POLITICO Playbook, presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs: SNOW looks like it
****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs : Partnerships between Medicare Part D and PBMs help save each senior roughly $2,340 per year. PBMs have also helped Medicare Part D keep premiums stable since 2006. Learn more about how PBMs deliver value for patients and taxpayers: www.affordableprescriptiondrugs.org ******KNOWING BANNON -- "During his political rise, Stephen K. Bannon was a man with no fixed address," by WaPo's Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg: "In the three years before he became Donald Trump's chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency. No presidential adviser in recent memory has followed such a mysterious, peripatetic path to the White House. It was as though he was a man with no fixed address. He owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver's license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife. "At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart's townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Bannon told a friend that year he was living in multiple cities, including Washington, New York, London and Miami, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post. The issue of Bannon's legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump's campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state's lack of state income taxes." http://wapo.st/2ncqMZW-- AND/BUT... Some cold water here from the Miami Herald's Patricia Mazzei: "[L]ocal prosecutors are notoriously slow in closing out investigations that lead nowhere. And, six months later, it appears that little has come from the Bannon case. The Post's confirmation of the still-open investigation, however, might actually pressure prosecutors to complete it. Bannon, it should be noted, never actually voted in Florida." http://bit.ly/2mPkizn FOR YOUR RADAR -- "As North Korea's arsenal grows, experts see heightened risk of 'miscalculation'," by WaPo's Joby Warrick: "After a week in which Pyongyang successfully lobbed four intermediate-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, U.S. officials are no longer seeing North Korea's weapons tests as amateurish, attention-grabbing provocations. Instead, they are viewed as evidence of a rapidly growing threat - and one that increasingly defies solution. Over the past year, technological advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have dramatically raised the stakes in the years-long standoff between the United States and the reclusive communist regime, according to current and former U.S. officials and Korea experts. "Pyongyang's growing arsenal has rattled key U.S. allies and spurred efforts by all sides to develop new first-strike capabilities, increasing the risk that a simple mistake could trigger a devastating regional war, the analysts said. The military developments are coming at a time of unusual political ferment, with a new and largely untested administration in Washington and with South Korea's government coping with an impeachment crisis. Longtime observers say the risk of conflict is higher than it has been in years, and it is likely to rise further as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seeks to fulfill his pledge to field long-range missiles capable of striking U.S. cities." http://wapo.st/2nirjq1CONNECTING THE DOTS -- "Authorities Question CIA Contractors in Connection With WikiLeaks Dump," by WSJ's Shane Harris and Robert McMillan: "Investigators probing who may have provided WikiLeaks with classified information about the Central Intelligence Agency's purported computer-hacking techniques are zeroing in on a small number of contractors who have worked for the agency and may have been disgruntled over recent job losses ... Authorities on Thursday questioned a handful of contractors working in at least two locations in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. ... In recent months, there has been talk of 'bad blood' in the small world of CIA contractors who are vital to the agency's hacking projects ... One group of contractors recently had been working for the CIA overseas and expected to be given new jobs with the agency in the U.S., but their positions were later eliminated." http://on.wsj.com/2mzpx5IART OF THE DEAL -- "To interest Trump, Afghanistan dangles investment opportunity," by Michael Crowley: "When Donald Trump said in late January that America should have 'kept the oil' after invading Iraq-'To the victor go the spoils,' he declared-foreign governments were horrified. But one country is now actively promoting its natural resources to win Trump's attention for its desperate cause: Afghanistan. The government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, has pitched Trump on its vast mineral reserves in an effort to keep the new president invested in the country's fate. Afghanistan's improbable investment pitch is a sign of a new Trump-era mindset, in which foreign leaders are selling their nations in more explicitly economic terms than ever before. "Afghan officials say Trump, a veteran dealmaker, appears to be listening. 'This is the first administration that is focused on Afghanistan's economic potential, and we welcome that,' said Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan's ambassador to Washington. In a Dec. 3 phone call, Trump and Ghani discussed Afghanistan's mineral wealth, whose value a Pentagon study has estimated at up to $1 trillion. An official Afghan readout of the call said that Trump told Ghani the U.S. wants to help Afghanistan develop its 'tremendous natural resources.'" http://politi.co/2nszlfjGOP FACING OBAMACARE HEAT -- THIS ISN'T GOING AWAY -- "Reps. Issa and Hunter confronted by protesters at separate town halls," by the San Diego Union Tribune's Teri Figueroa and Joshua Stewart: "Congressmen Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter were confronted by rowdy protesters Saturday at separate back-to-back town hall meetings. It was the first time the North County Republicans held forums with their constituents since Donald Trump became president, and in San Diego, like many parts of the country, the congressmen were met by opponents of the new administration's agenda. Healthcare was a major topic of concern at both town halls." http://bit.ly/2mzvYWu ... The Sunday front http://bit.ly/2mWCAza-- "Democrats to turn Obamacare attacks against GOP in 2018," by Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle: "The past four election cycles, Democrats have been battered and bruised by political attacks over Obamacare. Now, they say, the time has finally arrived to take the fight to Republicans. With the GOP in charge of Washington - and charging ahead with their own remake of the health care system - the Democratic Party is convinced that the politics of the ever-potent issue is shifting dramatically in their favor. House Democrats are angling to make the GOP's plans to reverse Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and slash insurance subsidies the defining issue of the 2018 midterms. Some party officials privately say Democrats could ride a backlash over Obamacare repeal all the way to control of the lower chamber - and, in the Senate, stem what are expected to be heavy losses thanks to a Republican-leaning map." http://politi.co/2ncugvJOBAMA WATCH -- "Attempts to honor Obama legacy generate fury," by Illinois Playbook author Natasha Korecki: "In the blue state of Illinois, where President Barack Obama launched his historic career, served as a senator and is widely lauded as a Chicago hometown hero, you would think proposing a holiday honoring him would be an easy call. Instead, state Rep. Andrew Thapedi was bombarded with a stream of death threats, 'venomous' emails and phone calls in the days after he introduced legislation for an Obama state holiday in Illinois."'We're digging a grave especially for you,' Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat, said one of the emails warned after the bill was written up in a story on Breitbart.com. 'It has been a hodge-podge of responses, from one end of the spectrum to the other: Joy, jubilation on one side; absolute, unadulterated venom on the other side.' The business of honoring Obama's legacy is turning out to be another reminder of the nation's bitter divide, with one side eager to honor the legacy of the first black president and another positioned in stark opposition." http://politi.co/2mf3qOG SUNDAY BEST -- HHS SECRETARY TOM PRICE talks to Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press": TODD: "Okay, but I notice you ducked the aspect of whether you can guarantee that nobody will be worse off financially?" PRICE: "I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we're going through, understanding that they'll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not the government forces them to buy. So there's cost that needs to come down, and we believe we're going to be able to do that through this system. There's coverage that's going to go up. Remember Chuck, there are 20 million folks right now in this nation who said to the federal government, 'Phooey. I'll pay a penalty or I'll take a waiver. I'm not even going to get coverage in the system that we currently have.' That may be a system that works for government or insurance, but it doesn't work for people. We need a system that works for people--"TODD: "You accept this bill, you own this bill; President Trump accepts this bill, he owns this bill. Fair?" PRICE: "We strongly support the plan, which is this bill, the regulatory opportunity to modify the system in a way that works for patients, and the other pieces of legislation that are required that can't go through on the first part." OMB DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY to JAKE TAPPER (a birthday boy today) onCNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" -- TAPPER: "Nobody's calling it Trumpcare or Ryancare. Nobody is putting their name on it." MULVANEY: "Here's what we've got. We have a framework. We have a really, really good bill that the White House did work with House and Senate leaders to come up with. But we encourage the House and the Senate to try and make the bill better. We've laid out the things that the president needs. It must repeal as much of Obamacare as it can, given the strange and arcane Senate rules that we have to use." With video: http://bit.ly/2mPj2fu SPEAKER PAUL RYAN to JOHN DICKERSON on CBS'S "FACE THE NATION" -- DICKERSON: "There have been so many people picking at different pieces who have issues about it, on your side, on the other side. Tom Cotton, senator from Arkansas, Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina, have both said, 'Let's slow down. Why go so fast?' RYAN: "That's actually really puzzling to me. Why go so fast? Let me see. We ran for repeal and replace in 2010. We ran on repeal and replace in 2012, in 2014, in 2016. Oh, by the way, we spent six months last year developing a replacement plan. We ran on that replacement plan."DICKERSON: "But these senators know that. They're not unfamiliar." RYAN : "This has been a long and deliberative process. Suggesting that this is moving fast, going through four committees, going through regular order, saying we are going to do this for seven years, and now come to the point where we're actually on the cusp of keeping our word, I hardly think that that is rushing things. The point I'd say is this is historic. This is historic, and it's significant. And if we don't act, the system's going to collapse. And the beautiful thing about this plan that we're proposing, it's more freedom. It's more choices. It's more markets. It's lower prices, which gets us better access." SEN. TOM COTTON (R-ARK.) to GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC's "THIS WEEK" -- STEPHANOPOULOS: "I know you were listening to Director Mulvaney right there. He says this is just a framework. This is the framework for repeal and replace. You're going to have the chance to fix it in the Senate. Can this be fixed?COTTO
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