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Kerry’s Warning to Russia, and Republicans’ New Favorite Villain—THE EDGE Kerry’s Warning to Russia, and Republicans’ New Favorite Villain...

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The Edge

Kerry’s Warning to Russia, and Republicans’ New Favorite Villain—THE EDGE

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama failed to reach a trade agreement with Japan and continued traveling to South Korea. Hillary Clinton criticized Edward Snowden for leaving the U.S. after his NSA leaks, and for asking Russian President Vladimir Putin a softball question two weeks ago. The House plans to vote to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for not testifying on the IRS's targeting of tea-party groups. VICE News reporter Simon Ostrovsky said he was tied up and beaten while being held by separatists in eastern Ukraine. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has gradually become more of a villain for Republicans than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. And the race for California's 33rd Congressional District, which includes Beverly Hills, has attracted candidates that live on yachts and who have been called "spiritual teachers."


OBAMA LEAVES JAPAN WITH NO TRADE AGREEMENT: But a White House official said the president made progress and set "parameters" for a future deal. For now, the failure to strike even a broad deal is a setback as Obama focuses U.S. foreign policy increasingly on Asia. (Eilperin/Nakamura, WaPo)


KERRY: RUSSIA HAS IGNORED AGREEMENT: The secretary of State said Russia "has refused to take a single step in the right direction," and that no Russian officials have called on separatists to stand down. He then threatened that if Russia continues, "it will be an expensive mistake." (Time)

CLINTON 'PUZZLED' BY SNOWDEN'S ACTIONS: She didn't directly call Edward Snowden's leaks illegal, but she questioned why he would flee to China and then Russia, "two countries with which we have very difficult cyberrelationships, to put it mildly." (Emma Roller, NJ)

HOUSE PLANS TO HOLD LERNER IN CONTEMPT: The move follows a referral by the House Oversight Committee, which has tried for almost a year to get Lerner to answer questions. (Russell Berman, The Hill)

AMERICAN JOURNALIST BEATEN WHILE HELD IN UKRAINE: VICE News reporter Simon Ostrovsky says he was beaten and tied up while being held for four days by pro-Russian separatists. He was also "accused of working for the CIA, FBI, and Right Sector, the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist group." (Mario Trujillo, The Hill)

FTC TO STATES: STOP PICKING ON TESLA: The Federal Trade Commission told state legislatures in a blog post that laws protecting auto dealerships at the expense of Tesla's direct sales are anticompetitive and "can only make consumers worse off." (Laura Ryan, NJ)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Virginia's 10th District Republican Party will hold its firehouse primary election on Saturday; results are expected between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. On CBS's Face the Nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will talk about the breakdown of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. On ABC's This Week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will talk about security threats and immigration reform, and Sen Elizabeth Warren will talk about her new book. On Fox News Sunday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will talk about 2016 presidential prospects.


ON EVERY TEXAN'S CHRISTMAS LIST: As of this morning, it was possible to order merchandise with prints of George W. Bush's paintings, including a pillow with his self-portrait. (Abby Phillip, WaPo)

A GIANT LEAP TOWARD AFFORDABLE SPACEFLIGHT: SpaceX announced its sort-of-successful use of a reusable rocket booster. And recovering boosters cuts down on a major portion of the cost of spaceflight. (Brian Resnick, NJ)

REPUBLICANS' NEW FAVORITE VILLAIN: The GOP is moving on from Nancy Pelosi. Now it's Harry Reid's turn to be the party's "fundraising magnet." (Alexander Bolton, The Hill)


'NOT A WOO-WOO SILLY PERSON': That's how Marianne Williamson, a "thought leader" and one of 18 candidates in California's 33rd Congressional District, describes herself. And she's not the most interesting person in the race. (Mark Leibovich, NYT)


MAPPING THE TREND OF HIGHER SPEED LIMITS: Florida is moving from a top speed limit of 70 mph to 75 mph, which makes it a regional outlier. (Ritchie King, FiveThirtyEight)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Stephen Colbert performs "The Ballad of Cliven Bundy." (Reena Flores, NJ)

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