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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
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TALK OF THE MORNING
Queen Elsa, take it away!:
Over the weekend, former President Trump called for a termination of the Constitution over his false claims of mass election fraud in 2020.
Trump posted on Truth Social: “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”
What sparked Trump’s contentious post — CNN’s Brian Fung explains: “Twitter owner Elon Musk had teased a massive bombshell disclosure based on internal company documents that he claimed would reveal ‘what really happened’ inside Twitter when it decided to temporarily suppress a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden and his laptop.”
^ Then on Friday: “Instead of releasing a trove of documents to the public, Musk’s big reveal pointed to a series of tweets by the journalist Matt Taibbi, who had been provided with emails that largely corroborated what was already known about the incident.” The full story
From Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): “Suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic,” Murkowski tweeted.
From Twitter’s new chief Elon Musk: Musk tweeted, “The Constitution is greater than any President. End of story” and pinned the post to the top of his Twitter feed.
From outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.): “Donald Trump believes we should terminate ‘all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution’ to overturn the 2020 election,” Cheney, a vocal Trump critic, tweeted. “That was his view on 1/6 and remains his view today. No honest person can now deny that Trump is an enemy of the Constitution.”
But The Washington Post’s Amy B Wang points out: “Trump’s suggestion … that the U.S. Constitution should be terminated … drew a largely muted response from Republicans, the latest sign that many GOP officials remain reluctant to take on the former president even as he challenges the country’s founding precepts.” Wang’s full explainer on the GOP’s response
‘A RELEASE OF INTERNAL DOCUMENTS FROM TWITTER SET OFF INTENSE DEBATES IN THE INTERSECTING WORLDS OF MEDIA, POLITICS AND TECH.’:
It’s a frosty Monday in D.C. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
Government funding negotiations continue at what feels like a glacial pace, with the Dec. 16 deadline looming.
OK, well, technically Dec. 16: But lawmakers are likely to extend that deadline to Dec. 23 with a short-term funding bill that keeps funding levels the same, called a continuing resolution (CR).
^ And if all else fails, it is possible lawmakers resort to a longer-term CR: If no agreement is reached, lawmakers could potentially use a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for an additional year. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) isn’t thrilled with that idea. More from Roll Call’s Aidan Quigley What has to happen: First, negotiators have to reach an agreement on topline numbers. Then, appropriators have to draft 12 funding bills that make up an omnibus. There are plenty of potential snags in drafting those funding bills, so don’t expect that to be a quick process.
WHAT ABOUT DEFENSE SPENDING?:
Lawmakers are hoping to finalize the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.
The sticking point: Republicans are threatening to play hardball over what they call “woke” military policies, including a vaccine mandate. Where those negotiations stand, via The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell
THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL COULD MAKE IT TO BIDEN’S DESK THIS WEEK:
The Senate passed the bill to protect same-sex marriage last week, sending it to the House. The House is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday, sending it to President Biden’s desk.
More on what to expect this week on Capitol Hill, from The Hill’s Mychael Schnell
WHAT A GOP HOUSE CAN GET THROUGH A DIVIDED CONGRESS:
“House Republicans … have placed a heavy emphasis on oversight and investigatory activities for the next Congress with the knowledge that many conservative priorities have little chance of making it through the Senate, where the Democrats kept their razor-thin majority.” The Hill’s Emily Brooks explains what House Republicans have the ability to do
🐘 In the GOP
Trump’s popularity may be on the decline, but his message isn’t:
“Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) are emerging as the new champions of conservative populism at a time when many Republicans think former President Trump’s grip on the party is slipping.”
What those three have in common — an interesting vote last week: “All three GOP senators voted with almost the entire Senate Democratic caucus to give seven days of paid sick leave to 115,000 rail workers who threatened to go on strike because of an impasse in labor negotiations.”
The new message, which Hawley has been championing: “Hawley has been at the front of the push to remake the GOP from the party of corporate executives to the party of the working man and woman.”
🌈 Happening this week
ON MONDAY — A GAY RIGHTS VS. FREE SPEECH SCOTUS CASE:
The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in a case of LGBTQ rights vs. free speech. The gist: “The Supreme Court on Monday will consider whether a web designer’s refusal to produce same-sex-union sites violates public-accommodation law.” Full explainer from The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes
ON TUESDAY — PEACH STATE TIME:
The runoff in the Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and
Republican Herschel Walker.
Where the race stands: Politico’s Brittany Gibson and Natalie Allison write, “Republican hopes fade as Warnock momentum picks up in Georgia: Republicans are hoping for a surprise in the closely divided state, but their mood has turned grim about Herschel Walker’s chances.” Full explainer
ON WEDNESDAY — FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM:
The White House is hosting an event on combatting antisemitism.
“Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish, will lead the roundtable along with Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, and Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy advisor. Keisha Lance Bottoms, a senior adviser to the president for public engagement, will also attend.” Details
👑 Just released
It’s a Harry-and-Meghan-all-over-your-social-media-feeds kinda week:
Netflix released a new trailer for the upcoming docuseries on Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
When will the docuseries air?: The first part will air on Dec. 8, with the second part on Dec. 15.
The theme: Harry made comparisons to his mother, the late Princess Diana.
Royal expert, ITV’s Chris Ship, weighs in on the trailer: “If anyone was in any doubt that Harry and Meghan plan to blame his family and the press for their exit from the UK and the Royal Family, not anymore. Prince Harry in the second [Netflix] trailer: ‘There is leaking, but there is also the planting of stories.’ ”
🦠 The COVID-19 numbers
Cases to date: 98.7 million
Death toll: 1,077,303
Current hospitalizations: 28,609
Shots administered: 655 million
Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans
This is great to see:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her husband Paul Pelosi, who was recently attacked by an intruder in the couple’s San Francisco home, attended the Kennedy Center Honors together in Washington, D.C., last night.
Photo of the Pelosis: From ABC News’s Jonathan Karl
An up-close photo — Paul Pelosi looks great!: From @MikeSington
Wow, this tree looks like it’s on fire:
@Brookethenews tweeted a photo of the foliage in the DuPont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Photo
The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
Today: Two World Cup games in the round of 16. Japan played Croatia at 10 a.m. and Brazil is playing South Korea at 2 p.m.
9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing.
2 p.m.: The House meets for legislative business, but no votes are expected today. Today’s House agenda
3 p.m.: The Senate meets.
5:30 p.m.: The Senate holds a judicial confirmation vote. Today’s Senate agenda
6:30 p.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden host the Congressional Ball. Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attend.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
Today: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case about free speech and LGBTQ rights. Livestream
2 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream
🥧 In lighter news
Today is National Comfort Food Day.
And to leave you on a happy note, here are two besties who got themselves into a bit of a pickle.