Despite Amazon, brick stores are not dead yet

The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York
The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

November 18, 2017

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just in time for the Black Friday kick-off to holiday season shopping, stock market investors have been handed tools to bet on the decline of brick-and-mortar retail.

As of Friday, these tools were not yet for sale on Amazon.

An exchange-traded fund launched Thursday allows investors to bet on the decline of traditional retail and a second one doubles down by betting at the same time on the rise to supremacy of online sales.

The Decline of Retail Stores ETF and the Long Online Short Stores ETF are self-explanatory. The main index they track inversely, the equal-weighted Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index, is composed of 64 retailers including Barnes & Noble, Sears, Office Depot, Macy’s and Walmart, which have chains of physical stores as well as online presence.

They are not the only or the first planning for a decimation of the retail sector at the hands of Amazon and other online retailers. Research firm Bespoke introduced its Death by Amazon Index, currently with 54 components, in 2012.

The trend to online shopping is not new, but with online taking only a fraction of all retail sales, the ETFs expect to capitalize on the long-term trend.

“Online penetration is about 10 percent right now so there is a long way ahead for the strategy in our opinion,” said Michael Sapir, CEO of ProShare Advisors in Bethesda, Maryland.

“A minority of brick and mortar (retailers) will be able to make the transition and it is going to be expensive and painful.”

So far this year, the S&P 500 retail index is up 20 percent but only half of its 29 components have had a positive price return. Amazon, up over 50 percent this year at $1,129.88, has alone added $192 billion in market capitalization in 2017. The full index has gained roughly $230 billion.

Glen Kacher, whose Light Street Capital Management hedge fund was up 53 percent from January to October, said he is

“shorting almost every retailer,” betting their share prices

will fall.

Kacher said many big retailers have failed to adapt to changing customer preferences, lagging even some corner delis that now use technology that lets people buy their breakfast sandwiches and coffee in seconds with the tap of a finger.

“The retailing industry is going to be an apocalypse,” he said, without identifying which retailers will go down in flames. “Anyone working in the consumer retailing industry … should be training for a new job.”

For a graphic on retailers’ market value see (http://reut.rs/2zLFXiN)

CLICK AND MORTAR

Reports of the death of brick and mortar retail could be mildly exaggerated, however.

Retail and food service sales in the United States during the first three quarters of 2017 totaled $4.78 trillion, with the $484.4 billion in September a monthly record high, according to U.S. government data.

About 164 million Americans plan to shop in the coming Thanksgiving weekend, including on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Results from this week show the battle for consumers is far from lost at physical stores. Walmart, for instance, said third-quarter U.S. sales growth online and in-store was the strongest since 2009.

A combination of online presence and easy access for consumers known as ‘click and mortar’ will allow some names to survive by letting their customers browse all their options online while offering the convenience of a quick pickup of the product on their drive home.

Shares of Walmart touched a record high on Friday, as did those of Home Depot, which earlier in the week raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts.

They are one of two kinds of retailers that analysts said would be better able to weather the online retail storm. Size will matter, and with more than 5,000 U.S. stores at Walmart and over 2,200 Home Depots in North America, their distribution network will be a key lifeline.

“Walmart is transforming itself into a major competitor of Amazon,” said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey.

“Our belief is there will be some winners on brick and many online retailers will start looking more traditional.”

The other retailers seen surviving are those in search of a small niche that will allow them to keep margins growing, countering the trend of ever-smaller margins online.

“Unless you know exactly what you’re going to order and it is mass market, you don’t go to Amazon,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“Holiday shopping means meaningful gifts. If you’re a good retailer you can take advantage of that.”

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York; Additional reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Megan Davies and James Dalgleish)

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CNN Panelists Laugh At Trump Calling Them ‘Losers’ [VIDEO]

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9:02 PM 11/17/2017

A CNN panel couldn’t help but laugh at President Donald Trump calling them losers Friday.

WATCH:

CNN politics editor Mark Preston, appearing on “Erin Burnett OutFront” was talking about President Trump’s recent tweet, saying, “Anybody that reads his Twitter feed, that listens to him, in fact, look at this tweet that he put out the morning he got back from Vietnam right now.”

He continued, “He went right after us when he was in the Philippines, he ‘was forced to watch CNN which I have not done in months and again realized how bad and fake it is. Loser!’ So I guess we’re losers. But the fact of the matter is, and I’ll take it, I’m a loser. I wear that with a badge of honor. But the fact of the matter is, is that we know he because he responds in real time when he’s upset at us.”

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DCCC tops Republicans in October fundraising, NRCC holds edge in cash

With Zach Montellaro and Daniel Strauss

The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro’s Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races — and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day’s most important campaign news — sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://ift.tt/1rYrnXl)

Story Continued Below

FIRST IN SCORE — CASH RACE — DCCC tops NRCC in October fundraising: The DCCC continued its fundraising streak, bringing in just under $7.7 million in October, which the committee said was its best-ever off-year fundraising haul for the month. The NRCC raised $4.5 million last month, but House Republicans continue to hold a cash on hand advantage. The NRCC, in its best off-year total to date, has $40.7 million in the bank, while the DCCC has $32 million. This year, the DCCC has raised $89 million, while the NRCC has brought in $77 million. Full story.

LATEST FROM ALABAMA — Trump ducks Moore scandal,” by POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson and Alex Isenstadt: “Donald Trump loves nothing more than a good controversy. But the president isn’t touching the Alabama Senate race, the biggest talker in American politics right now. Resisting the entreaties of GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump has steered conspicuously clear of the firestorm surrounding Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate accused of pursuing, and in some cases harassing, teenage girls. Trump’s absence from the race has compounded GOP worries the party is about to lose a seat it has no business relinquishing to Democrats. Republicans say a denunciation of Moore from Trump, a beloved figure in Alabama despite his problems elsewhere, offers the only hope of keeping the seat in the party’s hands.” Full story.

— Alabama GOP reaffirms support for Moore: “The Alabama Republican Party issued a statement today confirming that it still supports Roy Moore despite recent sexual misconduct allegations against him. …‘The ALGOP Steering Committee supports Judge Roy Moore as our nominee and trusts the voters as they make the ultimate decision in this crucial race,’ Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan said in the statement.” Full story.

— Moore trails Jones in Alabama Senate race: “Democrat Doug Jones has an 8-point lead over embattled Republican Roy Moore in Alabama special Senate election, according to a new poll released Thursday that shows voters are equally divided on the accusations of sexual misconduct against the GOP nominee.” Full story.

ON THE HILL — “House passes massive GOP tax cuts,” by POLITICO’s Rachael Bade, John Bresnahan and Aaron Lorenzo: “House Republicans passed a $5.5 trillion tax bill Thursday, in a major step toward rewriting the nation’s tax code and providing a sorely needed legislative victory for President Donald Trump. The bill passed 227-205, with 13 Republicans breaking with leadership to vote against the legislation. Not a single Democrat backed the bill, highlighting the sharp partisan split as the tax fight moves to the narrowly-divided Senate.” Full story.

— 13 Republicans vote against House tax bill: “Thirteen House Republicans, largely hailing from tax-heavy states like New York, New Jersey and California, voted against the GOP tax bill today. Several members who broke with the party line said they opposed the bill, H.R. 1 (115), because it would eliminate federal deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, a top concern for highly taxed states. Notably, however, a number of Republicans from battleground districts did back the bill, including 12 California members and several others from New York and New Jersey.” Full story.

Ryan gets big — and much-needed — win on tax cuts,” by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan. Full story.

Days until the 2018 election: 354.

Thanks for joining us! You can email tips to the Campaign Pro team at sbland@politico.com, eschneider@politico.com, krobillard@politico.com, dstrauss@politico.com and mseverns@politico.com.

You can also follow us on Twitter: @politicoscott, @ec_schneider, @politicokevin, @danielstrauss4, @maggieseverns, @ProMorningScore and @POLITICOPro.

FRANKEN FALLOUT — “Franken apologizes after woman says he groped her,” by POLITICO’s Elana Schor and Seung Min Kim: “Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) apologized Thursday after a female broadcaster said the lawmaker groped and kissed her without her consent during a 2006 trip overseas. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately called for an ethics investigation, and Franken vowed to cooperate. Multiple Democratic senators quickly broke with Franken after Leeann Tweeden, a radio anchor for Los Angeles’ KABC, wrote Thursday about the senator’s admitted misconduct. Tweeden described harassment by Franken while she and the comedian, then a host on liberal talk radio, toured the Middle East to entertain military personnel in 2006.” Full story.

— Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota call on Franken to resign: Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who’s running for governor, called on the senator to quit the Senate. “Al Franken is my friend, but we can’t have a double standard,” Otto said in a statement.

— Democratic senators up for reelection give away Franken cash: “A slew of Democratic senators facing reelection in 2018 are giving away to charity campaign money originally donated by Sen. Al Franken or his leadership PAC.” Full story.

— House Democratic candidates start to dump Franken cash: “Seven Democratic challengers in House races who received donations from Sen. Al Franken have ‘already [donated] the money to a variety of local charities,’ said Meredith Kelly, a DCCC spokeswoman.” Full story.

IT AIN’T OVER — “Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial,” by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan: “The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery and corruption case.” Full story.

— “Mistrial declared in Menendez corruption case,” by POLITICO New Jersey’s Matt Friedman. Full story.

RUSSIA WATCH— “FEC votes to make new rules for online political ads,” by Campaign Pro’s Maggie Severns: “The Federal Election Commission on Thursday voted to make new rules for online political ad disclosure with hopes of curbing future election interference like Russia’s 2016 election meddling. The commission reached a rare, unexpected moment of comity in its decision to tackle the new rules. In a move that was a shock to many Democrats, Republican commissioners came out in favor of acting on Russian election interference on Thursday and joined their fellow commissioners in a unanimous vote.” Full story.

BLUE WAVE — “Republican governors fear a 2018 midterm wipeout after Virginia loss,” by CNN’s Eric Bradner: “Republican governors sense a wave coming — and they’re terrified it could wipe them out in next year’s elections. The three dozen GOP governors gathering here this week for a Republican Governors Association meeting — including some close allies of President Donald Trump — said they were jarred by Democrats’ easy victory in the Virginia governor’s race last week.” Full story.

NEW LEADERSHIP — Haslam named RGA chair for 2018: “Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been elected as the next chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the group announced today. Haslam will serve as RGA chairman for the 2018 elections, succeeding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. … Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts was elected as vice chairman, succeeding Florida Gov. Rick Scott.” Full story.

REQUEST DENIED — “Hispanic Caucus denies membership to Republican Curbelo,” by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle: “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus denied Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo‘s membership bid today, the latest volley in a nasty dispute between the Florida lawmaker and some members of the all-Democratic caucus. The group voted to oppose Curbelo’s bid to join after weeks of back-and-forth between him and some members of the group who have questioned whether his intentions to join the CHC were politically motivated.” Full story.

WEB WARS — NRCC And Costello Campaign Launch Digital Ads Targeting Houlahan on AND1 Report,” by PoliticsPA: “The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) and Costello campaigns are launching digital ads targeting Democrat Chrissy Houlahan over reports tying her former company to sweatshop labor in China. The NRCC’s campaign is centered around a video they are launching titled “Human Rights” that pushes some of the claims highlighted in the report.” Full story.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS — Axiom Strategies brings on 339 Group: Axiom Strategies acquired 339 Group, a research firm now known as Cannon Research Group. “Reliable research can absolutely make the difference between a winning and losing campaign or millions of dollars in lost revenues in the corporate world, which is why having a research firm in-house is an excellent resource for our clients,” Jeff Roe, Axiom Strategies founder, said in a statement.

GETTING THE NOD — Giffords endorsed four House candidates: Giffords announced four more Democratic challenger endorsements, including Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Susie Lee (NV-03) and Veronica Escobar (TX-16).

— EMILY’s List endorsed Democrat Mary Barzee Flores, per a statement from the group. EMILY’s List is wading into a crowded, six-way primary as Democrats eye replacing retiring GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27).

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You don’t win, you’re not invited back.” — Texas Rep. Pete Sessions said about Paul Ryan and the GOP tax bill, POLITICO reported.

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National Football League roundup

FILE PHOTO: NFL: New York Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FILE PHOTO: Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) sits on the bench against the New York Jets in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

November 18, 2017

(The Sports Xchange) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension negotiations will be discussed Dec. 13 during an owners-only session at the league’s meetings in Irving, Texas.

The decision to conduct a discussion at the meetings comes on the heels of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ recent request for a special meeting on Nov. 28. That request was denied but Jones and the other owners will get to chat about the demands of Goodell as reports suggest the NFL commissioner is looking for an annual package of nearly $50 million in his next contract.

Jones recently threatened to sue the NFL if the extension is approved by the six-owner compensation committee, headed by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said quarterback Blaine Gabbert will start over injured Drew Stanton for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

Arians told reporters that Stanton, who has a sprained knee, will be Gabbert’s backup if he can physically play.

Stanton has been the starter since Carson Palmer went down with a broken arm in Week 7. If Stanton can’t go, Matt Barkley, who signed with the Cardinals earlier this week, will back up Gabbert.

The Cardinals signed wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a one-year contract extension that keeps the 10-time Pro Bowl wide receiver under contract through the 2018 season.

In his 14th season, the 34-year old Fitzgerald has 60 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cardinals in all three categories.

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CNN’s Ana Navarro Suggests That Trump Is Being Blackmailed By Russia [VIDEO]

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3:20 PM 11/17/2017

CNN commentator Ana Navarro floated the idea that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by Russia Friday.

WATCH:

CNN host Wolf Blitzer first asked, “It’s interesting Ana, because Senator Lindsey Graham — he just issued another statement saying President Trump has a blind spot when it comes to Russia and can’t figure out why. Can you?”

“Uh, maybe because they have something on him? It leads to speculation,” Navarro responded. “The constant and very consistent way that Donald Trump deals with Russia, deals with this investigation, leads to questions that are yet to be answered.”

She later talked about Jared Kushner, mentioning the “lapses, lies, lack of disclosure that this young man has exhibited.” (RELATED: Jared Kushner Failed To Provide Congress With Email Offering ‘Russian Backdoor Overture’)

“He’s either negligent and floppy, lying, or has the worst case of early onset memory loss that we’ve seen in history. He should go see a doctor,” she added.

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German parties head into long weekend of coalition talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to the media at Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to the media at Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

November 17, 2017

By Hans-Edzard Busemann and Thorsten Severin

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners continued talks on Friday after all-night negotiations failed to produce a breakthrough, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives saying they would compromise further on climate change policies to secure a deal.

The conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens remained divided on climate policy and immigration, but agreed to press on past their self-imposed deadline into the weekend.

Party leaders on Friday discussed their different stances on foreign, defense, trade and European policy in various formats and they were expected to continue on Saturday, haggling about climate protection, immigration, transport and agriculture.

Speaking to reporters when she arrived for the talks in the morning, Merkel said: “I go into these negotiations with the intention, despite all the difficulties, of carrying out the task voters gave us of forming a coalition… It will be tough, but it’s worth going into round two.”

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary floor leader of her Christian Democrats (CDU), said they were prepared to compromise further on reducing emissions from coal-fired power stations to assuage Green concerns.

“I feel readiness by all sides and everyone has to make concessions,” he told reporters as officials scheduled further talks to run to Sunday afternoon.

“I believe that the exploratory talks must end this weekend.”

Failure to agree could lead to new elections, something the mainstream parties fear could lead to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) making further gains after surging into parliament in September.

A new election could also weigh heavily on the euro.

Merkel could still approach her previous coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), but they have said they want to stay in opposition after suffering their worst election result since 1933 in the Sept. 24 poll.

A third option, a government without a parliamentary majority, would be unprecedented in Germany’s post-war history.

JAMAICA OPTION

Merkel has been forced to explore the tricky option of a three-way “Jamaica coalition” – so-called because the parties’ colors match the island nation’s flag – after her camp lost votes to the far right.

The smaller parties are under pressure from their rank-and-file supporters not to give ground as they haggle over concessions needed for a government program.

To the right, Merkel’s Bavarian allies in the Christian Social Union (CSU) want a coalition accord limiting immigration to shore up support in their home state, where the AfD threatens to unseat them after 60 years in power in a regional election next year.

That is anathema to the left-leaning Greens, who want to preserve the right of successful asylum seekers to bring their families to join them in Germany – a position backed by two thirds of voters, according to a poll for ZDF television.

The Greens fear giving way on their demand to close down 10 gigawatts of polluting coal-fired power stations would alienate their voters. They rejected Merkel’s previous compromise offer of seven gigawatts.

The FDP has only just returned to parliament after four years in the wilderness.

Its deputy leader, Wolfgang Kubicki, sounded the most pessimistic after the talks, telling ARD TV the parties were “still so far apart on key issues such as migration, fighting climate change, finances and domestic security, that I can’t imagine how we can get together in the short time available”.

In the evening, Kubicki said a new deadline to reach a provisional agreement was now Sunday at 6 pm (1700 GMT). FDP Party Secretary General Nicola Beer added: “We move forward a few inches each day.”

The FDP wants tax cuts to please its small and medium-sized business supporters – a tall order, given competing fiscal demands.

A booming economy could come to the parties’ aid as the Ifo institute on Friday sharply raised its forecast for the German economy to grow by 2.3 percent from 1.9 percent this year, meaning Berlin can count on a higher tax take.

A report by the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Friday found that rising tax revenues meant the government would have 76 billion euros ($89.63 billion) spare to spend over four years – twice an earlier finance ministry estimate.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke, Thomas Escritt and Riham Alkousaa; writing by Michael Nienaber; editing by Andrew Roche and William Maclean)

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Market Update 11-17-2017

It’s not your father’s stock index anymore.

S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI Inc., whose indexes are tracked by trillions of dollars stored in exchange-traded funds, rolled out a set of planned modifications to their business sector groupings this week. That will impact where businesses are grouped inside benchmarks like the S&P 500, and might alter what stocks are held in certain industry-focused ETFs.

The latest shifts reflect the way the corporate landscape has changed in recent years. Foremost, the indicator will update the telecommunications sector, which now looks like a relic of a previous era. The telecom industry made up 9.8 percent of the S&P 500 in 1989, but has shrunk to a 1.8% weighting, based on S&P Dow Jones Indices. After a long period of consolidation, it holds just three companies.

That means creating a new media and entertainment business group within it which will inherit the media companies currently classified in the consumer discretionary sector.

There are a couple of other changes. Internet retail, a sub-industry within the consumer discretionary sector, will absorb some e-commerce businesses that are currently in the tech industry. Also, the internet & software and solutions sub-industry in tech will be discontinued, with the firms being categorized elsewhere. A new tech sub-industry called internet services and infrastructure will also be created in its place.

More guidance is expected in January, when a few of the affected organizations are announced.

Some of those affected may include the large tech companies, given the upgrades to the tech industry, analysts say. This may also change what sector-tracking ETFs hold, though it’s going to be up to the ETF providers to decide how to account for those changes.

The real estate sector’s spin out from the financial industry may offer 1 template.

It remains to be seen how the sector shifts will impact investors, but it is clear index creators are attempting to keep up with the times.

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Feminist: Franken Shouldn’t Resign Because He’s A Dem

Photo of Amber Athey

9:28 AM 11/17/2017

Feminist writer Kate Harding wrote in the Washington Post that she doesn’t think Sen. Al Franken should resign over sexual assault allegations because he is a Democrat.

Harding, the author of “Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America” admitted that having Democratic abusers resign would be harmful to her own political goals, and thus those sexual assaulters and harassers should be forgiven. Franken is accused of forcibly kissing a woman and there is a photo of him groping her while she is sleeping.

She argues that there are probably other Democrats who have committed sexual misconduct, so “if we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms.”

“I’m betting that there will be more. And more after that,” she writes. “And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans.”

Harding also claims that ousting Democrats who are abusers will only harm women in the future because there will be less “champion[s] for women’s rights” in Congress.

“If the short-term ‘right thing’ leads to long-term political catastrophe for American women, I think we need to reconsider our definition of the right thing,” she asserts. “Don’t just apologize and drop out of sight. Do penance. Live the values you campaigned on. Be a selfless champion for women’s rights.”

She concludes by claiming that if more than one woman accuses Franken and he turns out to be a “predator,” she will then ask her to resign.

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BUCKLE UP: A crazy December is ahead — WH wants 44B more in disaster aid — TRUMP on ‘Frankenstien’: ‘Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?’ — MATT BRAVO to S-3 – B’DAY: Jarrod Agen

BET YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THIS TODAY — BULLETIN at 5:06 a.m.: “BAGHDAD (AP) – Ministry of Defense says Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition liberate last Iraqi town held by Islamic State group.”

Good Friday morning. YES, THAT WAS A BIG WIN YESTERDAY FOR HOUSE REPUBLICANS. But don’t get too comfy. DECEMBER is going to be really, really, really brutal. Spending caps deal. Government funding. Potential legislation to deal with the expiration of DACA. Action to prop up the health care law. And now, we hear that THE DEBT CEILING could be part of the mix in the final month of the year, as well. Treasury says Congress has until January to lift the debt limit, but some say if Congress is going to slap together a big package, the debt limit might as well be included. No one really wants to raise the debt limit in an election year, anyway. But the negotiations have to be going really well for the debt limit to be included. It’s not a must-pass at the end of the year, and it could just as easily slip to 2018. In other words, Republicans tell us they won’t let the debt limit be a bargaining chip for Democrats who are trying to get a DACA deal.

Story Continued Below

WE ALSO HEAR Congress will pass a short-term government funding bill in time for the Dec. 8 deadline, kicking the deadline toward the end of the month in time for a large spending deal. OH YEAH — THE WHITE HOUSE has made it clear they want tax reform done in December as well. Whoever wins the Alabama Senate race will join the chamber toward the end of December, too. THIS COULD EASILY BE the most consequential legislative month in years.

BASICALLY, what we’re trying to tell you is don’t make plans you absolutely can’t cancel.

**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh

THE TAX REFORM TIMELINE — PROGRESS FOR THE GOP — The Senate Finance Committee approved its overhaul of the tax code last night along party lines 14-12. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to put the bill on the floor after the Thanksgiving break.

— COINCIDENTALLY, last night was TAX PROM — an annual get together of all the tax policy wonks in town. Vice President Mike Pence attended.

MORE DISASTER FUNDING NEEDED — “White House seeks at least $44 billion in third disaster request,” by John Bresnahan, Seung Min Kim and Sarah Ferris: “The White House will ask Congress on Friday to approve at least $44 billion to help storm-ravaged communities in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida, according to three sources privy to the request. It would mark the third aid installment in three months. Congress has already approved $52 billion in response to the spate of hurricanes that killed 260 people and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.

“The latest request falls short of what local officials had sought for their recovery, though the White House is expected to send additional aid proposals in the coming months. Texas had asked for $61 billion for reconstruction, and Puerto Rico has sought $96 billion.” http://politi.co/2zPri3G

NEXT POLICY MOVE AFTER TAX REFORM, per Nancy Cook … The White House “is overhauling the welfare system through an executive order. The Deputy Director of the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, Paul Winfree, laid out the argument for this idea during a panel at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday morning. Winfree said that tweaking the welfare system very much excited President Trump. Already Winfree and another member of the Domestic Policy Council had drafted the order, which would give states more flexibility in structuring their welfare programs and direct federal agencies to make regulatory changes.

‘The president wants to lead on this,’ Winfree told the audience. ‘We are devoting lots of resources to it.’ POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia wrote back in October that the White House was considering an executive order that would instruct federal agencies to review low-income assistance programs.”

— PER STEVEN OVERLY: “AT&T has hired attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who once represented President Donald Trump, in preparation for a potential legal battle with the DOJ over the company’s mega-merger with Time Warner, an AT&T spokesman confirmed to POLITICO. Based in Los Angeles, Petrocelli currently leads the trial practice at O’Melveny and Myers. He defended the president in the lawsuits over the Trump University real estate seminar program.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP on SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MINN.) — @realDonaldTrump at 10:06 p.m.: “The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? …..” … at 10:15 p.m.: “.And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?”

Lesley Stahl? WaPo: “The ‘Lesley Stahl tape’ Trump mentioned in his second tweet refers to a [1995] New York Magazine story about a ‘Saturday Night Live’ writers discussion where Franken suggests a joke about raping Lesley Stahl, a ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent.

“Franken is quoted in New York Magazine as saying: ‘And, “I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.” Or, “That’s why you never see Lesley until February.” Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’” http://wapo.st/2j3MfjhThe NYMag story http://nym.ag/2hxUrIj

— TRUMP still has not weighed in on the allegations against Roy Moore. (By the way: “Poll: Moore trails Jones in Alabama Senate race,” by Steven Shepard. http://politi.co/2zPkJhs)

THE NEW WORLD ORDER — “Capitol Hill consumed by sexual harassment issue,” by Elana Schor, Seung Min Kim and Kevin Robillard: “The national conversation about sexual harassment has hit the clubby halls of the Capitol with a vengeance. Democrats faced their own internal reckoning on Thursday when Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) apologized to a radio anchor who said he forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006. Once a potential presidential hopeful, Franken quickly submitted to an ethics committee investigation.

“The Franken bombshell came amid a deluge of news coverage in recent days of Alabama Senate Roy Moore, accused of harassing or sexually assaulting multiple young women. Earlier Thursday, the chief of staff to a House lawmaker leading the charge against sexual harassment in Congress resigned in the face of sexual misconduct allegations by former aides. And earlier this week, a pair of female lawmakers said there are several current members of Congress who have sexually harassed women.

“On a day when the House passed the most far-reaching tax bill in decades, and when jurors in New Jersey deadlocked in a corruption trial involving a sitting senator, Robert Menendez, Capitol Hill was consumed instead by the issue of sexual harassment. And it prompted a rare bout of soul-searching in an institution not exactly known for that. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading advocate for Congress’ recent shift from voluntary to mandatory sexual harassment training, said it was depressing that such a move was even necessary. ‘That’s a sad commentary, you know, that you have to do it,’ Grassley told reporters.” http://politi.co/2hE6sQ7

— “Gillibrand Says Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned Over Lewinsky Affair,” by NYT’s Jennifer Steinhauer: “Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, who holds Hillary Clinton’s former seat, said on Thursday that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after his inappropriate relationship with an intern came to light nearly 20 years ago. Asked directly if she believed Mr. Clinton should have stepped down at the time, Ms. Gillibrand took a long pause and said, ‘Yes, I think that is the appropriate response.’ But she also appeared to signal that what is currently considered a fireable offense may have been more often overlooked during the Clinton era.” http://nyti.ms/2AOfjTb

— MATT DIXON and MARC CAPUTO in Tallahassee: “Six former Florida Democratic Party staffers and consultants say that current party chairman Stephen Bittel has created an unprofessional workplace environment for women that includes persistent inappropriate comments, leering at young women and even inviting them on his private jet. The women, who were reached independently by POLITICO Florida and insisted on anonymity out of fear for their jobs, said Bittel never inappropriately touched or threatened them.

“But he made them feel so uneasy that they didn’t want to be alone with him due to his body language, suggestive remarks and even the breast-shaped stress squeeze-ball he has been known to keep on his desk. Depending on the circumstance and the person discussing Bittel, they said he would make references about women cooking dinner, showing their breasts, their age, whether they wanted to ride on his plane, come to his hotel room or if they thought he was attractive. ‘There was a lot of boob stuff in his office,’ said a woman who was a fundraiser years ago and had to interact with him. ‘I was told by other women not to go into his bathroom. I was warned.’” http://politi.co/2iqwHXt

HILLARY CLINTON talks sexual harassment with NowThis http://bit.ly/2hxEmCm

****** 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/2ArIBXv ******

JOSH DAWSEY in TRENTON: “Regrets? Chris Christie Has a Few”: “Chris Christie had some thoughts on how I should write this article. ‘You should break out of leading with ‘the most unpopular governor in galactic history’ and all this other shit that everybody hits F2, F3, F4 [on and] bang, bang, bang, the paragraphs flip in,’ the outgoing New Jersey governor said on a recent afternoon, tapping his conference room table like a keyboard. ‘You should do something different.’ …

“In the longest interview Christie has given in years, as he dropped oyster crackers into a large vat of chili, he said the story of his rise and fall had not been told accurately. He was never as good as depicted—nor as bad. ‘I never felt 78, and I don’t feel the 22,’ he said of his approval ratings. ‘What I hope at the end of the day is that this really is about my eight years, and the bridge stuff is part of that, and the Trump stuff is part of that, but it’s only a part.’” http://politi.co/2zJixuf

— FUN: “Christie’s generous interpretation of Trump’s treatment of him even extends to his own ouster. Two days after Trump’s surprise win, Steve Bannon and Christie were seen arguing for several hours in a glass office in the transition headquarters in New York. Bannon was firing him as chair of the transition, and Christie wasn’t taking the news well. He wanted to know who was behind it, and he suspected Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose father he had prosecuted as U.S. attorney.

“‘Oh, I asked,’ Christie said, referring to Bannon. ‘He didn’t answer. But [based on] subsequent conversations I’ve had with the president, I just don’t believe this was the president’s decision.’ Aides later threw his transition materials in wastebaskets.

“Christie … insists he holds no grudges. He said the president had made a smart decision to get rid of some aides — he named Bannon and Reince Priebus — and said others would be soon to go. Chief of staff John Kelly, he said, was doing much better. He declined to take a shot at Kushner when asked about the Trump son-in-law’s diminished White House role. ‘I would never underestimate Jared’s ability to be involved in whatever he wants to do be involved in,’ Christie said.”

JOHN BRESNAHAN — “Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial”: “The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery and corruption case. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had called for an ethics probe of Menendez as soon as a mistrial was declared by U.S. District Judge William Walls. The deadlock in the criminal proceedings was a huge legal victory for Menendez, who grew emotional as he spoke about the case with reporters.

“With incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and other top state officials pledging their loyalty to him — and Menendez suddenly looking like an incumbent ready to announce his reelection rather than a criminal defendant trying to avoid prison — the ethics probe means Menendez will still have this case still hanging over him well into 2018.” http://politi.co/2j1yxxh

RUSSIA WATCH — “Special Counsel Mueller Issued Subpoena for Russia-Related Documents From Trump Campaign Officials,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Peter Nicholas: “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in mid-October issued a subpoena to President Donald Trump’s campaign requesting Russia-related documents from more than a dozen top officials, according to a person familiar with the matter. The subpoena, which requested documents and emails from the listed campaign officials that reference a set of Russia-related keywords, marked Mr. Mueller’s first official order for information from the campaign … The subpoena caught the campaign by surprise.” http://on.wsj.com/2zHZQHw

— “Does cooperating witness have info on Flynn tie to Turkey?” by NBC News’ Tom Winter and Julia Ainsley: “A gold trader who is close to Turkish President Recep Erdogan is now cooperating with federal prosecutors in a money-laundering case, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter, and legal experts say prosecutors may be seeking information about any ties between the Turkish government and former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. Reza Zarrab, a dual Turkish-Iranian national … is now out of jail and speaking to prosecutors — a move President Erdogan had been desperately hoping to avoid.” http://nbcnews.to/2j0Gov2

HMM … — “Papadopoulos claimed Trump phone call and larger campaign role,” by Josh Meyer: “George Papadopoulos claimed last year that Donald Trump telephoned him to discuss his new position as a foreign policy adviser to his presidential campaign and that the two had at least one personal introductory meeting that the White House has not acknowledged. Papadopoulos also claimed that he’d been given a ‘blank check’ to choose a senior Trump administration job and authorized to represent the candidate in overseas meetings with foreign leaders, and at a campaign event in New York.” http://politi.co/2hBj2fb

TELL US MORE! — “Russian ambassador says he won’t name all the Trump officials he’s met with because ‘the list is so long,’” by CNBC’s Tucker Higgins: “Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he’s met with or spoken to on the phone. ‘First, I’m never going to do that,’ he said. ‘And second, the list is so long that I’m not going to be able to go through it in 20 minutes.’ Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel.” http://cnb.cx/2zPkSl0

GREAT REPORTING — “The Questionable Math Behind Manafort’s Extravagant Home Renovations,” by Bloomberg’s Polly Mosendz, Patrick Clark and Michael Smith: “The federal indictment of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, accuses him of laundering millions in foreign payments to pursue a ‘lavish lifestyle’ in the U.S., especially in the Hamptons, where he has a house. What it doesn’t explain — or highlight — are the stratospheric payments he made to home improvement companies when his renovation work was estimated at far less.

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his indictment, says that a Hamptons firm got $5.4 million in wire transfers from Cyprus over 71 payments. But building permits over the same period examined by Bloomberg show that renovations by Manafort’s Hamptons’ contractor were estimated to cost $1.2 million. That’s less than a quarter of what was ultimately sent — an apparent discrepancy that could draw scrutiny from investigators.” https://bloom.bg/2hyXShM

JARED UPDATE — “Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say,” by Kyle Cheney: “Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month.

“‘We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,’ the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell. … In a section of the letter titled ‘Missing documents,’ Grassley and Feinstein said Kushner had handed over some materials but omitted communications that mentioned some of the people connected to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” http://politi.co/2AWOsFF

–“Kushner still waiting on permanent security clearance,” by Josh Dawsey: “Jared Kushner is still working with an interim security clearance 10 months into President Donald Trump’s administration, according to White House officials and others with knowledge of the matter. The top adviser and Trump son-in-law, who joined Trump for part of his Asia tour this month, has continued to work on sensitive foreign policy issues and other matters while his application for a permanent clearance remains under review.” http://politi.co/2j1krMtThe letter http://bit.ly/2mz6fPR

FOR YOUR RADAR — “Keystone pipeline leaks 210K gallons of oil in South Dakota” – AP/Amherst, S.D.: “TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil onto agricultural land in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators said Thursday, but state officials don’t believe the leak polluted any surface water bodies or drinking water systems. … Discovery of the leak comes just days before Nebraska regulators are scheduled to announce their decision Monday whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.” http://bit.ly/2iqHcdv

TRUMP’S FRIDAY — Trump will host NCAA national championship teams. He is having lunch with VP Mike Pence and will meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

THE JUICE …

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: MATT BRAVO, floor director to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), is joining S-3 Group. He will start working at the firm in 2018. “Matt Bravo has been a critical part of our Whip Office team from the start, and as floor director he has helped bring about many hard-earned legislative victories to the benefit of the American people,” Scalise said in a statement. “In more than a decade working on Capitol Hill, Matt has developed strong relationships with members of Congress and staff on both sides of the aisle, and while his counsel and friendship will be missed, I know Matt’s experience and expertise will serve him well in the next phase of his career.”

Bravo has worked in floor operations for more than a decade serving as coalitions director for Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) while he was chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and as a floor assistant to then-House Majority Leader and Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

— UPDATE: KIMBERLEY FRITTS is starting her own lobbying firm. Via Theo Meyer: “Tony Podesta stepped down as the Podesta Group’s chairman last month and tapped Fritts as his successor. But negotiations with Podesta to turn over control of the firm broke down, and Fritts quit last week, saying she’d start a new firm instead. Many of the Podesta Group’s top lobbyists are following Fritts to the new firm, Cogent Strategies, along with at least 15 clients, according to a person familiar with the firm’s plans. Fritts is still looking for office space for the firm.” http://politi.co/2A5Kr4q

HOLIDAY PARTY SCOOPLET — FIFTH HARMONY, the multi-platinum-winning girl group, is headlining the annual holiday charity benefit Dec. 12 at the 9:30 Club co-hosted by MUSICIANS ON CALL, RIAA and SPOTIFY. Chicago-based DJ JERZY will be the opening act.

TV TONIGHT — PBS’ “WASHINGTON WEEK” — Jackie Calmes, Nancy Cordes, Jeremy Peters and Ed O’Keefe.

IMPORTANT — “FCC Relaxes Media Ownership Rules in Contentious Vote,” by Variety’s Ted Johnson: “Broadcasters will be allowed to combine with a newspaper in the same market, and could be allowed to own two of the top four stations in a city, as the FCC on Thursday relaxed a series of long-standing media ownership regulations. The new rules, passed in a 3-2 vote, may be challenged in court, but if they survive, they will mark the most significant changes to media ownership regulations in a generation. They could lead to further consolidation and mergers among broadcasters, who have long argued that they need greater scale to compete with cable and internet companies for local ad dollars.” http://bit.ly/2zO9gyH

FROM MARK PRESTON — Museum of the Bible President Cary Summers joins CNN senior political analyst Mark Preston on his SiriusXM show, “Full Stop with Mark Preston” this weekend to talk about the opening of Washington new half-a-billion-dollar, 430,000 sq. ft. museum dedicated to the Bible. The show airs Saturday at noon and Sunday at 5 p.m. on SiriusXM POTUS 124. CLIPS FOR PLAYBOOKERS: Historical accuracy http://bit.ly/2inKq15Hobby Lobby’s affiliation http://bit.ly/2jwNrQc President’s Bibles http://bit.ly/2mxOUXv

K-FILE STRIKES AGAIN — “Homeland Security’s head of community outreach resigns over past controversial comments on black community, Islam,” by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski: “Rev. Jamie Johnson resigned Thursday as the head of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships at [DHS] after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he made about the black community and Islam. In past radio appearances, Johnson had said the black community was responsible for turning major US cities into ‘slums’ and argued that Islam’s only contribution to society was ‘oil and dead bodies.’” http://cnn.it/2A75m7g

THE CABINET — “Watchdog says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke failed to properly document travel,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein and Drew Harwell: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to keep complete records — and in some cases, kept none at all — of his travel since taking office, the agency’s watchdog told department officials this week, saying that management of Zinke’s travel was ‘deficient’ and lacked oversight. A rare alert Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall sent to the secretary’s office Wednesday, obtained by The Washington Post, said her investigation into allegations of improper travel practices by Zinke has been stymied by ‘absent or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips.’ Interior lawyers and ethics officials also have not shown evidence to investigators that they have been able to ‘distinguish between personal, political and official travel’ or cost-analysis documents to justify his choice of military or charter flights, Kendall wrote.” http://wapo.st/2AXBQ0S

****** 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/2ArIBXv ******

NYT MAGAZINE COVER STORY – “The Uncounted,” by Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal (print headline: “The U.S.-Led Battle Against ISIS is Killing Far More Iraqi Civilians Than the Coalition Has Acknowledged”): “Our own reporting, conducted over 18 months, shows that the air war has been significantly less precise than the coalition claims. Between April 2016 and June 2017, we visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, not long after ISIS was evicted from them. We toured the wreckage; we interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors, family members, intelligence informants and local officials; we photographed bomb fragments, scoured local news sources, identified ISIS targets in the vicinity and mapped the destruction through satellite imagery.

“We also visited the American air base in Qatar where the coalition directs the air campaign. There, we were given access to the main operations floor and interviewed senior commanders, intelligence officials, legal advisers and civilian-casualty assessment experts. We provided their analysts with the coordinates and date ranges of every airstrike — 103 in all — in three ISIS-controlled areas and examined their responses. The result is the first systematic, ground-based sample of airstrikes in Iraq since this latest military action began in 2014. We found that one in five of the coalition strikes we identified resulted in civilian death, a rate more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition.” http://nyti.ms/2zOYwjJThe cover http://politi.co/2jx4Yrp

HOLLYWOODLAND — “Comcast Has Approached 21st Century Fox About an Acquisition,” by WSJ’s Dana Mattioli, Keach Hagey and Ryan Knutson: “New suitors are circling 21st Century Fox Inc., affirming that the media empire built by Rupert Murdoch is now in play. Comcast Corp. has approached the media company to express interest in buying a substantial piece of it, according to people familiar with the situation. Verizon Communications Inc. is also kicking the tires on Fox assets … And Sony Corp.’s entertainment unit has also informally approached Fox … The takeover interest in 21st Century Fox gained steam after news last week that Walt Disney Co. recently held talks with the company but failed to reach a deal.” http://on.wsj.com/2A6Pstp

MEDIAWATCH — “BuzzFeed Set to Miss Revenue Target, Signaling Turbulence in Media: Prospects for a 2018 initial public offering by the high-profile publisher now appear remote,” by WSJ’s Amol Sharma and Lukas I. Alpert: “Digital publisher BuzzFeed is on track to miss its revenue target this year by a significant amount, the latest sign that troubles in the online-ad business are making it tough for new-media upstarts to live up to lofty expectations. BuzzFeed, one of several digital-media outfits that have grown quickly in recent years, had been targeting revenue of around $350 million in 2017 but is expected to fall short of that figure by about 15% to 20%.” http://on.wsj.com/2zLbD7K

— ELIZABETH DREW is joining The New Republic as a contributing editor. Drew wrote for The New Yorker for 19 years and in 2014, she reissued her book “Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall.” … BENNY JOHNSON is joining the Daily Caller as a reporter at large. He was most recently at IJR.

SPOTTED: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in first class on a three-and-a-half hour delayed Virgin America flight from DCA to SFO. The plane landed at SFO at midnight in California. … Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) last night at Marx Cafe listening to local band “Dan Smith Trio” … Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at DCA yesterday.

OUT AND ABOUT — The Federalist Society last night held their second annual Antonin Scalia memorial dinner at Union Station. Josh Gerstein’s write-up — “Gorsuch takes victory lap at Federalist dinner” http://politi.co/2j0VrVR

SPOTTED: Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Sam Alito, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.), Kellyanne Conway, Don McGahn, George Will, Maureen Scalia, Reverend Paul Scalia, David McIntosh, Don Willett, Leonard Leo, James Taranto, Josh Hawley, Ken Paxton, Lee Dunn, Suhail Khan, Lexi and Kian Hudson, Erin DeLullo, Greg Mueller, Keith Appell, Garrett Ventry and Travis Burk.

— STEVE CLEMONS and EMILY LENZNER of The Atlantic hosted a night of hot chocolate, mulled wine, s’mores and ice skating on top of the Watergate hotel at Mel’s Rink, named after Melanie Kohn — the late ice hockey-loving daughter of Marc Kohn. SPOTTED: Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Hogan Gidley, Rakel and Jacques Cohen, Jordan Amb. Dina Kawar, Shawn Turner, Mike Castellano, Jane Mayer, Bill Hamilton, Michael Schmidt, Ben Chang, Orson Porter, Matt Wuerker, Adrienne LaFrance, Andrew Trueblood, Josh Eastright, Christina Sevilla, Kevin Baron, Jeff Dufour, Kara Ross, Patrick Mellody, Marissa Mitrovich, Fabrice Houdart, Tara McKelvey, Guneev Sharma, Meghan Dubyak, Gloria Dittus, Javier Palomarez, Robb Harleston and Lyndsay Polloway.

— ADFERO hosted a party last night to celebrate the opening of its new office. SPOTTED: Jeff Mascott, Gary Nuzzi, Greg Crist, Christin Baker, Katie McBreen, Jon Tripp, Kristen Smith, Jeff Solsby, Matt Wright, Margaret Zeigler, John Brandt, Megan Whittemore.

SUNDAY SO FAR – CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) … Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). Political panel: David French, Jen Jacobs, Ruth Marcus, and Ed O’Keefe

–ABC’s “This Week”: Panel: Matthew Dowd, Lanhee Chen, Stephanie Cutter, and Megan Murphy

— NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Panel: Bob Costa, Rich Lowry, Joy Reid and Amy Walter.

–CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

–“Fox News Sunday”: Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Jessica Tarlov, Jason Riley, Juan Williams. Power Player: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)

WEDDING — EMILY POMERANZ, the associate director of major gifts and special events at NARAL Pro-Choice America and an OFA, DNC and DSCC alum, married ROB KEITH, who works at the Wilderness Society, in a candlelit service at Christ Church in Alexandria Nov. 11. “The ceremony included a bagpiper and a reading of an excerpt from Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the 2015 marriage equality decision.”

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Madalene Milano, partner at GMMB

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Brian Jones, partner at Black Rock Group. A book he’s been reading recently: “I recently finished ‘Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love,’ by David Talbot. The book chronicles how San Francisco was transformed from a scrappy immigrant town to one of the great cities of the country (and arguably the world) during a period of cultural turmoil in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. As someone who lived in San Francisco for four years, the book shed some serious light on the city I came to know in the mid 1990s and also illustrates how a prolonged period of societal upheaval and angst can be overcome and ultimately lead to a better era.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2mxjWil (hat tip: Michael Meehan)

BIRTHDAYS: Jarrod Agen is 40. He celebrated with coworkers last night at Old Ebbitt, with a “long overdue” date night with his wife tonight and then having some friends over for bowling at Truman Bowling Alley in the EEOB on Saturday … former House Speaker John Boehner is 68 … Charmaine Yoest, assistant secretary of public affairs at HHS … NBC News president Noah Oppenheim … Amb. Susan Rice, former Obama National Security Adviser, is 53 … Lorne Michaels is 73 … Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt … Paul Lindsay … Arielle Mueller, press aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), is 2-5 (h/t Megan McKinley) … Anna Karl … Howard Dean is 69 … Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is 83 … Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is 56 … U.S. Amb. to China Terry Branstad is 71 (h/t Blake Waggoner) … Quartz’s Chase Purdy … Halie Soifer … Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is 69 … Denver Peacock … HuffPost global editorial director Howard Fineman … Rick Dunham is 61 … Mike Ricci, communications director for Speaker Paul Ryan, celebrating tax reform passage in the House with Ty Ricci (h/t Ryan comms team) … Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich …

… Isaac Baker, partner at AKPD … Linda Moore, president and CEO of TechNet, Clinton WH staffer for all eight years, and original DLC field director. She’s celebrating at the #Clinton25 reunion in Little Rock (h/t Kiki McLean) … Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America (h/t Jon Haber) … Christy Osler … Harry Jaffe (h/t Cathy Merrill Williams) … NAM alum Lea Anne Foster … WSJ’s Felicia Schwartz is 26 … Ralph Posner, EVP at JDA Frontline … Chris Sloan … Kellie Boyle… Lucas Fleischer, alum of 270 Strategies … Gordon Whiting … Laurie Norton Moffatt … Pew’s Erika Compart … Marty Reiser … Russ Grote, managing director at Hamilton Place Strategies … Johnny VandeHei … Michele Tasoff, supervising talent producer of Chelsea Handler on Netflix … Edelman’s Elisa Vitalo … journalist Martin Fackler … Alex Gallo … Greg Croft of ABC News … Carly Montoya … Owen Baynard … TPM managing editor David Kurtz … Andrew Hinkebein … Mike Defilippis … Ada Waelder … Michael Maloof … Allison Hayward … Michael Ostrolenk is 47 … Gary Duff (h/t Teresa Vilmain)

****** 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/2ArIBXv ******

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Posted in news | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on BUCKLE UP: A crazy December is ahead — WH wants 44B more in disaster aid — TRUMP on ‘Frankenstien’: ‘Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?’ — MATT BRAVO to S-3 – B’DAY: Jarrod Agen

Toyota and Suzuki in tie-up to sell electric vehicles in India

The logo of Suzuki Motor Corp. is pictured at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo
The logo of Suzuki Motor Corp. is pictured at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan October 25, 2017. Picture taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

November 17, 2017

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp have agreed to cooperate in selling electric vehicles in India from around 2020, they said on Friday, aiming to give each other a leg up in emerging markets and low-emission technology.

The announcement comes after the Japanese companies agreed in February to trade expertise in parts supplies and research and development.

The partnership could help Toyota to expand in India’s massive car market, where drivers prefer the type of affordable compact vehicles in which Suzuki excels.

Suzuki, in turn, is expected to gain from Toyota’s innovations in automated driving, artificial intelligence and low-emission vehicles.

The companies said Suzuki will produce the electric vehicles and supply some to Toyota, which will provide technical support.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by David Goodman)

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