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Wake Up To Politics - December 7, 2015

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Monday, December 7, 2015
56 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
337 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    White House Watch

  • Obama Addresses Nation on Terrorism Barack Obama delivered the third Oval Office address of his Presidency on Sunday night, addressing the nation’s fears of terrorism in light of the San Bernardino massacre last week.
  • President Obama, standing behind a podium (and not behind the Resolute Desk, as is traditional for Oval Office addresses), first addressed the San Bernardino shooting, which he described as an “act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.”
  • Obama stressed that the 14 victims of the attacks were “all part of our American family,” and the attackers were not “directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or…part of a broader conspiracy at home.”
  • He then detailed the threat of terrorism, as it has evolved since 9/11, and his actions to combat terrorism since taking office, before laying out four ways to overcome the threat:
  • “Our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary.”
  • “We will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL”.
  • “We’re working with friends and allies to stop ISIL’s operations”.
  • “With American leadership, the international community has been to establish a process…to pursue ceasefires and a political resolution to the Syrian war.”
  • Obama also detailed the steps Congress could take:
  • “Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun.”
  • “We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino.”
  • “We should put in place stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa”.
  • “Go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force against [ISIS].”
  • Finally, the President urged Americans not to “turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam,” as ISIS “does not speak for Islam” and “account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world, including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology.”
  • Even as Americans across the country worry about the threat of terrorism, President Obama remained calm and hopeful. “Even in this political season, even as we properly debate what steps I and future Presidents must take to keep our country safe, let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional,” the President said. “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear; that we have always met challenges -- whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks -- by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people.  So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt America will prevail.”
  • The President’s Schedule At 6:35pm, President and First Lady Obama will host all 535 members of Congress for the annual Congressional Ball on the first floor of the White House.
  • Vice President’s Schedule Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sunday, and will meet today with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate: Today Just one vote is planned in the Senate today: on the confirmation of Travis Randall McDonough to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee. McDonough currently serves as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • Despite his “Unanimously Qualified” rating by the American Bar Association, McDonough’s nomination has been stalled for over a year: the seat he is being nominated for was vacated in October 2014, and President Obama nominated him the next month, although his nomination died with the 113th Congress in December 2014.
  • President Obama renominated him in January 2015, and his nomination has been pending before the full Senate since July 2015, when it was reported out of the Judiciary Committee.
  • House: Today The House will vote on two bills today: the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act, a Senate-passed measure to ensure federal spending will no longer be allocated incorrectly (in 2014, $125 billion was spent improperly); and the Microbead-Free Waters Act, which would require cosmetics with synthetic plastic microbeads be taken off the markets by 2018, to protect the Great Lakes, where such microbeads often end up after going through water treatment facilities.
  • Coming Up: Government Funding Deadline Ahead of Friday’s deadline to pass an omnibus spending bill before the government shuts down, House and Senate negotiators from both parties had hoped to unveil a $1.1 trillion deal Monday.
  • However, it seems increasingly as though no plan will come about today, with both sides still disagreeing on a number of riders.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question With President Obama delivering an Oval Office address Sunday: what were the subjects of his two other Oval Office addresses?
  • Email me an answer to wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com by tonight and get your name in tomorrow’s edition of Wake Up To Politics!
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light