1/ With four days until a government shutdown, House Republicans, Democrats, and the White House have all panned House Speaker Mike Johnson’s complex two-tiered plan to temporarily fund the government. At least a half-dozen Republican members oppose the funding measure – enough to sink the bill without Democratic support – that would extend funding for some parts of the government through Jan. 19 and other parts through Feb. 2. They’ve demanded immediate spending cuts or changes to immigration law as a condition for their support. Democrats, meanwhile, dislike the two separate deadlines and would prefer the funding measure include aid for Israel and Ukraine. The White House called the proposal “a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns – full stop” and Biden is expected to threaten to veto the measure. The federal government will run out of money by the end of the day on Friday if no new deal is reached. (Politico / NPR / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN / Bloomberg)
2/ The Supreme Court issued its first-ever code of conduct following months of ethical controversies, which have diminished the public standing of the nine justices. The justices said they adopted the code of conduct to “dispel” the “misunderstanding” that the court’s nine justices “regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules.” The court, however, failed to explain how the code will work and who would enforce it. (Axios / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)
3/ Biden urged Israel to take “less intrusive action” at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, saying hospitals “must be protected.” Israeli forces and tanks currently surround Gaza’s largest hospital, which has been without electricity and water for three days. Israeli authorities claim a Hamas command hub operates beneath the hospital, a claim Hamas and hospital doctors refute. Despite the White House’s calls to protect civilians around Gaza’s hospitals, U.S. intelligence asserts that it’s “confident” Hamas maintains a command post under Al-Shifa. The World Health Organization characterized the situation at the hospital as “dire and perilous,” stating that continuous gunfire, shelling, and airstrikes means it “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.” Gaza’s health officials have called Al-Shifa a “circle of death,” with over 100 decomposing bodies with no way to preserve or remove them. Several newborns have also died, and at least 35 babies born prematurely face possible “death at any moment.” Roughly 8,000 displaced people are currently sheltering at the hospital complex. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nevertheless, suggested that patients can still be evacuated from the hospital, saying: “There’s no reason why we just can’t take the patients out of there, instead of letting Hamas use it as a command center for terrorism, for the rockets that they fire against Israel, for the terror tunnels that they use to kill Israeli civilians.” Netanyahu also doubled down on Israel’s war against Hamas, vowing that Israel will see the “war to the end.” The enclave’s second-largest hospital, Al-Quds in Gaza City, has also been encircled by Israeli forces and unable to evacuate its 300 remaining patients and medical employees because of bombardments and gunfire. More than two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have been displaced since the war began. More than 11,000 Palestinians – two-thirds of them women and minors – have been killed since the war began. At least 1,200 people were killed in Israel in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. About 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by Hamas. (Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / ABC News / Bloomberg)
4/ Trump Jr. returned to the witness stand in the $250 million civil fraud trial, calling his father a “genius,” a “visionary,” and “an artist with real estate” who “creates things that other people would never envision.” New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump, Trump Jr. Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization last year, alleging “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate the value of assets to obtain favorable loans from banks. Further, New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has already concluded that the Trump Organization’s financial statements were fraudulent and ordered that all of Trump’s “business certificates” be canceled. The trial is largely intended to determine the punishment that Engoron will impose. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC)
⚡️ Weekend Notables.
Trump – echoing fascist dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini – “pledged” to “root out” his political opponents, which he called “vermin” and claimed they “lie, steal and cheat on elections.” In a Veterans Day post, Trump suggested that his political opponents pose a greater “threat from within” to the U.S. than “outside forces” like Russia, China, or North Korea. (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News)
Trump is planning mass deportations, a new Muslim ban, a limit on asylum claims, adding tariffs to all imported goods, and building “freedom cities” on federal land if he returns to power in 2025. To speed mass deportations, Trump said he plans to follow “the Eisenhower model” – a reference was to a 1954 campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants that was named for an ethnic slur — “Operation Wetback.” (New York Times / Associated Press)
The Biden campaign criticized Trump’s threats, calling it a “horrifying reality that awaits the American people if Donald Trump is allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again. These extreme, racist, cruel policies dreamed up by him and his henchman Stephen Miller are meant to stoke fear and divide us, betting a scared and divided nation is how he wins this election.” The Trump campaign, meanwhile, defended the use of the word “vermin” to describe his political enemies, calling critics “snowflakes” whose “entire existence will be crushed” if Trump wins. (Politico / Axios)
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