THE NARRATIVE — SABATO’s CRYSTAL BALL, “Sanders now Clinton’s chief rival,” by Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor of the Crystal Ball: “Sanders is in a position to fill the void to Clinton’s left, possibly attracting voters who are skeptical of Clinton because of her ties to Wall Street and her perceived hawkishness on foreign policy issues. Because of his issue positions and personality, Sanders could be an attractive candidate for liberals who want someone to press Clinton on topics like income inequality, free trade, and her Senate vote in favor of authorizing the Iraq War.” http://bit.ly/1EGtTXY

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com), and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

BREAKING — “O’Malley likely to announce presidential bid on May 30,” by Gabe Debenedetti: “[T]he former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor, who has been positioning himself as an electable liberal alternative to front-runner Hillary Clinton, will hold a conference call with supporters [tonight].” http://politi.co/1FfZVxJ

PHILLY DRIVES D.C. — “House panel votes to cut Amtrak budget hours after deadly crash,” by Heather Caygle: “House Republicans voted Wednesday to chop $260 million from Amtrak’s budget, less than a day after a deadly train crash … [T]he House Appropriations Committee voted 30–21 along party lines for a $55 billion transportation and housing bill that would give Amtrak almost a fifth less than its typical $1.4 billion share. The panel defeated Democratic amendments meant to restore or boost the funding.” http://politi.co/1Ffidix

“Riding Amtrak The Morning After The Deadly Crash,” by HuffPost’s Sam Stein: “[T]hose who take Amtrak speak in glowing, even nostalgic terms about their experiences. On routes to and from Wilmington on Wednesday, riders told me their favorite stories — a ride with a car full of fellow St. Louis Cardinals fans to a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, an overnight trip to Miami with a mom who feared flying — and trumpeted the train’s virtues.” http://huff.to/1EGcgXr

— “After the Amtrak Crash, It’s Time to Get Serious About Transportation Infrastructure,” by The New Yorker’s John Cassidy: “America is a growing country, and investment in infrastructure has failed to keep up with expanding needs. According to the [CBO], in the nineteen-fifties and sixties we spent close to five per cent of G.D.P. on new transport and water projects, and on maintaining existing systems. European nations still spend about that much today, while China and other rapidly developing Asian countries spend close to twice as much. In the United States, however, spending on infrastructure is only about half of what it used to be, relative to G.D.P. … As entitlement spending has grown and pressure to cut the federal budget has increased, infrastructure spending has been tightened.” http://nyr.kr/1EEapmV

FLASHBACK — “Why Can’t America have great trains? A Washington mystery,” by Simon Van Zuylen-Wood in National Journal, April 17: “Compared with the high-speed trains of Western Europe and East Asia, American passenger rail is notoriously creaky, tardy, and slow.” http://bit.ly/1O9B0Sl

9 P.M. HOUR on cable news (Guess who’s in a hotel room?) featured a cross-channel debate between Fox’s Megyn Kelly, who expressed prolonged exasperation at D.C. for racing to blame infrastructure spending, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who pushed infrastructure spending in front of a huge graphic saying: “THIS IS FIXABLE.”

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, teasing to commercial on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” at 10:15 p.m., 24+ hours after the crash: “Patrick Murphy’s going to stay with us.”

LESTER HOLT anchored “NBC Nightly News” from 1,000 feet above the derailment, in affiliate WCAU’s peacock-emblazoned chopper, SkyForce10. Still pic of Air Lester http://bit.ly/1EGqmZO … Video of “Nightly” open http://nbcnews.to/1FmrYNU … @LesterHoltNBC Twitpics http://bit.ly/1PIgaVM

— FOR “TODAY” the morning after the crash, Matt Lauer left NYC at 4 a.m. and was in Philly by 5:45 a.m. He and Savannah Guthrie were live till 11:10 a.m., doing a new show for the West Coast while the competition was in tape. (We were in San Diego.)

“CLINTON CASH” MISSES #1 DEBUT on N.Y. Times bestseller list of May 24, losing the top spot to David McCullough’s “The Wright Brothers.” #2: “CLINTON CASH, by Peter Schweizer. (Harper/HarperCollins) An examination of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities.” David Brooks’ “The Road to Character” is #3 (fourth week on list), Dana Perino’s “And The Good News Is … “ is #4 (third week on list) and Kate Andersen Brower’s “The Residence” is #15 (fifth week on list).

“Hope,” the story of the abducted Cleveland women, by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, with WashPosters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, is #8 (second week). And Hank Paulson’s “Dealing with China” is #19.

RAND PAUL INTERVIEW — “tees off on Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio,” by Manu Raju: “Rand Paul ramped up his criticism of Jeb Bush’s remarks on Iraq, rebuking the former Florida governor Wednesday for an ‘incredibly fumbled answer’ over the 2003 military invasion. He then took a swing at Marco Rubio for being on the ‘wrong side of history’ by supporting foreign aid. ‘If any Republican nominee wants to run on the idea that borrowing money and printing it up and sending it to foreign countries that often hate us and burn our flag and think it’s a good idea, feel free to run on that issue,’ Paul said in an interview … ‘But it’s not really popular with the people.’” http://politi.co/1A1hykJ

GREAT DAY FOR MARCO — “Marco Rubio Schools Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy,” by The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak: “Rubio delivered a master class on foreign policy that spoke to the soul of the right’s hawkish neoconservatives. In New York City, before the Council of Foreign Relations and their foreign policy experts, Rubio showed himself to be a peer.” http://thebea.st/1Fg5H2h

— CHARLIE ROSE moderated, asking Rubio intricate questions, showing his own mastery of national security, and bringing in audience questions. Marco told Charlie, when asked the Iraq war hypothetical: “Not only would I not have been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor it.” Video http://bit.ly/1Hj1TQi

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PULLING BACK THE CAMERA — L.A. Times A1, below fold, “REPUBLICAN INSECURITY: Can defense hawks win over war-weary voters in 2016?” by Lisa Mascaro: “[T]he party is struggling to articulate a coherent message that strikes a contrast to President Obama’s without alienating a war-weary populace or widening internal GOP divisions. Even more problematic … [m]ost of them have thin resumes on national security compared with a former secretary of State already viewed by many in her own party as somewhat hawkish.” http://lat.ms/1PIc7c5

— “Why Jeb Can’t Ditch Dubya,” by Marc Caputo in Politico Magazine : “Bush has performed a delicate balancing act when it came to his family. The Bush name effectively made him … [but] Jeb has felt obligated to insist to the world, ‘I am my own man.’ This week, Bush took a serious tumble from that high wire, botching a simple question about the Iraq War … Jeb’s lack of clarity on a life-or-death topic like war has spooked longtime supporters and some otherwise-loyal donors.” http://politi.co/1F8IUEg

GLENN THRUSH PODCAST, “Nicolle Wallace to Carly Fiorina: Hands off Hillary” — Wallace, whose new novel is “Madame President”: Fiorina’s role in the Republican field has been to be the most sort of strident critic of Hillary Clinton’s … Why does that fall to a woman? … I don’t want to be the chick police, but I think that Carly will go far by broadening the attack to everything that’s wrong with the liberal approach as opposed to being the thorn in Hillary Clinton’s side.” http://politi.co/1QLIlWj $17.14 on Amazon http://amzn.to/1Hfj16t

HOT IN HILLARYLAND — “From Listening Tour to Fundraising Frenzy: Manhattan Moguls Embrace Hillary Clinton,” by Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein: “[S]he already spent … seven days … making her way through the mansions and penthouses of New York, Washington and California, addressing a few thousand of the country’s wealthiest Democrats and taking in seven-figure sums in federally mandated $2,700 increments. By comparison, Clinton has spent six days on campaign events: three in Iowa, two in New Hampshire and one in Nevada.” http://bloom.bg/1KLrEq1

— “Beyoncé stops by Hillary Clinton fundraiser event in New York City,” by N.Y. Daily News’ Michael Sorrentino: “The singer was spotted Wednesday night at a fundraiser event for Clinton in a photo tweeted by fan Twitter account @TheBeyHiveTeam.” http://nydn.us/1HiUFvn

— “Clinton books second trip to Iowa,” by Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs: “Clinton will be in the state on Monday and Tuesday, spokeswoman Lily Adams told Iowa reporters … Campaign aides didn’t release the names of towns Clinton will visit, but said she will do small events similar to her previous trip that will give voters one-on-one time with her for questions and idea sharing.” http://dmreg.co/1e30Pnc

— “In Texas, Clinton Campaign Revs Up,” by Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek: “The dozen or so Hillary Clinton supporters gathered here late Tuesday had no illusions that ruby-red Texas would play a key role in electing the next Democratic president. … [T]hey were told — repeatedly — not to expect Clinton’s campaign to open a brick-and-mortar outpost in the Lone Star State anytime soon. Yet they held out hope that the former secretary of state could put up a fight in Texas, where Democrats are desperately looking for a boost after devastating losses in last year’s statewide elections.” http://bit.ly/1Hi45aI

STATE OF THE ART -”Pollsters struggle to assess 19 GOP contenders,” by Steven Shepard: “There are 19 Republicans seriously considering launching campaigns for president, and 10 numbers on a phone. That causes a big problem for pollsters using automated polling technology … Two national pollsters said Trump’s representatives had complained to them about his exclusion from their surveys, including PPP’s [Tom] Jensen, who described ‘non-stop calls’ from a Trump employee. ‘We even had a conversation with her, and she still kept calling.’” http://politi.co/1e2uyfR

— “RNC Straw Poll Lists 36 Presidential Candidates,” by The Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren: “That’s how many options a new online straw poll from the Republican National Committee offers.” http://tws.io/1ICogii

— “Scott Walker’s crisis of faith,” by Alex Isenstadt: “Scott Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher who says he takes his orders from God, has an unexpected problem on his hands: Many social conservatives don’t trust him. Next week, the Wisconsin governor will travel to Capitol Hill to hold a private meeting with influential evangelical leaders, some of whom are expressing deep reservations about his track record on issues near and dear to them. Pointing to his past statements, and even his hire of a top campaign aide, they are openly questioning whether his views on abortion and gay marriage align with theirs and whether he’s willing to fight for their cause.” http://politi.co/1A2j2uW

FRED BARNES in WSJ, “Hillary and Jeb Roll the Dice: Clinton goes left while Bush heads to the center, like Miliband and Cameron did-but the results may vary”: “Their strategies are perilous for different reasons. Mr. Bush wants to avoid sounding too conservative now and thus present a more broadly appealing candidate in the general election later. In doing so, he could lose the race for the GOP nomination.” http://on.wsj.com/1EG75qu

MONEY HONEYS — “Oracle’s Larry Ellison to host fundraiser for Rubio,” by Tarini Parti: “Ellison will host a fundraiser for the Florida Republican’s White House bid at his mansion in Woodside, Calif., on June 9 … A VIP reception and photo opportunity with Rubio will cost attendees $2,700 per person. The fundraiser will also include a host committee dinner for couples who have raised $27,000. Ellison … has a net worth of nearly $54 billion.” http://politi.co/1cVx3An

HAPPENING TODAY — At noon, John “Bolton will make an announcement as to whether he is running for president or not. The announcement will be made online, followed by a media teleconference call. Over the past months Bolton has spoken with voters in Des Moines, Columbia, Greenville, Nashua, Manchester, and great cities across America. Just last week Bolton spoke at the South Carolina Freedom Summit, and today he is in Iowa meeting with key stakeholders. … During the 2014 election cycle, the Bolton PAC and SuperPAC collectively raised over $7.5 million.”

PALACE INTRIGUE — “Naming names helped Obama get fast-track back on track,” by Edward-Isaac Dovere and Burgess Everett: “To get an idea of just how unusual it was for the White House to publicly identify the Democratic senators who gathered in the Cabinet Room with Obama on Tuesday afternoon and ‘discussed the need to advance’ trade promotion authority, consider this: When the president hosted a meeting last Wednesday to lobby some of the very same senators for support, White House aides wouldn’t even confirm that the meeting had happened, let alone who was there.” http://politi.co/1ICpjyF

DATA DU JOUR — “Record number of Americans can register online, vote early,” by AP’s Anne Flaherty:”When President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, only two states — Arizona and Washington — offered a website where citizens could register. By 2016, a majority of states may be offering that service, with 20 states already offering online registration and seven more considering it or having passed legislation that would authorize it.” http://yhoo.it/1e2zJN1 … Pew brief http://bit.ly/1EGm6II

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION — “Stop using ISIL footage, Obama administration asks networks,” by Michael Crowley and Hadas Gold: “Senior State Department and Pentagon officials have begun contacting television network reporters to ask them to stop using ‘B-roll’ … showing ISIL at the peak of its strength last summer. ‘We are urging broadcasters to avoid using the familiar B-roll that we’ve all seen before, file footage of ISIL convoys operating in broad daylight, moving in large formations with guns out, looking to wreak havoc,’ said Emily Horne, spokeswoman for retired Gen. John Allen, the State Department’s special envoy leading the international coalition against ISIL. … A more accurate image, said Col. Steven Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, would be ‘one Toyota speeding down the road by itself at night with its headlights off.’ Horne suggested alternate imagery, including footage of U.S. troops training Iraqi security forces and video of strikes against ISIL targets.” http://politi.co/1FlwsEC

SPEED READ — “Sally Yates confirmed as No. 2 at Justice Department,” by Josh Gerstein: “The Senate easily confirmed a veteran federal prosecutor from Georgia as deputy attorney general Wednesday, despite a protest by some Republicans angry over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Senators voted, 84–12.” http://politi.co/1Hi3Wny

“Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty,” by AP’s Nicole Winfield: “The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty … is both deeply symbolic and makes explicit that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.http://yhoo.it/1Jf1m0W

CARTOON OF THE DAY — A man tells his wife in bed: “I had that dream again-Bernie Sanders became President, and everything everywhere was magically fixed.” http://nyr.kr/1Jf071Z

VIDEO DU JOUR — ‏?@WhiteHouse: “Hey, ?@FLOTUS! The President has a challenge for you… ?#GimmeFive” — 1-min. video of POTUS: http://bit.ly/1PklW55

LATE-NIGHT BEST — “[Jon] Stewart Shreds Fox ‘Bullsh*t’: Obama’s Right, You Have Such ‘Contempt’ for the Poor” — Video: http://bit.ly/1JJpeYP

SATIRE DU JOUR — “Anthropologists Discover Ancient Greek Super PAC That Helped Shape First Democracy” — The Onion: “’At the same time Cleisthenes first instituted a representative form of government in Athens, it appears that a group of wealthy citizens and merchants created an organization to influence these new voters by bombarding them with around-the-clock political messages,’ lead researcher Daniel Rogers said of the early political action committee, named Athenians for a Better City-State, which is said to have received millions of drachmas’ worth of funding in gold, lambs, dates, loaves of bread, and slaves from Athens’ largest and most influential trade groups.” http://onion.com/1e0yWvQ

THE NEW GILDED AGE — “Christie’s Has Art World’s First $1 Billion Week,” by Scott Reyburn on NYT A1: “A purchase price of $5.8 million with fees for Joan Mitchell’s 1969–70 Abstract Expressionist painting ‘Afternoon’ on Wednesday pushed the total art sales by Christie’s this week past $1 billion, the first time a single auction house had reached that benchmark in such a short span. It was a sign of the huge amount of cash being spent by collectors on art as an investment and status symbol. … Two days earlier Christie’s sold $705.9 million (including fees) worth of works spanning the 20th century — including Picasso’s 1955 ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)’ — for an all-time auction high of $179.4 million.” http://nyti.ms/1G83Jll

WHAT SILICON VALLEY IS READING — “Dream weaver: Inside the head of Elon Musk,” by Ashlee Vance, author of “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” in Bloomberg Businessweek cover story — Musk: “I was just getting pistol-whipped. There was a lot of schadenfreude at the time, and it was bad on so many levels. Justine was torturing me in the press… You have these huge doubts that your life is not working, your car is not working, you’re going through a divorce and all of those things. I felt like a pile of s — -. I didn’t think we would overcome it. I thought things were probably f — -ing doomed.” Live at 7 a.m.: http://buswk.co/elonmusk See the cover: http://bit.ly/1Iz0wwV Pre-order on Amazon — $21.14: http://amzn.to/1G2mLcU

— “Google Comms and Policy Head Whetstone Takes Over That Job at Uber,” by Re/code’s Kara Swisher: “Rachel Whetstone, the longtime head of Google’s powerful public policy and communications unit, is taking on a similar job at Uber as SVP of policy and communications. That position has been held by David Plouffe … who was hired less than a year ago. … [H]e will become a chief adviser to the company and to CEO Travis Kalanick as well as joining the board of the ride-sharing startup. Plouffe will have what is described as a more strategic and external focus, rather than a day-to-day one.” http://on.recode.net/1AY7cwS

MEDIAWATCH — Clea Benson to Politico — Marty Kady and Susan Glasser email the staff: “Clea Benson of Bloomberg News will be our new Financial Services editor. Clea, a star for Bloomberg on the financial regulation beat for since 2010, plans to take over what is already an excellent team and expand and upgrade the Pro coverage, going deeper into financial services news while taking on bigger projects to really show the depth of policy reporting we’ve built with this team. Earlier, she covered politics and government for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sacramento Bee, and Congressional Quarterly. … For the past 15 years, she’s also been running a summer camp that encourages high-school journalists from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to consider media careers. Clea starts May 18. We are also promoting senior Financial Services reporter Jen Liberto to associate editor, which must be record-time given she just started with us earlier this spring.”

— “The Weaponization of Fact Checking,” by Mark Stencel, NPR’s former managing editor for digital news, in Politico: “[F]act-checking can be such a powerful weapon that campaigns are increasingly launching their own partisan fact-checkers, aping the journalists’ style, language and presentation in ads, news releases and social media postings. … [O]fficials now often perversely use fact-checking to spread falsehoods.” http://politi.co/1Hi45HJ

— “FNC Finishes No. 1 During Amtrak Crash Breaking News Coverage,” by TVNewser’s Brian Flood: “Fox News’ breaking news coverage of last night’s Amtrak train crash was the most watched, among cable news channels, in both the demo and total viewers. … FNC averaged 1.45 million total viewers and 264K in the demo from 10–11pmET. CNN finished a close second in the demo, averaging 240K.” http://bit.ly/1cVBUSe

FUTURE OF NEWS — “Facebook’s instant articles arrive to speed up the News Feed,” by The Verge’s Casey Newton: “Facebook [has rolled] out ‘instant articles,’ quick-loading stories from publishers including The New York Times and BuzzFeed that load on Facebook’s flagship app 10 times faster than before. The articles, which are hosted on Facebook’s servers, are well designed and create a genuinely better experience than the typical 8-second wait for an article to load on the mobile web. But if the format proves successful, and Facebook maintains its dominance in distributing news online, publishers could become ever more dependent on a platform they can’t control.” http://bit.ly/1cynK8B

— “Introducing Instant Articles,” by Facebook’s Michael Reckhow on the company blog: “As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app. … We designed Instant Articles to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience and monetization opportunities. Publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.” http://bit.ly/1cVAJ5a

— L.A. Times A1, top of page, “Pulling the welcome mat: Santa Monica cracks down on short-term rentals posted on Airbnb and elsewhere. Will other communities follow?” by Tim Logan: “Santa Monica has thrust itself into the national uproar over short-term rentals with the most aggressive crackdown yet. City officials have explicitly outlawed rentals of less than 30 days. … Santa Monica’s move could potentially energize short-term rental opponents around Southern California and in other vacation destinations … The bigger question … is whether it’s possible to effectively enforce any such law.” http://lat.ms/1Hflzl7

TIME’s new cover, “The Highly Divisive, Curiously Underfunded and Strangely Promising World of Pot Science,” by Bruce Barcott and Michael Scherer. See the cover, of a test mouse smoking a joint http://bit.ly/1Hj1DR3

BUSINESS BURST — “AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Stands to Get $180 Million in Verizon Deal,” by WSJ’s Amol Sharma: “Mr. Armstrong has an effective 6.7% ownership of the company, making him the largest individual shareholder. … Mr. Armstrong also has been awarded a large number of AOL stock options with varying exercise prices.” http://on.wsj.com/1AYIcFS

SPORTS BLINK — “Despite $1M fine, Patriots reap profit from Brady suspension,” by AP’s Jimmy Golen: “$880,000 That’s how much the Patriots will save — that’s right, save — as a result of the punishment handed down by the NFL on Monday. Sure, owner Robert Kraft will have to pay a $1 million fine. But the team would also save four of Brady’s game checks, which are $470,588.23 for each week of the 17-week season — about $1.88 million.” http://yhoo.it/1A1eaGw

TRANSITIONS — L.D. Platt emails friends and colleagues: “[Wednesday was] my last day at AHIP. The past six years has brought a lot of twists and turns and more importantly a lot of great relationships and experiences.”

— Amanda Sherman, currently New Media Director for Rep. Scott Peters, will be starting as Rep. Ron Kind’s new comms. director on Monday.

OUT AND ABOUT — Veteran telecom BNA Bloomberg reporter Paul Barbagallo wished farewell with industry and media friends at Satellite Room as he leaves DC to join Bloomberg New York. SPOTTED: Kim Hart, Brooks Boliek, Dennis Wharton, Neil Grace, Michael Balmoris, Jamie Jones, Margaret Boles, Amy Storey, Paul Kirby.

BIRTHDAYS: Howard Wolfson … J.B. Poersch … Tom Donilon, former Obama national security adviser … Mark Zuckerberg is 31 … Lynn Bartels, political reporter for the Denver Post, celebrating with family at home in South Dakota (h/t James Dakin Owens) … former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) is 73 … ABC’s Karen Travers … Politico Magazine’s Eva Rodriguez … USA Today’s Christine Brennan … Judith Barnett, mother, grandmother, lawyer, trade specialist and “nana to us all” extraordinaire, marking the occasion with her heroine, Hillary Clinton at the Brooklyn Leadership Summit and will continue the festivities with family and friends over the weekend … Bloomberg’s Josh Eidelson … Politico Pro Europe’s Dari Gessner … Connie Lawn … Mark Zuckerberg … former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) … DCCC’s Tyler Law, a Ro Khanna alum … Deb Moore … Bill Green … Jim Andrews … Carter Link … Casey Slaughter … Cindy Eisenhauer … Lynn Bartels, political writer for the Denver Post … Steve Rice, Chargers fan and DDC strategist … Margaret Little of National Retail Federation … Politico’s Michael Williams …

… Patrick Derocher, current Washingtonian originally from Albany, NY (h/t Jon Rice) … Amanda Hurly, DCCC alum … Alex Katz of Sen. Schumer’s office and Bloomberg alum … Brigit Helgen … Robert Levinson, who attended the Air Force academy and served in the military for 20 years, then worked at AIPAC as a lobbyist and Booz Allen as a consultant, and now is a defense analyst for Bloomberg Government … Rebecca Adelman, the pride of Homewood-Flossmoor… Jocie Fong … Seamus Kraft, exec. director of Open Gov Foundation and an Issa alum … Jon Vogel … Sergio J. Grant … David Smith … Pranay Gupte … Ann Anooshian … Louisa Imperiale, CEO of Photox LLC and an ACU and Rick Perry alum … Jeffrey Barrett … David Johnson … Ed Tydings … Sam Maverick Noble … Jon Pessah … Kara Allen … movie producer George Lucas is 71 … Meg Foster is 67 … David Byrne is 63 … Cate Blanchett is 46 … Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 46 (h/t Michael Kennedy) … Sofia Coppola is 44 … actress Miranda Cosgrove is 22 (h/t AP)

DESSERT — “’SNL’ boss [Lorne] Michaels wraps its 40th season as he looks ahead,” by AP’s Frazier Moore:[Q:] Do you have an exit strategy? Michaels : ‘I have no plans not to be here. It’s what I do, I love it, and I feel really strong and clear about what I want to do. In terms of the hours, and how hard it is, well, the schedule is the schedule. I leave here on Tuesday nights around 2 o’clock in the morning. That hasn’t changed, although there are many, many people who, when I leave, are still here writing. … But it’s still scary every week. Dress rehearsal is always still a mess. You go, ‘How did I think this was going to work?’ And then you scramble, and everybody pulls it together.’” http://yhoo.it/1JJbdKH

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