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By RYAN LIZZA, RACHAEL BADE and EUGENE DANIELS
With help from Eli Okun and Garrett Ross
Which movie can Donald Trump not stop watching? | Joe Raedle/Getty Images
It’s a blissfully slow news day, which means it’s perfect for another news quiz. Whether you are snowed in, enjoying the post-Christmas sales or beating your shocked teenage sons at Mortal Kombat on their new game console (still got it!), please enjoy this romp through the headlines.
1. Which lawmakers known as thorns in the sides of their party’s leadership “bought matching diamond-adorned thorn-shaped necklaces”?
— A. Reps. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-Colo.) and MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-Ga.)
— B. Reps. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-Fla.) and KATHLEEN RICE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (I-Ariz.)
— C. Reps. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-N.Y.), ILHAN OMAR (D-Minn.) and RASHIDA TLAIB (D-Mich.)
— D. Reps. ANDY BIGGS (R-Ariz.), MATT GAETZ (R-Fla.) and BOB GOOD (R-Va.)
Answer, via Sarah Ferris
2. Who will be the No. 4 Democrat in the House next year?
— A. Rep. JIM CLYBURN (D-S.C.)
— B. Rep. TED LIEU (D-Calif.)
Answer, via The Hill’s Mike Lillis
3. What movie that DONALD TRUMP has called “one of the greatest of all time” does the former president watch “again and again and again”?
— A. “Citizen Kane”
— B. “Sunset Boulevard”
— C. “Back to the Future Part II”
— D. “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”
Answer, via N.Y. Mag’s Olivia Nuzzi
4. What potential 2024 candidate was this anonymous Republican strategist discussing today in the following quote? “I think the overall narrative and differentiation will be that [potential candidate] gets things done, and he’s not a cult of personality. While President Trump is running for himself, [potential candidate] is running for the people and showing he can do effective government.”
— A. Arkansas Gov. ASA HUTCHINSON
— B. Florida Gov. RON DeSANTIS
— C. Virginia Gov. GLENN YOUNGKIN
— D. Georgia Gov. BRIAN KEMP
Answer, via The Hill’s Brett Samuels
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5. Which leader on Sunday said the following, which has been prominently featured on Drudge all day? “We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them — we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are.”
— A. Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY
— B. Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN
— C. President JOE BIDEN
Answer, via Reuters
6. In terms of market capitalization lost, which of these stocks has had a worse year than ELON MUSK’s Tesla?
— A. Amazon
— B. Apple
— C. Microsoft
— D. Meta
Answer, via MarketWatch
7. According to data from “AP VoteCast, a sweeping national survey of the electorate,” 51% of independents voted for Democrats in the 2018 midterms, but only this percentage of independents backed Republican House candidates in 2022:
— A. 30%
— B. 38%
— C. 42%
— D. 47%
Answer, via AP’s Thomas Beaumont and Hannah Fingerhut
8. Which one of these did South Dakota Gov. KRISTI NOEM get for Christmas?
— A. A shotgun
— B. A cattle prod
— C. A flamethrower
— D. A Ford F-150 Lightning
Answer, via RealClear’s Philip Wegmann
9. When Jan. 6 committee witness SAMUEL ARMES told investigators in an interview, “Man, this is embarrassing,” what was he referring to?
— A. Texts between RUDY GIULIANI and MIKE LINDELL alleging an international conspiracy to tamper with voting machines in the 2020 presidential election
— B. Picking up a FaceTime call from a family member who “just wanted to meet LIZ CHENEY”
— C. Spilling a glass of water on Rep. ADAM KINZINGER (R-Ill.)
— D. Falling to the floor with painful cramps because it was leg day and he had recently squatted 425 pounds, a personal record
Answer, via Kyle Cheney
Good Monday morning, and thanks for reading Playbook. How many answers did you get right? Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza.
Welcome to the 118th Congress
Amazon is focused on supporting consumers and small businesses in this difficult economy, and we look forward to working with Congress to build a stronger economy for everyone. Read about Amazon policy commitments.
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WINTER STORM LATEST — Forty-six people have died nationwide in the extreme winter weather, including 16 in the Buffalo, N.Y., area, according to the latest tally from NBC’s Mithil Aggarwal and Daniel Arkin. Thousands of flights were canceled over the weekend — including almost one-third of Southwest’s flights — and hundreds of thousands of people lost power. Another nearly 1,500 flights were canceled by this morning, per FlightAware data.
BIDEN’S MONDAY — The president received the President’s Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m.
VP KAMALA HARRIS’ MONDAY — The VP has nothing on her public schedule.
THE HOUSE and THE SENATE are out.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Ukrainian forces work on a remote camera on a telescopic tower on a front line near Kharkiv on Sunday. | Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo
9 STORIES TO START YOUR WEEK
1. THE VIEW FROM 1600 PENN: The Biden White House has started hitting back harder and sharper at comments from Trump and his wing of the GOP, viewing the contrast as politically beneficial ahead of 2024, WaPo’s Toluse Olorunnipa reports this morning. The shift has also prompted criticism from Republicans who say the White House is stooping too low. But Biden’s change has “been fueled in part by the tone and agenda of the newly empowered House Republicans … White House officials deny this is an electoral strategy, saying Biden is doing more naming and shaming in part because there has been a troubling increase in harmful and shameful rhetoric.”
2. BATTLE FOR THE BALLOT: “Democrats, Feeling New Strength, Plan to Go on Offense on Voting Rights,”by NYT’s Reid Epstein: “Democrats, who retained all but one of the governor’s offices they hold and won control of state legislatures in Michigan and Minnesota … are putting forward a long list of proposals that include creating automatic voter registration systems, preregistering teenagers to vote before they turn 18, returning the franchise to felons released from prison and criminalizing election misinformation. … Democrats who won re-election or will soon take office have interpreted their victories as a mandate to make voting easier and more accessible.”
3. WHAT’S IN THE OMNIBUS: Changes to Medicaid enrollment rules included in the massive government spending bill will push as many as 18 million people out of the program, prompting the Biden administration and other Democrats to try to redirect them to the Affordable Care Act, WSJ’s Stephanie Armour reports. Many of those Americans likely make too much money to be enrolled in Medicaid, which Republicans wanted to rectify. But experts are worried the outcome will be fewer people covered by health insurance. “States are gearing up for the effort and the Department of Health and Human Services is providing outreach and guidance to assist.”
Another under-discussed provision will shift millions of Americans’ retirement plans from opt-in to opt-out. That and other changes, known as Secure 2.0, could help many people save more and strengthen their retirement accounts. But they also amount to a huge boon for the financial services industry, which lobbied for their inclusion, AP’s Fatima Hussein reports.
4. NOMINEE TRAVAILS: “Biden’s Pick to Lead F.A.A. Faces Murky Road to Confirmation,”by NYT’s Mark Walker: “[T]he president will need to renominate [PHIL] WASHINGTON next year, and a White House spokeswoman would not say whether he planned to do so. … A handful of factors have clouded the status of Mr. Washington’s nomination, including questions about the brevity of his career in aviation. … Mr. Washington has also faced scrutiny over his time running the transit system in Los Angeles, with his name surfacing in a messy political spat that has played out in recent months in the nation’s most populous county.”
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Amazon looks forward to partnering with leaders on both sides of the aisle to serve small businesses and consumers in this difficult economic climate. Learn more.
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5. DANCE OF THE SUPERPOWERS: Chinese Foreign Minister WANG YI said in a speech Sunday that Beijing wants to mend ties with the U.S. next year and “recalibrate” the countries’ relationship, per Bloomberg.
But, but, but: Over the past 24 hours, a phalanx of at least 71 Chinese aircraft buzzed Taiwanese airspace, a single-day record. NYT’s Amy Chang Chien and Chang Che call it “a large show of force to the Biden administration, signaling that Beijing wants to maintain pressure on Taiwan even as some tensions between the superpowers are easing.”
Deep dive: “‘A sea change’: Biden reverses decades of Chinese trade policy,”a special report by Gavin Bade: “The new federal rules, executive orders and pending legislation aimed at China’s high-tech sectors, which began this fall and will continue in 2023, are the culmination of years of debate spanning three administrations. Taken together, they represent an escalation of former President Donald Trump’s tariffs and trade disputes against Beijing that could ultimately do more to slow Chinese technological and economic development — and divide the two economies — than anything the 45th president did while in office.”
6. LITTLE ROCKET MAN: South Korea said North Korean drones crossed the border for the first time since 2017, including one that made it to the edge of Seoul. South Korea fired warning shots and launched jets in response but couldn’t down the unmanned drones. More from the BBC
7. KEYS TO THE KEYSTONE: “Pennsylvania politics are heated. It soon could be utter chaos,”by Holly Otterbein in Philadelphia: “A razor-thin victory by Democrats, combined with a handful of vacancies and the hardball political culture in the state capitol, has kicked off a high-stakes battle for control of the House. … Both parties see the ensuing fight as not just as a matter of political power, but democratic governance and the rule of law itself. Privately, they fear the next few weeks could plunge the state into an unprecedented level of chaos.”
8. UNSOLVED MYSTERY: Reporting from across Europe, NYT’s Rebecca Ruiz and Justin Scheck unspool the fascinating story of the Nord Stream pipeline bombing in September. “The Swedish authorities leading a criminal investigation have concluded that a state actor was most likely responsible,” and plenty of fingers have pointed at Russia. But a Moscow-controlled company has started planning for fixes, which begs “the question of why, if Russia bombed its own pipelines, it would begin the expensive work of repairing them.” And the “Baltic Sea, it turns out, was a nearly ideal crime scene,” with plenty of opportunities for even a solo saboteur to plant a bomb.
9. HINDSIGHT IS 2022: “Wall Street and Fed Flopped in Trying to Predict 2022,”by WSJ’s Akane Otani: “Almost everyone on Wall Street and in Washington got 2022 wrong. The Federal Reserve expected 2021’s inflation surge to be transitory. It wasn’t. … Top Wall Street analysts predicted markets would have a so-so year. They didn’t. … The extent to which many investors, analysts and economists were wrong-footed has left many looking at the coming year with a sense of unease. … If there is a lesson to be taken away from the past 12 months, some investors and analysts say it is this: Be prepared for more surprises.”
Mike Bloomberg’s spokesperson pushed back on the idea that he’d buy Dow Jones or WaPo.
Allan Sloansigned off from his WaPo column after 30 years.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Will Cadigan, senior producer for special events programming at CNN, and Paige Cadigan, director at the Centre for Public Impact, recently welcomed Dorothea Quinn Cadigan. Pic
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Council of Economic Advisers’ Jared Bernstein … Mary Blanche Hankey of Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) office … Amelia Colton … Mike Hammer … Bishop Garrison … Katie Fallon … Noelle Troost … Eloy Martinez of Aristocrat … Matthew Verghese of Rep. Anthony Brown’s (D-Md.) office … Kristin Davison … Alex Zuckerman of Newsy … Jonathan Hoffman … Rohit Mahajan of Radio Free Asia … Sarada Peri … Sally Fox of Sen. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) office … Jeremy Broggi … Jon Henke … Jennifer Duck … Joe Deoudes … Candy Crowley … former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) … Scott Shepard … former California Gov. Gray Davis … Synim Rivers … Chris Weihs of Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) office … Rob Pyron … Annie Orloff of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s office
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