America’s pastime will get pulled into politics

THE LATEST ON FRIDAY’S CAPITOL ATTACK, via WaPo: “One Capitol Police officer was killed and another injured Friday when a man crashed his vehicle into them near the U.S. Capitol, an attack that once again put the city on edge as threats stemming from the deadly insurrection in January had started to wane.

“The slain officer was identified as William ‘Billy’ Evans, an 18-year veteran who a neighbor said was the father of two children. It was not immediately clear how he was fatally injured. Acting Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman said that after the officers were struck, a man exited the vehicle with a knife and started lunging. She said at least one police officer opened fire, killing the attacker.”

HARDBALL POLITICS — MLB’s decision Friday to pull its All-Star game out of Atlanta sent a blunt message to Republicans across the country: If you’re thinking of passing laws that could restrict voting rights, expect to lose some moolah for your state.

Public pressure had been mounting for weeks as the state’s election law moved through the legislature. But it wasn’t until after the bill was signed that big biz started to really weigh in publicly. And on Friday, Major League Baseball belatedly joined the NFL and NBA in the cauldron of contentious partisan politics, whether it likes it or (probably) not.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement: “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views.”

The move came just two days after President JOE BIDEN threw his support behind moving the game in an interview with ESPN: “I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders.”

Reaction to the announcement was mostly unsurprising: Former President DONALD TRUMP pounced, declaring that “baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed.”

Georgia Gov. (and, ironically, Trump persona non grata) BRIAN KEMP: “Georgians — and all Americans — should fully understand what the MLB’s knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.

Many Democrats praised the decision, though prominent Georgia Dems were in a tough spot, not wanting to root against their home state. They blamed Republicans for the pullout.

STACEY ABRAMS tried to thread the needle with this: “Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that MLB is relocating its All-Star game; however, I commend the players, owners and league commissioner for speaking out. I urge others in positions of leadership to do so as well.”

And Sen. RAPHAEL WARNOCK said: “Businesses and organizations have great power in their voices and ability to push for change, and I respect the decision of the players to speak out against this unjust law … Today’s decision by MLB is the unfortunate consequence of these politicians’ actions.”

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Brace yourselves for a lot more of this. After Trump manufactured the lie that the election was stolen from him, Republicans all over the country began drafting voting restriction legislation. According to the Brennan Center, more than 360 bills have been introduced in nearly all 50 states.

As the Washington Post reports, “Nearly 200 companies on Friday joined in a strong statement against proposals that threaten to restrict voting access in dozens of states, in a further sign of corporate willingness to speak out on social justice issues.” In Texas, two major corporations, American Airlines and Dell, came out “strongly” this week against a Republican proposal to tighten voting rules pending in the state capitol.

As for the actual fallout in Georgia, the NYT notes that it’s “more political and civic than financial” because Covid was expected to curb the typical festivities surrounding the Summer Classic.

Longer term, though, sports economist ANDREW ZIMBALIST told the paper that MLB “is taking a risk with a move that could alienate conservative fans. After the country’s top professional basketball and football leagues embraced the Black Lives Matter movement last year, they faced organized boycotts from conservatives, though the effort ultimately had little effect. And baseball’s fan base is older and whiter than basketball’s or football’s.”

But for MLB, remaining neutral was not an option: Keeping the game in Atlanta would have been seen as taking sides in itself.

Good Saturday morning. It’s 4/3/21. Got a tip or a document to share? Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, Tara Palmeri.

BIDEN’S SATURDAY — The president and vice president have nothing on their public schedules.

Law enforcement investigate the scene after a vehicle charged a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on April 02, 2021 in Washington, DC.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Law enforcement investigate the scene after a vehicle charged a barricade at the U.S. Capitol, killing one officer and injuring another, on Friday, April 2. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

IN POLITICO MAGAZINE THIS MORNING — “If Asians Want Power, We Need to Learn to Demand It,” by Jeff Le, a political partner at the Truman National Security Project: “AAPIs have been the targets of a historic rise in hate crimes over the past year, and yet it took a horrible tragedy in Atlanta for the country to acknowledge that we are marginalized, actively targeted and fearful for our families and lives. And it took a viral video of an elderly 75 year-old Asian woman punching her assailant and donating almost $1 million dollars meant for her recovery to fight racism for the country to recognize that AAPIs are sick and tired of being quiet and suffering in silence.

“How do we change a society that sees us as invisible? It requires the people in power to provide opportunities and enact inclusive policies, to recognize that AAPIs aren’t universally privileged and are not simply white adjacent. Yes, it requires other communities of color to support AAPIs and lend allyship. It requires deep financial investment in AAPI civic and political organizations, professional networks and mentorship.”


WARNING SIGNS — “Family and friends concerned Noah Green was unraveling before Capitol attack,” WaPo: “Brendan Green said the troubling signs his brother was unraveling built up until the night before authorities said Noah Green launched an attack outside the Capitol. Brendan Green said his brother was violently ill Thursday evening in the Virginia apartment they shared, before he left and sent a forlorn text that was one of their final communications.”

BRINGING SECURITY BACK — “A deadly day at the Capitol again raises questions about security,” Vox: “The incident reinvigorates questions about how to protect the Capitol, and whether some enhanced security measures should become permanent. … But Friday’s incident showed that the Capitol complex, the lawmakers inside, and the officers guarding it all still face serious threats. Now, likely, comes a big debate about how closed off the seat of American democracy really needs to be.”


DEPT OF YA’ CAN’T MAKE IT UP — “Vulnerable Dems fret after getting a shock: AOC’s campaign cash,” by Sarah Ferris, Ally Mutnick and Olivia Beavers: “As the midterm campaign’s first fundraising deadline approached this week, several vulnerable House Democrats got an unwelcome surprise in their accounts: $5,000 from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The New York Democrat sent the contributions to her colleagues to help keep the House majority ahead of a tough cycle without directly contributing to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with which she’s publicly clashed. But Ocasio-Cortez’s largesse — and an oversight at the campaign headquarters — has instead raised awkward questions among her colleagues as some swing-district Democrats fret over whether to return her money before the GOP can turn it into an attack ad.

“Some members whose campaigns got unexpected Ocasio-Cortez cash are seeking answers directly from DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and his top staffers. DCCC aides gave lawmakers’ wire transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez’s aides without the approval of more senior officials, according to multiple people familiar with the contributions.

“Even if imperiled House Democrats refund her contribution now, Ocasio-Cortez’s name is almost certain to show up on their Federal Election Commission reports when they’re due this month — creating a liability for members of her party who have to win reelection in districts where her political brand is poisoned thanks to years of unrelenting Republican attacks.

“According to multiple sources, at least three Democrats have so far either declined the initial transfer or said they would return the money: Reps. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan.”

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LOST DOCS — “White House tells Democratic investigators it no longer has Trump White House Capitol attack documents,” CNN: “The White House says it no longer has custody of the documents House Democratic investigators sought to shed light on the inner workings of then President Donald Trump’s top aides in the lead up to, and on the day of, the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

“‘It has been the longstanding practice for all White House records to be transferred to the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of each President’s tenure,’ White House counsel Dana Remus wrote in a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat.”

WORKER CONCERNS — “Biden’s union allies wonder where they fit in with green energy future,” by Rebecca Rainey and Eric Wolff: “Labor groups, echoed by Republicans in Congress, are cautioning that Biden’s plan to hitch the jobs recovery to massive green energy investment could backfire because of the quality of employment it will create and the economic devastation it could cause on rural communities. …

“The complaints underscore the difficulty Biden will have in pursuing his two most ambitious goals: reviving the labor market by generating millions of jobs for unions — which traditionally thrive in old-line industries — and transforming the U.S. into a clean economy where electric vehicles and battery storage replace coal, natural gas and oil as energy sources.”


WORRIES MOUNT — “As coronavirus infections and vaccinations surge, hope collides with dread,” WaPo: “This week, hope gave way, yet again, to concern. The number of coronavirus infections is rising again — in Rhode Island and across the nation. It is clouding the success of the U.S. vaccination program and the welcome announcement Friday that fully vaccinated people can travel with little risk to themselves. …

“The virus that has kept an entire planet toggling between hope and dread for the past 14 months is having one last go at the United States. The spread of highly contagious new variants of the virus, coupled with prematurely relaxed safety precautions in some places, has set off new alarms, all the way up to President Biden.”

CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers

GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Ryan Lizza:

— “The death truck: how a solution to Mexico’s morgue crisis created a new horror,” by Matthew Bremner for The Guardian: “How did a lorry carrying 273 dead bodies end up stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara?”

— “The King of the Geezer Teasers,” by Joshua Hunt for NY Mag’s Vulture: “Inside Randall Emmett’s direct-to-video empire, where many Hollywood stars have found lucrative early retirement.”

— “A Black Army Rises to Fight the Racist Right,” by Graeme Wood in The Atlantic: “A man calling himself Grandmaster Jay has raised a disciplined, heavily armed militia. It has yet to fire a shot at its enemies, but it’s prepared for war.”

— “QAnon’s Unexpected Roots in New Age Spirituality,” by Marisa Meltzer for WaPo Magazine: “Masculinity, faith and the strange convergence of counterculture and hate.”

— “The Lives Of Others,” by Lindsay Jones in the Atavist Magazine: “Two women gave birth on the same day in a place called Come By Chance. They didn’t know each other, and never would. Half a century later, their children made a shocking discovery.”

— “Why Did the Slave Trade Survive So Long?” by James Oakes in the New York Review: “The history of the Atlantic slave trade after the American Revolution is a story of sustained efforts to suppress it even as demand for African slaves increased.”

— “My Month of Doing 100 Wheelies a Day,” by Kim Cross for Outside: “In her quest to master a quintessential cool-kid trick, Outside contributor Kim Cross found the sweet spot at the crossroads of work and play.”

TRANSITIONS — Former Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) is joining Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as a senior adviser in the governmental affairs and economic development practice groups. … Jayson Schimmenti is now D.C. executive director for Duane Morris Government Strategies. He previously was legislative director for Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.). …

… Sarah Bolton and Sarah Davey Wolman have joined the Raben Group. Bolton is now a principal in the government affairs practice and most recently was policy director for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Wolman is now a director in the comms practice and most recently was a regional press secretary on the Biden campaign’s Florida team.

ENGAGED — Eric Wall, law clerk for Judge Glenn Klavans at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County in Annapolis, Md., and Sophie White, legislative director at PASS, got engaged in Tybee Island, Ga., last weekend. They met through mutual friends while working on Capitol Hill for Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Pic … Another pic

WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Claire Kaiser, director for strategic initiatives at McLarty Associates, and Michael Kaiser, policy director for DHS’ Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and an NSC alum, welcomed Nicholas (Niko) Michael Kaiser on March 27. Niko joins 3-year-old big brother Bo.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: NYT’s Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns … Susannah Wellford of Running Start … Jeff Forbes … Chanse Jones of the U.S. Chamber … Russ Newell of UnitedHealth Group … Hope Goins, House Homeland Security majority staff director … NBC News’ Greg Martin … Ed Cash of Frontier Security Strategies … National Cancer Institute’s Eric Cole … Greg Honan … Savannah Lane … Troy McCurry of the Pew Charitable Trusts … Keith Norman … POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan … Eliot Cohen … Zack Dareshori … Mario Ruiz … Melissa Hopkins … Jean Hudson Card … Brian Zuzenak

THE SHOWS (Full Sunday show listings here):

  • ABC

    “This Week”: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg … Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Sarah Isgur and Yvette Simpson.

  • FOX

    “Fox News Sunday”: NEC Director Brian Deese … Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) … Michael Osterholm. Panel: Doug Heye, Kristin Soltis Anderson and Juan Williams. Power Player: Barry Black.


    “The Sunday Show”: Philonise Floyd … Benjamin Crump … Martin Luther King III … Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) … Maya MacGuineas … Andrea Jenkins … David Henderson.

  • CBS

    “Face the Nation”: CEA Chair Cecilia Rouse … Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) … Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez … Seth Berkley … Norma Pimentel … Scott Gottlieb.

  • CNN

    “State of the Union”: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves … Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

  • CNN

    “Inside Politics”: Lauren Fox … Ryan Lizza … Catherine Rampell … Ken Frazier … Ken Chenault … Kizzmekia Corbett.

  • NBC

    “Meet The Press”: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg … Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) … Michael Osterholm. Panel: Yamiche Alcindor, María Teresa Kumar, Rich Lowry and Amy Walter.

  • Gray TV

    “Full Court Press”: Gene Smith … Tom McMillen … Karen Weaver.

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