Howard Jonas

Daily Kickoff: How Howard Jonas’ “worst mistake” made him billions | Haim hosts Hillary | Inside NYC’s Eruv | Schottenstein’s new sunglasses startup


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SPOTLIGHT: “How Telecom Speculator Howard Jonas Made Billions From Verizon, AT&T” by Thomas Gryta and Drew FitzGerald: “Jonas, who sold a startup to AT&T for $1.1 billion in 2000, just sold another one to Verizon for $3.1 billion. It is a big premium for an obscure company called Straight Path Communications Inc. that has just nine employees and has yet to build out a network. The 60-year-old cut his teeth selling hot dogs in the Bronx, N.Y., at the age of 14, studied economics at Harvard and eventually moved into the phone business with the founding of long-distance provider IDT Corp. in 1990. He used the windfall from his Net2Phone deal to fund an array of ventures including looking for shale oil in Mongolia, publishing “Star Trek” comic books and trying to cure cancer.”

“One of these forays led to the creation of Straight Path. IDT bought a swath of U.S. airwave licenses and other assets for $56 million in 2001 and 2002 from Winstar Communications Inc., which had filed for bankruptcy protection. At the time, Mr. Jonas praised the deal: “It might not top the Dutch settlers buying the Island of Manhattan for twenty four dollars, but it comes pretty close.” The thinking was the Winstar assets would allow IDT to expand its telecom offerings to customers, but the business didn’t develop as expected and led to losses that eventually piled up to $300 million, Mr. Jonas said. “If you asked me two years ago what was the worst mistake I made in business, I would have said Straight Path,” he said this week.”

“Despite his repeated success, Mr. Jonas doesn’t fit the stereotype of a New York investor… On the wall is an original painting by Winston Churchill, an 1878 letter from Thomas Edison, pictures of Mr. Jonas with past Republican presidents and a drawing of him from comic legend Stan Lee. He has a framed check for $37.02 signed by notorious Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky in 1936 to the New York Telephone Company, now part of Verizon… He has family members scattered throughout his businesses, including some of his nine children. His son Shmuel is chief executive of IDT, while Davidi runs Straight Path. Another son, Michael, was involved in the search for shale oil in Mongolia and is chairman of cellphone ringtone maker Zedge.” [WSJ]

LOOKING BACK ON ’16: “New York Playbook Interview: Howard Wolfson” by Azi Paybarah: Was that Bloomberg’s mistake, not staying in one of the two major parties? Wolfson: “No… He had been pro-choice and pro-gun safety earlier in his life… I believe it is fair to say had he not changed his position on those issues, he would not have been able to gain traction within the Republican primary, or not enough traction. Mike is not someone who is ever going to change his position on issues for purposes of politics. He doesn’t fit neatly in a box. On the Republican side, his position on choice and guns makes him suspect. And on the Democratic side, his position on capitalism, wealth and finances make him suspect. In theory, if he was willing to change his position on one of those sets of issues he could have been an extremely competitive candidate in one of those two primaries, I believe.” [Politico] • Ed note: Happy birthday to Howard who turns 5-0 on Sunday!

THANK YOU TOUR: “Hillary Clinton Returns to L.A. for Dinner Event at Home of Haim Saban” by Ted Johnson: “Hillary Clinton attended a private dinner at the home of Haim and Cheryl Saban on Thursday night at an event that sources described as a thank you to 2016 campaign donors and an introduction to her plans to launch a political group, Onward Together. Sources said that the gathering was for about 40 to 50 people, including a number who were major donors during her 2016 presidential campaign… Hillary and Bill Clinton are both in Los Angeles for the graduation of her nephew, Zach Rodham, from USC, sources said.” [Variety]

CREDIT KUSHNER: “Saudis Said to Boost U.S. Ties With $40 Billion Investment” by Dinesh Nair, Keith Campbell and Matthew Martin: “The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund is set to announce plans to deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure, according to people familiar with the matter. The investment may be unveiled as early as next week to coincide with Trump’s visit to [Saudi Arabia]… No final decisions have been made and the announcement may still be delayed, they said… A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the plans were in the works and that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had played a critical role in the discussions.” [Bloomberg]

DON’T FAULT KUSHNER: “Trump’s attempt to fix the Comey crisis made it worse” by Josh Dawsey, Annie Karni, Eliana Johnson and Tara Palmeri: “Trump told aides and outside advisers that the press shop was failing him and he was displeased that “they don’t know how to defend anything,” in the words of one adviser. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, is also upset with the press operation, according to a close Trump ally.” [Politico]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Rosenstein Pressed White House to Correct the Record on Comey Firing” by Del Quentin Wilber, Aruna Viswanatha and Rebecca Ballhaus: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pressed White House counsel Don McGahn to correct what he felt was an inaccurate White House depiction of the events surrounding FBI Director James Comey’s firing… Mr. Rosenstein left the impression that he couldn’t work in an environment where facts weren’t accurately reported, the person said… Mr. Rosenstein grew more distressed when, in television interviews that evening, White House advisers reiterated that the decision was made in response to the Justice Department’s recommendation… Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior Thursday denied reports that Mr. Rosenstein had threatened to quit over the White House depiction of the events leading up to Mr. Comey’s dismissal.” [WSJ; Politico]

“Sen. Mike Lee floats Garland for FBI, a move that would skew D.C. Court of Appeals” by David Weigel: “Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)… used a tweet and a morning TV appearance to float an idea… nominating Judge Merrick Garland to run the FBI… Lee quickly got a bipartisan attaboy from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)… The praise from a Democrat stopped at that, for a simple reason: Taking Garland off the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit would open a seat to be filled by Trump. Since Democrats ended the filibuster for lower-court nominees, it would take just 51 Republican votes to replace Garland with a conservative, shrinking the Democratic-appointee advantage on the court from 7 to 4 now to 6 to 5.” [WashPost]

— “Both [VP Mike] Pence and [WH counsel Don] McGahn are said to have seen merit in the idea of Garland as FBI chief, while others in the White House said it was a non-starter given Garland’s affiliation with the Obama administration.” [FoxBusiness

JI INTERVIEW — Jeremy Wynes, the Midwest Regional Director for the Republican Jewish Coalition and formerly AIPAC’s Midwest Political Director, announced this week he is running for Congress in Illinois’ 10th congressional district against Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider. Claiming voters are tired of partisanship, Wynes stresses his background at AIPAC where he worked with both Democrats and Republicans in an interview with JI’s Aaron Magid. “I have close to a decade of experience focusing in a bipartisan way on issues in Congress that are hugely important and we can only solve when both parties are on board,” he said. “Part of what I did, both here in the 10th district and across the Midwest: travel around, advising and briefing Members of Congress and candidates on both sides of the aisle on these critical issues where too often the two sides can’t get together and work on this.”

Q: Congressman Schneider opposed the Iran Deal and joined with Republicans to condemn the UN Security Council vote in December against Israel. What makes you different on Israel?

Wynes: “The 10th district is very unique in that there are a large number of constituents here are very passionate about this issue and the US-Israel relationship. I don’t doubt that Congressman Schneider is a pro-Israel Congressman. But it’s also about to being a leader, and when it comes to the Iran deal, what we have seen over the past few years both when he was in Washington and a candidate is an example of him being unwilling to break from his party in a real meaningful way. Yes, I give him credit for eventually coming out against the Iran deal. Let’s not forget that for a month that both Democrats and Republicans were in the trenches fighting over the Iran deal, we heard radio silence from candidate Schneider on the issue. I would question, if you are going to be a leader on this issue, where was Congressman Schneider or then-candidate Schneider when those of us were in the trenches fighting? Is it leadership to wait a month until the party leadership gives you the ok because you are worried about a partisan primary? I don’t think that’s the leadership this district demands when it comes to this issue.” Read the full interview here[JewishInsider

“By firing Comey, Trump makes Israel nervous (again)” by Shmuel Rosner: “Israel tended to worry about Barack Obama for somewhat similar reasons. Obama didn’t always bother to update Israel about his intentions. He occasionally chose to surprise Israel with a speech or an action. This habit made Israel less trusting, less prone to rely on American commitments… Israeli leaders, observers, and citizens are now processing the Trump phenomenon and learning to live with it. Some of them – like me – realize that they were fooled by a candidate whom they thought was a man of his word (I believed that the embassy will be moving). Some of them – mainly on the right – must live with disappointment.” [JewishJournal]

THE ‘ULTIMATE DEAL’ TRIP — “Netanyahu wary of Trump’s interest in solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict” by Itamar Eichner and Smadar Perry: “17 Arab and Muslim rulers affiliated with the Sunni camp received invitations Wednesday from Saudi King Salman to participate in a series of summit conferences to be held in Riyadh on June 21 during Trump’s visit to the country. Among those invited were the kings of Jordan and Morocco and the presidents of Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt.” [Ynet

“‘Abbas has decided to sign peace deal with Israel’” by Yaakov Katz: “Since his meeting with Trump last week, Abbas has changed his rhetoric, issuing a number of statements meant to reflect flexibility on previous demands. He has, for example, said that he would renew the talks under Trump’s auspices without preconditions… He has also sent his advisers to the press to declare that the Palestinians are prepared to negotiate land swaps with Israel, a recognition that some West Bank settlements will remain part of Israel in the framework of a future deal. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has largely remained quiet. The strategy within the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem seems to be to wait and hope not to be blamed for preventing the success of the peace talks Trump is planning to restart.” [JPost] • Palestinian Leader Hails Trump’s Mideast Peace Efforts [AP]

AMBUSH? — “Netanyahu Fears Trump’s Cooking Something Big” by Yossi Verter: “The official, who often speaks to the president’s envoy to the Middle East, attorney Jason Greenblatt, said this week he was surprised to hear the rightist, Orthodox Jew, Har Etzion yeshiva graduate’s repeated references to former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s ideas on the peace process. “Several times during my conversation with Greenblatt he said ‘Livni says,’ ‘Tzipi believes,’ ‘in Tzipi’s opinion.’ It’s like she’s become a quasi-mentor. It appears he appreciates her a lot and is very attentive to her views,” the official said with a note of dread in his voice. This relationship isn’t helping reduce the worry level in the Prime Minister’s Office. At the end of March, before the AIPAC conference in Washington, when Greenblatt tweeted he was hosting Livni at home for a Sabbath meal, Netanyahu and his people took it hard. An Israeli official said Livni was… also refuting Netanyahu’s argument about being unable to reach an agreement because of his government’s makeup. Livni told Greenblatt that the Prime Minister was assured of the opposition’s votes in the Knesset… Livni stressed that her meetings with him, including one this week, aren’t held underground but with the Israeli Embassy’s knowledge.” [Haaretz]

“U.S. Ambassador Advises Israeli Officials: Trump’s Serious About Peace, Work With Him” by Barak Ravid and Amir Tibon: “[David Friedman] termed Trump a great opportunity for Israel, someone who greatly wants to help the country, inter alia by achieving a peace agreement with the Palestinians. As evidence of this, Friedman noted that all the people Trump has appointed to deal with the Israel issue are graduates of Jewish religious schools… This week, Friedman met with Trump to receive the president’s final instructions and his best wishes for his new job… Two people who have spoken with Friedman… told Haaretz that the new ambassador has given Trump his own assessment that the chances of achieving a peace deal are slim.” [Haaretz]

“How Trump Can Have an Impact in the Holy Land” by Daniel Shapiro: “Rawabi is the first new, entirely planned Palestinian city in the West Bank, long heralded as the advent of the Palestinian economic future… By associating himself with Rawabi’s future, Trump can instantly incentivize Israeli, Palestinian and Gulf leaders to ensure its success; none will want to be blamed for the failure of a project with Trump’s stamp of approval… It’s hard to find better optics too. Only a short helicopter ride from Jerusalem or Bethlehem, Rawabi’s grand scale will appeal to Trump the real estate developer.” [Bloomberg]

TAYLOR FORCE ACT: “Cabinet source: IDF fears defunding Palestinian Authority will increase terrorism” by Lahav Harkov: “Almost all of Israel’s security and intelligence agencies are opposed to proposed Knesset legislation that would cut off tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority due to its payment of salaries to terrorists imprisoned in Israel, a senior cabinet source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. According to the source, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and other security bodies are opposed to the measure, fearing that a cut to PA funding will lead to an escalation in terrorist attacks.”[JPost

KAFE KNESSET — Interview with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked met her US counterpart Jeff Sessions yesterday for the very first time, concluding a five-day visit to NYC and DC in the midst of the Comey crisis. Shaked told Kafe Knesset that she and Sessions discussed the latest developments at length, and that “it was very interesting to hear his point of view,” although she refused to reveal any more details. Speaking from the train on her way back from DC, Shaked shared some impressions from her visit.

Shaked on the US Embassy move to Jerusalem: “I still hope that the President will stand by his commitment – to his voters and constituents – and move the Embassy. We need to ignore all the intimidation attempts. There will always be fears and concerns – we know that from every significant move we have made in the past, but we have to believe in the move and make it happen. Let us wait for the President’s visit, maybe he will surprise us.”

On the Trump’s push for peace: “We have made our position clear to the Prime Minister and it has not changed. We do not oppose talks so long as there are no preconditions or demands. If they want to talk, they are invited to do so, as long as there are no preconditions. From our brief history in the Middle East, we have seen that after every intensive and significant effort to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, there has been a wave of violence. I am therefore afraid of such a scenario if we go back to intense efforts again.” Read the full interview and today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats at the Senate Intelligence Committee: “Tehran’s public statements suggest that it wants to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action because it views the deal as a means to remove sanctions while preserving some nuclear capabilities. Iran’s implementation of the deal has extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to about a year. Tehran’s malignant activities, however, continue.”

** 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: Kushner Companies Backs Out of Chinese Investor Events After Furor [NYTimes; WashPost] David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group seeks EB-5 funds for $700M FiDi condo project [RealDeal] Loan for Rubin Schron: Cammeby’s locks down $54M for 614 Sheepshead Bay Road [TRD] • Seth Klarman Sells Innoviva Days After Activist Stakeholder Defeat [Forbes] • How James Packer made six times his money on Macau [AFR] • Former cyber-intelligence sleuths for Israel now work to uncover malicious hackers [CNBC] • Fidelity is betting $65 million that David Tisch’s Spring app can be a department store of the future [Recode]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “Privé Eyewear shakes up the industry by releasing frames for less than $30” by Rachel Strugatz: “The well-heeled start-up wants to undercut the “under $100” business model that’s dominated eyewear online since Warby Parker hit the scene in 2010 by offering hundreds of styles that cost less than a third of that price. Founder David Schottenstein has tapped a handful of celebrity partners to help spread the word via their respective social media channels and participate in the design and marketing of product. Jamie Foxx, Hailee Steinfeld, Ashley Benson and Jeremy Piven are all partners in the venture. Schottenstein declined to say how much of a stake each has in the company but confirmed they all have equity… Schottenstein — whose family started DSW and whose cousin Jay is head of American Eagle Outfitters — isn’t worried about the pressure on margins the tie-up [with Amazon] will cause.” [LATimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Miami Beach board moves forward with citywide casino ban” by Francisco Alvarado: “Fontainebleau owners, led by developer Jeffrey Soffer, are interested in competing for a gaming slots license should the State Legislature authorize a gambling expansion in Miami-Dade County. Currently, gambling is only allowed at pari mutuel facilities and Indian reservations. During the recently concluded legislative session, an update to existing gambling laws that would have allowed more casinos in South Florida did not pass, but Miami Beach leaders still want to move forward with a preemptive strike.” [TRD

“The Ins and Outs of New York’s Eruv” by Allan Ripp: “Every Thursday and Friday, Rabbi Moshe Tauber dutifully travels to Manhattan from his home in Monsey, N.Y. The 43-year-old rabbi and father of 12 usually arrives by 5:30 a.m. He drives as far as 25 miles in the city, his eyes focused well above street level. That’s because he sees what nobody else does. Rabbi Tauber’s job is to keep tabs on the Manhattan eruv, a precisely designated zone that zigzags from 126th Street in Harlem to the bottom of the island and from the Upper East Side to the Lower East Side. Its perimeter is marked by heavy-duty fishing line strung almost invisibly on city light poles 18 feet high… For many of New York’s observant Jews, their enjoyment of the Sabbath depends on Rabbi Tauber. Under cover of the eruv, which symbolically extends one’s residence into the public domain, carrying and pushing are kosher.”

“Two locations will never be certified: Times Square and Penn Station. The number of people passing through both reaches levels the Torah finds unacceptable for eruv inclusion, or so the sages say. The United Nations is also off-limits. Rabbi Tauber noted that the land under the U.N. is not owned by the city but by all member states, making an appeal for a Jewish safe zone unlikely.” [WSJ]

“Rahm, sitting in his old Cabinet Room seat, ponders nature of evil” by Kim Janssen: “Emblazoned with the words “Chief of Staff, January 20, 2009,” the seat that once graced the Cabinet Room in the White House now sits in a conference room on the fifth floor of City Hall — just to remind everyone who’s boss… “I bought it when I left, and it kind of has my tush indented in it, so I keep it,” [Mayor Rahm Emanuel] said in a recent interview, acknowledging he was sitting in the chair at the time. And he rejected the suggestion, first made by his White House pal David Axelrod, that switching from the White House to become mayor had “maybe taught Rahm a bit of empathy.” “I’ve always had empathy and I’ve always cared,” he told interviewer Kai Ryssdal… “David may be right, but he may not be totally right… It’s not like being chief of staff lends itself to public expressions of empathy.”” [ChicagoTribune

TRANSITIONS — Steve LeVine, who has been Quartz’s Washington correspondent, has left the business news organization to become the Future editor at Axios. [TBN]

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) has named Rori Kramer its new Director of Government Affairs. Kramer previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Senate Affairs at the State Department. Before joining the State Department, Kramer worked as the Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to Sen. Ben Cardin.

WINE OF THE WEEK — Adir Plato 2013 — by Yitz Applbaum: The Adir Plato 2013 is absolutely stunning. Instead of describing where I was physically when I devoured this bottle of wine, I am going to describe where the wine took me in my imagination. The forest. I was sitting on a damp patch of ground situated in a clearing, fit for a small picnic. It was close to dusk and a bit cold outside. The ground was littered with leaves and birds were howling, out of sight, from the tops of the tall dark trees. I imagined that I sat alone eating a large smoked turkey leg and other smoked meats.

The Adir Plato is a powerful wine. The tannins and complexity are drawn from the 24 months it is aged in new French oak. The result is just short of overpowering. Each flavor-sense in the mouth is put on high alert. There are notes of very ripe blackberries, a slight lemon tartness and of deeply roasted coffee. The wine is made of 90% Cabernet grapes and 10% Syrah. The Syrah has a disproportionate influence on this wine. The nose is of mushroom and mold. Drink this wine with a very close friend. You will talk and think about this wine a lot. [AdirWinery]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Composer, songwriter, record producer, pianist and singer, Burt Bacharach, who won three Academy Awards and six Grammys, turns 89… Co-founder and the first CEO of Home Depot, Chairman of the Board until retiring in 2002, Bernard “Bernie” Marcus turns 88… British lawyer and member of the House of Lords until 2015, Baron Joel Goodman Joffe, turns 85… Israeli agribusiness entrepreneur and real estate investor, was chairman and owner of Carmel Agrexco, Gideon Bickel turns 73… World renowned architect and master planner for the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, Daniel Libeskind turns 71… Former member of the California State Senate (2008-2016), following six years as a Member of the California State Assembly (2002-2008), Lois Wolk turns 71… Chief Investigative Correspondent for Yahoo News, previously an investigative journalist for Newsweek and NBC News, Michael Isikoff turns 65… Washington correspondent for the Miami Herald covering the Pentagon, previously a McClatchy reporter, James Rosen turns 62… Romanian-born, made aliyah in 1965, member of the Knesset for Meretz (1999-2003 and again since 2009), Ilan Gilon turns 61… Matthew Hiltzik, founder of strategic communications and consulting firm Hiltzik Strategies, turns 45… Communications officer for the DC-based Open Society Foundations, previously a speechwriter in the State Department (2009-2012) and a reporter for The Hill (2002-2009), Jonathan E. Kaplan turns 45… Member of the US House of Representatives from Colorado since 2009, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Jared Polis turns 42 (h/t Playbook)… Digital director at American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, Erica Arbetter turns 25… Analyst in the Boston office of venture capital firm Battery Ventures, Galit Krifcher

SATURDAY: Lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, Sir Sydney Lipworth QC turns 86… Film, television and stage actress, Zohra Lampert turns 80… Actor and producer Harvey Keitel turns 78… San Francisco-born, raised in Israel, UCLA and Harvard Law graduate, author, attorney, columnist and CEO of LRN, a legal research, ethics and compliance management firm, Dov Seidman turns 53… NFL defensive lineman (1995-2002), he has played for the Lions, Jaguars, Patriots, Dolphins, Raiders and Panthers, Josh Heinrich Taves, a/k/a Josh Heinrich, turns 45… UK Labour Party MP since 2010, Luciana Berger turns 36… Software entrepreneur, Google project manager (2004-2007), Facebook engineering lead (2007-2008), co-founder of the collaboration software company, Asana, Justin Rosenstein turns 34… NFL offensive lineman since 2008, he has played for the 49ers, Chiefs, Panthers, Seahawks, Saints, Bears and Redskins, Brian de la Puente turns 32… Actress, writer, producer and director, best known as the creator, writer and star of the HBO series “Girls,” Lena Dunham turns 31… Community Engagement Manager at Google, alum of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Raquel Saxe… Israel Director for J Street since 2012, Yael Patir

SUNDAY: Facebook’s chairman, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg turns 33… Physician, environmental and social activist and politician, she was the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections, Jill Stein turns 67… Technion professor of computer science, Orna Grumberg turns 65… Founding dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law in 2008, one of the most frequently cited American legal scholars on constitutional law and federal civil procedure, Erwin Chemerinsky turns 64… Los Angeles City Attorney since 2013, previously a member of the California Assembly (2006-2012), the Los Angeles City Council (1995-2001) and executive director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Mike Feuer turns 59… Author of five international bestsellers on topics such as strategy, power and seduction, Robert Greeneturns 58… ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor and football sideline reporter, Suzy Kolber turns 53… Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Howard Wolfson, former Deputy Mayor of NYC, turns 5-0… Managing partner of Alexandria, VA-based MVAR Media and a leading strategist in Democratic politics, Jon Vogel turns 42 (h/t Playbook)… Emmy award-winning executive producer of CNN’s political programming, David Philip Gelles turns 40… Bloomberg Businessweek reporter covering the union movement, labor law and related policies and politics, Josh Eidelson turns 33… Actress who has appeared in nine movies, member of a band called Wardell with her brother Theo, daughter of Steven Spielberg, Sasha Rebecca Spielberg turns 27… Research analyst at SRI International’s Center for Education Policy, former track star and then football player at Harvard, Andrew Ezekoye turns 25… Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Senator Charles Schumer, Alex I. Katz… Senior defense analyst for Bloomberg Government, previously a strategic communications consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Robert Levinson … Connecticut State Senator Gayle Slossberg (h/t Jeff Wice)…

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