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Wake Up To Politics - April 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016
4 Days Until the Indiana Primary
193 Days Until Election Day 2016I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 7:30pm, President Barack Obama will speak at the International Jazz Day Concert on the South Lawn of the White House.
  • International Jazz Day, which is Saturday, is an annual United Nations-declared holiday at the end of Jazz Appreciation Month  to celebrate “the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people,” according to the UN.
  • Washington, D.C. is serving as Global Host City for the fifth annual International Jazz Day, and will host a number of performances over the weekend, joining over 190 countries on all 7 continents in marking the holiday.
  • To kickstart Washington, D.C.’s celebrations, the 5th Anniversary International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert will be hosted at the White House, and broadcast on ABC on Saturday.
  • Among the performers at the White House concert, per the United Nations: “The 2016 All-Star Global Concert will feature a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including pianists Joey Alexander, John Beasley (Music Director), Kris Bowers, Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Pérez and Chucho Valdés; trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Till Brönner, Hugh Masekela and James Morrison; vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves and Sting; saxophonists Eli Degibri, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Watson; bassists Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding and Ben Williams; guitarists Buddy Guy, Lionel Loueke, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour; drummers Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carrington and Kendrick Scott; percussionist Zakir Hussain; trombone player Trombone Shorty; and the Rebirth Brass Band.”
  • Following the First Lady At 11am Eastern Time, First Lady Michelle Obama will host Washington, D.C. high school students for the History of Jazz Student Workshop, featuring Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby Watson, Terrence Blanchard, UCLA jazz students, and members of the Thelonious Monk Institute.
  • The First Lady will open the workshop with brief remarks.
  • Biden’s Day Vice President Joe Biden is in Vatican City to address the third annual International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and Its Cultural Impact, an event on cell therapy hosted by the Stem for Life Foundation and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture.
  • Biden will be delivering the keynote address of the three-day summit, on the White House’s “moonshot” effort to cure cancer, which Biden has led since the death of his son Beau.
  • The first Roman Catholic vice president, Biden did receive an audience with Pope Francis upon arriving in the Vatican.
  • Weekend Preview: WHCD The annual White House Correspondents Dinner is Saturday at the Washington Hilton, with Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show,” acting as keynote comedian, and President Obama standing in as his opening act.
  • The Dinner, which benefits college journalism students, has been attended by every President since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The featured speaker is always a comedian, with the President also delivering a humorous “roast” of the other influential denizens of D.C. – many of whom will be attending. This is President Obama’s last Correspondents Dinner.
  • “Nerd Prom,” as the Dinner is known, also frequently plays host to a number of celebrities. This year’s crop range from the political (Sens. Tim Scott, Amy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders; Rep. Steny Hoyer, Defense secretary Ashton Carter, ) to the non-political (stars from “Broad City,” “Downton Abbey,” “Fuller House,” “Spotlight,” “The Office,” “Divergent,” “Glee,” and other hit productions) to the fake political (the cast of “House of Cards”).

Capitol Hill News

  • Congress: Today Only the House meets today, for about two and a half hours (at most). The chamber will convene for the day at 9am, allow time for one-minute speeches by members, before holding the only vote of the day at around 10:30am: on passage of the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Reauthorization Act.
  • The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), will authorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), the District of Columbia’s school voucher program provide scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools.
  • Following the dispensing of the SOAR Reauthorization Act, the House will join the Senate in recessing for the week (the upper chamber’s Thursday session was its last until Monday, May 9). The lower chamber’s next vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10.
  • While both houses of Congress are on recess, Puerto Rico is expected to default on a $422 million debt on Sunday, May 1: without chance of a congressional lifeline for the island being approved.
  • Congress will also leave no opening for President Obama to name a recess appointment to the vacant Supreme Court seat next week: technically, this is not a recess of Congress – such formal vacations must be declared by joint resolutions, as mandated by Congress – they are merely a “State Work Period” (Senate) and a “District Work Week” (House). As such, the Senate still must meet every three days during the week, and will convene pro forma sessions “with no business conducted” on Monday and Thursday, so the few senators in town can show up, gavel the chamber to order, and then adjourn for the day.

Question of the Day

  • Yesterday’s Answer On Thursday – after Ted Cruz’s unveiling of political newcomer Carly Fiorina as his running mate – the Wake Up To Politics trivia question was: who is the only vice presidential nominee in the history of the Democratic and Republican Parties who had no military experience, elected experience (to Congress, a state legislature, or as governor), or appointed Executive Branch experience (as a U.S. Ambassador or Cabinet secretary)?
  • The answer, which was found through a Wake Up To Politics analysis of all Democratic and Republican running mates, is: Arthur Sewall, a Maine transportation tycoon who was chosen as William Jennings Bryan’s VP nominee in 1896 without any experience in politics or the military.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light