West Wing exodus. The Hill newspaper is reporting that “a number of key aides are expected to leave the White House in the coming months as President Barack Obama tries to build momentum after a tumultuous 2013 that left him with few significant achievements.” Among those expected to leave are deputy chief of staff Ron Nabors, who oversees Obama’s relations with Congress, and Alyssa Mastromonaco, who has been with Obama for nine years. The Legislative Affairs Office has already lost a key staffer, Miguel Rodriquez, who led the office. Also leaving soon is Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council and the president’s assistant for economic policy. In the White House press briefing on Monday, Sperling said, “I am quite confident that when March comes, I will be somewhere else.”
Moore joins Heritage. Stephen Moore, a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and founder of the Club for Growth, will join The Heritage Foundation as chief economist. “I really wanted to be on the front line of the policy debate and I thought Heritage would be the perfect place for that,” Moore said. “I honestly believe that Heritage is the most influential of the think tanks in Washington. I don’t think there’s really any question about that.” According to The Foundry, Heritage’s blog, Moore will “concentrate on advancing policies that increase the rate of economic growth in order to help the United States retain its position as the global economic superpower. He will also work on budget, fiscal, and monetary policy. In addition to his focus on federal issues, he plans to showcase states that are getting fiscal issues right.” Moore had a previous stint at Heritage in the mid-1980s, when he was the Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs.
Is the NFL losing its luster? The National Football League has had its share of challenges this year. Sales of video games related to the NFL are down. Both the on-field and off-field antics of some NFL stars are wearing thin with many fans. The latest example was Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman’s rant on live national television following the Seahawks’ victory on Sunday. Even many fans are repulsed by news of career-ending concussions and graphic scenes of legs being broken, replayed live and in slow motion. That said, we’re deep into the playoffs and ratings seem to be higher than ever. It may have become déclassé to admit you like the NFL, but Americans are voting with their remote controls, and football seems to be as popular as ever.