthralling them with his tales of adventure. Then he manufactures personal crises and exploits their sympathy to rip them off. Our writer corresponded with Caldwell while he was still on the run, and came away with an intimate look at the life of a serial scammer who’s found his easy marks in the outdoor community.” http://bit.ly/2yamzw0 (h/t Longform.org)

— “How the Liberty Bell Won the Great War,” by Stephen Fried in April’s Smithsonian: “As it entered World War I, the United States was politically torn and financially challenged. An American icon came to the rescue.” http://bit.ly/2hi5UMB

— “The Army of Silicon Valley Activists Trying to Elect Dems,” by Lauren Smiley in Wired: “In the wake of Trump’s election, signs of a grassroots activism in the tech industry have been everywhere: management-endorsed Googleplex protests; tech workers participating in their first political marches; executives from Tesla, Intel, and IBM leaving the president’s advisory councils.” http://bit.ly/2iEPtgS

— “Can Alphabet’s Jigsaw Solve Google’s Most Vexing Problems?” by Austin Carr in Fast Company: “Jared Cohen, CEO of Google offshoot Jigsaw, is taking on ISIS, fake news, and toxic trolls.” http://bit.ly/2yS3Q5p

— “The Yahoo With The Microphone,” by Martin Amis in Esquire: “Ranting in the rust belt with Donald Trump’s perpetual-validation machine.” http://bit.ly/2zb8HS4

— “The Primal Scream of Identity Politics,” by Mary Eberstadt on the cover of the Weekly Standard: “Conservatives have missed something major about identity politics: its authenticity. But liberals have missed something bigger: that it is a legacy of the sexual revolution.” http://tws.io/2ze2TXW

SPOTTED: President Donald Trump, Melania Trump and Barron dining at Trump Hotel last night — the President and First Lady also stopped by the “Trump Townhouse” suite in the hotel for a small surprise birthday dinner for Ivanka. She and Jared also celebrated their eighth anniversary on Wednesday — Instapic http://bit.ly/2z0oanf … Bob Costa in the balcony at last night’s Gavin DeGraw concert at the historic Sixth and I Synagogue …

… Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell having dinner at the Inn at Little Washington last night — Instapic http://bit.ly/2zPDccO … Jose Andres speaking last night at Buck’s at a dinner for Alice Walters’ new book “Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook” — cavatelli pasta, steak and bone marrow was served.

SPOTTED: Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer at Trump Tower (NYT profile http://nyti.ms/2wgcKuL), last night getting a drink with a friend visiting from Europe at the back room at Capo Deli on Florida Ave. near 8th Street.

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — Tyler Daniel, political director for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, married Lila Nelson, a speech-language pathologist at Carriage Hill in Bethesda, on Saturday in Shreveport at St. Mark’s Cathedral with a reception at the Petroleum Club of Shreveport. The couple met at Ole Miss while Tyler was getting his MBA and Lila was an undergrad. Pics http://bit.ly/2iIHfUEThe couple with Scalise http://bit.ly/2yWJOt0

SPOTTED: Scalise and his wife Jennifer Scalise, Brett Horton and Maggie FitzGerald, Jenny and David Drucker, Bart Reising, Brenda Becker, Chris Hodgson and Liz Cumberpatch, Megan Becker, Ben Napier, TJ Tatum, Stephanie Belk, Colton Malkerson, Chris Marroletti, Grafton Pritchartt, Sean Houser, and Watson Horner.

— Sacha Haworth, communications director for Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign for Senate, on Saturday married Will Mitchell, legislative director for Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.). The ceremony and celebration were held at Woodend Audubon Mansion and Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, MD. Pic http://bit.ly/2ycYdSn

SPOTTED: Christie Stephenson, Meredith Kelly, Jason Bresler, Tyler Law, Tyrone Gayle, Jeb Fain, Sophie Shipman, Reid Hohlman, Sasha Baker, Sam Baker, Dan Schory, Jake Stokes, Ethan McClellan, Bryan Lesswing.

— Jessica McCreight, a VP at SKD Knickerbocker and Obama WH alum, married Scott Brown, CEO and co-founder of the customer relations management firm xRM Studio. “The two exchanged vows on Saturday surrounded by friends, family and fall foliage at a mountain retreat just a stone’s throw from Lexington, Va. McCreight and Brown met in 2014 after matching on no fewer than three dating apps.” Pics http://bit.ly/2xxUj1Mhttp://bit.ly/2yViyZs

REMEMBERING WILLIAM COLEMAN – Pool report from the National Cathedral: “Saturday morning VIPs from the political, legal, civil rights communities came to honor the life of former Secretary of Transportation, Medal of Honor recipient, personal friend to Justice Thurgood Marshall, African American Republican lawyer, William T. Coleman, Jr. He graduated first in his class at Harvard Law and was the first African American to clerk at the Supreme Court and served as a lawyer on the Warren Commission before being on the team that won Brown V. Board of Education. Service participants included: Justice Stephen Breyer, Vernon Jordan, General Colin Powell, and Opera singer Denyce Graves.”

AMONG THE ATTENDEES: Vice President Dick Cheney, former VA Secretary Togo West, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, former HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan, Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan, former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, Marian Wright Edelman, Sherrilyn Ifill, Andrea Mitchell, Paris Dennard, Ken Chenault, Cecilia Marshall, former Sen. Chuck Robb (D-Va.) and Lynda Johnson Robb.

BIRTHDAYS: Tony Sayegh (hat tip: Molly Meiners) … Jim Messina is 48 (h/t Ty Matsdorf) … David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, is 59 … Bob Stevenson … N.Y. Daily News’ Robert George … Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is 79 … Connie Mack III is 77 … Jamie McIntyre, senior writer on defense and national security at the Washington Examiner … Nelson Cunningham, president and co-founder of McLarty Associates … Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) is 65 (h/t Ajashu Thomas) … Geoff Turley … Kerry Hannon (h/ts Jon Haber) … Andy Weitz, Aon’s chief marketing officer … Dirk Kempthorne, former Secretary of the Interior, now president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, is 66 … WaPo’s Dave Clarke … WSJ editorial writer Kate Bachelder Odell … Isabelle James, political director at Americans for Responsible Solutions … Mike Saccone, comms director at the Keystone Policy Center … EPA’s Daisy Letendre (h/t Amy Graham) …

… Kate Bedingfield, VP of comms at Monumental Sports & Entertainment … Politico’s Steve Heuser, Diana D’Abruzzo, Nick Yaeger, and Safi Majid … Max Yoeli, law clerk to SDNY Judge Jesse Furman (brother of Jason), is 27 (h/t Alex Halpern Levy) … Leigh Helfenbein (hubby tip: David Helfenbein) … Sonia Colin-Reed … Peter Albrecht, senior associate at Bully Pulpit Interactive … Gary Gould … Nick Powell … Michael Slaby … Turkey turns 94 on its Republic Day (h/t BCIU) … Noah Dion, manager for Debra Rodman’s Delegate campaign in Virginia (h/t Morgan Finkelstein) … Jeff Hillery … Yangyang Cheng … Bill Jaffee … Aaron Jacobs, comms. director for Sen. Hassan … WSJ’s Samantha Zeldin … Lily Caroline Dorton … Kerry Hannon … Thompson Warren … Mark Olingy … Laura Jarrett … Rachel Barinbaum … Ruth Vilmain … Steve Lynch … Sophie Bauer (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

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