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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day

OBAMA AGENDA: U.S., China reach climate deal

The New York Times: "China and the United States made common cause on Wednesday against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases. The landmark agreement, jointly announced here by President Obama and President Xi Jinping, includes new targets for carbon emissions reductions by the United States and a first-ever commitment by China to stop its emissions from growing by 2030."

Writes POLITICO: "The Obama administration is set to roll out a series of climate and pollution measures that rivals any president’s environmental actions of the past quarter-century — a reality check for Republicans who think last week’s election gave them a mandate to end what they call the White House’s 'War on Coal.'"

The Washington Post: "Hours after President Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass tougher regulations on high-speed Internet providers, the agency’s Democratic chairman told a group of business executives that he was moving in a different direction. Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution. His approach would deliver some of what Obama wants but also would address the concerns of the companies that provide Internet access to millions of Americans, such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T."


Here’s a preview of the lame duck session, from NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell.

NBC's Frank Thorp reports: "Senate Democrats may push for a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline in the coming weeks, according to Democratic aides, a move that could help Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in her run-off race against Rep Bill Cassidy (R-LA)."

The Wall Street Journal wonders if Harry Reid will remain as tough on process as he was in the majority. "Early clues could come as soon as Wednesday, as senators return to Washington Wednesday for their lame-duck session, in which Mr. Reid appears to be willing to run the Senate floor with a looser hand. That posture, if it continues after the GOP takes the majority in January, could go a long way toward determining whether gridlock continues in the Senate."

The New York Times previews the lame-duck session, saying "If they cannot make deals now, they might never be able to, because all sides have real incentives to act."

Health workers are pushing Congress to approve funding to address the Ebola crisis in West Africa, writes the AP.

Roll Call: "Sen. Patrick J. Leahy has put to rest any speculation that he might seek to assert seniority to become ranking member on the Appropriations Committee in the next Congress. The Vermonter, who is the most senior member of the Democratic caucus, is sticking around as his party’s leader on the Judiciary panel."

OFF TO THE RACES: Huckabee to make another WH bid?

Rick Perry says he's at least six months away from a decision on a 2016 bid, citing "May or June" as a deadline.

The Washington Post's Robert Costa reports that Mike Huckabee is considering another presidential run -- and building a campaign infrastructure to support it.

Marco Rubio's new book is coming out in January, notes the Tampa Bay Times.

The New York Times ed board is unhappy about the "abyssmal" turnout for the midterm elections. "Showing up at the polls is the best way to counter the oversized influence of wealthy special interests, who dominate politics as never before. But to encourage participation, politicians need to stop suppressing the vote, make the process of voting as easy as possible, and run campaigns that stand for something."

COLORADO: The New York Times notes the abrupt about-face on the state's pro-gun candidates elected during last year's recalls. "Analysts said the whipsawing results were a lesson in how turnout can vastly change the landscape of the politics in this state, which has an independent streak. The dynamic seems to have empowered conservatives in the low-turnout recall vote last year, but rewarded Democrats this month in a midterm election in which mail-in ballots and a contested Senate race helped Colorado defy a nationwide pattern of sagging voter participation."

LOUISIANA: Stu Rothenberg compares this runoff for Mary Landrieu to her 2002 fight, concluding that she's in a much tougher spot now.

MARYLAND: Governor-elect Larry Hogan says he's not going to make any major policy announcements until he's sworn in in January.


*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Milwaukee Representative LaTonya Johnson on Scott Walker’s proposal to drug test welfare recipients; St. Louis Alderman Antonio French with the latest on Ferguson; and Axel Alonso, editor in chief at Marvel, on the black Captain America debuting today.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. John Barrasso, Rep. Jeff Denham, Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ret. Staff Sgt. Aaron Heliker, “Riding my Way Back” Director Robin Fryday, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, USA Today’s Susan Page and NBC’s Anne Thompson and Luke Russert.