-- At least 47 House Democrats and eight Senate Democrats have said they won't attend the speech, including Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). (The Hill) But seats for the speech are in demand. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): "The tickets are hotter than fresh latkes." Boehner spokesman Michael Steel: "If Taylor Swift and Katy Perry did a joint concert at Madison Square Garden wearing white-and-gold and black-and-blue dresses, accompanied by dancing sharks and llamas, that’s the only way you’d have a tougher ticket." (New York Times)
-- House Speaker John Boehner is expected to bring up a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security without the immigration provisions as early as Wednesday. A Republican member would bring up the Senate-passed version of the bill as a privileged resolution, ensuring a quick vote on the House floor. American Action Network, the Boehner-connected super PAC, will spend $400,000 on TV and radio ads aimed at swaying conservatives who voted against a short-term funding bill. (CNN)
-- About 180 Americans have traveled to Syria to join Islamist militants, and about 40 have returned to the U.S., National Intelligence director James Clapper said Monday. Those figures may include some aid workers. Clapper said he was not aware of any plots by those who had returned. (Reuters) Harakat Hazm, the first Syrian rebel group that received weapons from the U.S., has collapsed after losing control of its headquarters in northern Syria. Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters who captured the headquarters said they had taken control of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles. (Washington Post)
-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with Netanyahu's speech, with a nice four-column tribute to retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). NYT leads with Obama and Netanyahu trying (and failing) to play down their divisions. Same thing on the WSJ front. LA Times leads with Obama's Reuters interview. USA Today leads with U.S. fears over Iran's growing influence in Iraq.
White House 2016: The long, strange road to Pennsylvania Ave.
-- Clinton: Hillary Clinton did not have a government email address during her four years as Secretary of State, relying entirely on a personal email address to conduct government business, which may have violated federal record-keeping requirements. Only two months ago, Clinton advisers turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the department for posterity. About 300 emails, or roughly 900 pages, were turned over to a House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (New York Times, Washington Post) The domain through which Clinton sent those emails was created the day she began confirmation hearings before the Senate. (Washington Post)
-- Christie: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) PAC will hold its first event for bundlers in Bernardsville, N.J., on March 16, for up to 25 donors who commit to raising $25,000 to $100,000 by the end of the month. The PAC has upcoming fundraisers scheduled in Philadelphia, Georgia and Florida in the next few weeks. (Wall Street Journal)
-- Graham: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will visit New Hampshire twice in the next few weeks. He'll speak at a Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford on March 9, and the Wild Irish Breakfast in Nashua on March 17. (Boston Globe)
-- Perry: Mississippi lobbyist Austin Barbour will head former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's super PAC. His brother Henry, a member of the RNC, has been helping Perry for years. (New York Times)
-- Bush: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will hold two days of events in Iowa this week, and he's hired FP1 senior vice president Annie Kelly, a former NRCC regional political director, to run his Iowa team. (Des Moines Register) Bush held his first question-and-answer session at a community center in Summerlin, Nev., on Monday, where he criticized President Obama on the economy and distanced himself from his own family. Bush got questions on Common Core, U.S.-Israeli relations and immigration, but he didn't say anything about Yucca Mountain. Nevada political fixer Sig Rogich helped organize Bush's appearance. (Las Vegas Sun) But did he say "Ne-va-duh" or "Ne-vah-duh"? You get booed if you pick the wrong one.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- Maryland: The list of Democrats eyeing a bid to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) includes former Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Reps. Chris Van Hollen, Elijah Cummings, Donna Edwards, John Delaney, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur. Rep. Andy Harris (R) and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) are being floated on the GOP side. (Washington Post) The math in a Maryland Democratic primary: MontCo + PG > Baltimore, but more candidates are likely to split that DC suburban vote.
-- Nebraska: Federal District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled Monday that Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling takes effect March 9, though Attorney General Doug Peterson (R) has filed an appeal with the 8th Circuit. Rulings striking down marriage bans in Missouri, Arkansas and South Dakota are set for oral arguments before the 8th Circuit in May. (Washington Post, Lincoln Journal-Star)
-- Virginia: Former Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) filed a brief Monday arguing his public corruption convictions should be thrown out. In a 103-page filing to a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit, McDonnell restates many of the arguments his legal team made at trial. But the panel's decision to allow him to remain free while he appeals is a sign that they may think there's merit to his case. (Washington Post)
-- Oregon: State taxpayers have to cover up to $35,000 in attorney fees for up to 18 employees who qualify for access to a special state program in criminal cases, including former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D). At least one official has already filed paperwork with the state to access that money. (Oregonian) In case you missed it over the weekend: Kitzhaber and fiancee Cylvia Hayes showed up at a landfill near Bend and dumped some trash. When workers realized they were there, they called deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. It wasn't clear if deputies, who searched through the trash, took anything with them. (Oregonian)
-- California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D) received about $1,500 in non-travel related gifts in 2014, including $200 in tequila from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. (Sacramento Bee) Thank heavens for trade missions.
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama meets Defense Secretary Ash Carter in the Oval Office this afternoon. Later, he and First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in an East Room event aimed at helping adolescent girls around the world attend and stay in school. Then he's got a meeting with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
-- Obama will visit a historically black private college in Columbia, S.C., on Friday, his first visit to South Carolina as president. After that trip, he'll have visited every state except two, South Dakota and Utah, since taking office. (Washington Post)
-- Vice President Biden attends a working meeting with Central American heads of state in Guatemala City this morning, followed by a roundtable with multilateral and non-governmental organizations. He'll visit Municipalidad de Villa Nueva to check out violence prevention programs before departing Guatemala en route back to D.C. Dr. Jill Biden gets a tour of Peace Corps facilities during the agency's 54th anniversary celebrations.
-- The House welcomes Netanyahu at about 10:45 a.m. After his speech, they'll take up the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.). The House will debate seven amendments, with first votes expected between 1 and 2 p.m. and last votes coming by 4:45 p.m.
-- The Senate convenes at 9:45 a.m. before recessing at 10:30 for the joint session and weekly caucus lunches. A motion to invoke cloture on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's motion to enter a conference committee over DHS funding failed on a 47 to 43 vote on Monday. McConnell also filed cloture on President Obama's veto of the Keystone XL bid, setting up a vote on Wednesday.
-- The RNC has hired Cara Mason to take over as national finance director, replacing Katie Walsh, who moved up to become chief of staff. Mason joined the RNC as a regional finance director in 2014, after serving as deputy at the NRSC. (GOP.com)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Taser International, the stun gun maker and leading supplier of body cameras for police, is forging close ties to the police officials who buy their products. The company is paying for airfare and hotel stays for police chiefs to speak at promotional conferences, and it's hiring recently retired chiefs as consultants, just months after their cities sign contracts with the company. Taser said it had body camera contracts with 13 major cities, and it's in discussions with 28 more. (Associated Press)
-- The Air Force estimates a new Long Range Strike Bomber will cost up to $55 billion to build 100 units. They will award a contract for the next-generation bomber, which they hope to begin flying in the mid-2020s. But that's about all the Air Force is saying, raising concerns about the program's cost. And the estimated price of $550 million per unit, or about a quarter of what a B-2 bomber costs, is probably wildly optimistic. The Air Force initially planned on buying 132 B-2s, but they ended up being able to afford only 21, for $2 billion each. (Washington Post)
-- Costco will turn to Visa and Citigroup as their exclusive credit card supplier after the company's contract with American Express runs out in March 2016. The deal won't be finalized until Citi and Visa negotiate final deals with each other. (Los Angeles Times)
-- Stock futures are down a fraction this morning after the Dow tacked on 155 points and the Nasdaq closed above 5,000 on Monday. Asian markets closed lower today, while European markets are mixed. (CNN)
C1: Take time to digest the long reads
-- The E-Book Every Republican Needs To Read: GOP pollster Whit Ayres's 2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America: "If the 2016 Republican nominee wins the same percentage of the white vote that Mitt Romney won in 2012 -- 59 percent -- then he or she will need to win 30 percent of the non-white vote to be elected. That is far greater than the 17 percent of the non-white vote that Romney achieved in 2012, or the 19 percent John McCain won in 2008, and better even than the 26 percent of the non-white vote that George W. Bush won his 2004 reelection campaign."
-- "On the other hand, if the 2016 Republican nominee wins no more of the non-white vote than Romney's 17 percent, he or she will need to win 65 percent of the white vote to win. That is a level of white vote achieved by only one Republican nominee in the past forty years: Ronald Reagan in his 49-state landslide reelection sweep in 1984, when he won 66 percent of the white vote. ... Republicans can complain about these trends, wring their hands over them, and get heartburn as a result. What they can’t do is change them." Available on Amazon.
C4: Fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Syfy has cast Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban as the president of the United States and Ann Coulter as the vice president in the sure-to-be-Oscar-worthy Sharknado 3. (Hollywood Reporter) They're also looking for members of Congress to make cameos. (Politico) Members, we swear to all that is holy, we will mention your name if you appear. Whether that's a good thing or not, we'll leave that to your press secretaries to decide.
-- It's been a long, cold winter, but the first games of Spring Training get underway today in Arizona and Florida. You can watch three games live on MLB.com, and check out the Arizona Republic's handy dandy Foodie guide for Cactus League stadiums.
Attn Matt Drudge: What outrages conservatives today
-- Made-for-Drudge headline: "Obama 'Very Interested' In Raising Taxes Through Executive Action." White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday President Obama "has not indicated any reticence in using his executive authority." More Earnest: "Now I don't want to leave you with the impression that there is some imminent announcement. There is not, at least that I know of. ... I am not in a position to talk in any detail at this point, but the president is very interested in this avenue generally." (TownHall)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- Texas state Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) filed a judicial complaint against state District Judge David Wahlberg after Wahlberg allowed the Lone Star State's first gay marriage to take place on Feb. 19 (One of the two women who were married has ovarian cancer). Tinderholt's two-paragraph, hand-written complaint cited the wrong judge and applied the law in an incorrect way. Oh, and he's been married five times. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) Five times?!?
-- Bonus Outrage: Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick (R) says he will walk out if Hindu cleric Rajan Zed is allowed to give the Senate's opening prayer this morning. "They worship cows," Vick said. State Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill (R), a Mormon who invited Zed, said there was a time in the state's history when members of his own religion wouldn't have been allowed to vote, much less pray in the legislature. (Idaho Statesman)