THE BIG IDEA:

— Heritage Action wants more specifics from Ben Carson, has concerns about Marco Rubio’s higher education plan and worries about Carly Fiorina’s ties to the GOP establishment. 

The political arm of the prominent conservative think tank will release a 24,000-word report on Monday, exactly 365 days before the general election, evaluating a dozen Republican candidates on their records and policy positions. The group will not explicitly endorse a candidate, but they’ve vetted the contenders across half a dozen categories.

Researchers for Heritage, which embraces with gusto its role as a thorn in the side of Republican congressional leadership and an enforcer of ideological purity, have been working on the “Presidential Platform Review” project since April.

“Americans are not looking for a president to simply manage the status quo in Washington,” said Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, a 501(c)(4). “They want someone that will fight the well-connected special interests and advance policies that work for everyone. Fortunately, conservatives have a deep and visionary field to choose from.”

Ten Republicans came to Greenville, S.C., in September for a forum put on by the group, a reflection of the clout that Heritage President Jim DeMint still has in his home state. Donald Trump canceled at the last minute, citing a “significant business transaction.” His absence made the cattle call, which drew thousands of conservative activists from across the country, feel less theatrical and more substantive.

Early excerpts, shared exclusively with The Daily 202, suggest that the forthcoming review will follow a similar mold. Here are some key nuggets:

— “Dr. Carson’s instincts on opportunity-related issues like education and welfare policy appear to be sound, but he has not put forward a detailed policy agenda addressing impediments to mobility. … Dr. Carson has suggested that many of the poorest in America might be better off through the implementation of welfare policy designed to discourage idleness. … However, he has also supported policies that would harm jobless Americans such as an increase in the minimum wage pegged to inflation.”

“Rubio has innovative ideas on opportunity, though not all are consistent with limited government principles. … His most promising idea is to reform the higher education accreditation system, which currently limits the flow of federal aid to institutions approved by self-interested accreditation bodies … Rubio’s proposal is more prescriptive than some alternative accreditation reform proposals. This reliance on government-set criteria also carries through to his proposal to increase federal involvement in publicizing data on student outcomes. … No doubt the higher education lobby would do all it could to lobby government to focus on metrics that play to the strengths of the institutions that benefit from the status quo.”

— “Fiorina has recently delivered a strong critique of crony capitalism, but has previously aligned herself with the Washington establishment. … On some of the specific policy debates relating to government favoritism, Fiorina has taken bold positions placing her at odds with the political establishment [e.g. doing away with the Export-Import Bank]. … However, some aspects of her record suggest Fiorina is not universally opposed to policies that favor well-connected businesses at taxpayers’ expense. During the 2010 election cycle, Fiorina was critical of bailouts, but during the 2008 campaign, Fiorina argued that the Troubled Asset Relief Program ‘was, unfortunately, necessary because credit is tight for hardworking Americans and small businesses.’ And while acknowledging that ‘simply throwing money at technology is not a solution,’ Fiorina praised the Obama stimulus for its spending on  broadband subsidies.”

  • “On amnesty, Fiorina has supported the DREAM Act for those who came illegally to the United States as minors … [and] she has expressed openness to granting special legal status to those who have violated the law and come to the country illegally.”
  • “Tapped by John McCain’s presidential campaign as a key surrogate, Ms. Fiorina was eager to defend policies like cap and trade that she now claims to oppose. As the National Republican Senatorial Committee-endorsed candidate for Senate in California, Fiorina defeated a more conservative challenger in her primary. And since her stint as Vice-Chair of the NRSC in 2011, she has attacked conservatives working against the Washington establishment in efforts like the fight to defund Obamacare.”

“Ted Cruz has been willing to pay a political price for taking on government favoritism. … Though Senator Cruz initially voted for the trade bill that served as a bargaining chip for Ex-Im allies to secure reauthorization, he later switched his vote and exposed the backroom deals that had been struck by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him out on the Senate floor for lying to the American people. It cost him political capital in the U.S. Senate, but in doing so, Senator Cruz demonstrated real leadership.”

Judging them not viable, Heritage opted not to study the records of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki or former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

— The U.S. Trade Representative released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the start of a new stage in President Obama’s push for congressional ratification of the deal. (David Nakamura and Mike DeBonis story; the deal is here.)

— A new biography of George H.W. Bush is sure to generate lots of buzz, especially some digs he takes at his son’s vice president: In interviews with biographer Jon Meacham, the 41st president said Dick Cheney (who had served as his Defense Secretary) built “his own empire” and asserted too much “hard-line” on his son’s White House. He also called Don Rumsfeld an “arrogant fellow” who “served the president badly,” according to the New York Times’ Peter Baker, who writes up the book. “He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer,” the elder Bush said of Cheney. “It just showed me that you cannot do it that way. The president should not have that worry. … The big mistake that was made was letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department. I think they overdid that. But it’s not Cheney’s fault. It’s the president’s fault. … The buck stops there.”

Other nuggets–

  • Donald Trump wanted to be Bush’s running mate in 1988.
  • H.W. wrote in his diary of his wife’s relationship with the Reagans: “Nancy does not like Barbara.”
  • Bush considered not running for a second term after the Gulf War.

Awkward–

  • Shot: Jeb’s campaign put out a press release last Wednesday touting the support of Dan Quayle.
  • Chaser: The new biography has Jeb privately urging his dad to drop Quayle from the ticket in 1992.

Jeb aides tell The Post’s Ed O’Keefe that the former Florida governor hasn’t read the book yet.

— Obama argues that none of the 2016 Republicans are offering a single fresh idea. “You could take the speech of any one of the current Republican candidates and put it side-by-side with what Mitt Romney was arguing in 2012, and what John McCain was arguing in 2008, and what George Bush was arguing in 2000 and 2004, and it’d be the same prescription,” he said at a DNC fundraiser last night. “They’re offering the same thing.” (The dinner was in Potomac, Md., at the home of David Trone, who owns Total Wine & More.)

Correction: Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon did not parachute out of his private plane in Arkansas. The aircraft itself had a parachute that he deployed when the engine cut out, which allowed him and his passengers to crash-land safely on a road. (Watch a cell-phone video here, via CBS.)

GET SMART FAST:

  1. Iran’s military allegedly hacked into the e-mail and social media accounts of several Obama administration officials, potentially related to the recent arrest in Tehran of an Iranian-American businessman. (Wall Street Journal)
  2. Britain suspended all flights from Sharm el-Sheikh after intelligence officials hinted that an on-board bomb caused the Russian jet to go down over the Sinai Peninsula this weekend. Some outlets reported that ISIS is the suspected culprit. (Griff Witte and Erin Cunningham)
  3. The Illinois cop whose staged suicide created a massive manhunt had been embezzling money from his police force and the Boy Scouts. Some who donated to the perp’s family when he was thought to be a hero now want that money back. (Mark Berman and Mark Guarino)
  4. A health organization related to the Clinton Foundation said it will refile some of its taxes which contained errors related to government grants. (Politico)
  5. The Supreme Court justices seemed conflicted and divided after hearing the case of a Maryland man who says the state’s redistricting laws are unconstitutionally partisan. (Robert Barnes)
  6. The U.S. military conducted a series of non-lethal airstrikes in Afghanistan hours before that deadly attack on a Doctors Without Borders clinic. (Sudarsan Raghavan)
  7. DOD paid $6.8 million to various sports leagues for “patriotic festivities.” (New York Times)
  8. Sacramento cops arrested a suspect in the bar-fight stabbing of the hero airman who stopped the Paris train attack. (Dan Lamothe)
  9. Louisiana police fired on a fleeing vehicle, critically injuring the driver and killing his 6-year-old son. (AP)
  10. Incoming flights at the San Diego airport were halted during a five-hour standoff between a gunman and police at an apartment complex directly in airplanes’ flight path. The man fired upon officers after breaking into the condo of his ex-girlfriend. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  11. Four in 10 working moms say in a Pew survey that being a parent has negatively impacted their career advancement. (WSJ)
  12. In the Republican race, 95 percent of TV ad spending thus far has come from outside groups, while just 5 percent comes from the actual campaigns. It is the opposite on the Democratic side: 95 percent of spending has been directly from campaigns, and just 5 percent is outside groups. (NBC)

POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:

  1. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) was chosen to be the next chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, succeeding Paul Ryan. (Kelsey Snell)
  2. Hillary Clinton writes an op-ed ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Nov. 9 visit to the U.S. saying that she would improve relations with Israel. (Forward.com)
  3. Chris Christie could get booted from the main stage of next week’s Republican debate, based on the latest national polling. Fox Business will announce who qualifies tonight. (CNN)
  4. Marco Rubio, under fire for his use of a credit card issued by the Republican Party of Florida when he was speaker of the state House, promised to disclose previously withheld spending records “in the next few weeks.” (Sean Sullivan)
  5. Rubio also vowed to end DACA if he becomes president, regardless of whether or not Congress passes something to replace it. The pronouncement, hardening a position he staked out earlier in the year, would cost the Floridian dearly if he’s the nominee (particularly in Nevada and Colorado) but underlines the degree to which his apostasy on immigration endures as a problem in the Republican primaries.
  6. Donald Trump telephoned Republican megadoner Sheldon Adelson to discuss the presidential race and then trashed Adelson on Twitter after it was reported he was leaning toward Marco Rubio. (New York Times)
  7. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are chastising Chairman Jason Chaffetz for rebuffing their efforts to investigate price hikes by two pharmaceutical companies. “My constituents are dying,” said Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, a possible Senate candidate in Maryland. (Rachel Weiner)
  8. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will introduce a bill today to help prevent heroin overdose deaths by increasing access to the drug naloxone. His legislation, previewed for the 202, would encourage physicians to co-prescribe naloxone alongside opioid prescriptions and would make naloxone more widely available in federal health settings.
  9. Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown’s daughter, Elizabeth, won a seat on the Columbus City Council. (Columbus Dispatch; Picture of her voting; picture of Sherrod watching returns while holding his grandchild here)
  10. Justin Trudeau, sworn in as Canada’s prime minster, named women to exactly half of his cabinet posts. “Because it’s 2015,” he said. (William Marsden)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

— THE NEW LITMUS TEST – “Debate over Medicare, Social Security, other federal benefits divides GOP,” by Robert Costa and Ed O’Keefe: “The rift was exemplified this week by the biggest GOP stars of the moment. Newly installed House Speaker Paul Ryan said he plans to pursue a ‘bold alternative agenda’ that would include major revisions in entitlements. At the same time, Donald Trump railed against proposals to end or significantly change Medicare. The dispute is part of a larger GOP argument over which policies Republicans will present to voters next year and how far the party should go in pushing for changes. Three years ago, Mitt Romney and Ryan, his running mate, faced withering Democratic attacks after endorsing dramatic overhauls of Medicare and Social Security that proved unpopular. The Republican presidential candidates are jockeying to be seen as in solidarity with Ryan, the darling of party elders, or with Trump, a voice for grassroots voters.

There are two kinds of Republicans: those who want to win elections and those who want to govern. “This is the biggest fault line in the party: whether Republicans should be talking about reducing benefits,’ conservative economist Stephen Moore told Bob. “Republicans have fallen on their sword for 30 years trying to reform Social Security and Medicare but the dream lives on — and it makes everyone nervous. Some see a political trap; others see it as necessary.”

— “How law enforcement officers can kill someone and avoid prosecution,” by Wesley Lowery: “Families of people killed by police rarely see the officers taken to trial. It was supposed to be different for the children of Larry Jackson Jr.: The Austin police detective who shot and killed Jackson was scheduled to be tried this week for manslaughter. At the last minute, however, a judge dismissed the case against the white detective, Charles Kleinert, ruling that he was acting as a member of a federal task force in 2013 when he shot Jackson, an unarmed black man. As a federal agent at the time, the judge ruled, Kleinert is shielded from state prosecution. The ruling stunned Jackson’s family, whose attorney called it a ‘great civil rights injustice,’ and dismayed the local prosecutor, who has vowed to appeal. Meanwhile, the case is shining a spotlight on a legal tactic rarely used in criminal cases, one that raises the question of when, if ever, a federal law enforcement officer can be charged with a crime for killing someone in the line of duty. The question is not theoretical: So far this year, federal officers have been involved in 33 fatal shootings nationwide…”

New generation of trade group CEOs take more aggressive — and at times unorthodox — approach to lobbying,” by Catherine Ho: “Geoff Freeman, who took over as president and chief executive of the American Gaming Association in 2013, is 40. He replaced Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., the former longtime Republican National Committee chairman who served as the AGA’s founder and first president for 17 years. He’s part of a new generation of younger trade group leaders who are deploying a wide range of unorthodox lobbying tactics, a shift reflecting the new normal of the advocacy business. Like Freeman, some of the new CEOs are as much as two or three decades younger than their predecessors and came to power at the same time gridlock and chaos reigned in Congress. Rather than only forging relationships with federal lawmakers, these influence gurus are turning to state-level lobbying and media campaigns to shape public opinion.”

— Jeb’s comeback tour sounds like a therapy session, Philip Rucker reports from New Hampshire. In Manchester, after a young child asked what it was like to grow up the son of a president, Bush told a room full of kids that his father’s approval weighed on him. “All he had to do was say, ‘I’m disappointed in you,’ and it would send me in a deep, spiraling depression,” he said. Phil writes: “Bush is suddenly campaigning like he’s in a therapy session, wounded and wrestling with his identity both as a political performer and as heir to the Bush family dynasty. … Bush wore his emotions on his sleeve and volunteered introspective interpretations of why he wasn’t winning.”

A guy who does TV training for Fox News anchors is prepping Jeb for next week’s Fox Business debate: Media coach Jon Kraushar has worked with Roger Ailes for decades, explains New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman. “In the 1980s, Ailes and Kraushar were business partners at Ailes Communications, the political-consulting shop Ailes founded. It was during this time that Ailes and Krashaur famously coached Jeb’s father and Dan Quayle to the White House in 1988. A year later, Ailes and Kraushar collaborated on the best-selling book You Are the Message, which has become something of a Bible for public speakers and television pundits. After going their separate ways, Ailes and Kraushar remained close. Fox pundits regularly go to Kraushar for training and Ailes recommends politicians to him. During the 2012 presidential election, Ailes sent Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, to Kraushar for help.”

ABC’s Jon Karl asked Jeb to talk about his session with Kraushar during a sit-down on the bus: “He’s telling me to be me. … My problem in the debates: I have to un-train myself to answer questions that are asked. … You have to pivot towards what you want to say, and learn to interrupt in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re just oppressively rude. You’ve got to garner the space.”

LATEST POLLING:

A slew of new surveys shows the GOP field crystallizing, with Donald Trump still atop the pack but Ben Carson coming in a close second and Bush continuing to tank.

  • A Fox News Poll of registered voters showed Trump with 26 percent, Carson with 23 percent, while Bush dropped 3 points since September to just 4 percent. Cruz and Rubio were tied with 11 percent. Trump and Carson remain the leaders if voters are asked to pick their second choice, but Rubio leapfrogs past Cruz and Jeb gains slightly. Trump does lose — badly — on the question of who voters think is “honest” and “trustworthy,” coming in 7th with 38 percent while Carson and Huckabee win on that score. On the Democratic horse race, the Fox survey finds Clinton leading Sanders nationally by 25 points, 56 to 31 percent.
  • Gallup survey shows Carson has a net favorable rating of plus 59 percent among Republicans, and plus 21 percent among all adults, compared to negative 22 percent nationally for Trump. Interestingly, among African-Americans, Carson had a net negative 1 percent rating and the only Republican in positive territory (positive 4 percent) was John Kasich.
  • A Quinnipiac survey of registered voters showed Carson and Trump tied for 1st place, and Carson beating Clinton by 10 points in a general election matchup (Hillary beats Trump by 3 points). Rubio is in 3rd in the GOP race, followed closely by Cruz and then Bush. Jeb actually had the worst net favorable rating at negative 33 percent, compared to negative 19 percent for The Donald.
  • There were also some early state numbers. In South Carolina, likely Democratic voters support Hillary over Bernie by 56 points, 71 to 15 percent, according to a Winthrop University poll.
  • A WBUR poll of likely GOP primary voters found Trump and Carson still leading, but Rubio gaining 9 points in New Hampshire to 3rd place after the debate and Christie (who gave an impassioned speech about drug abuse there in recent days) tracking up 6 points to 5th place. Bush is down 2 points, to six place.

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol celebrated when Trump dropped out of first place in a national polling average. A few hours later, Fox News released a poll showing that he is still on top:

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ, Curated by Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck)

— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Bernie Sanders’ call to legalize marijuana set Twitter, well, atwitter yesterday and earned the Vermont senator nearly twice the number of mentions as Hillary Clinton. Sanders introduced a bill yesterday to remove marijuana from the DEA’s “most dangerous” drug list and to exempt pot from the Controlled Substances Act, which would put the onus on states to decide whether to ban it or not. Much of the online buzz, though, came from a single seven-second Vine that was shared on social media more than 70,000 times on Wednesday, showing a guy’s eyes light up during a Bernie rally.

— Pictures of the day:

Get ready, because there are only three days left until Donald Trump hosts “SNL.” The ratings are going to be HUGE:

Jeb Bush’s tour bus looks pretty sharp against the fall foliage in New Hampshire:

Lawmakers remembered former Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), who died on Tuesday night. Here’s a shot of Coble in one of his many madras blazers:

And here Coble visits with Grover from Sesame Street:

–Tweets of the day:

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise congratulated roommate Kevin Brady on getting the Ways and Means gavel:

Marco Rubio picked up another endorsement in the Senate:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) spoke for many Minnesotans when she expressed indignation over a New York Times food section story that described the state’s beloved Honeycrisp apples as “soft” and “inconsistent” in flavor. The Gray Lady also got into hot water with Minnesotans last year when she printed a recipe for grape salad and (inaccurately) claimed that it is something commonly eaten with Thanksgiving dinner in the state.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) won a World Series bet against Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.):

–Instagrams of the day:

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) celebrated the birthday of humorist and entertainer Will Rogers by visiting his statue at the Capitol (rubbing Rogers’s boots is said to bring good luck):

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) showed off his shelf of libertarian classics:

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

— Hartford Courant, “Bridgeport comeback complete: It’s once again Mayor Joe Ganim,” by Christopher Keating and Gregory B. Hladky: “In a victory that would have been unthinkable only six months ago, convicted felon Joe Ganim won his city hall job back Tuesday night as he soundly defeated six other candidates to become Bridgeport’s next mayor. ‘Some will call this a comeback story. For me it is a city that I never left. I never stopped caring about the challenges that people face in every neighborhood,’ Ganim told throngs of supporters. As the leader of the state’s largest city, Ganim again becomes a key player in state Democratic politics because of the size of the city’s delegation at party conventions. Ganim has a rocky relationship with the state’s top Democrat, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who repeatedly refused to endorse him during the campaign. Malloy, however, said the people of Bridgeport should not be punished for the past criminal actions by Ganim. In 2003, Ganim was convicted by a federal jury on 16 felony counts of racketeering, bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax evasion for accepting more than $500,000 in cash, diamonds, expensive wine, tailored clothing, high-priced meals, and home renovations in a widespread kickback scheme that led to the convictions of 10 of his associates. He served seven years in federal prison and then was eventually released from a Hartford halfway house in 2010.” Read The Atlantic’s take here.

— Los Angeles Times, “The difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar? Jurors will decide,” by Stephen Ceasar: “It’s a bitter legal fight between the sweetest of enemies. On Wednesday, the sugar industry took to a Los Angeles federal courtroom and accused high fructose corn syrup producers of falsely claiming that their product is just as healthful as sugar. Corn syrup producers hit back, arguing that the sugar industry has long engaged in an unsavory campaign of misinformation. The false advertising spat pits two sweeteners that have each been blamed for contributing to a host of ailments, including diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. After years of delays and legal wrangling, the two titans of the food industry are engaged in a billion-dollar battle to determine whose claims of healthfulness — and unhealthfulness — are true.

“At the center of the trial is an advertising campaign that portrayed corn syrup as  ‘nutritionally the same as table sugar’ and claimed ‘your body can’t tell the difference.’ ‘That’s just wrong,’ attorney Mark Lanier, who represents the sugar industry plaintiffs, told jurors during opening statements in the trial. ‘And the corn refiners know it.’ Attorney Dan Webb, who represents the corn refiners, countered that the effort was an ‘educational campaign’ to combat a decade’s worth of falsehoods and junk science promulgated by sugar makers. ‘It was to get the truth out there, he told jurors.”

This trial is only one battler in a larger war. The Daily 202 has extensively covered the Corn Refiners Association campaign to get Congress to scale back lucrative subsidies given to sugar producers.

HOT ON THE LEFT

Harry Reid criticized “Morning Joe” for bringing the Koch brothers on as guests. From Talking Points Memo: The Senate Minority Leader chastised Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on the Senate floor Wednesday. “It seems that some journalists are determined not to get on the wrong side of the Koch brothers and their billions,” he said. “When the media rolls over for these modern-day robber barons as it’s doing now, our country’s in trouble.”

HOT ON THE RIGHT

Gun sales break records for sixth month in a row. From the Washington Free Beacon: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record number of background checks in the month of October, indicating that gun sales were at an all time high for the sixth month in a row. The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.”

DAYBOOK:

— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton appears on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in Los Angeles. Ben Carson continues his book tour with stops in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Fla. Most of the presidential field is in New Hampshire, with Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Carly Fiorina filing to appear on the primary ballot in Concord. Sanders is doing a rally and Fiorina is hosting a lunch. Later, Rubio tours a business in Manchester, while Lindsey Graham campaigns in Salem and Manchester; John Kasich stops in Greenland, Durham and Londonderry; Chris Christie holds a town hall in Nashua; and Jeb Bush greets supporters in North Conway and Somersworth. In Iowa, Bobby Jindal speaks in Des Moines. Martin O’Malley kicks off “Irish Americans for O’Malley” in Washington, D.C.

–On the Hill: The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. to resume work on a defense appropriations bill. The House adjourned at 1:04 a.m. and will reconvene at 9 a.m. to continue consideration of the highway bill.

–At the White House: President Obama gives interviews to local radio hosts and delivers remarks at the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Vice President Biden travels to Nashville to deliver remarks at the National League of Cities 2015 Congress of Cities and Exposition. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY: A 12-year-old girl asked Trump in New Hampshire about wind energy. “Well, the windmills look nice,” he told her. “But they kill a lot of birds. Did you know that? You wouldn’t believe what they do to the birds!” (National Review)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

Spotty rain today gives way to a warm blast tomorrow. “Today, while unmistakably mild, most likely produces a shower or two and only patchy breaks in the cloud cover,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “Friday is the barn burner when a few spots hit 80 and records likely fall – a rather ‘fallacious’ day for early November. A potent but slow poke of a cold front returns shower chances Friday night into Saturday as well as chillier readings.”

— The Wizards beat the San Antonio Spurs on a game-winning 3-pointer with less than a second remaining. (Jorge Castillo)

D.C.’s new top prosecutor signaled he is close to resolving the investigation of the alleged illegal financing of Vincent Gray’s 2010 mayoral campaign. (Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow)

— “If your D.C. employer currently doesn’t offer a commuter benefits program, that might change by the end of the year. The deadline to comply with a new D.C. law requiring companies with 20 or more employees to offer commuter benefits is Jan. 1, and that means hundreds more workers will have access to the federal tax break. The District is one of a number of cities nationwide — but the only one in the Washington region– to require employers to provide the tax-free benefit. A similar law also goes into effect in New York on Jan. 1, and San Francisco has had one for several years.” (Luz Lazo)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Here are two minutes of “SNL” promo teasers airing on NBC ahead of Trump’s appearance this weekend:

Watch Bernie Sanders hang out with his grandson, Dylan:

Bill O’Reilly told Jimmy Fallon that Republican candidates should stop “whining” about the debates:

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) told Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen that God does not want interest rates to rise until the spring: