Carly Fiorina (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

THE BIG IDEA:

— One of the beautiful things about representative democracy is that politicians respond to the concerns of the electorate. Our nation faces a horrible epidemic of drug addiction, largely from prescription pain killers and heroin. It’s especially bad in New England. Hearing painful stories every day in the state that hosts the first-in-the-nation primary, presidential candidates across the ideological spectrum are responding with plans.

— The epidemic comes up constantly at town hall meetings in the Granite State. On Sunday, for instance, a 12-year-old girl told Hillary Clinton during a town hall meeting that her mother had overdosed and she’s now in foster care. She asked the Democratic frontrunner what she’d do for kids like her. “Clinton said she would work to make Narcan, a medicine that can instantly reverse an opioid overdose, available to all police departments, and would make treatment programs accessible to more people,” the Boston Globe reported.

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— At a New Hampshire forum today, both Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush plan to speak in profoundly personal terms about watching their daughters battle addiction. Each wrote a piece previewing their remarks:

“If you’re criminalizing drug abuse and addiction, you’re not treating it—and you’re part of the problem,” Fiorina writes in an op-ed for Time Magazine. “When our daughter Lori was just 34 years old, my husband Frank and I lost her to the demons of addiction. … It broke my heart to watch the look that grew in Lori’s once-bright eyes as her addictions overcame her. … As Lori grew progressively sicker, the potential disappeared from behind her eyes. The light, the sparkle she once had, left her. What remained was a dull, flat void. It was the look of hopelessness. And that look is what haunts me most.”

Fiorina says she often wonders what signs she had missed and what she could have done differently: “It is the torture of second-guessing that every parent who has lost a child to addiction goes through. Lori had been battling addictions for years. She had been in and out of rehab three times. As anyone who has loved someone with an addiction knows, you can force someone into rehab, but you can’t make her well. Only the addict can do that.”

Jeb Bush (Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post)

— “My daughter Noelle suffered from addiction, and like many parents facing similar situations, her mom and I struggled to help,” Bush writes in a post on Medium this morning. “I never expected to see my precious daughter in jail.  It wasn’t easy, and it became very public when I was Governor of Florida, making things even more difficult for Noelle. She went through hell, so did her mom, and so did I. It’s very debilitating when you have a loved one who is struggling, and you can’t control it.  You have to love them, but you also have to make it clear you cannot enable the behavior that gets them in trouble.”

Bush touts his daughter’s recover y– and graduation from drug court – to call for more drug courts. “Drug courts use a restorative solution model involving multi-disciplinary coordination, including the judiciary, the prosecution, mental health specialists, social services and treatment professionals,” he writes. “I was the proud dad that saw Noelle finish that. She’s drug-free now.”

— Ed O’Keefe reviews the Bush proposal: “There’s no specific detail on how he would implement his ideas or how much it might cost federal and state governments to implement. But the plan also relies on non-governmental actions, including “dedicated parents and strong communities and local education.”

— John Kasich and Chris Christie will also speak at the drug addiction forum this afternoon in Hooksett, along with both Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (The issue registers high among voters in both parties.)

In October, the Huffington Post published a six-minute video from Christie’s stump speech of him talking about his mother’s addiction to cigarettes and a friend from law school’s addiction to painkillers. His call for more treatment and forgiveness is one of the most viral moments of the campaign, receiving millions of views. “This is not a moral failing,” the governor said. “This is a disease.”

Bernie Sanders in Knoxville, Iowa, on New Year’s Eve (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

— Sneak peek: Bernie Sanders will pledge to break up the big banks within a year of taking office. “If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. When it comes to Wall Street reform, that must be our bottom line,” the Vermont senator will say in a speech later today in Manhattan. “Sanders will announce plans to direct the secretary of the Treasury within the first 100 days of his administration to establish a ‘Too-Big-To-Fail’ list of ‘commercial banks, shadow banks, and insurance companies whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk to the United States economy without a taxpayer bailout,’” writes John Wagner, who got the excerpts. “Within a year, Sanders will promise, his administration will break up those institutions ‘so that they no longer pose a grave threat to the economy,’ using authority granted by the Dodd-Frank Act.”

  • He’ll also call for the reinstatement of a modern Glass-Steagall Act to separate commercial banking, investment banking and insurance services. “Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments,” Sanders plans to say.
  • And he will criticize the 2008 “bailout” of Wall Street – which Clinton voted for as a senator – and lament that three of the four largest financial institutions are nearly 80 percent larger than they were at the time. “Incredibly, the six largest banks in this country issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and over 35 percent of all mortgages,” Sanders will say. “They control more than 95 percent of all financial derivatives and hold more than 40 percent of all bank deposits.”

— Martin O’Malley plans to camp out in Iowa for the final month. “We’re going to keep it simple and stick to Q&A at our community events,” writes Jake Oeth, his Iowa State Director. The final push will be called “O’Malley Unplugged: The New Leadership Tour.” Oeth previews the former Maryland governor’s closing argument: “The choice ahead for Iowans is whether to return to old names, to re-litigate the Washington battles of the past, or to embrace a new, forward-looking leader who has a record of delivering on issues progressives care about. … Governor O’Malley’s (closing argument) will be a full throated call to build on President Obama’s progress with the kind of new approach that only he brings…”

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attends a news conference at City Hall on Dec. 30. (Joshua Lott for The Washington Post)

A veteran attorney in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration resigned after a federal judge ruled he intentionally concealed crucial evidence in a trial over a fatal Chicago police shooting and then lied about why. The Chicago Tribune writes that “the abrupt departure … was the latest black eye for the mayor’s office in the continuing fallout over the city’s handling of police shootings.”

Ammon Bundy speaks to the media yesterday as the leader of a group of armed anti-government protesters who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters near Burns, Oregon. (Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images)

— The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” But federal authorities won’t elaborate on what that means, Carissa Wolf and Mark Berman report. The occupiers say they don’t believe law enforcement will try to force them out, though they told media late last night they’ll leave “if the county people tell us to,” per NPR. Whatever that means. Meanwhile, the two ranchers whose cause these folks support reported to federal prison for arson. Their lawyer told the Oregonian they’ll ask President Obama for clemency. In the presidential race, Ted Cruz called on the men to leave peacefully, saying they don’t have a constitutional right to use weapons to take over a government building.

GET SMART FAST:

  1. The Justice Department sued Volkswagen for installing software to cheat at emissions test, accusing the automaker of violating air-pollution laws. The civil complaint seeks unspecified damages. (Joby Warrick)
  2. ICE took 121 illegal immigrants into custody over the weekend during raids in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. They will now be deported. (Lisa Rein)
  3. The House will vote tomorrow to pass a bill cleared by the Senate last month cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood and repealing major aspects of Obamacare. The goal is to start off the year with a nod to the conservative base and to force Obama to use his veto pen on the eve of his final State of the Union. (Kelsey Snell )
  4. The State Department chastised the Venezuelan government for blocking the opposition from taking its seats in Congress. “But the administration stopped short of calling for stronger action, such as imposing penalties as proposed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.,” the Miami Herald reports.
  5. An independent review finds that the CDC still needs to greatly improve working conditions in its labs and does not have a culture of safety. (Lena H. Sun)
  6. Kent State University will allow “emotional support” dogs in its dorms to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the Justice Department. The federal government argued that banning all animals from campus discriminated against students with psychological disabilities. (Susan Svrluga)
  7. Employees at the office that was attacked in San Bernardino returned to work for the first time. (Sarah Larimer)
  8. The San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders applied to relocate to L.A. for the 2016 season. (Los Angeles Times)
  9. The ex-Charleston, S.C., police officer charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting Walter Scott during a traffic stop was released on bond and will be confined to home detention until his trial begins in October. (Post and Courier)
  10. Country singer Craig Strickland’s body was found near his hunting site in Oklahoma, more than a week after he went missing. (Elahe Izadi)
  11. Bill Cosby’s wife, Camille, filed an emergency motion to avoid being deposed in a defamation suit brought against her husband by seven women. A judge has ruled that she must testify. (Lindsay Bever)
  12. Four new elements were added to the periodic table, filling up the seventh row. (Rachel Feltman)
  13. General Motors will provide cars for Lyft drivers to use as part of a $500 million investment in the ride-sharing company. (Brian Fung)
  14. India has killed five of the six attackers who stormed an air force base and killed seven troops. (AP)
  15. A university in Kenya, where Islamic militants killed 148 people last year, finally reopened. (AP)
  16. Denmark implemented security along its border with Germany to keep out migrants, a major step and another blow to the EU. (Bloomberg)
  17. China, looking to send the U.S. a message, landed an aircraft on its man-made island in the disputed South China Sea. (Reuters)

POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS:

  1. Jeb Bush admitted he never received an NRA “Statesman of the Year” award nor a rifle from Charlton Heston. (Ed O’Keefe)
  2. Ted Cruz’s super PAC is launching a $1 million Iowa ad campaign to portray Marco Rubio as a distracted, fantasy-football devotee who plays games as the world burns. (Robert Costa)
  3. Rubio’s super PAC is  today launching two attack ads against Chris Christie in New Hampshire. One, targeting conservatives, slams him for supporting Common Core, instituting an Internet sales tax, expanding Obamacare and literally hugging Obama. The other, targeting moderates, focuses on Christie’s weak economic record and the indictment of “close aides” in the Bridgegate scandal. (National Review)
  4. Christie’s super PAC is going up in New Hampshire today with a commercial that features the New Jersey governor pledging to keep the Guantanamo prison open. (Watch)
  5. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, will go on TV in Iowa this week with his first attack ad. Called “Fairy Tales,” it has a clip of Cruz reading “Green Eggs and Ham.” “You want someone to read one hell of a bedtime story? Ted Cruz is your guy.” it says. The campaign declined to share the size of the buy. (David Weigel)
  6. Alice Stewart, who stepped down as Mike Huckabee’s communications director last month, joined the Cruz campaign as a senior adviser. Stewart expressed frustration when the cash-strapped Huckabee campaign suggested she left because she was “exhausted.” (Texas Tribune)
  7. Looking to cause a little trouble, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest encouraged reporters to review Christie’s record on guns. “I do think it’s probably worth taking a close look at Governor Christie’s record … to see whether or not he has changed his position in an effort to try to round up votes in a Republican presidential primary,” said Earnest.
  8. NARAL Pro-Choice America will endorse Hillary Clinton today, running print and online ads in Iowa and New Hampshire on her behalf.
  9. Hillary said her New Year’s resolution is to let Trump live in his “alternate reality” and to not respond to his insults. (Anne Gearan)
  10. Trump’s first television ad includes footage of people climbing a fence in Morocco, not Mexico. The campaign says this was intentional. (Politifact)
  11. John Gregg, the Democrat challenging Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, raised $2 million during the second half of the year, leaving him with about $3.5 million cash on hand. “The latest polls have shown Gregg and Pence in a virtual dead heat,” the Indianapolis Star reports. “Pence beat Gregg by three percentage points during their first match-up in 2012.”
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., announces his retirement in Seattle. An outspoken liberal, he’s a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) announced he will not seek a 15th term. The 79-year-old quoted an African proverb and Gandalf the wizard at a press conference in which he explained that the retirement of George Miller (D-Calif.) made it less fun in Congress. The Seattle Times writes this on his legacy: “He received national attention and the nickname ‘Baghdad Jim’ for a 2002 trip to Iraq in which he denounced the Bush administration’s push for war. … McDermott also achieved notoriety for leaking to newspapers audio of a 1996 phone call between then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other Republican leaders, including John Boehner, plotting ways to publicly deal with an ethics investigation of Gingrich. Boehner sued McDermott over the leak, and the Seattle Democrat wound up paying him more than $1 million in damages under a court order.”

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

Bill Clinton in Exeter, N.H., yesterday (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

— Bill Clinton: asset or liability for his candidate-wife?” by Karen Tumulty and Abby Phillip: “With his star power and his gifts as a speaker, Bill Clinton has the potential to be one of her biggest assets. But with that has always come a host of worries, including that he might outshine her, or veer off script, as he often did in her 2008 campaign. On Monday, he made his first solo outing on her behalf. And judging by how cautious and subdued he was, the 69-year-old former president appears determined to prove that he is capable of playing the supporting actor. Clinton used to say that elections are about the future, but his opening speech for her at a community college here was more a safe, sepia-toned reminiscence — of the prosperity the country enjoyed when he was president during the 1990s, of her work as Arkansas first lady a decade before that, and of how intriguing he found her when she was a rare woman at Yale Law School in the 1970s.”

President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

What POTUS will say today –> “Obama details executive action on gun restrictions,” by David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin: “The package (being formally unveiled today) includes 10 separate provisions. One would require more gun sellers — especially those who do business on the Internet and at gun shows — to be licensed and would force them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. Obama would devote $500 million more in federal funds to treating mental illness — a move that could require congressional approval — and require that firearms lost in transit between a manufacturer and seller be reported to federal authorities. Under the president’s actions, the FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other personnel to help process new background checks, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has established a new investigation center to keep track of illegal gun trafficking online and will devote $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.”

Ted Cruz speaks yesterday at Charlie’s Steakhouse in Carroll, Iowa. (Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich)

— Ted Cruz’s theater background is why his stump speeches always feel like performances. Our reporter assigned to follow the Texas senator, Katie Zezima, wrote a listicle on the seven things she’s learned following him around for the past year. Number four is the most interesting: “Cruz was once an aspiring actor, even thinking about heading to Hollywood. In Harvard Law School, he acted in ‘The Crucible,’ but was once so hung over after drinking Everclear that he had to bow out of his part. … He knows exactly when to stop talking to maximize applause. As the audience claps, he gazes out with a self-satisfied smile, nods and either clasps his hands or gives himself a small burst of applause — like a theater actor taking a bow after a performance. He chuckles at his own jokes. His rallies unfold like a play in a three acts: the jokey warm-up, the red meat, the optimistic end. … He hates lecterns, to the point where he chucked one aside that was in the middle of a stage in Georgia last month.”

Bahraini women hold posters bearing portraits of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest against his execution by Saudi authorities, in the village of Jidhafs, west of the capital Manama. (AFP/Getty Images/Mohammed Al-Shaikh)

— “Mideast tensions soar as Saudi Arabia rallies countries to cut ties with Iran,” by Liz Sly:Bahrain and Sudan joined Saudi Arabia in cutting off relations with Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, a key Iranian trading partner, recalled its ambassador from Tehran, as the fallout from the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia on Saturday heightened sectarian tensions across the Middle East. The Obama administration, caught in the middle by its quest for a closer relationship with Iran and its longstanding alliance with Saudi Arabia, said it hoped Tehran and Riyadh would wind back the hostile rhetoric that has fueled the worst crisis between the regional rivals in decades. … China, the European Union and Russia also called on Tehran and Riyadh to take steps to settle their differences peacefully, with Russia, an emerging center of gravity in the region, offering to mediate between them … Other regional powers such as Egypt and Turkey did not join in the diplomatic onslaught against Tehran.”

The protests are widespread. Here’s a family watching a demonstration in India:

A Kashmiri Shiite family watches from a window of their house as Shiite protesters chant during a protest in Srinagar. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

This is from one of the continuing Shiite protests in Saudi Arabia:

A Saudi woman holds a placard bearing a portrait of Nimr al-Nimr in the eastern coastal city of Qatif (AFP/Getty Images)

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

–Pictures of the day:

Bill Clinton made his first solo appearance on the campaign trail for Hillary in New Hampshire:

And The Donald mocked it:

A majority of Americans feel the country is too politically correct. Trump is tapping into that:

… including two women who changed their party affiliation so they could back him:

William O’Malley did some door-knocking with his dad in Iowa:

Ben Carson volunteers handed out yard signs in Iowa:

–Tweets of the day:

The battle over President Obama’s gun control actions raged on Twitter, starting with this sally from POTUS:

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) welcomed the move:

Democrats called on Congress to actually do something:

And there was predictable pushback:

Rubio wore fancy boots in New Hampshire. Maybe a Christmas gift?

In Iowa, John Kasich was either clueless or pretended to be about the standoff in Oregon:

Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta retweeted his boss’ promise to explore the possibility of aliens having already visited Earth if she is elected president (Podesta spoke out on the issue when working for Obama and President Bill Clinton):

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) spent some quality time with cats over the holiday break:

Grover Norquist broke down the latest GOP primary betting odds:

And GOP strategist Frank Luntz pretty accurately depicted how we all felt about returning to work yesterday:

— Instagrams of the day:

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) shares that dog Banjo met his new daughter, Ellie:

Marco Rubio wished former Dolphins coach Don Shula a happy birthday. The Florida senator also celebrated Miami’s 20-10 win over the New England Patriots Sunday.

“In Kansas, even cold is beautiful,” posted Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.):

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

— Wall Street Journal, “Voters’ dour mood is clear, consequences much less so,” by Gerald F. Seib: “The election year is upon us, and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway describes the nation’s mood heading into it this way: ‘Sour and dour. Nervous, on edge, a feeling of vulnerability and a lack of control.’ Democratic pollster Fred Yang sounds similar tones: ‘Anxious, dissatisfied, impatient and basically any other word that connotes uncertainty.’ … It’s possible, of course, to overstate the anxiety. This isn’t 2008 and its atmosphere of genuine crisis. Nor is it 2004, when the country was basically on a war footing. Still, these public-opinion experts see a kind of darkness out there. The country is ‘unable to shake the perpetual feeling of the blues—anxious and upset and angry that our politics cannot seem to fix these problems,’ says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who, along with the Democrat Mr. Yang, conducts The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. … Democrat Celinda Lake summarizes Americans’ views succinctly: ‘They think the future is weak for themselves and the next generation, and they despair of politicians especially in Washington getting anything done.'”

Chris Christie places his hands on his wife, Mary Pat, as they pray at a gathering of the Manchester Rotary Club in New Hampshire yesterday. (Reuters/Gretchen Ertl)

— New Hampshire Union Leader, “Christie gets political in appeal to angry voters in Goffstown,” by Eli Okun: “The governor’s prepared remarks were short on policy and long on politics — specifically, how he thinks Republicans can win the general election by nominating him. ‘You have every right to be angry,’ he said. ‘I know you are not what they’re labeling you. But I also know that anger alone is not a solution.’ He dwelled on this issue of the angry voter, some of whom are disaffected Republicans who have flocked to outsider candidates like Trump and Carson. … ‘This is where the anxiety that permeates America comes from today. This is where the anger that permeates so many of our voters in America comes from today,’ he said. ‘It’s their vacillation, their timidity, their failure, is why so many Americans today are afraid.’ Christie sought to convince voters the Republican Party needs to unite, warning that the prospect of a brokered convention or third-party campaign could fragment conservatives and pave the way for a Clinton victory in much the same way that her husband won more than two decades ago.” (Ed O’Keefe also covered the event.)

— Time, “Chris Christie shifts focus to Iowa, betting big on governor’s team,” by Zeke Miller: “As recently as a few months ago, even Christie’s top aides predicted he would spend all his time in 1,200 miles away in New Hampshire, his make or break state where he’s aggressively organized and campaigned. But in recent weeks, the Christie has shifted strategy as he eyes an opening in Iowa, not to win, but to place ahead of Bush. … One of the major reasons for Christie’s new optimism is that he found he will be able to capitalize on his longtime friendship with the top Republican in the state. Though Gov. Terry Branstad is officially neutral in the Iowa caucus, Christie’s Iowa team is run by Phil Valenziano, who was the political director for Branstad’s 2014 re-election campaign.”

Ted Cruz gets off his bus at King’s Christian Bookstore in Boone, Iowa, yesterday. Cruz began a six-day bus tour of Iowa. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

— CBS News, “Ted Cruz expands horizons beyond Iowa,” by Jacqueline Alamany:  “Cruz has drawn attention to overtaking Trump in right-leaning Iowa, but he has quietly maintained a strong position in New Hampshire polls since early November … The Cruz campaign has quietly built a sturdy New Hampshire operation. Sources close to the campaign say they’ve more than doubled their staff in recent weeks to 10 paid staffers. The campaign is also building out their field team for a late push: More than 40 volunteers are moving into the Cruz campaign’s volunteer housing beginning Monday.”

–Politico, “How Ted Cruz became Ted Cruz,” by Michael Kruse: “Today, with the White House pushing new gun restrictions and Cruz’s candidacy riding on next month’s Iowa caucuses, it’s no surprise that the Texas Republican would embrace gun rights as a defining issue, holding an event at a firing range and even raffling off an engraved 12-gauge shotgun as a campaign promotion. In 2008, the situation was very different: he was wading into a case that had no immediate connection to Texas at all. But to see the signature of R. Ted Cruz on the brief would not have surprised the nine Supreme Court justices in the least. By that time, Cruz had been solicitor general for five years, and inserting himself into a case of wide prominence and importance regardless of any direct tie to Texas had become part of his playbook.”

Mike Huckabee speaks with students after an event at the Machine Shed in Urbandale, Iowa, on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

— Des Moines Register, “Huckabee to congressional Republicans: ‘Grow a spine; stand up to Obama’,” by Kathy A. Bolten: “Huckabee, during his first of five Monday campaign stops, also had strong words for Republicans in Congress: ‘Grow a spine and stand up to (Obama) and tell him ‘no’ rather than wring (your) hands and say ‘there’s nothing we can do.’ Well, if there’s nothing you can do, resign and send (other) people to Congress who would be willing to oppose it.’ Huckabee’s comments were in reaction to Obama’s plans to bypass Congress to tighten gun rules. ‘None of the mass shootings that we have had in this country would have been prevented by implementing his plan — not one of them,’ said Huckabee, who on Saturday began a rigorous campaign schedule of holding 150 events in Iowa in January.”

–The New York Times, “Bipartisan criminal justice reform is haunted by Willie Horton,” by Carl Hulse: “So why is the fate of a popular bipartisan criminal justice overhaul still up in the air as Congress opens its 2016 session? The most vivid reason is the lingering specter of Willie Horton. Lawmakers are reluctant to campaign on a platform of letting felons out of prison, particularly with control of Congress at stake in November. Top lawmakers acknowledge the idea of pushing legislation that would lead to the early release of thousands of nonviolent offenders strikes fear in politicians who vividly remember the ad featuring Mr. Horton that helped sink Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign.”

HOT ON THE LEFT

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) accused the media of treating the armed anti-government activists in Oregon better than Black Lives Matter protesters. From Rachel Weiner: “Since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, activists … have been referred to variously as ‘thugs,’ ‘criminals,’ and ‘drug users,” the Senate candidate said in a statement. “To the contrary, most of these protests and protesters have been peaceful, and organizers have sought and obtained permission to peaceably assemble in exercise of their Constitutional rights. But in Oregon, a group of armed men illegally occupying a federal building have been referred to as an ‘armed militia,’ or simply ‘occupiers,’ as though that behavior is acceptable in a nation of laws. … One could not imagine a group of armed black men taking over an unoccupied federal building in one of our nation’s cities as they have in Oregon. It is time to tell that tough truth.”

HOT ON THE RIGHT

More than 100 Republican lawmakers in Missouri called on the flagship university to fire an assistant professor who called for “muscle” to stop students from reporting on protests. From USA Today: “’The fact that, as a professor teaching in the communication department and school of journalism, she displayed such a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of reporters should be enough to question her competency and aptitude for her job,’ the lawmakers wrote. ‘It should be evident that these actions are inappropriate, illegal and unacceptable for a faculty member of the University of Missouri.’”

DAYBOOK:

— What’s happening today on the campaign trail: Donald Trump holds a rally at 7 p.m. Eastern in Claremont, N.H. Hillary Clinton speaks in Osage, Sioux City, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Marco Rubio hosts town halls in Cedar Rapids, Mason City and Fort Dodge. Ted Cruz is also in Iowa, and he will speak in Onawa and Cherokee before hosting a town hall in Sioux Center at 6 p.m. Central. Mike Huckabee makes stops in Sheffield, Garner, Mason City, Charles City and Parkersburg. Jeb Bush stops in Derry, Hookset and Dover, N.H. Chris Christie is nearby and will campaign in Manchester, Hookset and Rochester. Carly Fiorina will also be in Hookset and Manchester, and her night concludes with a town hall in Hookset at 7 p.m. Eastern. John Kasich continues the trend with one stop in Hookset and another in Manchester. Rand Paul holds town halls in Manchester, Concord and Exeter.

— Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) will make six solo stops in New Hampshire on behalf of Rubio today and tomorrow. He’s driving around in his campaign bus.

— On the Hill: The House will meet at 2 p.m. to establish a quorum for the second half of the 114th Congress, and will then recess. Votes are postponed until 6:30 p.m. The Senate is in recess until next week.

— At the White House: President Obama will announce his executive actions on guns. He also meets in the afternoon with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

A reporter for the Conway Daily Sun asked Hillary Clinton about UFO’s after an editorial board meeting. “Yes, I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” she said. “Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51.”

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

— Wear a coat when you leave the house because it’s going to be another really cold day. “Wind chills are frigid this morning, getting down into the single digits in the suburbs and around 10 degrees in the city so bundle up on your way to work,” the Capital Weather Gang forecasts. “Temperatures climb into the middle to upper 30s by afternoon. Those pesky winds from the north at 5 to 10 mph with gusts to 15 mph offer some unfortunate wind chill also, so stay bundled up even if the sunshine looks inviting.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser accused the D.C. Council of moving too slowly to address the city’s spike in gun violence, while the head of the council’s judiciary committee called Bowser’s proposal, which would allow warrantless searches of former violent criminals, a “knee-jerk” reaction. (Abigail Hauslohner and Aaron C. Davis)

The Redskins have a 39.7 chance of beating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, according to the Simple Rating System, and their easiest path to the Super Bowl if they beat Green Bay would be facing the Carolina Panthers in the second round, followed by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC title game. (Neil Greenberg)

Tareq Salahi, one of the infamous party crashers at the White House, married his business partner, who works with him in the cruise industry. (Helena Andrews-Dyer)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Seth Myers spoofed GOP candidates trying to take down Trump:

Watch Iowa Rep. Steve King (R) tout Ted Cruz’s candidacy in his home state:

Watch Ben Carson unveil his flat tax plan, which would tax individuals and corporations alike at 14.9 percent and eliminate tax deductions and loopholes:

See President Obama speak about his gun control initiative: