Capstone National Partners
On The Hill
We Just Have ‘No Idea’
… WE HAVE NO IDEA whether either party will be able to hold an in-person presidential nominating convention.
… COVID-19 has killed nearly 100,000 people, and we have no idea whether the outbreak will spike again in the fall. … WE HAVE NO IDEA whether it will be safe to go to polling locations to vote in November. … OR IF KIDS will be going back to school … WE HAVE NO IDEA if the federal government will back some sort of plan to bolster remote voting. … WE HAVE NO IDEA if the United States Postal Service will be solvent … A VACCINE could be on its way by the fall, but what’s Plan B if not?” Sigh.
Senate Confirms Unqualified DNI
Axios “The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as the director of national intelligence in a 49-44 party-line vote on Thursday. Ratcliffe, a vocal ally of President Trump, now heads an intelligence community that has faced consistent criticism from the president and is in the midst of political firestorms surrounding the prosecution of Michael Flynnand the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Ratcliffe will also be able to decide what documents are publicly released in expanding congressional investigations into Obama administration officials, especially Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive 2020 opponent. Worth noting: Ratcliffe’s predecessor, Dan Coats, was confirmed in 2017 with a 85-12 vote.
The backdrop: Trump previously floated nominating Ratcliffe for the position last year but backed off after senior congressional Republicans deemed him “unqualified” for the job due to his lack of intelligence experience.”
Drip, Drip Drip
MORE … NYTs “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a secretive trip in January to a Florida retirement enclave populated by prominent Republican donors while on the tail end of a diplomatic trip to Latin America. He held the same kind of quiet meeting in December with Republican donors over a hotel dinner on a State Department trip to London. And last October, he huddled with Charles G. Koch, the Republican billionaire and a longtime supporter of his, while on an official visit to Kansas aboard a government aircraft.
“In each of those instances, Mr. Pompeo did not put the visits on his public schedule. … And they took place as Mr. Pompeo was considering a run for the Senate from his adopted home state of Kansas and as he nurtures plans for a presidential bid in 2024. Mr. Pompeo … has not tried to hide his political ambitions, but he has chosen not to disclose certain meetings that appeared to be linked to those plans while on taxpayer-funded trips.”
Terrifying Virus Stats
Snake Oil*(aka hydroxycholorquine)
The Striking Racial Divide
Moving To The Burbs?
If It Could Happen To The Atlantic
FB Reimagining Post-Pandemic Workforce
Axios “During a town hall for Facebook employees yesterday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will move “in a measured way” toward a substantially remote work force — a hint of the profound post-pandemic changes that society has coming.
“I think we’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale,” Zuckerberg told Axios. “My prediction is that in 5-10 years we could have ~50% working remote. That’s not a target, just a prediction based on the demand we’ve seen so far. “The first steps,” Zuckerberg added, “will be aggressively opening up remote hiring around the whole U.S. and Canada, especially for experienced engineers, as well as letting some employees request to become permanent remote workers.”
What to watch: The result could reimagine not just Silicon Valley but other cities as companies expand hiring in places like Atlanta, Dallas and Denver, where Facebook plans to open “hubs” for new, mostly remote, hires. (AP)
Airlines Packing Them In
Axios “With restaurants and other businesses cut to half occupancy (or less), airlines are packing customers to near capacity.
Why it matters: The practice shows how a lack of a national policy allows certain companies — like airlines — to continue to put Americans at risk for exposure to COVID-19 while other companies miss out on revenue by adhering to local regulations. How it works: In March, most airlines reduced the number of flights by as much as 80% through the end of May. As travel has picked up, carriers have simply loaded new passengers onto the few remaining scheduled flights. Airlines could reinstate laid off pilots and restart flights to accommodate newly increased demand, but have chosen not to.
“I honest to God don’t know who. I promise you right now.”
-Joe Biden to Stephen Colbert regarding his V.P. pick on CBS “The Late Show”
Campaign Finance Nuggets:
1. The biggest donors to Joe Biden’s super PAC are Anita and Joshua Bekenstine. Joshua is a managing partner at Bain and Company. They gave Unite the Country $500,000.
2. Senate Leadership Fund, the Republican super PAC run by allies of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, got $5 million from Charles Schwab and his wife, Helen.
Axios “She can’t be a soccer mom, because soccer’s canceled. She’s not a conventional security mom, since America’s biggest threat is now measured in microns.
In an election year defined by the coronavirus, the new voter to watch is the Zoom mom. Why it matters: The presidency may hinge on the women’s vote — how many white, suburban women who backed President Trump in 2016 will abandon him now, and how many women of color who stayed home four years ago will turn out for Joe Biden.
Women’s rapidly growing use of video calls to socialize means that’s where these conversations are now happening (sometimes with wine). FUN THING Though the sample size is small, our polling suggests a correlation between drinking and talking politics. More than half of the women who use video calls for happy hours say they’re also discussing politics.
So Zoom moms could do for this year’s campaigns what soccer moms did in 1996 and security moms did after 9/11. …
Of women who say they participate in videoconferences each week, 40% are Democrats, 25% are Republicans and 36% are independents. “It’s middle- and upper-income women,” Jackson said. “Mothers, particularly, have a higher rate.”
Uh-Oh Moment in AZ
UC System Drops SAT/ACT
The big picture: Aside from a one-year uptick in 2014, U.S. births have been falling every year since 2007, when the Great Recession hit.”