THE BIG IDEA:
I spent nine hours at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting yesterday, watching 13 of the GOP presidential candidates make 30-minute pitches to a crowd of 700 deep-pocketed donors and pro-Israel activists. Here are six takeaways from the cattle call at the Ronald Reagan Building:
1. Ben Carson is not getting better on foreign policy.
The retired neurosurgeon, falling in the polls, announced as he took the stage that he normally speaks “spontaneous.” But, this time, he was going to read from a prepared text because he wanted “to cover everything.” “It might be the first time anybody has seen me doing that,” he said.
That did not stop him from repeatedly mispronouncing Hamas. He called the terror group “hummus,” like the chickpea spread, but then alternated to different pronunciations at other moments. Trying to show a command of foreign policy, he rattled off a bunch of events from Israel’s history. It came off like he was lecturing a crowd of passionate Zionists about the history of the Jewish state, facts they are intimately familiar with. Unlike the others, he didn’t take any questions.
A week after visiting a refugee camp in Jordan and a year after going to Israel for the first time, Carson looked way out of his depth, most in the room agreed afterward.
2. Donald Trump was the only candidate who didn’t try to pander, but it didn’t come across as courageous.
He remains the front-runner. A CNN national poll out this morning shows him leading with 36 percent. Ted Cruz is in second, with 16 percent, followed by Carson at 14 percent, Marco Rubio at 12 percent and Jeb Bush at 3 percent. The poll is stunning because Trump leads on every question, including who would be best on foreign policy and who would be most electable in the general. He’s stayed at the top because he’s done things his way.
Yesterday, all the other speakers meticulously checked the boxes and promised to fight for the issues most important to the people in the room. But after being introduced as “a mensch with chutzpah,” the billionaire got booed for refusing to promise that he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem if elected. He did not back away from comments he made to the Associated Press the day before, in which he suggested that peace depends on Israel being “willing to sacrifice certain things.”
But the most memorable parts of his presentation were a series of jokes that played on centuries-old Jewish stereotypes, including that people of the faith are stingy or money grubbing. “I’m a negotiator — like you folks,” he said at one point. “Is there anyone here who doesn’t negotiate deals?” Making matters worse, Trump repeatedly said that the people in the room were never going to back him because he is self-funding his campaign. “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” he said. The comments made waves in the Israeli media.
To be sure, some laughed. But it was mostly nervous laughter. As one attendee cracked to conservative Post blogger Jennifer Rubin afterward, “I threw up in my mouth so many times I need a mint. Trump will probably sell mints. We Jews are good at buying things.”
3. There are two kinds of Republicans: those who think foreign policy is easy and those who know it’s hard.
It’s the difference between being naïve and sophisticated. And watching the long lineup, it was striking to see those who were clear-eyed and those who seem to have no idea what a Herculean learning curve every president faces once they sit in the Oval Office.
Presenting himself as a dealmaker who can break the impasse, Trump suggested he could bring peace to the Middle East within six months. Carly Fiorina talked about calling up Iran on her first day in power to change the terms of the nuclear agreement, ignoring the fact that it is a multilateral deal.
On the other side, Jeb Bush talked about how reckless it is to make “grandiose statements” that cannot be enforced or achieved. Ohio Gov. John Kasich discussed his experience in the House and as an executive to demonstrate that he knows he could not flip a switch and solve the Middle East crisis.
4. Pro-Israel Republicans are not all full-spectrum conservatives.
Lindsey Graham has been one of the RJC’s best allies in Congress for years, and he was the only speaker who did not lead with Israel. Instead, he took exception to Ted Cruz, who went right before him and ducked on a question he’d been asked about his specific position on abortion.
The South Carolina senator ripped into his rivals, and this would include Marco Rubio, who oppose abortion in all cases. “If you are going to tell a woman who has been raped that she has to carry the child of the rapist, you’re going to lose most Americans,” he said. “If the Republican nominee won’t allow an exception for rape or incest, they will lose.”
He then criticized Republicans for “incredibly hateful rhetoric” toward Hispanics. “I believe Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party’s chances to win in an election that we can’t afford to lose,” he said to applause. “You think you’re gonna win an election with that kind of garbage?!”
Graham’s tone was reminiscent of Bill Buckley’s when he called out the Birchers. It was a powerful moment that resonated with many in the room, who are hawkish on national security but more moderate and/or ambivalent on social issues.
5. Jeb Bush benefits from George W. Bush’s rock star status with the pro-Israel crowd.
Jim Baker, a Bush family retainer for the past half century and an unpaid adviser to Jeb’s campaign, made waves when he criticized Benjamin Netanyahu in March. Asked about Baker at the event, the former Florida governor declared: “The person I rely on the most as it relates to U.S.-Israeli policy is my brother!” That drew possibly the loudest cheers of the whole day.
“I’ve got a damn good brother,” he added, to more cheers.
Besides Bush 43 White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, several Bush-era ambassadors were spotted. So there’s a degree of loyalty, even as Jeb has languished.
6. Chris Christie is effectively capitalizing on the post-Paris, post-California climate.
For the first time since Bridgegate, he looked like someone who could plausibly become the GOP nominee. He opened by seizing on the San Bernardino shooting and saying, if an attack can happen there, then “every place is vulnerable.”
One of the worst gaffes of the New Jersey governor’s political career came at a 2014 RJC meeting when he recounted taking a helicopter from the “occupied territories” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to “understand the military risk that Israel faces every day.” He subsequently apologized, and any hard feelings about the kerfuffle seem to have subsided.
I watched three women sitting near me yesterday choke up as Christie recounted his fear on Sept. 11, 2001, not knowing whether he had lost his wife and would become a single father, and later having to attend funerals for friends.
“I just want you to remember the week after 9/11,” he said. “I want the American people to feel comfortable and safe when they go to bed at night. … If we don’t have safety and security, the other issues don’t matter.”
A Quinnipiac poll published yesterday found that 82 percent of Republicans believe the government’s anti-terrorism programs have “not gone far enough to adequately protect the country.”
Rand Paul, Christie’s opposite on the question of balancing national security with civil liberties, had to cancel his afternoon appearance because of the vote-o-rama in the Senate (Cruz and Rubio spoke in the morning before the chamber came into session). In a reflection of the moment we find ourselves in, and Paul’s struggles with this wing of the party, some in the crowd actually cheered when an emcee announced that Paul would not be able to make it.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
— The National Christmas Tree was lit. Note that the American flag is flying at half-staff because of the attack in San Bernardino:
— The Senate voted 52-47 to pass the budget reconciliation bill, which would repeal large portions of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood but will be vetoed by President Obama. Kelsey Snell reports: “But the decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to allow a vote on such charged issues as Obamacare and Planned Parenthood is likely to come back to bite moderate Republicans in states that tend to vote Democratic in presidential years. They include 2016 candidates like Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. Kirk and Collins were the only Republicans to vote against the final legislation.”
— Senate Republicans are playing the long game by trying to create a precedent: Republicans know the current reconciliation push is doomed. In the short-term, they are clearing the deck of the Obamacare and Planned Parenthood issues in order to avoid a government shutdown. Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn notes that more than just optics are at play: “Republicans are carefully constructing a legislative strategy, based on Senate rules and precedents, to make it easier to unravel the health law in 2017 if a Republican wins the White House. … Under the special rules of reconciliation, the Senate’s parliamentarian has to determine whether each provision complies with the Senate’s rules. Those rulings are based in part on precedent. So once the parliamentarian determines that this legislation complies, it makes it hard to argue that a similar repeal bid doesn’t in January 2017 — when a new president might sign it into law.”
—As part of the reconciliation push, Senate Democrats made an unsuccessful last-minute push to attach gun control language. A measures to expand background checks at gun shows failed 48 to 50, and another measure to prevent those who are on the terror watchlist from being able to buy guns failed 45 to 54.
— EX-IM LIVES: The Senate also sent a long-term highway funding bill to Obama’s desk that contains a renewal of the Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired in June. Catherine Ho and Paul Kane go inside the high-stakes lobbying battle: “During the two-year struggle, the bank’s corporate allies hired new lobbyists, assembled a coalition with a communications team, and recruited 250 companies and associations nationally to knock on lawmakers’ doors…. ‘Timing was key,’ said Austin Weatherford, chief of staff for Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an early supporter of the [House discharge] petition [to bring back the bank]…. ‘When the speaker resigned, there was an opening because we were basically leaderless for that month.'”
— In California, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik — the couple identified as the shooters who killed 14 and wounded 21 in San Bernardino on Wednesday — apparently left behind an arsenal of pipe bombs and thousands of bullets in their rented Redlands, Calif., home. The FBI has taken over the probe, treating it as a potential terrorist attack.
- Officials are trying to establish a motive for the shooting. They said neither Farook, a devout Muslim and U.S. citizen, nor Malik, a Pakistani in the country on a visa, were on the terror watchlist. Farook had some contact that was not “substantial” with “persons of interest” via social media, authorities said. “It is possible this was terrorist-related, but we don’t know,” President Obama said yesterday.
- A day before the attack, authorities found evidence that Farook began deleting files from his computer, suggesting this was no spur-of-the-moment act.
- During the shootout that killed the couple, police found more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition on or near them, and recovered two assault rifles and two 9mm pistols. They obtained the firearms legally.
- San Bernardino police received high praise for their quick response and 300 officers arriving on the scene. Interestingly, the sheriff’s office there received one of California’s largest stocks of military-grade equipment under a controversial program transferring surplus Pentagon material to local entities, the Los Angeles Times reports.
- Relatives of the victims waited in a gym for hours as survivors pulled up in buses on Wednesday. It was a heart-breaking scene — 20 people remained once the buses stopped coming. Officials then broke the news: “’They were very caring. They sat each one down in a little circle with a chaplain and social worker,’” said the Rev. Kathleen Dowell … “’But I’ve never witnessed something so sad in my life.’”
— With no time left on the clock, the Packers stunned the Detroit Lions with an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary pass to win 27-23. ESPN notes the play saved Green Bay’s season:
GET SMART FAST:
- Leading scientists called for a moratorium on making inheritable changes to the human genome so that the gene pool does not get altered. (NYT)
- Former Massey Energy executive Don Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine-safety laws related to the West Virginia coal explosion that killed 29 in 2010, but he was acquitted on more serious charges of lying to investigators and investors. (Wall Street Journal)
- The government’s largest agencies paid out more than $80 million last year for thousands of federal employees to sit home for a month and longer while they faced allegations of misconduct, according to a report from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. (Lisa Rein)
- Eleven people in nine states were infected with salmonella that has been linked to a nut butter spread. (CNN)
- California’s Supreme Court says consumers can sue companies who wrongly label foods as organic. (AP)
- The National Restaurant Association is suing New York City’s Board of Health to prevent it from making restaurants post warning labels on menus for dishes high in sodium. (Reuters)
- Chicago police must now notify journalists before they destroy old records of police misconduct in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting. (Jeremy Borden)
- A Chicago-area school district will allow a transgender student to use the girls’ locker room in order to settle a federal civil rights complaint. (Emma Brown)
- Coldplay will headline Super Bowl 50’s halftime show. (BuzzFeed)
POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:
- Elizabeth Warren’s chief of staff and 2012 campaign manager, Mindy Myers, will run the DSCC’s independent expenditure arm next year. Longtime aide Dan Geldon will get promoted into the COS role.
- Partly to help make sure she gets into the next debate, the main Carly Fiorina super PAC is spending $1 million in New Hampshire on its first TV and radio buy. (Watch the 30-second spot.)
- Donald Trump will participate in the next presidential debate after threatening not to come unless CNN paid $5 million to veterans’ groups. The least surprising move of the day. (Robert Costa and David Weigel)
- The North America Building Trades union endorsed Hillary Clinton. (Reuters)
- Ted Cruz will announce his “Second Amendment Coalition” at a gun range in Iowa. (Des Moines Register)
- Bill Cosby’s wife will testify in a deposition related to a defamation lawsuit filed by one of his alleged sexual-assault victims. (AP)
- Carnegie Mellon professor Lorrie Cranor has been named as the Federal Trade Commission’s new chief technologist. (Andrea Peterson)
— “In historic decision, Pentagon chief opens all jobs in combat units to women,” by Dan Lamothe: “Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that would for the first time allow female service members to join the country’s most elite military forces. Women will now be eligible to join the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members. ‘There will be no exceptions,’ Carter said. ‘This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.’ … About 220,000 jobs, or about 10 percent, of the military remained closed to women before the announcement…. Another 110,000 jobs in careers like artillery officer were opened in a series of decisions since 2013.”
— “Before Senate win, Rubio turned political ‘juice’ into personal profits,” by Rosalind S. Helderman: “Even before he left office in late 2008, his longtime aide sent a letter on behalf of a new private consulting group Rubio was launching, seeking business from a potentially major client: Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami’s busy public medical center. That was an initial step in what became a profitable two-year stretch for Rubio between his time as a state legislator and his 2010 election to the U.S. Senate. Although he spent much of his time on the campaign trail, Rubio built a consulting and legal practice that made more than half a million dollars…. Rubio’s business deals during the period between his Tallahassee and Washington chapters demonstrated the ways he leveraged his enduring power inside government to make a profit on the outside. And they add to the contradictory picture of his personal finances that has emerged as his presidential campaign has gained traction — of a young man who struggled financially even as his personal income soared along with this political success.”
The Jackson contract, in particular, shows how Rubio’s business model initially circumvented a state-imposed two-year ban on former lawmakers lobbying the legislature: “In his final year as speaker in 2008, Rubio backed inserting $20 million for Jackson into the state budget. … In October 2008 — about three weeks before Rubio stepped down — his longtime aide, Viviana Bovo, wrote a proposal on behalf of the new firm to the Jackson Memorial chief executive. … Rubio advised the hospital on at least one major policy issue: whether to ask voters and the Miami-Dade County Commission to approve a tax hike to fund operations.”
—“Obama convenes meeting on criminal justice reform to buoy bipartisanship,” by Juliet Eilperin and Mike DeBonis: “The House and Senate have been working to craft legislation to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, as well as to revamp aspects of federal incarceration … one of the House bills … would require prosecutors in cases as wide-ranging as food tainting and corporate pollution to prove that defendants ‘knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful,’ otherwise known as ‘mens rea.’ That measure has angered many Democrats, who argue that it could block criminal prosecution of some corporate entities — including those owned by Koch Industries … Obama specifically asked lawmakers to remove the provision, according to individuals familiar with the meeting, though House Republicans argued that it was a critical component for conservatives.”
— “Reagan, Bush 41 memos reveal sharp contrast with today’s GOP on climate and the environment,” by Joby Warrick: “The memos, stamped ‘confidential’ and kept under wraps for years, portray a White House eager to assert U.S. leadership on climate change. Global warming will have ‘profound consequences,’ one document warns, and the United States ‘cannot wait’ until all scientific questions are resolved before taking action. The source of the memos: Not the Obama White House, but policy advisers to President George H.W. Bush. The memos were among several formerly classified documents from the Bush and Reagan administrations obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released on Wednesday by the National Security Archive. The documents portray senior officials in the two Republican administrations pressing for an aggressive response to international environmental issues of the day — including, during Bush’s term, climate change.”
UPDATES FROM THE WAR ON ISIS:
— Obama wants more fighters KIA: POTUS is deploying more Specials Ops forces into Syria and Iraq partly because, a senior administration official says, the United States has been eliminating one mid- to high-level Islamic State fighter every two days, on average. The administration sees the mission of the force as “self-expanding — more raids on Islamic State sites will garner more intelligence leading to more sites,” Karen DeYoung explains. “The more intelligence we get, the closer we’ll get to these guys,” says a senior official.
— ISIS revenue streams have been degraded, and there are some signs that the terrorists are having money trouble: “U.S.-backed forces in Iraq and Syria have retaken significant amounts of territory from the group, depriving it of traditional sources of income,” Hugh Naylor reports from Beirut. “Towns and villages that the Islamic State had relied on for tax revenue have been captured by Arab and Kurdish opponents. And lucrative spoils of war, including oil fields, properties to confiscate and captives to ransom off, have become scarcer as the group struggles to seize new areas.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— Pictures of the day:
This image of Donald Trump signing a woman’s chest at a Manassas, Va., rally has gone viral:
Here’s Dick Cheney’s new Capitol Hill bust, in profile:
Here’s a view from the front:
George W. Bush, in a playful mood, joked about the bust being displayed “in an undisclosed location.” He said that his dad told him, “Send my best regards to ole Iron Ass.” And he quipped, “I must confess I’m somewhat reluctant to come back to Washington. The last time I showed up here, I was hanged in the White House. This time, I’ve returned only to find my vice president getting busted in the Capitol!”
Joe Biden wound up making remarks. Three hours after yesterday’s 202 reported that no Democrats were on the program, Republicans announced that the the current vice president would deliver remarks:
Shaquille O’Neal was on Capitol Hill Thursday for events, where he towered over Fox News’s Greta van Susteren:
Prince Harry shared photos on Instagram of his work on anti-poaching efforts in Africa this summer:
Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz documented the set-up of the National Christmas Tree before the lighting:
Two fun pictures from the ceremony last night:
— Tweets of the day:
Twitter was full of reaction to new details in the San Bernardino shooting. On the right, Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick responded to the New York Daily News cover stating that “God isn’t fixing” the issue of gun violence:
National Review editor Rich Lowry argued that the Paris attacks disprove gun control works:
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) made a similar claim, only more directly:
From the left, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was “disappointed” that his background checks amendment failed during the vote-o-rama:
Comedian Amy Schumer — relative of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — urged fans to contact their senators about background checks:
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who uses a wheelchair, found a Cheeto in an unexpected place: her shoe!
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) bumped into a guy dressed as Abe Lincoln on the Hill:
— Instagrams of the day:
Reese Witherspoon was at the White House checking out the Christmas decorations:
“Scandal” star Bellamy Young, who was also there, met Bo Obama:
Jon Stewart was on Capitol Hill advocating for 9/11 first-responders. Here he talks with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.):
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
— Bloomberg, “The IRS Is Losing Hundreds of Criminal Investigators,” by David Voreacos:
“Tax cheats can breathe a little easier. The gun-toting Internal Revenue Service investigators who send felons to prison are retiring in droves and there’s no one to replace them. … Scandals and budget wars between the Obama administration and House Republicans are thinning out the ranks of the IRS’s 84,000 employees. By the end of next year, the number of criminal agents is projected to fall by 21 percent since 2011. The number of investigators fell to 2,316 this year from 2,739. … Since 2013, only 45 new agents have been hired, and the IRS has said it doesn’t expect to add any more in 2016. …New investigations fell 27 percent to 3,853 this year compared with 2013. Tax investigations fell by 32 percent, according to a CI annual report released Wednesday.”
— New York Times, “Hillary Clinton fortifies ties and fund-raising with DNC,” by Maggie Haberman: “Trying to build up her arsenal for a general election, Clinton’s campaign is asking donors to write big-money checks to the Democratic National Committee while taking a greater interest in how it is performing its duties. In recent weeks, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides have started to scrutinize what have historically been core functions of the party committee, some of which atrophied under President Obama, according to people briefed on the reviews. … The Clinton campaign can coordinate spending and messaging with the party committee, whereas it is barred from doing so with super PACs, which have no limit on donations. (The campaign, however, is restricted in how much it can ask donors to give super PACs.) But the party must also stay neutral through the primary, in which voting does not begin until Feb. 1. That limits the type of control over the party committee that Mrs. Clinton’s team can have.”
— Baltimore Sun, “Freddie Gray’s mother sobs, friend takes stand in officer’s trial,” by Kevin Rector and Ian Duncan: “As the grainy video of police lifting Freddie Gray by his arms and ankles and putting him into the back of a police van played in court Thursday, his mother let out a sob and burst into tears. Brandon Ross, who recorded the footage and was on the witness stand, stood up and wiped at his eyes to hold back tears. … The emotion Thursday in the trial of William G. Porter, one of six Baltimore police officers accused in Gray’s arrest and death, matched the feeling in the video, in which Ross and others could be heard shouting at officers for the way they were treating Gray on that crisp morning last April. … Prosecutors began the proceedings Thursday morning by leading each of a series of witnesses through questions intended to establish that Porter ‘criminally neglected his duty’ by failing to seat-belt Gray in the back of the van and not calling for medical assistance when Gray requested it.”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Oprah Winfrey signs deal to write memoir. From the Hollywood Reporter: “Here’s one book that won’t need a boost from Oprah’s book club to make the best-seller list: Oprah’s own memoir. Winfrey, who heads up her own network and production company, and headlined the top-rated Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986-2011, has signed with Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan, for her memoir ‘The Life You Want,’ which will be published in January 2017.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Jim Jordan gives Paul Ryan high marks but vows to keep pushing the House GOP. From RealClearPolitics: “Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and his fellow Freedom Caucus members are pleased with the changes coming from Ryan, including shuffling the panel that selects committee assignments for members, opening up the floor for amendment votes and consulting with individual members on big policy decisions. Jordan, who was friendly with Ryan before his colleague became speaker, said he’s been ‘great’ so far.”
— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton stops in Fort Dodge and Sioux City, Iowa. Donald Trump rallies supporters in Raleigh, N.C. Ben Carson attends an event for the American Legislative Exchange Council in Scottsdale, Ariz., then a fundraiser in Fountain Valley, Calif. John Kasich holds a town hall in Manchester, N.H. Rand Paul meets voters in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mike Huckabee stops in Woodbridge, Fredericksburg and Henrico, Va.
— On the Hill: The House and Senate are in recess.
— At the White House: No public events are scheduled.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“As a presidential candidate, I have instructed my long-time doctor to issue, within two weeks, a full medical report,” Donald Trump tweeted three hours after Politico published a story questioning his age, diet and lack of workout routine. “It will show perfection.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
— “There could be a few clouds in the morning, but it’s blue-sky filled overall,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. We can enjoy lighter 5-10 mph breezes from the west and decently comfortable high temperatures in the near 50 to mid-50s range.”
— The Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)
— Metro unveiled a rider-friendly budget that does NOT include fare increases. One initiative, which still needs to be approved by the board, would allow a 15-minute “same station entry/exit grace period” to end Metro’s policy of charging riders who enter a station and leave it within minutes — most often during service disruptions. “That would cost the transit agency an estimated $2 million a year,” writes Lori Aratani.
— Why so many young African-American males understandably fear interactions with the police, captured in one horrifying 30-second cell phone video: A white Prince George’s County police officer who held a gun to an African-American man’s head, apparently to impress his friends who were riding along in his squad car, was convicted of first-degree assault and misconduct in office. The P.G. cops finally released a video of the May 2014 incident. You can see the officer hold the gun close to the man’s forehead and shout, “I dare you to [expletive] fight me, son.” Read Julie Zauzmer’s story and watch the video here.
— Terrifying and stomach-curdling: A 63-year-old Rockville woman was awakened at 4 a.m. by a man who slipped through an open window, raped her and held a knife to her stomach, threatening to kill her if she told anyone, Montgomery County police said. But, thank God, they’ve arrested a suspect based on fingerprints left in the window. (Dan Morse)
— Terry McAuliffe proposed trimming Virginia’s corporate tax rate from 6 percent down to 5.75 percent. (Jenna Portnoy and Laura Vozzella)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
BuzzFeed recorded disabled people making fun of Donald Trump after he insulted a disabled reporter:
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) took some credit for this bit from Jimmy Fallon:
Watch as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) loses part of his microphone during a TV hit (“Oh, crap!”):