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Briefing National

  • It's game day in Alabama. Nobody seems to know what is going to happen in Tuesday's special Senate election because polls are all over the place [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump's legal team plans to push for the FBI to appoint a second special counsel to investigate special counsel Robert Muller's investigation [Axios].

  • GOP lawmakers are racing to hammer out a final tax agreement by the end of the week [Politico].

  • The GOP tax proposal could make anonymous "dark money" political contributions tax deductible [CNN].

  • 56 female members of Congress want the Oversight Committee to probe allegations of sexual misconduct by President Donald Trump [The Hill].

  • New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand calls on President Donald Trump to resign following allegations he sexually assaulted several women [CNN].

  • A federal judge rules that the Trump administration cannot block transgender Americans from enlisting in the armed forces. The Pentagon is scrambling to get an emergency order to halt those enlistments on January 1 [Politico].

  • Democrats are warning that some pension plans are facing insolvency, and could lead to a government shutdown if Congress doesn't move to fix the problem [Politico].

  • The bomber who detonated a pipe bomb in New York City on Monday morning says he was retaliating for U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria [New York Times].

  • The New Yorker Magazine fires star reporter Ryan Lizza over allegations of "improper sexual conduct" [CNN].

  • President Donald Trump signed a directive to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon [New York Times].

  • Merriam-Webster picks "feminism," as 2017's "Word of the Year" [Merriam-Webster].

  • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's use of the term "alternative facts" was named Yale Law School's "Most Notable Quote of 2017" [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1787 - Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

  • 1870 - Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the first black member of the House of Representatives.

  • 1901 - Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter "S" in Morse Code) in Newfoundland.

  • 1913 - Two years after it was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was recovered in a Florence, Italy hotel room.

  • 1917 - Father Edward Flanagan founds Boys Town in Nebraska.

  • 1941 - Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

  • 2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore.
  • BREAKING MONDAY MORNING: A device exploded at the entrance to the Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square in New York City [New York Post].

  • Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore appeared on a conspiracy-mongering radio show in 2011 where he said many of the problems in America could be solved by eliminating constitutional amendments after the Tenth [CNN].

  • Republicans are choosing speed over diligence as they rush to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions [Washington Post].

  • The Senate's tax bill could impose a marginal tax rate on some business owners of more than 100%. Lawmakers are working to change that [Wall Street Journal].

  • The last time Congress cut taxes on the middle class, most of them didn't notice it. Will they notice a tax cut this time around? [Bloomberg]

  • The White House is targeting January to begin the push to sell President Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure overhaul [Wall Street Journal].

  • Following Senator Al Franken's decision to resign in the wake of multiple women alleging he sexually harassed them, three Senators have called on President Donald Trump to resign [Washington Post].

  • Special counsel Robert Muller is reportedly trying to piece together what happened during the time in the White House before former national security adviser Michael Flynn was fired on Feb. 13 [NBC News].

  • President Donald Trump reportedly watches between four and eight hours of TV daily and consumes up to a dozen cans of Diet Coke [New York Times].

  • President Donald Trump and conservatives have been blasting several media outlets for errors in their reporting [The Hill].

  • President Donald Trump is taking credit for killing hundreds of federal regulations that were actually eliminated before Trump took office [Bloomberg].

  • Alabama GOP Senator Richard Shelby refuses to vote for fellow Republican Roy Moore [CNN].

  • The wildfires in California are burning an area larger than New York City and Boston combined [CNN].

On this day in history:

  • 1792 - King Louis XVI of France is put on trial for treason by the National Convention.

  • 1815 - The U.S. Senate creates a select committee on finance and a uniform national currency, predecessor of the Senate Committee on Finance.

  • 1816 - Indiana becomes the 19th state.

  • 1941 - Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. In turn, the U.S. declares war on those countries.

  • 1972 - Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and final Apollo mission to land on the moon.

  • 2008 - Bernie Madoff is arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
  • Republican leaders are confident they can find the votes to pass a temporary spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week [Politico].

  • Republicans could settle for a smaller corporate tax rate cut as they try to secure votes for their tax reform plan [Politico].

  • Senate Democrats call on Sen. Al Franken to resign after more women have come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct [Washington Post].

  • The Middle East is bracing for violent protests after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel [NBC News].

  • The State Department issued a "worldwide caution" for U.S. citizens traveling abroad following President Trump's announcement about Israel. The last time the State Department made this move was following the Iraq war [State Department].

  • Donald Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege to avoid telling Congressional investigators about a conversation he had with his father about a meeting he had with Russians in Trump tower during the 2016 campaign [Politico].

  • A whistleblower says former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a business associate that U.S. sanctions on Russia would be "ripped up" once President Trump was in the White House [NBC News].

  • Republicans are ramping up their attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI to try and discredit the Russia investigation [Washington Post].

  • Lawmakers in the House overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to impeach President Donald Trump. Just 58 Democrats voted for the measure [Politico].

  • The House passed a bill to dramatically expand gun rights [New York Times].

  • A producer for ABC news has been reprimanded for giving President Donald Trump's campaign exit polling data on election day [Politico].

  • Massive wildfires in Southern California race through parts of Los Angeles [New York Times].

On this day in history:

  • 1776 - Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, arranges to enter the American military as a major general.

  • 1787 - Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

  • 1869 - Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.

  • 1917 - The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary in World War I.

  • 1941 - Attack on Pearl Harbor: The Japanese Navy carries out a surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii.

  • 1972 - Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched.

  • 1982 - In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr., becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
  • Congress avoids a shutdown...for two weeks. Congressional leaders send a stopgap spending bill to fund the government until just before Christmas to President Trump's desk [New York Times].

  • Sen. Al Franken announces he will resign from Congress amid multiple women accusing him of sexual misconduct [New York Times].

  • Arizona Rep. Trent Franks says he will resign from Congress after two female staffers alleged he sexually harassed them. Franks bizarrely claims he discussed "fertility issues and surrogacy" with the staffers, but denies any harassment [CNN].

  • The House is launching an ethics investigation into Texas Republican Blake Farenthold who paid more than $80,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment claim against him [Politico].

  • Former WSJ reporter Neil King says the number of sexual harassment claims against members of Congress could be between 20 and 30 [Twitter].

  • A British publicist who arranged the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer sent multiple follow-up emails to one of the Russians involved in the meeting. Trump Jr. previously claimed there was no follow-up following the meeting [CNN].

  • An executive with a Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump's presidential campaign [Washington Post].

  • Conservatives are ramping up their attacks on special counsel Robert Muller as his investigation into Russian election meddling seems to be intensifying [The Hill].

  • The House ethics committee clears California Republican Devin Nunes of allegations he disclosed classified information related to the Russia investigation [Politico].

  • Former Congressman and current MSNBC contributor Harold Ford Jr. was fired by Morgan Stanley after a woman claimed he sexually harassed her [Huffington Post].

  • President Trump's approval rating drops to 32%, which is a new low [CNN].

  • Drain the swamp? Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent more than $14,000 on helicopters to ferry himself and his staff to events around Washington, D.C. [Politico].

  • Controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's considering running for the U.S. Senate [Daily Beast].

  • The UK and the European Union reach an agreement on the Brexit talks [New York Times].

  • Bitcoin prices are skyrocketing, and investors on Wall Street cannot wait to short the cryptocurrency [Axios].

On this day in history:

  •  1941 - The U.S. declares war on Japan following the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

  • 1980 - Former Beatle John Lennon is murdered in front of The Dakota in New York City.

  • 1987 - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the first treaty between the two superpowers to reduce their massive nuclear arsenals.

  • 1993 - President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
  • BREAKING: Time Magazine selects the women who came forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against powerful men as their Person of the Year [Time].

  • The government runs out of money on Friday unless Congress can agree to a spending measure. A new national poll shows a clear majority of voters say Congress should avoid a government shutdown [Politico]. 

  • Experts who are digging into the GOP tax plan have found glitches and loopholes that could plague lawmakers for years if the legislation is signed into law [Politico].

  • Following changes to the tax code, Republicans in Congress plan to turn their sights on welfare reform [Politico].

  • President Donald Trump will reportedly recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Some worry the decision could provoke violence. A Palestinian government official says the move would be tantamount to a declaration of war [Reuters].

  • The Supreme Court appears to be sharply divided over a case involving a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple [New York Times].

  • Longtime Michigan Democrat John Conyers resigns from Congress after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. He has endorsed his son to take his place [Washington Post].

  • The homeless population in the U.S. grew this year for the first time since 2010, mostly due to a jump in the number of homeless on the West Coast [Associated Press].

  • Donald Trump Jr. asked a Russian lawyer at the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting whether she had information on alleged illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation [NBC News].

  • The FBI agent kicked off special counsel Robert Muller's Russia probe for sending anti-Trump text messages is also reportedly a key player in the FBI investigation that cleared Hillary Clinton in her email scandal [New York Post].

  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called on President Trump to shrink the size of two more national monuments in Nevada and Oregon [Washington Post].

  • President Trump's voter fraud commission wants to create a massive database of voters, but experts warn the list could be easily breached by hackers [Washington Post].

  • The Senate confirmed Kirstjen Nielsen as the new head of Homeland Security [CNN].

  • President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a proposal to create a global private spy network to fight "deep state enemies" who want to undermine his presidency [The Hill].

  • One of Donald Trump's lawyers argues he cannot be sued in a state court because he is the president. A former contestant on a reality show is suing Trump for defamation [NBC News].

On this day in history:

  • 1768 - The first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is published.

  • 1790 - The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.

  • 1865 - The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, banning slavery.

  • 1877 - The first edition of the Washington Post is published.

  • 1884 - The Washington Monument is completed.

  • 1973 - The House of Representatives votes 387 to 35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President. 

  • 1975 - The Senate approved a $2.3 billion emergency loan to save New York City from bankruptcy.