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First Read’s Morning Clips: Negotiators reach border deal



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TRUMP AGENDA: Negotiators reach border deal

Here’s the latest on the deal to avert a shutdown, including some money for new border fencing but not a concrete wall.

Last night, it was Trump v. Beto in El Paso.

The White House is working on a plan to redirect unspent federal dollars to fund Trump’s all. But it’s sure to run into controversy.

Sean Hannity is not happy with the border deal.

Michael Cohen is citing medical reasons for another delay of his congressional testimony.

A new Washington Post-Scharr poll looks at the trust Americans place in Robert Mueller and the investigation he’s leading.

Former Trump aide Cliff Sims is suing him.

Huh. The National Enquirer’s parent firm asked if it needed to register as a foreign agent.

DEM AGENDA: Omar apologizes

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar is apologizing after a series of tweets about the pro-Israel lobby that many called anti-Semitic.

Out: Republicans loving to hate Pelosi. In: Republicans loving to hate Dem freshman women.

Republicans aren’t quite twisting the knife in Virginia yet.

2020: Mark Kelly announces AZ-SEN bid

Iowa Democrats are laying out a new “virtual caucus” option for next year, NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard notes.

The New York Times reports on Kirsten Gillibrand’s “unabashedly feminist campaign.”

NBC’s Ben Kamisar has a first look at Seth Moulton’s foreign policy speech today.

And Kamisar also looks at how “I’m not running” sometimes turns out to be a broken promise for 2020 types.

Bill DeBlasio is heading to New Hampshire.

Mark Kelly is running for Senate in Arizona.

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Brexiteers ran campaign of LIES against EU 'DICTATORSHIP' – Calais port boss blasts



CALAIS’ port boss has launched a furious tirade against Brexiteers who led a campaign of “lies” to make the EU look like a “dictatorship” to persuade them to back Brexit.

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‘Frustration grows’ as Congress delays Puerto Rico disaster relief discussions to May



By Nicole Acevedo

Puerto Rico will have to wait until May for Congress to resume discussions over disaster relief funding, deepening a growing uncertainty over hurricane recovery efforts.

“These funds are very critical for our plans to achieve full recovery and achieve certain goals associated with housing infrastructure and economic development programs,” Manuel Laboy Rivera, Puerto Rico’s secretary of economic development, told NBC News. “After this devastation that happened in 2017 [Hurricanes Maria and Irma], Puerto Rico should be in the right path for long term recovery and the funds associated with that, as any other U.S. jurisdiction, should be addressed with a greater sense of urgency.”

Lawmakers failed to pass legislation to provide disaster relief funds to areas affected by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters before leaving for a two-week recess.

“Congress should have already passed a desperately-needed disaster aid package instead of delaying action,” said Erica González, director of the advocacy group Power 4 Puerto Rico, in a statement. “Nutritional assistance and resiliency support are a matter of life and death for so many Puerto Ricans on the island.”

Marion Mollegen McFadden, senior vice president for public policy and a senior adviser for resilience at Enterprise Community Partners, explained that communities tend to face deep recovery challenges if they don’t know when relief funds will start to flow. It especially hinders processes to develop efficient recovery plans.

“Right now, nobody knows when the money is going to come, or if they will be able to use it,” McFadden told NBC. “As weeks turn into months… frustration grows. Homes that have been damaged and not repaired become more deteriorated.”

The latest funding delay comes as the island continues to be at the center of a showdown between Congress and the White House over how much money Puerto Rico should receive for recovery.

Various disaster aid bills and amendments failed to pass the Senate this month as President Donald Trump repeatedly doubled down on his opposition to granting Puerto Rico further federal recovery funds, a move that deepened divides between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Republicans wanted to provide enough money to finance a $600 million food assistance program in Puerto Rico and $5 million for a study on the impact of emergency aid after the hurricane, while also making sure that southern hurricane-hit states such as Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, as well as Midwestern states such as Iowa and Nebraska suffering from floods had access to more aid.

While Senate Democrats agreed on adding aid to other states, they countered that Puerto Rico was not getting enough money to address its needs.

Democrats wanted to also provide funds for additional projects on the island such as FEMA reimbursements to local government entities who spent money doing emergency-related work; as well as $25 million to restore the Caño Martín Peña, a body of water that stretches alongside the San Juan Bay area and is surrounded by low-income communities that were hit hard by Maria.

“What do we say to them [Republicans and Trump]? You’re not getting a nickel for anywhere else until Puerto Rico is fully funded … Next time I see you, I hope I can say that we got the aid for the rest of America but that we also got the same amount for 3 million American citizens who live in the island of Puerto Rico,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., during a gala event Thursday night.

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The 2020 Democrats’ campaign logos, in graphic detail



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By Ludwig Hurtado

For a diverse and growing field of 2020 Democratic contenders looking for a winning branding strategy, a lot is riding on the humble campaign logo.

Whether through color, typeface, slogan or symbol, “Democratic candidates post-2016 are seeing advantages in differentiating themselves from the pack,” said Susan Merriam, a co-founder of the Center for American Politics and Design, a research group focused on the use of graphic design in politics.

“Consumers and voters have seen a lot of the same and want something different,” Merriam said. “If the Democratic 2020 presidential primary is any example, the more competition there is, the more likely candidates will try and differentiate themselves through design and stand out from one another.”

Merriam and graphic designer Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram design firm and the creator of Hillary Clinton’s ‘H’ logo in 2016, shared their insights about the 2020 candidates’ campaign logos with NBC News.

Effective political branding, Bierut says, is a delicate balance that involves the candidate’s personality as well as the design.

“The candidate is more important than logo, and what will happen if it works properly is that people will associate their feelings about the candidate and project it onto the logo,” he said.

What’s in a name?

Democrats of both sexes and Republican women were more successful last year when they emphasized their first names, Merriam said. In 2020, several presidential candidates are also going the first-name route.

Given the potential number of septuagenarians in the race, they might be trying to seem young and relatable, the graphic designers said.

“Everyone wants their candidate to feel accessible and approachable,” Bierut said.

Cory Booker 2020

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

Merriam: “As red, white, and blue are the typical choices, I don’t think Booker was trying to communicate anything in particular by not using other colors. He was probably just trying to look patriotic, like a typical political logo. I think using the first-name emphasis is a more casual, friendly choice rather than ‘Booker,’ and the color blocks are a cool contemporary look.”

Julian Castro 2020

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro

Merriam: “Between the choice of the brighter blue and breaking the box, the designer clearly chose to put emphasis on the accent of the ‘á.’ Castro has been the only Latinx candidate to announce their run for president for 2020 thus far, and it makes sense to emphasize a quality connected to his personal narrative and which differentiates him from the field. A small nod to the Spanish language does that in a nice and subtle way.”

Bernie Sanders 2020

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders

Merriam: “I think it’s a case of it’s not broke don’t fix it. Bernie’s logo received positive responses in 2016, and clearly his campaign was fairly successful, so it makes sense he used it for his race for Senate in 2018 and now for 2020.”

“The slab serif and first-name emphasis give a homegrown vibe very consistent with Sanders’ populist messaging.”

Amy Klobuchar 2020

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Bierut: “Amy’s got the only serif typeface that is anything like delicate. That must be some deliberate choice. Interestingly enough, going against her early reports of being a tough boss, who is a yeller, you see this kinder, gentler, first-name basis, in a nice pretty serif typeface.”

Merriam: “Serifs tend to be considered more traditional — in particular, high-contrast serifs [in which the strokes vary from thick to thin]. This typeface is reminiscent of calligraphy and has ornamental traits rooted in typefaces of the Victorian era [and] Gilded Age. Between the font choice, the color being purply blue, and the extended color scheme we’ve seen her campaign use, it seems reasonable to assume the designer was making choices for a more centrist, nonpartisan aesthetic, whether intentionally or subconsciously.”

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