THE BIG IDEA:
— Vladimir Putin and President Obama are meeting formally for the first time in two years today, after the Russian president delivers his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly in a decade.
Their relationship is as frosty as ever. Russia, invoking the specter of the Islamic State as an excuse to prop up murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, has deployed hundreds of soldiers, 28 fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and artillery into Syria.
The show of military power seems mainly designed to distract both the West and Putin’s own people from the mess he’s created in Ukraine, which triggered damaging economic sanctions.
Regardless of why he’s doing it, Putin’s engagement has made Syria’s multi-front and multi-player war even more chaotic and complicated to solve. We’ve come a long way since Obama drew that meaningless “red line” in August 2012.
Ahead of his sit-down with Obama, Putin mocked the failure of U.S. efforts to arm Syrian rebels on “60 Minutes.” In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired last night, the Russian pointedly mentioned embarrassing revelations about a costly three-year program to train and equip moderate rebels fighting Assad. Last week, it emerged that one rebel commander handed over a substantial part of the U.S.-provided military equipment to an Islamic State intermediary. “The initial aim was to train 5,000 to 6,000 fighters, then 12,000, but it turns out that only 60 were trained and only four or five are actually fighting,” Putin said. “All the others simply ran away with their American weapons to Islamic State!” The full transcript of the Putin interview, plus Charlie’s 10-minute package, is here. The Post’s diplomatic correspondent, Carol Morello, has more in her story from the U.N. meeting.
Russia further asserted itself in the Middle East this weekend by inking an intelligence-sharing agreement with Iraq. Iran and Syria are also involved. “The Iraqi military said in a statement that the new agreement was necessary because thousands of volunteers who have joined the Islamic State have come from Russia,” per the New York Times’ Michael R. Gordon. The move wasn’t coordinated with the United States, which Secretary of State John Kerry complained about and discussed yesterday with the Russian foreign minister on the U.N. sidelines. The deal not only puts Russia in a position to support Assad militarily, the Times notes, but it could enable the Kremlin to influence the choice of a successor if Assad eventually leaves.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials remain uncertain about Putin’s Syria strategy and confused about how to respond. “Administration decisions on a series of proposed adjustments to its strategy against the Islamic State have been put on hold pending more information about Russia’s intentions in Syria and President Obama’s desire for clarification of the proposals themselves,” senior administration officials tell The Post’s Karen DeYoung. “Putin’s moves have further delayed and complicated decision-making on plans that include sending U.S. arms directly to Kurdish and Arab rebels in northeastern Syria…. For now, officials said, Obama’s goal is to hear Putin out, to stress U.S. policy goals and warn against interference, and to determine whether there is room for cooperation.”
On the American side, the players are changing in the power struggle over U.S. policy: The State Department and Pentagon often clash, with diplomats demanding a more muscular approach and the military urging caution. DeYoung, our senior national security correspondent, notes that Gen. Martin Dempsey retired on Friday as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was replaced by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander until last month of the U.S. and international force in Afghanistan. State’s ISIS special envoy, retired Gen. John Allen — frustrated by the Pentagon’s reticence to use more force — is due to leave this fall.
Russian context: Putin’s entry into Syria, like almost everything else that he does, is part of his own bid to stay in power, Anne Applebaum explains in a smart column for today’s paper. “You and I might assume that the prospect of a Russian street revolution is far-fetched, but Putin, having watched what happened in East Germany in 1989 from his KGB office in Dresden, and having then watched what happened to Moammar Gaddafi in 2011, clearly worries about it quite often. … The arrival of Russian troops, some in transit directly from the Ukrainian border, is designed to reinforce this message: Putin is ready to help another dictator reestablish dictatorship, reassert control and imprison all of his enemies, in Syria and, if needed, in Russia too.”
As a signal of the popular unease with Putin, just yesterday the Kremlin-backed contender for governor of the Irkutsk region of Siberia lost to a communist candidate. It’s a rare and surprising defeat, per the AFP’s Moscow reporter. See a slideshow of the most awkward photos from Obama-Putin bilats here.
— Republicans are using today to try showing foreign policy chops —
- Marco Rubio calls for the U.S. to much more aggressively counter Putin in a National Review op-ed.
- Kevin McCarthy will make first significant comments as speaker apparent. His speech to the John Hay Initiative will focus on “the need for American leadership in an increasingly dangerous world.” The event is at 1:30 p.m. at the St. Regis. The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick O’Connor previews the speech and explains what the new group is about here. Register for the (free) event here.
- John Kasich’s super PAC will go up on New Hampshire TV today with an ad highlighting the Ohio governor’s foreign policy experience. The 30-second spot is built around footage of Kasich speaking straight to camera, recorded before he got into the race. “Who is it that’s got the foreign policy experience to deal with what has become an increasingly complicated world at a time when America needs to emerge and restore its leadership? No one really has that experience, except for maybe one,” Kasich says, as information about his time on the House Armed Services Committee appears on screen. “Live” will run statewide in New Hampshire on broadcast and cable television beginning today. The new ad is part of a buy that began on September 22 and runs through October 12. Watch here.
— In Congress this week, we’ll see the eye before the storm. There won’t be a government shutdown, but passing the bill to fund the government through Dec. 11 only delays bigger battles on the sequester, debt ceiling and expiring tax breaks. Speaker John Boehner unleashed yesterday on the forces who prompted his resignation. Calling them “false prophets” who promise more than they deliver, Boehner complained on “Face the Nation” that conservative outside groups “whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know! — are never going to happen.” He said he would try in his last month to get as much done as he could, saying he didn’t want to leave behind a “dirty barn” for his successor. He also called Ted Cruz a “jackass” without using the term and announced he will impanel a select committee to investigate the Planned Parenthood videos.
Meanwhile, would-be GOP House leaders will keep jockeying for position in the free-for-all leadership races. Even Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a Boehner antagonist, told “Fox News Sunday” that McCarthy has the “inside track” for the job. “I do think Kevin is a much more ground-up than top-down type of leader,” he said. But the races for the secondary slots are still very much wide open. The Freedom Caucus, whose members agitated for Boehner’s ouster, has not coalesced behind a candidate for speaker or any of the other posts. Illinois Rep. Pete Roskam now has 50 signatures for a party meeting to talk things through (something establishment Republicans want to avoid as they aim for a quick changing of the guard). If you missed it Saturday, check out the special edition of the 202 on what to expect in the post-Boehner world here.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— By the year 2065, Asians will surpass Hispanics as the largest source of immigrants flowing into the United States. That detail is in a new Pew Research Center immigration survey that posted at midnight. The study coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a quota system favoring Northern European immigrants. Since then, roughly half of all immigrants to the U.S. have hailed from Latin America with Mexicans comprising the largest share of the influx. That wave has dramatically changed the nation’s racial makeup: 84 percent of Americans were non-Hispanic whites in 1965; today that number is 62 percent. Asians will ultimately overtake Hispanics for a number of reasons, including a lower birth rate for Mexican women and a big slowdown in illegal immigration.
Five stats jumped out at us while reading the Pew study:
- Between 2015 and 2065, immigrants are projected to account for 88 percent of U.S. population growth.
- Since 1965, 59 million immigrants have arrived here, meaning immigrants make up 14 percent of today’s population — a figure that will rise to 18 percent by 2065, when the overall total will hit 78 million immigrants.
- The United States is the country with the biggest immigrant population, roughly one-in-five people. Over the last 50 years, immigrants accounted for 55 percent of U.S. population growth. That number exceeds the large wave of European immigrants to the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries.
- Since 1965, 51 percent of new immigrants came from Latin America and 25 percent are from Asia. But by 2065, foreign-born Hispanics are expected to account for 31 percent of the population while Asians will outstrip them as the dominant immigrant group by 2055, with 38 percent of the population.
- Non-Hispanic whites are expected to account for less than half of the U.S. population by 2055 and decrease to 46 percent by 2065.
— The stage collapsed behind Carly Fiorina at an event in San Antonio (amazingly, no one was hurt):
— Donald Trump will unveil his tax plan at 11 a.m., calling for higher rates on the rich. On CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Trump told Scott Pelley from his Fifth Avenue Manhattan penthouse that the tax plan would hike taxes on the wealthy while eliminating some “unfair deductions.” “What kind of Republican are you?” Pelley quipped. “I don’t want to have certain people on Wall Street getting away with paying no tax,” Trump replied. The real-estate mogul revealed that a “large segment of our country” (referring to the poor) would pay a “zero rate” and that middle-class and corporate tax rates would also go lower. See the full interview here.
— First in The 202: Mike Huckabee rolling out leadership teams across four Southern states. The former Arkansas governor could be a very serious force on March 1 in the so-called SEC Primary. Assuming he comes out of the early states strong, namely Iowa and South Carolina, he’s focused on amassing momentum in favorable Southern states that have jointly scheduled their primaries to increase the region’s clout. “The early SEC primary elections are a key plank to our campaign strategy,” Huckabee said in a statement.
- Among the names on the lists: In Georgia, he has former governor Sonny Perdue and former congressman John Linder. In North Carolina, he got former congressman Charles Taylor and pastor Mark Harris, who ran for Senate last year. In Tennessee, he scored Rep. Chuck Fleischmann as state chair and Mayor Mark Luttrell Jr. from Shelby County as co-chair.
- And he’s pretty much locked down every major GOP figure in his home state of Arkansas, with support from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Sen. John Boozman, Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill and Bruce Westerman; Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge; Secretary of State Mark Martin; State Treasurer Dennis Milligan; Land Commissioner John Thurston; and many state legislators.
- Huckabee spent yesterday with Chuck Norris in Texas:
GET SMART FAST:
- Royal Dutch Shell announced at 1 a.m. Eastern it will suspend Arctic drilling indefinitely, after finding insufficient oil and gas in one of its exploratory wells. “The move puts the end — for now — on the contentious debate over whether oil and gas exploration should take place in the environmentally sensitive area off Alaska’s coast,” Juliet Eilperin reports.
- Days after Pope Francis elevated Father Junipero Serra to sainthood, vandals struck the Carmel Mission in California where the remains of the controversial missionary are buried, toppling statues and damaging grave sites, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The vandals, who police say acted sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, splashed paint throughout the cemetery and basilica and scrawled ‘Saint of Genocide’ on a headstone.” Police are investigating is as a hate crime; Native Americans are suspected as likely culprits.
- “A Seattle duck boat that swerved wildly into an oncoming charter bus last week, killing five people and injuring dozens, did not have an axle repair that was recommended for at least some of the amphibious vehicles in 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board announced.” (AP)
- Authorities in Florida arrested a 20-year-old woman after photos in which she appeared to be “sitting or riding” on the back of a sea turtle went viral. She’s being charged with felonies. (WREG)
- As Freddie Gray was being transported in a police van through Baltimore, at least one officer warned that he needed medical care. The Baltimore Sun reports that there are different accounts of that day among the six officers who have been charged in connection with his death, which is why a judge ordered separate trials.
- The strong GDP numbers released Friday (3.9 percent growth last quarter) make it even more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at their next meeting.
- Six French jet fighters targeted and destroyed an Islamic State training camp in eastern Syria. (AP)
- Separatists won a clear majority in Catalonia’s parliamentary elections Sunday, a blow to Spain’s prime minister before a national election. (Reuters)
- The National Zoo named its new baby panda Bei Bei.
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Trevor Noah debuts as the new host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central tonight. (Emily Yahr profile)
- The Dalai Lama canceled a string of U.S. events and is undergoing medical evaluations at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Doctors have told him to “rest for several weeks,” according to a statement posted on his web site.
- Joe Biden got to see the pope again in Philadelphia yesterday.
- Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Straw Poll with 35 percent. Carson was second with 18 percent.
- Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff — and not Clinton herself — signed a State Department form that helped Huma Abedin‘s change to a job status that allowed broader private-sector employment, the Clinton campaign said, pushing back forcefully on a Politico report from last week.
- James Billington, the controversial librarian of Congress, has moved up his retirement from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30. (Roll Call)
SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
— Hillary said she’s done everything she can to answer questions regarding the homebrew e-mail server she used as secretary of state. “This is a contest, and it’s fair game for people to raise whatever they choose to raise … you know they’re not giving this job away,” Clinton said on “Meet the Press.” “Of course I take responsibility. It was my choice. It was a mistake back when I did it, and I’m trying to do the best I can to answer all of the questions that people have.”
— Martin O’Malley said “legitimate questions” remain about Hillary’s e-mails on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He used the issue to call for more debates. “Otherwise, our party is being defined by Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, and it’s not good for our country,” he said.
— Ben Carson seemed to double down on his comments about a Muslim president on ABC’s “This Week,” arguing that Islam was based on sharia law and he’d change his mind about that when someone can “show me an improved Islamic text that opposes sharia.” He suggested that a Muslim would need to renounce their Holy texts to become president.
— Jeb Bush defended his tax plan to “Fox News Sunday.” Slammed for giving lopsided tax breaks to the wealthy, he told Chris Wallace: “The simple fact is 1 percent of people pay 40 percent of all the taxes. Of course, tax cuts for everybody is going to generate more for people that are paying a lot more. I mean that’s just the way it is.”
— An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Hillary leading the Democratic field with 42 percent, to 35 percent for Sanders and 17 percent for Biden. On the GOP side, Trump got just 21 percent to Carson’s 20 percent. Rubio and Fiorina are tied at 11 percent for third place.
— “It’s make or break time for Jeb Bush,” by Ed O’Keefe and Matea Gold: “Jeb Bush is entering a critical phase of his Republican presidential campaign, with top donors warning that the former Florida governor needs to demonstrate growth in the polls over the next month or face serious defections among supporters. The warnings, expressed by numerous senior GOP fundraisers in recent days, come as Bush and an allied super PAC are in the early stages of an aggressive television ad campaign that they believe will help erase doubts about his viability. Much of the chatter seems to revolve around the choice between Bush and fellow Floridian Marco Rubio. Right now, the momentum appears to be behind Rubio, who has jumped ahead of Bush in most polls…. ‘People are looking at the stage and saying: ‘Jeb and Marco? I’m going with the new,” said a top party fundraiser not aligned with a campaign. ‘You’re seeing people really gravitate to him and saying, ‘OK, we’ll buck the Bush machine. What I hear everywhere when you say Jeb’s name is, ‘If you want to lose the general election, nominate Jeb.'”
— “Elizabeth Warren just gave the speech that Black Lives Matter activists have been waiting for,” by Wesley Lowery: “In a Sunday speech on racial inequality, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for broad policing reform — including de-escalation training and body cameras for all police officers — and likened the current Black Lives Matter movement to the civil rights movement that won black Americans the right to vote in the 1960s…. ‘None of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets,’ Warren said. ‘This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter….’ Warren’s address … was perhaps the most full-throated endorsement to date by a federal lawmaker for the ongoing protest movement, and it drew immediate praise from some of the most visible activists.” Read the full speech here.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Carly Fiorina is getting a lot more buzz, but much of it is negative and she’s quickly becoming a deeply polarizing figure. She is not only cutting into Trump’s lead in GOP polls. She’s also rivaling Trump for her ability to divide the electorate. This weekend, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs tracked more than 48,000 mentions of Fiorina across all forms of media. She grabbed 10 percent of the overall media mentions of all GOP candidates, the most frequently-mentioned candidate except for Trump. This first chart below shows a state-by-state comparison of the Twitter traffic over the weekend of her and Ben Carson. The former HP CEO was mentioned more frequently in nearly every state:
But the talk hasn’t always been positive. The continued controversy surrounding her dubious claims about Planned Parenthood has galvanized Democratic opposition. Many Fiorina Twitter mentions were very unflattering. The map below compares Carson and Fiorina again, but instead of comparing volume, it compares the sentiment relayed in those tweets. The redder the state, the more positive the mentions for Fiorina. The bluer the state, the more positive for Carson. Note how the map changes:
— Pictures of the day:
While in Philadelphia, Pope Francis blessed Bella Santorum, daughter of GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who has Trisomy 18. “He carried Bella up in his arms, kissed her, and blessed her. Tears of joy all around for the blessing of this holy and precious Father!” Elizabeth Santorum wrote on Instagram:
Here’s another shot from Rick Santorum:
For Apple fans, there was plenty to celebrate in Georgetown on Friday. Not only could they buy the iPhone 6S, but they might have caught a glimpse of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who mingled with customers at the store (Cook was in town for the China state dinner, which he attended with former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, now an Apple VP):
Oprah interviewed President Carter about his life, recent cancer diagnosis and legacy for the OWN network’s “SuperSoul Sunday” (watch a clip here):
Actor Alec Baldwin posted this photo to Instagram on Sunday. Who is it? “Donald Trumpkin,” of course:
–Tweets of the day:
Delaware Democrat Chris Coons was starstruck at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park:
Trump went after Rubio in a Twitter spree:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) enjoyed “Hamilton” on Broadway. We’re shocked it took him so long:
— Instagrams of the day:
First lady Michelle Obama checks out the East Room before the state dinner for China on Friday night (read all about the event — including the dinner and dessert menu — here):
Rand Paul used a clown-zombie for target practice at a gun range in Nashua, N.H.:
David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel reunited at a Chicago art show for sculptor Emilie Brzezinski, mother of “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— Politico, “Presidential politics complicates trade talks,” by Doug Palmer: “Top trade officials from the United States, Japan and 10 Pacific Rim countries will be holed up in an Atlanta hotel this week to try to finish a giant trade deal against the backdrop of an increasingly raucous presidential campaign that could make it harder to win congressional approval…. The largest trade deal in history is facing the potential for increasing pushback from the left, with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton coming under intense pressure from progressives to reject the deal she promoted as secretary of state and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — a staunch foe of the TPP — rising in the polls. Now, the earliest the pact could get to Congress is winter or spring because of the timelines built into a law to ‘fast-track’ approval of the deal, which lawmakers passed this summer.”
— USA Today, “DEA Agents kept jobs despite serious misconduct,” by Brad Heath and Meghan Hoyer: “The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed its employees to stay on the job despite internal investigations that found they had distributed drugs, lied to the authorities or committed other serious misconduct, newly disclosed records show…Of the 50 employees the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct recommended be fired following misconduct investigations opened since 2010, only 13 were actually terminated, the records show. And the drug agency was forced to take some of them back after a federal appeals board intervened…. In one case listed on an internal log, the review board recommended that an employee be fired for ‘distribution of drugs,’ but a human resources official in charge of meting out discipline imposed a 14-day suspension instead. The log shows officials also opted not to fire employees who falsified official records, had an ‘improper association with a criminal element’ or misused government vehicles, sometimes after drinking.”
— Associated Press, “Marco Rubio ramping up campaign with more time in the early states,” by Catherine Lucey and Kathleen Ronayne: “Rubio says he’s about to start spending a whole lot more time in Iowa and the other early voting states. … He recently hired a state director in Iowa, a position other campaigns have had in place for months, and has booked millions in television ads that will start airing in November…. Rubio has visited New Hampshire just seven times this year, and five times since he announced his candidacy. By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will make his 14th visit to the state next week, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been there close to two dozen times. Rubio’s trip this week to Iowa was only his eighth this year, far fewer than many of his competitors.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Bernie Sanders is belatedly stepping up his Hispanic outreach (and he’s doing it in en Espanol). From the Inquisitr: “One concern that has been leveled regarding Sanders’ campaign and chances for receiving the Democratic nomination, or earning the presidency, is that he has been slow in reaching minority voters. On Tuesday, Sanders aims to correct this, with an online Q&A directed at those voters whose primary language is Spanish. Sanders announced the event on Sunday, with a post on his Facebook page.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
The far right wants Mitch McConnell’s ouster now too. From the Washington Times: “McConnell needs to resign!!” Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere wrote in a Facebook post. He also serves on the RNC’s executive committee.” Put this in the category of “Not Going to Happen.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Donald Trump hosts a group of evangelical pastors for a private meeting and prayer session at Trump Tower in New York City. Bernie Sanders speaks at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. In Florida, Marco Rubio greets voters in The Villages. South Carolina’s senior senator, Lindsey Graham, attends a town hall meeting hosted by the state’s junior senator, Tim Scott, in Myrtle Beach. In Iowa, Bobby Jindal campaigns in Washington and Keosauqua, while Chris Christie holds a town hall in Alden.
— On the Hill: The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business with votes expected at 6:30 p.m. The Senate reconvenes at 4:30 p.m. to prepare for a procedural vote on a clean short-term spending bill.
— At the White House: President Obama is in New York City for a series of events at the United Nations, including his address to the General Assembly and his bilateral meeting with Putin. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stay in N.Y.C. overnight. In Washington, Vice President Biden meets with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and holds a reception in honor of the 21st anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“The good news is they probably won’t use marriage equality as a wedge issue like they did in 2004 because the country has come too far,” a feisty President Obama said during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York last night. “In fact, America has left the leaders of the Republican Party behind. One of their leading candidates argued that going to prison turns you gay.… Another candidate boasts that he introduced an amendment to end nationwide marriage equality — which isn’t even an accomplishment at all. A third says Americans should just disobey the Supreme Court’s ruling entirely. I’m sure he loves the Constitution — except for Article III. And maybe the Equal Protection Amendment. And the 14th Amendment, generally.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— Weather wise, the week will start like summer and end like fall. “This act of cloudy skies and the occasional rain chance is growing old, but it’s the weather pattern we’re stuck with for much of the week. After a warm Monday with just a slight chance of showers, a toasty Tuesday sets the stage for a healthy dose of downpours by the evening hours,” the Capital Weather Gang reports.
— The District’s inspector general has filed an ethics complaint against the head of Metro’s board, accusing Mortimer Downer of serving as a paid adviser to a company that received “tens of millions of dollars” in contract work for the system.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Funny or Die taped a video with Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters (click below to watch):
Tim Allen, of “Home Improvement” fame, appeared on Sean Hannity and called himself a “fiscal conservative”:
President Obama and China President Xi Jinping traded toasts at the White House state dinner:
Bill Clinton told CNN that he thinks Trump could win the GOP presidential nomination:
— From Pope Francis’s Philadelphia visit:
- Actor Mark Wahlberg welcomed Francis to the stage at the World Meeting of Families. Watch here.
- Francis condemned the molestation of children in the Catholic Church and gave a speech at Independence Hall. Watch here and here.
- Watch a three-minute recap of Francis’s whirlwind U.S. trip here.
See a slideshow with some of the best super moon pictures from last night here.