THE BIG IDEA:
The State Department posted 7,800 pages of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails yesterday afternoon, the latest batch of the 55,000 pages that she sent and received while in office.
In this installment, 328 of the e-mails were withheld from public consumption because they are now deemed classified — the State Department says that brings the total number of messages partially withheld on that basis to 999. “All the messages designated as classified Monday were at the lowest tier, ‘Confidential,’ which is usually used for sensitive diplomatic communications,” Politico’s Josh Gerstein notes.
A few of the most interesting nuggets:
— Superstorm Sandy apparently knocked out the Clinton private server for two weeks in 2012, delaying her responses to several messages, including birthday greetings. Karen Tumulty recalls that it was this episode that led the Clintons to seek more IT help.
— One 2012 exchange underscores the belief within Clinton’s high command that Hillary had erred in 2008 by not showing enough emotion on the campaign trail. Rosalind S. Helderman zeroes in on a note that Mark Penn, who was Clinton’s 2008 chief strategist, sent after the Secretary of State testified before the Senate about the Benghazi attacks and famously asked: “… what difference, at this point, does it make?”
While Hillary’s closest aides at Foggy Bottom were celebrating the hearing – they thought the boss crushed it – Penn warned that she had hurt herself. “I don’t think the emotion in the hearing works to your advantage,” he wrote. “Looks more like they rattled you on something no one outside the crazy right blamed you for anyway.” Penn had prodded Clinton to come across as Thatchersque in her 2008 battle with Barack Obama.
— Exposing the battle lines from that battle, Clinton aide-de-camp Phillipe Reines forwarded it along: “Give. Me. A. Break.,” he wrote to Clinton. “You did not look rattled. You looked real. There’s a difference. A big one.”
Deputy Secretary of State Jake Sullivan then replied to Clinton: “My problem with Mark’s analysis is that it repeats the same flawed assumption that underpinned his 2008 advice; namely, that being yourself is risky,” he said.
Hillary agreed, writing back: “BINGO!!”
— Bigger picture, Clinton stayed focused on politics even when she was officially out of it. “In March 2011 … Reines alerted Mrs. Clinton to her 65% approval rating in a recent poll. ‘This is why we cooperate with so many profiles,’ he wrote,” the Wall Street Journal flags. “In 2009, a longtime supporter from New Hampshire, state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, dropped by for a visit. In October 2012, her schedule showed a 15-minute phone call with megadonor George Soros.”
— In another e-mail getting buzz, Clinton criticized the caucuses as “creatures of the parties’ extremes”: “If Mittens can’t beat Grinch in Florida, there will be pressure on state Republican parties to reopen or liberalize ballot access especially in the caucuses, which as we know are creatures of the parties’ extremes,” she wrote in a 2012 email to Sid Blumenthal. (Mittens is Mitt Romney; Grinch is Newt Gingrich.) Will the Des Moines Register follow up?
— After Hillary suffered a concussion from fainting and hitting her head in late 2012, aides reached out to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Republican Sen. Bill Frist to help push back on conservative conspiracy theories. “Having a cracked head is no fun at all,” Clinton joked in an email to Reines. “I reached out to both the Nfl commish [Goodell] (I remembered that his dad held your Senate seat) and Bill Frist,” Reines told Clinton. “I enlisted their help in my ongoing efforts to undermine the John Boltons and Laura Ingraham’s of the world who are belittling your health… just not letting these comments stand, no matter who says them.” The Daily Beast notes that “Frist responded warmly, but there is no evidence that Goodell wrote back to Reines.”
— In 2012, an aide sent Clinton a list of 94 countries she had not visited yet as Secretary of State. The subject line was “100 and counting …” — an apparent reference to the nations she had visited. “With 7ish months left, plenty of time to run up the score on total countries,” Reines wrote. “110 is a reasonable goal.” (New York Times)
— Finally, the Secretary asked Reines what channel Showtime is on so that she could watch “Homeland.”
Read the trove all for yourself: The State Department posted the full release here.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— Elizabeth Warren, still not ready for Hillary, is a glaring holdout. Thirteen of the 14 Democratic women in the Senate raised hands with Clinton at an event last night. But not the freshman from Massachusetts. “Her absence served as an awkward reminder of the frontrunner’s enduring struggle to generate support and enthusiasm among an influential segment of her party’s most liberal members,” write Anne Gearan and Mike DeBonis. “It also illustrates the leverage that Warren holds in an election that Democrats are calculating will be waged on issues of economic advancement and fairness.”
— Bernie Sanders is recovering at his Capitol Hill townhouse this morning after hernia surgery at George Washington University hospital yesterday. His campaign insists that he will vote in the Senate later today and be back on the hustings later this week. Sanders, 74, was campaigning as recently as Sunday night and often says he’s blessed with good health. For what it’s worth, I had outpatient hernia surgery three years ago, also at GWU hospital, and that’s definitely not the kind of activity that my medical team permitted. My surgeon told me to stay off the campaign trail for two weeks during the summer of 2012, but then again I wasn’t running for president…
The Vermont senator’s first words after coming out of the recovery room were “Medicare for all,” The Post’s John Wagner reports.
— Coming attraction: Looking to force a veto confrontation before the end of the year, Senate Republicans will vote, as early as Thursday, on legislation that would repeal large parts of Obamacare and cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. “The strategy for leaders in both the House and the Senate has been to allow conservatives to vent their frustration with Obama through the reconciliation bill, which cannot be filibustered and requires only 51 votes for passage,” Kelsey Snell reports. “The hope is that members will be satisfied with the vote and abandon any plans to try to defund Planned Parenthood or target Obamacare in the omnibus spending bill that must pass by Dec. 11.”
— Mystery in the Last Frontier: The newly elected mayor of Juneau, Alaska, was found dead in his home. Greg Fisk had just defeated an incumbent. A police spokesman said in a statement that the department “is aware of rumors” and “speculation” that an assault occurred in connection with the 70-year-old’s death but said detectives are still “actively investigating,” per Alaska Dispatch News. His body is being sent for an autopsy, and cops were spotted examining the area around his house with flashlights late into the evening.
THE LATEST FROM THE WAR ON ISIS:
A big escalation is possibly coming in Syria, as Obama mulls more boots on the ground: “The Pentagon will consider deploying more special operations troops to fight Islamic State militants if its pilot project in Syria shows signs of progress,” a senior Defense official told USA Today last night in what appears to be a trial balloon. “The Pentagon last month announced that 50 commandos would be sent to northern Syria to advise forces battling the Islamic State. Sending that initial force amounts to ‘breaking the seal’ on inserting special operations forces in Syria and could lead to further deployments, said the official…The Pentagon will not comment on whether those commandos have arrived in Syria.”
The White House named Robert Malley as its new anti-ISIS czar. He previously served as senior director at the National Security Council for the Middle East and Africa. Press Secretary Josh Earnest says Malley’s role will be complementary to that of Brett McGurk, the State Department special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, per CNN.
U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, after receiving what the BBC describes as a “thorough kicking” at yesterday’s leadership meeting, granted his members a free vote on Syria, allowing them to back Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s request for airstrikes and guaranteeing passage through Parliament on Wednesday. (Yesterday’s 202 has the backstory.)
An “optimistic” Vladimir Putin said he and Obama discussed creating a list of groups in Syria considered terrorist organizations and a list of groups considered a part of the Syrian opposition. “French and U.S. officials said Russia’s military operations have shifted slightly in a positive direction in recent days,” per the Wall Street Journal.
Former top intelligence official criticizes U.S. invasion of Iraq and botched response to the rise of ISIS: “We were too dumb,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who spent three decades in the Army before serving as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the German newspaper Der Spiegel. “It was a huge error,” he said of the decision to go into Iraq. “When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them. … Then, we strategically marched in the wrong direction.” Read the full Der Spiegel interview (in English) here.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul warned American citizens that an “imminent attack” in the area is likely in the next two days, and urged those living in the Afghan capital to take extreme caution, according to AFP.
GET SMART FAST:
- The man accused of killing three people and injuring nine at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Robert Lewis Dear, made his initial court appearance and will be held without bond after being charged with first-degree murder. (Danielle Paquette and Mark Berman)
- Trying to get out front of a Republican proposal being rolled out today, the White House unveiled proposed changes to the visa waiver program to better track which visitors recently traveled to terror-ridden countries. The administration also promised to step up penalties for countries and airlines that fall short of the program’s security standards. (Karoun Demirjian)
- The U.S. has supplied more than $260 million in military equipment to Ukraine, but many soldiers say that the gear, which includes Humvees from two and three decades ago, barely protects them. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
- The Chinese renminbi was declared an elite currency by the IMF, joining the U.S. dollar, euro, pound and yen. It’s a blow to the greenback because countries can now hold renminbi as their reserve. (New York Times)
- The Federal Reserve will no longer be able to bail out individual companies during economic crises under a new rule that goes into effect today. (Reuters)
- A U.S. Marine was convicted of killing a transgender woman whom he went to a hotel room with in the Philippines while he was on break from military exercises. (AP)
- An Indonesian inquest concluded that last year’s AirAsia plane crash, which killed all 162 on board, was caused by a recurring problem with the rudder control system and poor pilot response. (AP)
- The Chicago police officer charged with killing Laquan McDonald is out of jail after posting $1.5 million bail. (Chicago Tribune)
- The four men suspected of shooting Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis were charged with felony assault, but not hate crimes, even though prosecutors said the attack was racially motivated. (Star Tribune)
- A 21-year-old man was arrested for the online threat which caused the University of Chicago to shut down for the day. (Lindsay Bever and Elahe Izadi)
- Rice University opted out of a Texas law that will allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. (Houston Chronicle)
- A nonprofit group aimed at combating obesity bankrolled by Coke disbanded after it was revealed that the soda maker was directly involved with the organization’s decision-making. The nonprofit had previously lied and insisted the company had no input. (AP)
- Japan will begin a controversial program to kill hundreds of whales for “scientific research.” But many organizations, including the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, are dubious and believe most of the whales will be sold commercially. (Rachel Feltman)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Gayle Smith was finally confirmed by the Senate, 79-7, to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development. She got approved by the Foreign Relations committee in July, but Ted Cruz put a hold on her nomination to protest the Iran nuclear deal. (AP, via ABC)
- Obama will deliver his final State of the Union on Jan. 12, an unusually early date. (Mike DeBonis)
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) endorsed Marco Rubio, as did John Rakolta, Mitt Romney’s 2012 finance co-chairman. (Philip Rucker)
- Former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on federal corruption charges. Another big win for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. (New York Times)
- Emily’s List is spending $1 million on radio and TV ads to support Rep. Donna Edwards’ campaign for the Democratic nomination to be Maryland’s next senator. (Rachel Weiner)
- Pentagon Inspector General Jon Rymer resigned to move into the private sector after three years on the job. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
- The family of Robert Durst’s first wife – who vanished over 30 years ago and whose story was told in the HBO miniseries “The Jinx” — filed a $100 million lawsuit against the wealthy heir claiming he prevented her proper burial. (BuzzFeed)
THE LATEST FROM THE PARIS TALKS:
The president urges action. “Obama, who has staked his legacy on the fight against climate change, struck an ominous tone in describing the ravages of a warming planet, declaring that ‘no nation large or small, wealthy or poor, is immune.’ He urged leaders to take action even if the benefits were not evident for generations,” Steven Mufson and Joby Warrick report.
“But there were also signs of discord as negotiators prepared to haggle over details of a complex treaty that requires all nations — even the poorest ones — to make a contribution to cutting greeenhouse-gas pollution. … Obama has already aligned most of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters behind substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, but over the next dozen days international climate negotiators must still nail down the details of an agreement that would strengthen existing commitments and introduce a way for countries to review and expand their commitments in the near future.”
India may derail any deal. Negotiators for the world’s 3rd-largest greenhouse gas polluter have, so far, publicly staked out an uncompromising position. The New York Times reports that Narenda Modi said climate change isn’t India’s fault during a speech yesterday, instead blaming “the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel.” “During the climate change talks, India is expected to challenge the United States on three counts: To speed up emissions reductions by wealthy countries to compensate for emissions growth in poor countries; to pay more to poor countries to assist in mitigation plans; and to provide clean-energy technology to poor countries.”
Meanwhile, as the politicians postured, heavy smog engulfed many parts of northern and eastern China on Monday. Here is a man riding his bicycle amid heavy haze in Fuyang:
— “Fear, faith and the rise of Ben Carson,” by Stephanie McCrummen: “The rise of Carson toward the top of the polls in the Republican presidential primary race has baffled many political pundits, liberals and some within the GOP establishment, who find his positions short on details, and certain assertions … But to see Carson from Mike and Toni Ledet’s front porch, the reverse is true: To them, Carson is the only candidate who fully grasps what they see as the one reality that matters most — that America has fallen away from God. And while other Republican contenders express some version of that sentiment, Toni says it is Carson who seems both the closest to God and the furthest from Obama, who troubles her deeply … In the life of Ben Carson, they see a man in tune with the will of God. ‘A Christian attitude,’ Mike says. ‘A Christian-based physician,’ Toni says.”
— “Following U.S. indictments, Chinese military scaled back hacks on American industry,” by Ellen Nakashima: “The Chinese military scaled back its cybertheft of U.S. commercial secrets in the wake of Justice Department indictments of five officers, and the surprising drawdown shows that the law enforcement action had a more significant impact than is commonly assumed, current and former U.S. officials said. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not substantially reengaged in commercial cyberespionage since then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced charges against the officers in May 2014, the officials said. It is still unclear, however, whether President Xi Jinping will be able to deliver on a September pledge to President Obama that China would not conduct economic spying in cyberspace to benefit its own companies.”
THE 2016 NARRATIVE:
— Cruz v. Rubio battle continues to heats up. In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Florida senator attacked his Texas colleague for being weak on national security. Rubio was referring to Cruz’s vote to limit government surveillance in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations (and it’s only fair to say, Cruz was one of 67 senators to support the USA Freedom Act’s reforms). “There are Republicans, including Senator Cruz, that have voted to weaken those programs. That is just part of the record, it is nothing personal,” Rubio said on “Fox News” yesterday. He repeated his comments after a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing.
Cruz fired back on the Hugh Hewitt show, taking aim at Rubio for his support of the 2013 Senate immigration bill. “I think the reason that Rubio’s allies have resorted to false attack ads is they are very, very nervous about our surge in the polls, about the fact that conservatives are uniting behind our campaign, and they’re even more nervous about all the scrutiny that people are focusing on Marco Rubio’s longtime partnership with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer pushing a massive amnesty plan,” Cruz barbed.” And so I think they were looking to change the subject, and they believed that launching a false attack based on the USA Freedom Act was the way to do it.”
Cruz defended his opposition to the government collecting metadata for national security reasons, saying “it is not necessary” to protect Americans by violating the “Constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding citizens. I don’t believe the federal government needs to collect in bulk and maintain your and my phone records. That does not further national security. But the second thing the USA Freedom Act does is it strengthens the tools for going after the terrorists.” Listen to Cruz’s full comments on the subject here. And definitely look for more drama between the two senators in coming weeks.
— Ethanol could now emerge as a big issue in the run-up to the caucuses. In a move with political ramifications in Iowa, the Obama administration scaled back its requirement for how much corn-based ethanol must be mixed into gasoline in 2016. Already two years behind on issuing the quotas for the Renewable Fuel Standard, the EPA mandated that 18.11 billion gallons be mixed into the nation’s gas supply next year — below the 22.25 gallon amount set by Congress in 2007. The move sparked an uproar in Iowa, where ethanol producers and Gov. Terry Branstad bashed it. “Today’s announcement by the EPA was a gut punch for consumers and farmers,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Politico notes that the lower ethanol quota seems to have been influenced by an intense lobbying campaign by the oil industry.
— Trump met with African-American pastors, as opponents piled on. So after all the hubbub, The Donald did sit down with about two dozen at his Trump Tower in Manhattan, saying he saw “love in that room.” But the planned press conference to roll out the endorsements of 100 black pastors never happened. Trump, though, talked to the press after the event (the number of endorsements wasn’t offered). By his side was Omarosa Manigault, a contestant from “The Apprentice” and an ordained minister. And as the New York Times reported, some attendees were skeptical even before meeting with the real-estate mogul: “It appears as if he’s a possible racist based upon some of the things he said about black America,” said Brehon Hall, a preacher from Toledo, Ohio. (Video)
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ curated by Elise Viebeck:
— ZIGNAL VISUAL: In the Democratic race, Sanders was mentioned more than 2.8 million times across all media in November, compared with more than 2.2 million mentions for Hillary Clinton. What accounted for the difference in mentions? Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs pass along some fascinating metrics. Some of the Sanders edge is attributable to a single Sanders-related Vine, posted by a Los Angeles radio station, which continues to dominate social media. It was shared more than 110,000 times of Twitter alone last month. Here’s Sanders’ word cloud for the month:
As for Hillary Clinton, the conservative Internet continues to mobilize against her, which makes mentions of her overwhelmingly more negative than positive on the Internet overall. Here is a word cloud tracking all mentions of Clinton during the month of November:
The race continues to look very different on TV than it does on social media. While Sanders received 57 percent of the Democratic chatter on Twitter, compared with 42 percent for Clinton, the former Secretary of State secured 54 percent of the month’s television mentions among Democratic candidates. Sanders received 35 percent and Martin O’Malley received 11 percent — much higher than his 1 percent on Twitter. Here is a share of voice breakdown:
–Pictures of the day:
Speaker Paul Ryan debuted a new beard:
After Ryan’s staff inquired, the House Archives said that Frederick Huntington Gillett was the last Speaker to sport a beard:
Gwyneth Paltrow praised this decision by the EPA:
Clinton supporters Zoey Verbesey, 10, and Catherine Dooley, 9, wait for the start of last night’s “Women for Hillary” event:
— Tweets of the day:
Bernie Sanders, who has in the past sided with labor union leaders over Latino activists when forced to choose (e.g. the 2007 immigration reform bill that he helped to kill), is trying to show that he gets it.
The Donald jokingly mused about requiring CNN to donate $5 million to veterans charities as a condition for him to participate in the next debate during a rally in Georgia last night. An NBC embed also shared this scene:
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) marked a significant 65th anniversary:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) attacked Rubio:
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) pointed out that its snowing in Sioux Falls:
–Instagrams of the day:
Mike Huckabee was asked to sign Pez dispensers on the campaign trail, calling it “a first”:
Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) showed off the place he buys his boots in Bozeman:
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) shared a photo of his son meeting Santa Claus:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— New York Times, “Scope of national security inquiry is revealed,” by Charlie Savage and Colin Moynihan: “National security letters, which empower federal investigators to seek certain customer records without court approval or oversight, were significantly expanded as part of the USA Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In August, a judge ruled that the entrepreneur, Nicholas Merrill, could disclose what he had been asked to turn over if the government did not file an appeal within 90 days, and the deadline has now passed. Mr. Merrill revealed that the F.B.I. in 2004 ordered his company, Calyx Internet Access, to turn over all physical mail addresses, email addresses and Internet Protocol addresses associated with one customer’s account, as well as telephone and billing records and anything else considered to be an ‘electronic communications transactional record.’ The order said the content of communications between the customer and others should not be handed over.”
— New Republic, “Yes she can,” by Michael Eric Dyson: “What can Hillary Clinton do for black people as president? She possesses neither her husband’s performative charisma with black folk, nor Obama’s undeniable blackness. She must instead wield the sort of power that politicians would, in a better world, solely rely on: public policy. If we were betrayed by Bill Clinton, and suffered dashed hopes under Obama, maybe, just maybe, we will get from Hillary Clinton what we most need and truly deserve: a set of political practices and policies that reinforce the truth that black lives must, and do, finally matter. On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has exhibited a greater sophistication about race, increased sensitivity about how blackness is lived in our country, and a deeper awareness of how the small brutalities of racism rend the fabric of the social compact after first spoiling the flesh of those at the bottom of society. If there were disturbing racial echoes in Hillary’s first attempt to gain the White House, what’s to guarantee we won’t get blinkered in a fog of racial sensitivity now? Has Hillary Clinton changed? Have we?”
— Los Angeles Times, “There’s no such thing as a ‘male brain’ or ‘female brain,’ and scientists have the scans to prove it,” by Karen Kaplan: “Scientists examined detailed brain scans of more than 1,400 men and women. No matter which group of people they looked at, what type of scan was used or which part of the brain was examined, the researchers consistently failed to find patterns that set men and women apart. ‘Although there are sex/gender differences in brain structure, brains do not fall into two classes, one typical of males and the other typical of females,’ the team wrote in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ‘Each brain is a unique mosaic of features, some of which may be more common in females compared with males, others may be more common in males compared with females, and still others may be common in both females and males.’ … Only 6% of the brains consistently ranked among the ‘most male’ or ‘most female’ in all 10 categories, the researchers found. On the other hand, 35% showed ‘substantial variability,’ with male traits in some regions and female traits in others.”
— Motherboard, “Hacker obtained children’s headshots and chatlogs from toymaker Vtech,” by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai: “Hacked toymaker VTech also left thousands of pictures of parents and kids and a year’s worth of chat logs stored online in a way easily accessible to hackers. … Over the weekend, the hacker, who asked to remain anonymous, said that VTech left other sensitive data exposed on its servers, including kids’ photos and chat logs between children and parents. This data is from the company’s Kid Connect, a service that allows parents using a smartphone app to chat with their kids using a VTech tablet. In online tutorials, the company encourages parents and kids to take headshots and use them in their apps. … While probing VTech servers, the hacker found tens of thousands of pictures of parents and kids. Some are blank, or duplicates, so it’s hard to establish exactly how many are legitimate pictures. But the hacker said he was able to download more than 190GB worth of photos.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Nearly 15,000 people in Wisconsin have lost access to food stamps since Scott Walker required recipients to seek employment or job training in his budget this spring. The Wisconsin State Journal: “If you’re an able-bodied adult without children living at home, you must work at least 80 hours a month or look for work to stay in the program. That rule went into effect in April, and between July and September, about 25 percent of the 60,000 recipients eligible to work were dropped from the program when the penalty took effect.” “They will bankrupt our food banks,” said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Milwaukee-based Hunger Task Force, a supplier of food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters with emergency food.
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Alabama to pay Planned Parenthood’s legal fees after trying to defund it. From the Montgomery Advertiser: “Alabama would pay just over $51,000 in legal fees to settle a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Southeast over Gov. Robert Bentley’s attempt to cancel the organization’s Medicaid contract, under an agreement filed in federal court Monday morning. The governor moved to cancel the organization’s contract … in August after videos surfaced alleging that Planned Parenthood sold fetuses and fetal tissue.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Trump rallies supporters in Waterville Valley, N.H. Clinton speaks at an event marking the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Ala. In Iowa, Jeb holds events in Dubuque, Waterloo and Newtown. John Kasich is in Nashville, where he’ll speak to reporters. Marco Rubio visits Charleston, S.C., and Guntersville, Ala. Chris Christie stops in Londonderry, Manchester and Concord, N.H.
— On the Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. and aims to begin consideration of the reconciliation bill as early as the afternoon. The House meets at 12 p.m. for legislative business.
— At the White House: President Obama is in Paris. Vice President Biden speaks at a charity-sponsored concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Ted Cruz, asked about contraception at an Iowa town hall, said Republicans do not want to become “the condom police”: “I have been a conservative my entire life. I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban contraceptives. …. Heidi and I, we have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have 17. And it’s a great example when the war on women came up, Republicans would curl up in a ball, they’d say, ‘Don’t hurt me.’ Jiminy Cricket! Last I checked we don’t have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put 50 cents in and voila! So, yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it’s an utterly made-up nonsense issue.” (CNN)
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— “A constant cloud canopy maintains the gloomy sky situation today with intervals of rain,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “Temperatures creep up slightly warmer than yesterday with upper 40s and low 50s. Light breezes are variable in their direction. Rainfall totals today could range from 1/4 to 1/2 an inch throughout the area. Don’t leave home without your umbrella. Raincoat and galoshes optional.”
— Dissatisfaction among Metro riders increased from 67 percent to 82 percent in the first three quarters of 2015. (Robert Thomson)
— Gift ideas: We’re late to this, but President Obama and his daughters went shopping for “Small Business Saturday” at Upshur Street Books in Petworth. The First Family purchased these nine books: “Purity: A Novel” by Jonathan Franzen; “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel” by Salman Rushdie; Cynthia Voigt’s “Elske: A Novel of the Kingdom,” “On Fortune’s Wheel,” and “Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom”; “A Snicker of Magic” by Natalie Lloyd; “Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli; “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8” by Jeff Kinney; and “Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life” by Rachel Renée Russell.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Funny Or Die imagined a trailer for a parody movie about Donald Trump:
Seth Meyers poked fun at Obama and Trump in his “favorite jokes” segment:
The twin pandas at the Toronto Zoo are growing fast:
Amazon released a video simulating its future drone delivery service (here are 8 details worth noting):
Here’s a one-minute video of President Obama’s motorcade rolling through the heart of Paris after dinner with Hollande:
Warner Bros. released a sneak peek at the trailer for its “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie. Watch here.