WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN TO BASHAR ASSAD? — ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt attacks — SUNDAY BEST — PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Veep’s David Mandel — SNL is back — WEEKEND READS — B’DAY: Joe Scarborough

BULLETIN FROM BLOOMBERG’S JEN JACOBS at 9:55 a.m.: “McFarland to Exit White House as McMaster Consolidates Power”: “K. T. McFarland has been asked to step down as deputy National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump after less than three months and will become U.S. ambassador to Singapore, according to a person familiar with White House personnel moves. The departure of the 65-year-old former Fox News commentator comes as Trump’s second National Security Advisor, Lt General H.R. McMaster, puts his own stamp on the National Security Council after taking over in February following the firing of Michael Flynn.” https://bloom.bg/2oecpSC

A QUESTION FOR TEAM TRUMP: What does the United States want to happen to Syrian President Bashar Assad? So far, they don’t have one answer. This could be a problem for President Trump and his advisers, as questions about the future of Syria will only intensify from here. Check out the variety of thoughts, as displayed on the Sunday shows.

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

SUNDAY BEST — JAKE TAPPER talks to U.N. AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”– TAPPER: “[I]s it the position of the Trump administration that he cannot be ruler of Syria anymore? Regime change is the policy?” HALEY: “Well, regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria. So what I think you’re seeing is, this isn’t about policy or not, this is about thoughts. And so when you look at the thoughts, there is no political solution that any of us can see with Assad at the lead.”

— SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON talks to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: STEPHANOPOULOS: “[Y]ou accept that right now, the Syrian people have no way to remove Assad. That’s going to take greater pressure from the United States, from the international coalition, perhaps military pressure.” TILLERSON: “Well ultimately it could, George, but we’ve seen what that looks like when you undertake a violent regime change in Libya and the situation in Libya continues to be very chaotic and I would argue that the life of the Libyan people has — is not all that well off today, so I think we have to learn the lessons of the past and learn the lessons of what went wrong in Libya when you choose that pathway of regime change. So we know this is going to be hard work, but we think it’s also a process that will lead to a durable and lasting stability inside of Syria. Any time you go in and have a violent change at the top, it is very difficult to create the conditions for stability longer term.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “So it sounds like from what you’re saying right now, there is no real change in the United States’ military stance towards Syria from what it was last week.” TILLERSON: “That’s correct, George. This strike — I think the president was very clear in his message to the American people that this strike was related solely to the most recent horrific use of chemical weapons against women, children, and as the president said, even small babies, so the strike was a message to Bashar al-Assad that your multiple violations of your agreements at the UN, your agreements under the chemical weapons charter back in 2013 that those would not go without a response in the future and we are asking Russia to fulfill its commitment and we’re asking and calling on Bashar al-Assad to cease the use of these weapons. Other than that, there is no change to our military posture.”

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER H.R. MCMASTER speaks to CHRIS WALLACE on "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" — COLIN WILHELM: "National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said that while the U.S. would push for regime change in Syria, ‘We’re not the ones who are going to effect that change.’

"’What we’re saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions,’ McMaster continued in an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace. ‘Russia should ask themselves, ‘What are we doing here?’ Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population, and using the most heinous weapons available?’"

— SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM to CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: GRAHAM: “Ambassador Haley just said on your program, ‘You’ll never end the war with Assad in power.’ So that means regime change is now the policy of the Trump administration. That’s at least what I’ve heard. So you need more American troops to accelerate the demise of ISIL. We’re relying too much on the Kurds. More American forces, five or 6,000, would attract more regional fighters to destroy ISIL.”

WE THOUGHT HE DOESN’T TELEGRAPH HIS MOVES? — @realDonaldTrump at 3 p.m. Saturday: “The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!”

— NYT’s PETER BAKER: “The Emerging Trump Doctrine: Don’t Follow Doctrine”: “As he confronted a series of international challenges from the Middle East to Asia last week, President Trump made certain that nothing was certain about his foreign policy. To the extent that a Trump Doctrine is emerging, it seems to be this: don’t get roped in by doctrine. In a week in which he hosted foreign heads of state and launched a cruise missile strike against Syria’s government, Mr. Trump dispensed with his own dogma and forced other world leaders to re-examine their assumptions about how the United States will lead in this new era. He demonstrated a highly improvisational and situational approach that could inject a risky unpredictability into relations with potential antagonists, but he also opened the door to a more traditional American engagement with the world that eases allies’ fears.” http://nyti.ms/2nXLY2D

DEVELOPING — “Church bombings in Egypt kill 37, wound dozens,” by AP’s Hamza Hendawi in Tanta, Egypt: “Bombs tore through two Egyptian churches in different cities as worshippers were marking Palm Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding around 100 in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group. In the first attack, a bomb exploded at Saint George church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing at least 26 people and wounding over 70, officials said. Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 11 people and wounding 35 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. His aides later told local media that he had escaped unharmed. IS claimed the attacks via its Aamaq news agency, after having recently warned that it would step up attacks on Egypt’s Christians. The blasts came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the Arab world’s most populous country.” http://apne.ws/2oVsxbz

— “Pope on Palm Sunday decries suffering from war, terrorism,” by AP’s Daniela Petroff in Vatican City: http://apne.ws/2nXMOfK

DEEP DIVE — “How Washington’s favorite cancer fighter helps himself: Patrick Soon-Shiong is a philanthropist and a businessman. But a prime target of his philanthropy is his businesses,” by Darius Tahir: “Soon-Shiong, the California health-care billionaire … believes he has found a pathway to turning the disease into a manageable condition, commanding his own multi-billion-dollar network of for-profit and nonprofit groups that combines health information technology with genomic testing. He compares himself to the world’s great medical philanthropists, saying he wants to emulate the highly respected Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“But Soon-Shiong’s research foundation — called the Chan Soon-Shiong NantHealth Foundation, after his wife — hardly resembles the Howard Hughes or any other grant-making charity. A POLITICO investigation found that the majority of its expenditures flow to businesses and not-for-profits controlled by Soon-Shiong himself, and the majority of its grants have gone to entities that have business deals with his for-profit firms. The deals have raised alarms among some tax specialists, who question Soon-Shiong’s use of tax-free dollars to boost the bottom lines of his for-profit businesses.” http://politi.co/2oVbvKZ

FOR STEVE MNUCHIN AND GARY COHN — ALWAYS READ WSJ’s RICHARD RUBIN — “Democrats’ Conditions for Tax Overhaul Make Bipartisan Deal Unlikely: GOP attempts to reach across the aisle are complicated by lack of agreement on priorities”: “Democrats are starting to settle on a price for participating in a tax-code overhaul, and many Republicans won’t want to pay it. Democrats say they oppose net tax cuts and will resist proposals that mostly benefit high-income households. Those priorities diverge from President Donald Trump’s repeated promise to ‘cut the hell out of taxes’ and congressional Republicans’ plans to lower marginal tax rates and repeal the estate tax.” http://on.wsj.com/2nXBIHU

THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME TODAY IN WASHINGTON — It’s sunny. It’s going to be 69 degrees. Sergio Garcia, who has never won a major golf championship, is tied for first at the Masters.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S private helicopter landed on the new helipad at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. http://bit.ly/2ph5GH0 Trump is still in Palm Beach and this morning is at Trump International Golf Club, per pooler WSJ’s Louise Radnofsky.

HOT IN HOLLYWOOD — SHONDA RHIMES is hosting a fundraiser for House Democrats in L.A. at 3 p.m. today. The event honors Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Kareem Abdul Jabbar, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) will all be there. Hosts include ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann, Rob Reiner, J.J. Abrams, Katie McGrath, Ambassador James Costos and Michael Smith.

HAPPENING TOMORROW — Neil Gorsuch, the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice, will be sworn in privately by Chief Justice John Roberts tomorrow at the Supreme Court at 9 a.m. Justice Anthony Kennedy will do a public ceremonial swearing in of the 101st associate justice at the White House at 11 a.m., per Josh Gerstein.

ON THE MOVE – “U.S. Navy strike group to move toward Korean peninsula: U.S. official,” by Reuters’ Idrees Ali: “A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force … as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program. Earlier this month North Korea tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of its range. The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula.” http://reut.rs/2nXBDns

FOGGY BOTTOM WATCH — “Nervous State Department workers prepare for major restructuring,”by Nahal Toosi and Andrew Restuccia: “President Donald Trump came into office promising to run the federal government like a private business, and like almost any new chief executive officer, he’s looking to restructure. One of his biggest targets? The State Department. … Deep cuts are expected to hit State’s environmental and cultural programs, while divisions that deal with arms control and military affairs may see consolidation. The number of special envoys, who focus on everything from climate change to LGBT issues, will be pared down. The counter-terrorism bureau will likely escape unscathed, but diplomats who deal with economics or women’s issues may see some changes.” http://politi.co/2oeMNqr

— Steve Herman (@W7VOA): “A meeting with #Russia President Putin has been removed from Secretary of State Tillerson’s Moscow schedule.”

PIC DU JOUR — @JustinWolfers: “Must be getting pretty lonely there at the U.S. Department of State.” http://bit.ly/2oVibbH

YIKES – “The Trump administration is ill-prepared for a global pandemic,” by WaPo’s Lena H. Sun: “The Trump administration has failed to fill crucial public health positions across the government, leaving the nation ill-prepared to face one of its greatest potential threats: a pandemic outbreak of a deadly infectious disease, according to experts in health and national security. No one knows where or when the next outbreak will occur, but health security experts say it is inevitable. … [A]fter 11 weeks in office, the Trump administration has filled few of the senior positions critical to responding to an outbreak. There is no permanent director at the CDC or at the U.S. Agency for International Development. At the Department of Health and Human Services, no one has been named to fill sub-Cabinet posts for health, global affairs, or preparedness and response. It’s also unclear whether the National Security Council will assume the same leadership on the issue as it did under President Barack Obama.” http://wapo.st/2nQG9TO

SNL IS BACK! – “Donald Trump at the Mine Cold Open” — “Trump” (Alec Baldwin) to coal-miners: “God I love coal. I know you guys have suffered terribly worse than anyone and as president I promise I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you people work in coal … for the rest of your lives and your kids will work in coal and your grandkids and it’s going to be incredible … In Trump’s America, men work in two places: coal mines and Goldman Sachs.” 5-min. video http://bit.ly/2oSh9Qx

–“The O’Reilly Factor with Donald Trump”: O’Reilly (Alec Baldwin): “The subject of tonight’s talking points memo is the scandal that everyone’s been talking about all week … the shocking allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of power that have been leveled against the Obama administration. Let’s bring in Fox News investigative reporter Lara Dewey with an update.” [Pause] O’Reilly speaks to his producer in his earpiece: “What’s that? Lara no longer works at the company. But did she get the check? … Okay fine. I am told we do have Fox News analyst Malia Zimmerman who’s normally in studio but is now reporting live via satellite exactly 500 yards away. Malia, great to have you.” Zimmerman: “Uh-uh.”

O’Reilly: “You spoke to former Obama security advisor Susan Rice and you told her I believe she illegally leaked the names of Trump’s people to the media, correct?”Zimmerman: “And she denied it.” O’Reilly: “So you asked her point blank and she said?” Zimmerman: “No.”O’Reilly: “Okay but when she said no what was her vibe?”Zimmerman: “Her vibe?” O’Reilly: “When she said no, did her eyes say yes? Sometimes they’ll do that.” 5-min. video http://bit.ly/2oSxO6O

#THISTOWN — FRONT OF NYT SUNDAY STYLES — “At Cafe Milano, Politicians Are Served Dinner and Peace of Mind,” by Katie Rogers: “[I]n recent weeks, several high-ranking members of the Trump administration have visited the restaurant to meet with journalists, socialites and even the occasional Democrat. Mr. Trump calls this city a swamp, and Cafe Milano is one of the places where members of his cabinet are learning how to swim. … [Owner Franco] Nuschese said that the Trump administration had, so far, been good for business. … Mr. Nuschese said he was annoyed by ‘spies’ who breach the restaurant’s privacy rules: After Mr. Tillerson dined with [Sen. Mark] Warner late last month, a source quickly relayed the information to The Washington Post. Still, as sightings documented by gossip columnists or in e-newsletters like Politico Playbook grow more frequent, he keeps up on the coverage.” With cameos by Charlie Rose, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Ambassador Yousef Al-Otaiba, Wolf Blitzer, Juleanna Glover and Newt Gingrich http://nyti.ms/2oeSBAe

FLASHBACK – WaPo, Nov. 18, 2016, “If there’s a Trump bump for restaurants, Georgetown is first in line,” by Maura Judkis: “Cafe Milano, a longtime favorite haunt of politicians on both sides of the aisle, is … gearing up for a busy season.” http://wapo.st/2oOVfOC

A BEN SCHRECKINGER SPECIAL — “The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin: Chabad, a worldwide Jewish movement, is at the center of a web of ties between the Kremlin and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”: “Two decades ago, as the Russian president set about consolidating power on one side of the world, he embarked on a project to supplant his country’s existing Jewish civil society and replace it with a parallel structure loyal to him. On the other side of the world, the brash Manhattan developer was working to get a piece of the massive flows of capital that were fleeing the former Soviet Union in search of stable assets in the West, especially real estate, and seeking partners in New York with ties to the region. Their respective ambitions led the two men — along with Trump’s future son-in-law Jared Kushner — to build a set of close, overlapping relationships in a small world that intersects on Chabad, an international Hasidic movement most people have never heard of.” http://politi.co/2oOFBTs

GLENN THRUSH in the NYT, “To Charm Trump, Paul Manafort Sold Himself as an Affordable Outsider”: “It began when he sent two succinct memos to Mr. Trump through Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a mutual friend. … At the time, he had told [a] friend, who was also close to the campaign, that he was eager to get back into the game of presidential politics. Mr. Barrack, in turn, appended an effusive cover letter to the memos that described Mr. Manafort in terms that Mr. Trump would like, calling him ‘the most experienced and lethal of managers’ and ‘a killer.’ Mr. Manafort touted his overseas work, now the subject of investigations in the United States and Ukraine, as proof he was not part of the Washington establishment that Mr. Trump hated. ‘I have managed Presidential campaigns around the world,’ Mr. Manafort wrote. ‘I have had no client relationships dealing with Washington since around 2005. I have avoided the political establishment in Washington since 2005.’ ‘I will not bring Washington baggage,’ he added.” http://nyti.ms/2oSzXiH

MEDIAWATCH — JACK SHAFER, “Cable News Loves War”: “Nobody projects network war delight better than CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, whose metallic and nasal shrieking lands on virgin zones of mental irritation in these times. Blitzer, the king of the mundane observation and the champion of the generic question, was among the first to ride into virtual battle … His show, which generally degenerates into that dinner party you can’t wait to ditch, becomes even more unbearable when the main entrée is war. … After 30 minutes of such exposure, you feel Blitzered, craving relief from vague, hangover-like head pain pulsing through your brain.” http://politi.co/2nu6Mmc


‘Veep’ executive producer and showrunner David Mandel began planning this season’s storylines more than two years ago — when a Donald Trump presidency wasn’t on anyone’s radar. But as season 6 premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. on HBO, some of the show’s storylines — President Selina Meyer’s loss, the role of the Russians — seems as if the writers got together days after the election and rewrote the plot. “It’s sort of one of this wonderful ‘Veep coincidences’ that seems timely, but I think ultimately we were simply following our ‘Veep’ storyline which is still about Washington, D.C. and what it is really like, and the hypocrisy and what the quest for power in some ways does to people in a funny way,” Mandel said in a Playbook Interview. “We’re either lucky, or we’re witches. I’m not sure which.” Only one joke — about golden showers — got nixed after the Russia dossier alleged similar behavior. “We took it out because you don’t want to be doing a golden showers joke eight months later when it seems like it’s old and it’s hacky.”

Mandel, who wrote with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on “Saturday Night Live” and assisted him in writing jokes for his two appearances at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, is no newcomer to political comedy. But, he said Trump is changing his calculus going forward. “I think what he’s doing and sort of on a daily basis definitely affects the stories we start to think about and it also affects the level of stupidity because we are just seeing things that a season ago we did a story about the president tweeting and getting into trouble. That story seems quaint at this point,” Mandel said.

Excerpts from the interview:

‘VEEP’ DID TRUMP BEFORE TRUMP: “In some ways Selina Meyer was the most Trump-like character for the last five years in terms of somebody in over her head, bitter, petty and all of those things and doing all of those screw ups. In some ways, the entire run of ‘Veep’ is sort of a precursor in some ways to a Trump presidency, which is why we don’t have to do Trump. Maybe we invented Trump, I don’t know.”

HE FEARED PEOPLE WOULD BE SICK OF POLITICS: “In my mind I had to believe, no, people still wanted [political comedy] and as the year went by and as we were making the rest of the episodes and in our little social media contact and world it did seem like — again, this is purely anecdotal — but people definitely seemed like with everything going on in D.C. it made them want to laugh at politics even more.”

WEST WING COMEDY WRITING IS NOW HARDER:“Half our job [when Selina was] in the White House was sort of thinking of the craziest ways to embarrass her. What’s the worst thing a member of her staff could do, what’s the stupidest thing she could do … and then we would try and come up with those things and now they are happening on a daily basis so I’ve never been happier that she’s not in the White House. I think that distance allows us to still be relevant … I’m so glad people can’t watch the show and aren’t watching the show and saying [Sean] Spicer is funnier than [‘Veep’ White House spokesman Mike] McClintock … It’s a weird thing when you are challenged that way by reality.”

ADVICE TO WHCA COMEDY WRITERS: “In my mind whoever does it should act like Trump is just sitting there … That’s how I would do it. I would play the entire thing, I would get up there as if he was there, I would say, ‘Mr. President, Madam First Lady, you look lovely tonight.’ In fact, I would play it like they are all were there. I would go out of my way to introduce the dias and introduce Bannon and Kushner and Ivanka and pretend like they are all sitting there. I would spend a tremendous amount of time, almost so much time that it started to not seem funny until it seemed funny again just pretending he was there.”

BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

–“Crimetown USA,” by David Grann in The New Republic in July 10, 2000: “The city [Youngstown] that fell in love with the mob.” http://bit.ly/2oeqG3V (h/t Longform.org)

–“Club Meds,” by Alex French on Aug. 28, 2014 in BuzzFeed: “Boasting 100,000 residents over the age of 55, The Villages may be the fastest growing city in America. It’s a notorious boomtown for boomers who want to spend their golden years with access to 11 a.m. happy hours, thousands of activities, and no-strings-attached sex, all lorded over by one elusive billionaire.” http://bzfd.it/2oTeGmj

–“What Tyler Cowen thinks of pretty much everything,”by Vox’s Ezra Klein: “The war on drugs, basic incomes, Trump, cashless societies, superhero movies, NATO, geoengineering, transhumanism, and more.” http://bit.ly/2oOq4Qu

–“Michael Haneke, The Art of Screenwriting No. 5,” by Luisa Zielinski in The Paris Review: “We, in our protected little worlds, are lucky not to experience danger on a daily basis. But that’s precisely why the film industry is in such a rut. There is just so much recycling. We don’t have the capability to represent authentic experiences because there is so little we do experience. At the most basic level, all we’re concerned about here are our material possessions and sexual urges. There really isn’t much more to our lives.” http://bit.ly/2oOimG1

–“Gilbert the father, and Gilbert the son,” by Ron Fournier in Crain’s Detroit Business: Quicken Loans chairman and founder Dan “Gilbert’s rat-a-tat cadence made it hard for me to keep up with his hot flurry of thoughts and images. Including this chilling story: ‘My dad is 12 years old, and his brother is 10. (He) was born and raised in Detroit, a very poor neighborhood. He is delivering newspapers with his brother, and it’s a foggy day, and his 10-year-old brother gets run over, and it’s a priest who runs him over and kills him. It wasn’t the priest’s fault, and the priest is doing last rites over the body.’” http://bit.ly/2nRHZoe

–“Digging Up Troy,” by Eric H. Cline in Lapham’s Quarterly: “Heinrich Schliemann and the search for archaeological evidence of Homer’s Troy.” http://bit.ly/2o79FIy

–“Somerdale to Skarbimierz,” by James Meek in London Review of Books: “All factories must close one day, but there’s something particularly brutal about a factory being closed because its owners have found cheaper labour elsewhere. The five hundred workers at Cadbury’s Somer­dale chocolate factory near Bristol learned that most of their permanent, solidly pensioned jobs were to be moved to a new factory in Poland, not because they had done anything wrong, but because their Polish replacements could do the same job for less than one fifth of the money.” http://bit.ly/2nhLZCh (h/t TheBrowser.com)

–“The Spiritual, Reductionist Consciousness of Christof Koch,” by Steve Paulson in Nautilus Magazine: “There’s nothing inherently magical about the human brain. It obeys all the laws of physics like everything else in the universe. Consciousness is really physics from the inside. Seen from the inside, it’s experience. Seen from the outside, it’s what we know as physics, chemistry, and biology.” http://bit.ly/2nIuZAE (h/t TheBrowser.com)

–“The Useful Village,” by Ben Mauk in VQR: In the German village of Sumte, “there is no talk of integration. First things first: Get the lights on, install new pumps. Throw up some fences. The journalists report that there will soon be seven refugees to each villager in Sumte. ‘Sieben zu eins’ becomes a viral catchphrase to describe fears of a nation overrun by impecunious foreigners.” http://bit.ly/2nID73S

–“One Man’s Quest to Prove Saudi Arabia Bankrolled 9/11,” by Caleb Hannan in Politico Magazine: “This New York lawyer says he has found a link between Saudi officials and the hijackers. The U.S. government refuses to do anything about it.” http://politi.co/2nl6JZS

–“Building In the Shadow of Our Own Destruction,” by Colin Dickey in Longreads: “Those who would build enormous structures—skyscrapers, bridges, border walls—should do so with an eye toward their eventual ruin.” http://bit.ly/2o7j4Qn

–“Philosophy tool kit,” by Alan Hájek in Aeon Magazine: “Thinking like a philosopher need not be a strange and arcane art, if you get started with these tricks of the trade.” http://bit.ly/2oOechg (h/t ALDaily.com)

SPOTTED: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) waiting for gate-checked luggage at Omaha’s Eppley airport Saturday afternoon, after arriving on the United flight from O’Hare

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — “Erin Hartigan, Marc Lavallee” — N.Y. Times: “Ms. Hartigan, 34, is keeping her name. She works in New York, directing dining coverage for FoodNetwork.com and overseeing all of CookingChannelTV.com. She graduated from Georgetown University. … Mr. Lavallee, 35, an executive director at The New York Times, is also the head of Story[X], the newsroom’s research and development group. … The couple met in 2005 while working at The Washington Post, where the bride was a food writer and the groom a software developer for the paper’s website.” With pic http://nyti.ms/2nQITAJ

BIRTHDAYS: CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, the pride of Homestead, Fla., is 52 (hat tip: Matt Dornic) … “Morning” Joe Scarborough is 54 (h/t Jesse Rodriguez) … MSNBC’s Alex Witt, the “hardest working woman in TV,” who’s working on Sunday by anchoring several hours and hosting her regular weekend show … Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey is 53 … Katie Dowd, alum of Hillary for America and State … Harris Wofford, former senator, civil rights and national service champion, is 91 … Amy Dudley, chief spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and a Tim Kaine alum … Larry Kamer, the pride of Trenton NJ, Northwestern Wildcats, former head of public affairs at Glover Park Group, and a reasonably successful public affairs/crisis guy in SF (with requisite grey hair for added credibility). He is turning the big 6-0 and is celebrating with family and friends on the Wild Sonoma Coast … David MacKay (h/ts Jon Haber) … Mike Berman, president and éminence grise of Duberstein group, is 78 (h/t Hilary Rosen) … Miranda Green, political writer at CNN … Elizabeth Santorum, Rick Santorum’s oldest child … Neal Kemkar, a Salazar and Obama WH alum now counsel and director of environmental policy at GE … Brad Perseke, a partner at GMMB … Dennis Lennox, alum of Bush ‘04, Romney, Camp now executive director of the Virgin Islands GOP … Jacob “Morning Money Jr.” White … WJLA’s Brett Holton … Stephanie Dreyer, VP of web strategy and customer experience at the American Bankers Association …

… Lucia Graves, columnist at The Guardian … Ross Wallenstein, VP of Marino PR … Todd Foley, SVP for policy and gov’t affairs at American Council on Renewable Energy, who celebrated last night at Bistrot du Coin with wife Carrie Stevenson and their two boys (h/t Carrie) … Christopher Turman, SVP of National Strategies, is 46 … Brittany Uter, senior comms manager at Vocativ … Emma Allen … Lila Tyrangiel, Josh’s daughter … Elizabeth Alexander … Sebastian Stafford, whose parents are Nicole Harburger and Nick Stafford … Katie Kling … Allen Jamerson of the Bockorny Group is 3-0 (h/t Emily Pomeranz) … Rob Green, executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants … Matt McCarthy … David Mork … Kim Smith … Jeff Kepnes, senior executive producer for specials at MSNBC … Ryan Webb is 47 … Gregory Flap Cole … Bonnie Campbell … Eric Norrby … Rebekah Hutman (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 91 … satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 89 … Dennis Quaid is 63 … Cynthia Nixon is 51 (h/ts AP)


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