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TOP TALKER — The Conspiracy Memo About Obama Aides That Circulated in the Trump White House — by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow: "In early 2017, some of Donald Trump’s advisers concluded that they faced a sophisticated threat responsible for “coordinated attacks” on the new Administration. They circulated a memo that... claimed that the “communications infrastructure” that the Obama White House used to “sell Obamacare and the Iran Deal to the public” had been moved to the private sector, now that the former aides were out of government. It called the network the Echo Chamber and accused its members of mounting a coördinated effort “to undermine President Trump’s foreign policy” through organized attacks in the pres..."
"Some of the same conspiracy theories expressed in the memo appear in internal documents from an Israeli private-intelligence firm [Black Cube] that mounted a covert effort to collect damaging information about aides to President Obama who had advocated for the Iran deal."
From the memo: "Many of the figures in this network were focused on selling Obama's Iran Deal, so there is something of a Middle East/Iran slant to the network's membership. Likely Leadership: Responsible for higher-level strategy and higher-level fundraising. Probably also responsible for senior-level political outreach with major Democrat donors (e.g., Tom Nides and Alan Solow) and members of Congress. Ben Rhodes. Likely the brain behind this operation... Jake Sullivan. Former NSA to VP Biden."
"In a statement, Rhodes described the memo as “a bizarre effort to validate ‘deep state’ conspiracy theories” and said that, “given Trump’s many efforts to intimidate and malign his critics, it’s worth asking how his White House and outside enablers acted on this strange memo.” [NewYorker]
Reactions -- Mike Doren replied to Adam Entous: "This article fails to mention the long series of leaks of intel by serving & former Obama officials to friendly reporters re Trump associates (Flynn, Prince, Sessions, Page)—including leaks to you, Adam. But “the Echo Chamber” is a rightwing conspiracy theory. What a joke!"
-- Former Obama White House official Colin Kahl: "The fact that a memo like this even exists is a scandal. The NSC's role to staff the President & coordinate the interagency on foreign policy—it is NOT the job of the NSC to map and target domestic political opponents or collude with outside allies to do so." [Twitter]
NEW LOOK — More Ops, More Secrets, More Money: Mossad's Supercharged Transformation — by Chaim Levinson: "The Mossad under [Yossi] Cohen is a large body that uses a variety of means and is active in many countries. For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu gives Cohen a free hand to do whatever he wishes. The organization’s budget has constantly grown during Cohen’s tenure; it seems that no request goes unfulfilled... Today, even Cohen’s few critics in the defense establishment point out that the agency’s operative capabilities have been upgraded."
"Overall, he enjoys sharing hints and winks relating to successful operations with journalists, principally from foreign media outlets. About three weeks ago, after the assassination of the Syrian rocket engineer Aziz Asber, which was attributed to Israel, a “senior official from a Middle Eastern intelligence agency” told The New York Times that the Mossad was responsible for the killing. One can only conjecture about the identity of the senior figure who is so well-informed about the operation." [Haaretz]
DEEP DIVE — For Female Candidates, Harassment and Threats Come Every Day — by Maggie Astor: "It has been two years since Erin Schrode, now 27, lost her Democratic primary and moved on. But the abuse — a toxic sludge of online trolling steeped in misogyny and anti-Semitism that also included photoshopped images of her face stretched into a Nazi lampshade and references to “preheating the ovens” — never stopped... Last year, sexist and anti-Semitic abuse helped drive Kim Weaver, an Iowa Democrat, out of her race against Representative Steve King." [NYTimes]
ROAD TO THE MIDTERMS — Interview with Tom Malinowski, a Democratic challenger in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District, running against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance — by Jacob Kornbluh: Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in President Barack Obama's 2nd term (2014-2017). He also served as a foreign policy speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
While Lance has generally had an easy time getting re-elected for the seat he's held since 2009, this district is one of 25 GOP-held House districts that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election, and is now ranked as a 'toss-up" by the Cook Political Report.
"I am myself an immigrant from Poland. My family was not Jewish, but experienced life under the Nazi occupation," Malinowski said in an in-depth interview with Jewish Insider. "My grandmother and great-grandmother sheltered Jewish friends and neighbors during the war, and I grew up with those stories. That's where my commitment to defending human rights comes from. That's where my belief in the importance of protecting Israel comes from."
Malinowski stated that support for Israel cannot be turned into a partisan issue for short-term political gain. "The argument that it is the Republican Party that is aligning with Israel in the United States can only fuel the movement on the Left to question and challenge the U.S.-Israeli partnership," he explained. "The more partisan this issue becomes, the more polarized Americans will become on support for Israel."
Malinowski on the Jerusalem Embassy: "I was fine with the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem. When I worked for President Clinton, we used to travel to meet the Israeli government in Jerusalem, because that is the capital and we recognized it in practice. I have no problem with recognizing it formally. I did have a very big problem with inviting, to give the open benediction at the ceremony, a pastor who believes that Jews are going to hell. I think that experience should give all of us some pause as to what's really going on here."
On the Iran deal: "I think the deal was not perfect because it did not address some of the most problematic aspects of Iranian behavior, but the deal did set Iran's nuclear program back by many years, and we did have an offer from the Europeans earlier this year to work with the United States to get much tougher on Iran. The Trump administration inexplicably rejected that deal, and the result is that instead of the United States working with Europe to counter Iran, Europe is now working with Iran to counter the United States. I think that's bad for our security. I think it's particularly bad for Israel. The United States is too isolated to effectively counter Iran or protect Israel alone." Read the full interview here [JewishInsider]
SCENE LAST NIGHT -- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer headlined a fundraiser hosted by NORPAC in support of Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in Englewood, New Jersey. The event was co-hosted by NORPAC President Ben Chouake, and Michael Blumenthal.
DRIVING THE CONVO -- Another controversy is brewing over the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, a battle that has heightened since the stunning primary upset by Alxenadria Ocasio-Cortez. This time in New York City's Borough of Brooklyn. Julia Salazar, who like Ocasio-Cortez is a member the Democratic Socialists of America, is challenging incumbent State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan in the September 13 primary for New York’s 18th State Senate District. She is backed by The Jewish Vote, affiliated with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
-- Like her DSA colleagues, Congressional candidates Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, Salazar supports the BDS movement and is against a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
BACKGROUND: Salazar comes "from a unique Jewish background," according to the Forward. She was born in Colombia, and her father was Jewish, descended from the community expelled from medieval Spain. When her family immigrated to the United States, they had little contact with the American Jewish community, struggling to establish themselves financially. At first, while in college, Salazar identified herself as a right-wing pro-Israel Christian.
In 2012, she attended AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference in Washington and later traveled to Israel for the first time on a CUFI-sponsored trip. Just a few months later, as she began to develop her Jewish identity at Columbia Univesity, Salazar helped charter Columbia’s J Street U chapter and expressed criticism of Israel in articles for the Columbia Spectator and Mondoweiss. She also protested Israel's action in Gaza with IfNotNow.
From Tablet's Armin Rosen: "According to messages from Salazar obtained by Tablet, during her period of pro-Israel activism she told students at Columbia that her mother’s family was from Israel. At one point in the fall of 2012, just a year before keeping a kosher apartment, she described herself as a fervently Christian descendant of Israelis... Based on her activism with CUFI and other available evidence, she appears to have had a Christian upbringing. A 2009 funeral notice for her father... indicates that the service was held at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, Florida. When reached by phone, Alex Salazar, the candidate’s older brother... said that one of their father’s brothers was a Jesuit priest... “There was nobody in our immediate family who was Jewish … my father was not Jewish, we were not raised Jewish,” he said." [Tablet]
Bari Weiss tweets: "The candidate is running on her identity as a Colombian immigrant and Jew of color. But it seems she is neither of those things."
Salazar responded last night: "To every reporter who’s ever asked, to every person, I have always said that I was not raised religious, that I didn’t have a bat mitzvah, that *I am* Jewish, but never would claim that my big brother is... The author of this piece anonymously called my older brother, pretended to be someone else (my brother said he thought it was a prank call), and asked him invasive questions about his life and about our dead dad."
Salazar Goes from $70,000 to $200 in Unitemized Donations — by RJ Sonbeek: "Under pressure from her opponent’s campaign... Salazar decided to disclose the $70,000 in unitemized donations from the past two filing periods... Now, there is less than $200 left in unitemized donations... The largest individual donations came from Paul Egerman, the treasure of Democracy Alliance and his wife Joanne, who each donated $1,000 on separate occasions." [KingsCountyPolitics]
2020 WATCH -- Jason Kander, who passed on a 2020 presidential run to run for mayor of Kansas City, tells Gabe Fleisher, the young author of the Wake Up To Politics newsletter, that he has no interest to run for president in the future.
Kander added: If Democrats “don’t get 2018 right, then we’re gonna feel really silly for having focused on 2020 beforehand. It’s gonna make it a lot harder for Democrats to win in 2020 as well if we don’t do well in 2018... Remember that the ‘blue wave’ is not a weather event. It’s something we make happen.You can't sit back and watch the meteorologist report on the Blue Wave, it doesn't work that way.”
TALK OF THE REGION — Bolton and his Russian counterpart discuss arms control, Syria and Iran — by Karen DeYoung: "After a five-hour meeting in Geneva with Putin adviser Nikolai Patrushev... Bolton said they also discussed Syria and Iran... Bolton said that he rejected, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had in earlier discussions, a Russian proposal to geographically “constrict” Iranian forces to a certain part of Syria — away from Israel’s border — in exchange for U.S. suspension of sanctions it plans to impose on Iranian oil exports in November. Bolton said he explained that the administration’s intention was “to put maximum pressure on the [Iranian] regime and to tighten up the sanctions so that they would be at a minimum equal to the sanctions in effect” before the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement." [WashPost; Al-Monitor]
-- In an interview with The Associated Press, Bolton said he had expressed the U.S. “priority of getting all Iranian forces out of Syria,” and that he and Patrushev had discussed “a number of ideas” about how to do that, without specifying. “We’re not going to solve Syria here,” he said.
Bolton announces plan to defund the UN's Human Rights Council: “We are going to defund the Human Rights Council,” Bolton said, while warning that other U.N. agencies could also be up for cuts in U.S. funding...” [AP] Israel hails US for halting Human Rights Council funding [ToI]
UN official: Palestinian refugee issue can’t be wished away: "The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees suggested that the United States slashed his budget early this year to punish the Palestinians for their criticism of the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital... “One cannot simply wish 5 million people away,” [Pierre] Kraehenbuehl, commissioner of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, said in an interview." [AP]
Tech Giants Target Accounts Linked to Iran -- by Dustin Volz and Robert McMillan: "America’s biggest tech companies are zeroing in on Iran, scrubbing their online networks of fake accounts, videos and social-media posts by the rising cyber adversary aimed at spreading misinformation... The fake accounts promoted “particular narratives and angles in line with Iranian national interests,” such as pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli stories, said Lee Foster, a manager with FireEye’s analysis group." [WSJ]
FOGGY BOTTOM: Pompeo taps Ford executive to lead North Korea negotiations — by John Hudson: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo... said that Stephen Biegun, the vice president of international governmental affairs at Ford, would handle day-to-day talks with Pyongyang and that the two men would travel to North Korea next week to resume the negotiations..." [WashPost] Special Envoys Were Once Disdained Under Trump. Now They’re Popping Up All Over [NYT]
Former Ambassador Daniel Shapiro tweets: "Great choice, Sec. Pompeo! I worked with Steve Biegun for years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and when he served in the GWBush Administration. He is a top-notch foreign policy professional, and an even better human being."
-- Wendy Sherman tweets : "New special envoys for Iran, Syria and North Korea but where are the assistant secretaries, the team and most of all the strategy. At same time OMB trying to rescind State funds. Diplomacy is Not for the Faint of Heart!"
IN THE SPOTLIGHT — David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer Publisher, Granted Immunity in Michael Cohen Case — by Nicole Hong and Lukas I. Alpert: "David Pecker, the chief executive of the company that publishes the National Enquirer, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Michael Cohen and President Trump in the criminal investigation into hush-money payments for two women during the 2016 presidential campaign..." [WSJ]
Trump’s National Enquirer Allies Are the Latest to Defect -- by Gabriel Sherman: "Pecker’s apparent decision to corroborate Cohen’s account, and implicate Trump in a federal crime, is another vivid example of how isolated Trump is becoming as the walls close in and his former friends look for ways out. “Holy s**t, I thought Pecker would be the last one to turn,” a Trump friend told me."
"One source close to the White House said Trump is considering announcing he’s revoked additional security clearances to create a new story line. The source added that Trump is even considering taking clearances from former members of his administration, including former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and secretary of state Rex Tillerson." [VanityFair]
SIGHTING: Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) met with Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America at his district office yesterday. "We discussed many topics including US-Israeli relations and the Never Again Education Act. My support for Israel is unwavering," Budd tweeted. [Pic]
IMAGE: Israeli Prime Minister showed off the latest books he's reading while on a flight to Lithuania: Niall Ferguson's The Square and the Tower and Will Durant's Heroes of History [Pic]
-- Niall Ferguson tweets: "Good to see The Square and the Tower being read by a key node in the global network."
** Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **
BUSINESS BRIEFS: In Roman Abramovich’s case, Comcast blames property manager [AspenDailyNews] In Jaffa, Luxury Hotel Built on Crusaders Era Ruins Draws Social Ire [CTech] Estee Lauder considers locating $14.5 million engineering center on Long Island [Newsday] NewsGuard, founded by Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz, Wants to Fight Fake News With Humans, Not Algorithms [Wired]
Redef's Jason Hirschhorn on Recode Media with Peter Kafka: "I had lunch with Bob Iger. And Iger, I’m going to paraphrase here, but we’re having lunch at Disney and Iger says, “You know, you’re an idiot.” And I’m like, “Why is that, Bob?” And he goes, “You give away for free what we pay tens of millions of dollars a year from management consultants for.” So, thus came in the idea of a subscription and paywall." [Recode]
Bill and Hillary Clinton put on a loved-up display at circus-themed wedding of their longtime donor's son -- by Chris Spargo: "Love was in the air last weekend at the most unlikely of places, as the son of billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry was married in a ceremony that was held on the grounds of Harvey Weinstein's Connecticut estate... Even more impressive than that feat was the guest list for the event, which included former president Bill Clinton and his former secretary of state wife Hillary Clinton, both of whom are close friends of the father-of-the-groom." [DailyMail]
Bill Clinton drew a crowd on Martha’s Vineyard, but Hillary Clinton ‘stole the show’ -- by Kevin Slane: "Former president Bill Clinton drew a packed crowd on Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday night, discussing politics and his new novel, “The President is Missing,” at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center... Notables in the audience included attorney Alan Dershowitz... According to the [MV] Times... it was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who “stole the show,” walking out onstage with her husband amid screams and cheers." [Boston]
Treasury Moves to Block New Yorkers’ Path Around Cap on State Tax Deductions -- by Richard Rubin: "Treasury’s proposal would also pinch tax-credit programs that benefit private schools in Georgia, Arizona and elsewhere, largely preventing taxpayers there from getting more money back in tax breaks than they contribute in donations." [WSJ]
PODCAST PLAYBACK -- Avi Issacharoff, a veteran Israeli journalist covering Palestinian affairs and co-creator of the Netflix series "Fauda" discussed his coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it inspired Fauda on NPR's Fresh Air podcast with Dave Davies: "We don't see prime-time TV shows that are dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And if to be honest, you know, it's a very boring issue... For Israelis, it's like - it's happening every day outside your window or outside your neighborhood. So why would you like to go and see a TV show about that? It's terrible. You hear it in the news all day..."
"But, of course, as Israelis, you don't know much about the Palestinian society... I would say that 90 percent of the Israelis didn't meet Palestinians in their life — and vice versa, by the way. I mean, 90 percent of the Palestinians do not know who the Israelis are or what the Israeli society is like... So it is one of the biggest challenges to show the Israeli public the other side, the enemy side — showing him as not a demon, not demonizing him as many of the media outlets are trying to do — but the opposite and making the audience still like the show, which is totally crazy." [FreshAir]
How the Nazis Got to New York: Immigration Fraud — by Ali Winston: "On June 27, 1949, [Jakiw] Palij walked into the American consular office in Schweinfurt, Germany, and applied for a visa under the Displaced Persons Act, which was meant for people left homeless by the war, said Peter Black, the former chief historian for a Department of Justice unit devoted to deporting former Nazis. Mr. Palij claimed that he had worked as a laborer on his father’s farm in Piadyki, which was then part of Poland, and as a factory worker in Germany during the war. With him was Jaroslaw Bilaniuk, who was from Mr. Palij’s village. Mr. Bilaniuk’s application claimed he worked as a self-employed woodworker in Piadyki and then as a farm laborer in Germany until the end of the war." [NYTimes]
ACROSS THE POND — Jewish Labour MP 'feels unwelcome' after Corbyn comments: "A Jewish Labour MP says she feels "unwelcome" in the party after a video emerged showing Jeremy Corbyn accusing British Zionists of having "no sense of English irony." Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger described the Labour leader's comments in a 2013 speech as "inexcusable." The clip was published on the Daily Mail website as Mr Corbyn makes efforts to tackle anti-Semitism in his party." [BBC]
Josh Frydenberg appointed treasurer of Australia — by Cnaan Liphshiz: “Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s environment minister, has been appointed to the influential position of the country’s treasurer following a cabinet reshuffle. Frydenberg, 47 swore his oath of office Thursday in parliament while wearing a kippah and placing his right hand on a copy of the Hebrew Bible. He received the promotion following the implosion of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet over dissatisfaction within his party and beyond with his energy policies.” [JTA]
DESSERT — Big Changes Are Happening for Popular Deli Mile End — by Serena Dai: "Popular Jewish-Canadian deli Mile End just lost its opening chef and founder, Noah Bernamoff — but the restaurant has big expansion plans, particularly throughout the South... Joel Tietolman, who became a partner at Mile End in 2012, remains at the restaurant and has brought on Birmingham, Alabama-based chef Adam Grusin as a partner at the company." [EaterNY]
Spotted in Jewish DC: Alex Levin’s Rosh Hashanah Pop-Up Bakeshop! -- by Allison Friedman: "This is the 3rd Annual Rosh Hashanah Pop-Up Bakeshop. Each year, the interest and popularity of this grows exponentially. We have increased our production potential to make sure we have challah and desserts for everyone who is interested. I’ve also done pop-ups in the past for Thanksgiving and other holidays." [GatherDC]
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: President of Harvard University since July 2018, he was president of Tufts University (2001-2011), Lawrence Seldon Bacow turns 67... Co-chair of the Real Estate practice and the Infrastructure practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, he is the vice-chair of Birthright, active in the RJC and serves on many Jewish communal boards, J. Philip Rosen turns 62... CNN political analyst and former moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, David Gregory turns 48... Professor at UCSD and the 1990 Nobel Prize laureate in Economics, Harry Markowitz turns 91... Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, he also teaches at Cardozo Law School, Rabbi J. David Bleich turns 82... Retired director of geriatric care management at the law offices of Roy W. Litherland (near San Jose, CA), in 2016 she relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, Lois G. Tager... Co-founder and president of Infinity Broadcasting (now known as CBS Radio), he eventually became the president and CEO of CBS, then he was the CEO of Sirius Radio (2004-2012), Mel Karmazin turns 75...
Celebrity furniture designer known for his eponymous furniture brand, Dakota Jackson, Inc., he was born in Rego Park, Queens, NY as David Malon, Dakota Jackson turns 69... Senior principal at TSD Communications, she formerly worked in both the Clinton and Obama White House, Ricki Seidman turns 63... Essayist and long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik turns 62... Actor, producer and director Steve Guttenberg turns 60... President of Pace University (with campus locations in Manhattan and Westchester County) since August 2017, he was president of Oberlin College for ten years (2007-2017), Marvin Krislov turns 58... Woodland Hills, California resident, she is a professional organizer, Donna Barwald turns 56... 1986 winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Children of a Lesser God, she is the only deaf performer to have won the award, Marlee Matlin turns 53... British Internet entrepreneur, journalist and blogger, he founded Gawker Media, Nick Denton turns 52...
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives (2000-2008), the last four years of which he served as Speaker, Andrew Romanoff turns 52... Regional Director of the Chicago office of the Anti-Defamation League, Lonnie Nasatir turns 49... President of Baseball Operations and General Manager of MLB's Texas Rangers, Jon Daniels turns 41... Founder and executive director of the bipartisan group New Politics, Emily Cherniack turns 41... CEO of the JCommerce Group, an e-commerce enterprise that services the Jewish community, David M. Perelman turns 29... Communications director for Illinois Democratic gubernatorial nominee J.B. Pritzker, Galia Slayen turns 28... Samantha Rose ("Sammy") Feinstein turns 28... Communications manager for SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, she was previously an assistant White House press secretary and a staffer at the Republican National Committee, Natalie Strom...
SATURDAY: Phoenix-based award winning journalist, Leni Reiss... Award winning British novelist, he is known for writing comic novels that revolve around the dilemmas of Jewish characters, and has been described as the "Jewish Jane Austen," Howard Jacobson turns 76... Founder and senior strategy officer at Mosaic H+H Advisors, Harley Mayersohn turns 69... Born in Haifa, the bass guitarist and co-lead singer of Kiss, Gene Simmons (his birth name is Chaim Witz) turns 69... Chairman of the Board Emeritus at the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Lorin Fife turns 65... Suzanne Schneider turns 42...
Former member of the White House National Economic Council during the Obama administration, he was a recent candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, Nathaniel Loewentheil turns 33... Director of state government affairs for the DC-based Organization for International Investment, Evan Hoffman turns 31... Reporter at The Weekly Standard, Jenna Lifhits... Adam Friedman turns 24... Carina Grossman... Robert Cohen... Founder and Board Chair of Everybody Dance Now!, Jackie Rotman... Program Director at the American Zionist Movement, Alicia Post... Program Director at the St. Paul, Minnesota JCC, Fred Haeusler...
SUNDAY: Rabbi (now emeritus) of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, noted author, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman turns 91... Iraqi born novelist, now living in Canada, author of more than 40 books on Jewish themes, Naïm Kattan turns 90... Financial advisor in the Baltimore office of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, George Strum turns 80... CEO of Siegelvision, a brand identity consultancy, lan Siegel turns 80... Mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998, following 26 years in the Israeli Air Force, Ron Huldai turns 74... Super-lawyer at the DC law firm of Williams & Connolly, his clients include Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Laura Bush and many others, Robert Barnett turns 72...
Former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives (2000-2006 and again 2010-2016), Irving Slosberg turns 71... Jay Caplan turns 70... Board chair of Gap, Inc., a retail chain founded by his parents, Robert J. Fisher turns 64... Journalist and co-author of the Freakonomics series, Stephen J. Dubner turns 55... Progressive political activist, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue turns 49... Canadian technology and media entrepreneur, Lorne Abony turns 49... Deputy General Counsel at ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), Samantha Eisner turns 43... CEO of Los Angeles-based consulting and PR firm Inside Revolution, Ariel Maurice ("Ari") Ratner turns 38... John Train... Carrie Shapiro...