THE BIG IDEA:
–The likelihood that at least one of the suicide bombers in Paris came to France as a refugee via Greece will make it much harder for President Obama to accept more than 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year.
— On the Republican side of the presidential race, there has been a race to the right since Friday night to see who can take the hardest line on accepting new refugees.
Several GOP candidates have called for accepting Christian refugees but not Muslims. Ted Cruz said in South Carolina last night: “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they we would have a different national security situation.” Jeb Bush said on CNN that the government should focus on helping “Christians that are being slaughtered.”
Other are going farther: Marco Rubio said on ABC that we should not absorb anyone from Syria because “there’s no way to background check” them. Ben Carson said Sunday that accepting any refugees is a “suspension of intellect.” Donald Trump promised to not just stop any more from coming in but to kick Syrian refugees who have already arrived out of the United States.
Martin O’Malley and Hillary Rodham Clinton both said during Saturday’s debate that they still want the U.S. to take 65,000 refugees, but they went out of their way to talk about the need for safeguards.
— A showdown is brewing on the Hill: Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has been trying to include a rider in the year-end spending bill that would prohibit the Obama administration from spending any money to admit Syrian refugees until the intelligence community approves the process. “The White House indicated on Sunday that it intended to move ahead with the refugee program, and top Democrats in the Senate had been pushing back against Mr. Grassley’s proposal before the Paris attacks,” reports the New York Times’ Carl Hulse. “But the new developments are likely to make many Democrats more cautious about lending strong support to the refugee plan and perhaps provide momentum for Mr. Grassley’s proposal.”
— The strongest opposition might come at the state level:
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said yesterday that his state will not accept any Syrian refugees until the U.S. Department of Homeland Security fully reviews its procedures. “Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” the Republican said in a statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley tweeted at 10:25 p.m. last night: “I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way. We refuse Syrian refugees.”
— With the Louisiana governor’s race coming up this Saturday, underdog David Vitter is pivoting to the issue. It’s a welcome distraction from talking around his liaisons with prostitutes (aka “redemption”). Senate Republican leadership is also looking to give Vitter another show vote this week on punishing sanctuary cities to try helping his flailing campaign–just like Democrats did with the Keystone XL Pipeline for Mary Landrieu last year.
Vitter is also sending out robocalls from Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum in a last-ditch effort to gin up an unenthused conservative base. A spokesman told National Journal that a call from Marco Rubio is also in the works. Santorum, who won the Louisiana primary in 2012, accuses Democratic candidate John Bel Edwards in his robocall of skipping a gubernatorial forum sponsored by an anti-abortion group “in favor of attending a voter drive held at a risqué adult hip-hop nightclub in New Orleans.”
— Watch for lots more talk about national security this week, especially from the guys who think they can benefit from a more serious tone in the Republican race. John Kasich’s campaign announced at 10:15 p.m. last night that he’ll “present his strategy for keeping America safe” in a noon speech on Tuesday at the National Press Club. The Bush campaign advised at 6 p.m. last night that Jeb “will speak about rebuilding our country’s military” at The Citadel in Charleston on Wednesday at noon. Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger said the speech was previously scheduled, but that originally they planned to use it as a peg for rolling out a plan on rebuilding the military. Now, she says, Bush will “address the attacks in Paris, the path forward in our war against ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism, and how we need to rebuild our military to address these threats.”
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING — The latest on France’s 9/11:
— Raids at home: Police staged more than 150 anti-terrorism raids across France overnight, as the prime minister warned of the possibility of more attacks and authorities identified more suspects.
— Airstrikes abroad: The French military, with U.S. support, dropped 20 bombs on ISIS compounds in Raqqa, Syria, in retaliation.
— Identifying the mastermind: Officials said they suspect Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud is behind the attacks. Authorities also named two more of Friday’s attackers, one of them a 28-year-old Frenchman who was charged in a terrorism investigation from 2012.
— More on the scope: As many as 20 people were involved in planning and executing the attacks, officials believe.
— Oops: It turns out that French police questioned and released the suspected eighth attacker, who is now the subject of an international manhunt.
— Travel warning: The State Department issued an advisory that terror attacks could continue across Europe and asked travelers to take extra precaution when overseas.
— Today could be a bad day for the markets: Asian stocks fell overnight in the first day of trading since the Paris attacks amid fears about the economic impact of the attacks.
— A Democratic candidate for Minnesota state House ended his campaign in the face of backlash over a tweet that said “ISIS isn’t necessarily evil” because “it is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community.”
GET SMART FAST:
- The U.S. transferred five Yemenis who allegedly had ties to al-Qaeda and had been detained at Guantanamo Bay to the United Arab Emirates. (Adam Goldman)
- Protests erupted in Minneapolis last night after police shot an African-American man who they say was a suspect in an assault and was preventing paramedics from treating a victim. (Star Tribune)
- A group of students at the University of Kansas is calling for the resignation of three student body leaders amid racial tension on campus, claiming that they “didn’t stand in solidarity with their black peers” during a recent forum. (AP)
- A deal was struck in conference to replace No Child Left Behind, with the new legislation returning more authority over schools to the states and freeing them to ignore many federal regulations. (Lyndsey Layton)
- The Supreme Court will hear its most important case on abortion in 25 years, with the justices granting cert to determine how far states can go in regulating abortions without violating a woman’s constitutional rights. (Robert Barnes)
- Fifteen Sudanese migrants were killed in the crossfire of a gun battle between Egyptian security forces and Bedouin smugglers as they were about to illegally enter Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (AP)
- In Hawaii, 49 people—including 10 children—have been infected with dengue fever. (BuzzFeed)
- The CDC reports that only 16.8 percent of Americans now smoke, down from 20.9 percent a decade ago. (Tech Times)
- Two zebras escaped a Philadelphia circus and ran through the city before being caught and safely returned. (The Philly Inquirer has funny pictures and videos)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- With Rep. Sam Farr’s retirement in California, Leon Panetta’s son, James, is considering a run for House. He’s a deputy district attorney in Monterey County. (Monterey Herald)
- Ban Ki-moon will go to Pyongyang this week to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the first time in 22 years that a U.N. Secretary-General has visited the country. Meanwhile, North Korea declared a no-sail zone off its eastern coast, likely to prepare for another missile test launch.
- Spike Lee won an honorary Oscar and used his acceptance speech to decry the lack of diversity in Hollywood. (BET)
- Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre‘s all-time passing yardage record in the Broncos-Chiefs game.
SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
— Not ready for prime-time: Carson struggled to articulate a plan to defeat ISIS and couldn’t name even one foreign leader or country that he would collaborate with to form a coalition, despite being asked three times on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t want to put a specific number on it or indicate what types of people there are because those are decisions that, I think, are made by people who have a tremendous amount of military experience and capability,” Carson said. “For me to pretend like I have all that knowledge and the ability to formulate the specific plans is foolish, and I think anybody else who thinks they know it all is foolish also.” (Elise Viebeck)
— Another Bush talks tough about the Middle East: Jeb told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the U.S. should declare war against ISIS. “Well, you take it to them in Syria and Iraq,” Bush said. “You destroy ISIS. And then you build a coalition to replace this radical Islamic terrorist threat to our country and to Europe and to the region with something that is more peace loving. We have to be engaged in this. This is not something you can contain. Each day that ISIS exists, it gains new energy and more recruits around the world.”
— Bernie Sanders reiterated that climate change has a direct link to terrorism and that it is the greatest national security threat facing the U.S. “If we are going to see an increase in drought, in flood, and extreme weather disturbances as a result of climate change, what that means is that people all over the world are going to be fighting over limited natural resources,” Sanders said on CBS’ “Face the Nation”. “If there is not enough water, if there is not enough land to grow your crops, then you’re going to see migrations of people fighting over land that will sustain them. And that will lead to international conflict.”
— Lindsey Graham said he wants to put 10,000 American troops in Iraq and hopes France invokes Article V of the NATO charter: “I’m trying to protect America from another 9/11, and without American boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, we’re gonna get hit here at home,” the South Carolina senator said on CNN‘s “State of the Union.” “There is a 9/11 coming, and it is coming from Syria if we don’t disrupt their operation inside of Syria. … If we don’t do these things soon, what you’ve seen in Paris is coming to America.”
DEMOCRATIC DEBATE FOLLOW-UPS:
— Just 8 million people watched the debate on CBS Saturday night, seven million fewer than watched the last debate in Vegas. It’s the worst ratings of the cycle but also not surprising when you consider the DNC’s effort to suppress viewership. (Something the party continues to deny.)
— Liberal elites from the Acela Corridor continue to slam Clinton for invoking 9/11 to defend her coziness with Wall Street.
- The New York Times editorial board this morning says she “botched” the question and her “badly muffled response” only “compounded the damage.” More from the editorial: “Nearly 15 years after the 2001 attacks, Mrs. Clinton was earning more than $200,000 for a 20-minute speech. Most of those took place behind guarded doors. But one can guess that she and the financial executives were not still talking about 9/11. Her effort to tug on Americans’ heartstrings instead of explaining her Wall Street ties — on a day that the scars of 9/11 were exposed anew — was at best botched rhetoric. At worst it was the type of cynical move that Mrs. Clinton would have condemned in Republicans.”
- Cornel West, speaking as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders in Iowa yesterday, landed a sharp dig at “my dear sister Hillary Clinton.” “I took Wall Street money but it didn’t affect me?” he said, paraphrasing Clinton’s remarks at the debate. “I say, I was born at night but not last night.”
- A Yahoo News reporter noticed that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, who was with Hillary in Iowa yesterday, was “wearing a fleece jacket that bore the logo of Equilibrium Capital, a $1 billion financial and investment company.”
But most rank-and-file Iowa Democratic activists surveyed by my colleague Philip Rucker at a picnic in Ames said they either didn’t notice or were not bothered by her line. When Martin O’Malley attacked Clinton over it at the event, there was no audible crowd reaction. This could, of course, change if Clinton continues getting hammered by MSNBC and the editorial board of the Times.
Republicans, meanwhile, zeroed in on Clinton’s line that she came “from the 60’s” and her refusal to use the term “radical Islam,” per Abby Phillip and David Weigel.
— “The ‘soft target’: Anywhere people gather, the potential of a Paris-style attack lurks,” by Joel Achenbach: “At first glance on Saturday, New York’s Penn Station looked like it always does, crammed with people rushing to be somewhere else, many of them clustering under the departures sign and waiting for their track to be called. On second glance, you would have seen the soldiers. They were arrayed around the concourse in camouflage uniforms, bulked out with body armor. One leaned against a wall with an assault rifle clutched to his chest, barrel down. They were there in case terrorists showed up. Security has tightened because Penn Station is an example of what is known, chillingly, as a ‘soft target.’ It is a gathering place for civilians. There are no metal detectors, no checkpoints where you have to take off your belt and shoes. Civilians are expected to help with security by being alert. ‘IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS OR UNUSUAL SAY SOMETHING!’ reads the safety card tucked into seat-back pockets on Amtrak trains. But when fear takes hold, everything is suspicious, everything unusual.”
A data point to highlight rising fear: Two individuals on a Boston-bound flight at Reagan airport were questioned and later released after the crew reported “suspicious activity.”
— ”As new speaker, Ryan will quickly be tested on foreign policy,” by Karoun Demirjian: “Few outside Ryan’s inner circle even know where the Wisconsin Republican stands on most foreign policy matters, or how he’ll choose when to counter or collaborate with the Obama administration. There is little time for a learning curve. Ryan’s first two-and-half weeks on the job were marked by deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and the passage of a defense authorization bill in Congress … Ryan has just tapped as his chief foreign policy adviser a veteran Hill staffer with a resume similar to the speaker’s: Jonathan Burks was policy director on the House Budget Committee for four years, and most recently advised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on budget and appropriations.” Outside experts to whom he turns for counsel include: Dan Senor, a prominent foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign…Elliott Abramswho worked as a national security adviser to former President George W. Bush; and Eric Edelman, a former ambassador who served in Bush’s Defense Department.”
— “Business is booming at the Harvard of pot in California,” by Sara Solovitch: “Jean Kennedy has a BS in biology and a master’s in special education. Now, she’s trying to decide what to do with her third degree: a certificate of achievement from Oaksterdam University, the Harvard Business School of marijuana…. Horticulture 102 is one of the many subjects Kennedy studies at Oaksterdam, whose storefront campus is set amid the hip cafes, restaurants and cannabis dispensaries of downtown Oakland. Founded in 2007, the school sees itself as a training ground for citizen advocates in the fight to legalize marijuana…. Oaksterdam is rebounding after a 2012 raid by the federal government, which deems marijuana a Schedule 1 illegal drug, the same category as cocaine and heroin. Federal agents, many of them masked and armed, broke down the doors of the school with battering rams and sledgehammers, carting away an estimated 60,000 cannabis plants and scattering the school’s terrified faculty and students.”
— “Inside small-town Louisiana feud that led to a 6-year-old boy’s police killing,” by William Wan: “For years, people in the tiny Louisiana town of Marksville watched the feud between their mayor and local judge like some kind of daytime soap opera, with varying degrees of frustration and bemusement. Then came the Nov. 3 shooting that killed a 6-year-old boy. Suddenly, the petty small-town bickering began looking more tragically sinister. Why in the world, residents ask, were deputy marshals — whose main job is serving court papers for the judge — out there chasing cars and shooting up suspects? How did one of the deputies — who had been charged twice for aggravated rape and racked up a string of lawsuits for excessive force — even get hired? And how did a speck of a town like Marksville wind up with a shadow police force on its streets?”
— “Inside Trump’s Palm Beach castle and his 30-year fight to win over the locals,” by Rosalind S. Helderman and Mary Jordan: “Trump’s relationship with Palm Beach, where he has spent three decades brawling with local officials and winning over many, was an early indicator of the personality traits and tactics that have helped propel him to the top of Republican presidential primary polls. In buying and then winning the right to transform the landmark property, Trump demonstrated how he gains leverage by exposing and exploiting the weaknesses of his opponents, combining bombast with a willingness to compromise, and casting every outcome as a resounding Trump victory. The story of Trump’s ownership with Mar-a-Lago is also a reminder of the real estate mogul’s tabloid past — a time, long before he began courting conservative voters, when he reveled in extravagant parties, beautiful women and celebrity friendships.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
–Pictures of the day:
NASA released this image of Pluto, using a technique called principal component analysis to highlight the color differences between its distinct regions. This was produced by the New Horizons satellite:
Obama and Susan Rice huddle with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit:
Ted Cruz took a massive selfie with supporters in Orlando. “Under time constraints … Cruz’s body man takes one woman’s phone, tells everyone who wants a photo with Cruz to squeeze in next to the senator, snaps a pic, hands the phone back to the woman, then tells everyone to get that woman’s number so they can get the photo,” relays CNN’s Ashley Killough:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) hung out with Santa Claus at the Christmas Bazaar in Anchorage:
–Tweets of the day:
Donald Trump praised Tom Brady’s performance in the Patriots’ 27-26 win over the Giants:
Trump trashed Ronda Rousey after she suffered a stunning defeat at the Ultimate Fighting Championship over the weekend:
It’s worth noting that this summer Trump told CNN that Rousey really liked him and suggested he had her support. She then publicly trashed him and, in an interview with Maxim last week, endorsed Sanders.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced the Capitol flags were lowered to honor the Paris terrorism victims:
–Instagrams of the day:
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) celebrated his mom’s birthday:
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) wished a happy birthday to his former boss, Condoleezza Rice:
The McCains stopped by the Phoenix International Raceway for the NASCAR race:
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) performed the coin toss at Charleston Southern University, his alma mater:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— Daily Beast, “Confessions of an ISIS spy,” by Michael Weiss: “’All my life, OK, I’m Muslim, but I’m not into sharia or very religious,’ Abu Khaled said. ‘One day, I looked in the mirror at my face. I had a long beard. I didn’t recognize myself. It was like Pink Floyd. ‘There’s somebody in my head but it’s not me.’… Like many of his compatriots, he’d spent a large part of a war that has gone on for half a decade based in southern Turkey. He joined ISIS on Oct. 19, 2014, he said, about a month after the U.S.-led coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve expanded its aerial bombardment campaign to Raqqa, the eastern province where ISIS keeps its ‘capital.’… ‘I went there practically as an adventure,’ he said. “I wanted to see what kind of people were there. Honestly, I don’t regret it. I wanted to know them. Now they are my enemy—and I know them very well.”
— BuzzFeed, Deadlocked FEC “inadvertently just gave super PACs more power,” by Tarini Parti: “The blurred lines of coordination between campaigns and super PACs have dominated the election cycle. How involved, for instance, can future candidates be in raising and spending money for their super PACs? Jeb Bush raised $100 million for his super PAC before announcing his White House bid. Can future candidates film footage intended to be used later by a super PAC in ads? John Kasich filmed footage — eventually used in ads by his super PAC — before he announced his bid. … The agency responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws announced that they are deadlocked on key issues related to the separation between campaigns and outside groups. And in taking no action, the Federal Election Commission — which includes three Democrats and three Republicans — essentially permitted these types of activities in its final opinion released Friday evening by showing that it doesn’t have the required votes needed to take action against them.”
— ABC News, “Unprecedented face transplant surgery gives former firefighter hope for a better life”: “Being a volunteer firefighter meant everything to Pat Hardison, but when an accident during a rescue mission left his face severely burned, he thought he would never be the same again. … But 14 years later, Hardison got the call to come to NYU Medical Center in New York City, where a surgical team, led by renowned reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who is the chair of the hospital’s Department of Plastic Surgery, would prepare him for the most extensive face transplant ever performed. It was a procedure so extreme and so risky that his doctors warned him he only had a 50-50 chance of surviving it. But it was a risk he was willing to take for the chance to get his life back and feel normal again.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Racial tensions grow at University of Kansas. From the AP: “Racial tensions are growing at the University of Kansas with a call for three top Student Senate leaders to resign and a recent graduate initiating a hunger strike. The Senate’s Student Executive Committee is demanding that Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Student Body Vice President Zach George and Chief of Staff Adam Moon step down by Wednesday … The three leaders released a statement Saturday, saying they plan to continue serving.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Carson: ‘I hope’ media not targeting me because I’m black. From the Washington Examiner: “In an interview that aired Sunday, [Ben] Carson told Fox News’ Howard Kurtz that ‘I hope’ there isn’t a racial aspect to the media’s coverage of him — particularly recent stories in Politico and CNN that reported details of his life as a youth … ‘I think they’re just concerned about someone who may not be controllable by them, or someone that doesn’t go along with the progressive agenda,'” Carson said.
–What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Bernie Sanders holds a rally in Cleveland, while Donald Trump speaks in Knoxville, Tenn. Ted Cruz holds events in Charleston and Sun City, S.C. Martin O’Malley stops in Waverly, New Hampton, Decorah, Waukon and Elkader, Iowa.
–On the Hill: The Senate reconvenes at 3 p.m. The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business and 6 p.m. for 16 suspension votes.
–At the White House: President Obama is at the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey. He holds a quint bilateral meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France. Obama departs Turkey in the evening. Vice President Biden travels to Los Angeles, participates in a roundtable at the L.A. Cleantech Incubator and attends a DSCC event.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’d be willing. That’s a good way to put it.”– Sarah Palin, asked if she’ll run for office again, on CBS‘ “Sunday Morning”:
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— “Milder than normal air has ruled the month of November, thus far, and carries on through the first half of this week,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “Today’s sunny 60s may represent the Weeks’s best weather because clouds become prevalent Tuesday through Thursday even as temperatures remain above normal. A strong cold front Thursday returns temperatures to near normal levels Friday through the weekend.”
— Kirk Cousins’ four touchdown passes helped the Redskins rout the New Orleans Saints 47-14, moving to 4-5 on the season.
— Georgetown will rename two buildings that are named for past university presidents who sold slaves in the 19th century.
— A VRE train station that has been in the works for a decade will open in Spotsylvania County this morning with seven trains headed into DC.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
SNL guest host Elizabeth Banks joined in a Ben Carson sketch (check out Kenan Thompson as Black Jesus):
Ted Cruz performed his favorite scene from “The Princess Bride” in New Hampshire. Mutton, lettuce and tomato, anyone?
A pool camera at the G-20 summit in Turkey caught three cats wandering around the stage before global leaders appeared. Watch the 18-second video here.