GOVERNOR COOPER DELIVERS INCLUSIVE STATE-OF-THE-STATE ADDRESS: Cooper used “determined” as the theme of his second State of the State address and the first since Democrats added enough seats in the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly to uphold the Democratic governor’s vetoes. He struck a tone of bipartisanship and advocated for debates in good faith. “I believe we have broad agreement on what we want for our state,” he said. “We need to seek common ground and build solutions upon it.” Cooper invited a teacher, farmers, a pediatrician, and a state trooper to Raleigh to illustrate his points about education, help for rural communities, Medicaid expansion, and heroism in the hurricane. Lawmakers applauded the guests as Cooper introduced them. “The storm showed us it’s also time to come together to meet other challenges that people face every day across our state,” Cooper said. “And we have to bring that same determination to every challenge.
BERGER'S RESPONSE ALMOST LAUGHABLE IN ITS IRONY: Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger delivered the Republican response to Cooper's speech and said the GOP will hold fast to the conservative principles with which the party has governed the state for the last eight years. "Low taxes, reasonable regulations and prudent spending decisions may not generate sensational headlines or drive clicks on websites, but it’s the basic formula for effective governing, and it’s created a boom decade for our state," said Berger, R-Rockingham. "Effective governing sometimes means moving away from the extremes to achieve solutions that both sides can support," Berger said. "Republicans are going to have to work across the aisle, but so are Democrats. We’re going to have to choose collaboration more often than not, because that’s what effective governing requires."
COHEN HEADED TO CONGRESS TO DISH ON DONALD TRUMP: President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is expected to give a behind-the-scenes account of what he will claim is Trump's lying, racism and cheating, and possibly even criminal conduct, when he testifies publicly before a House committee on Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Cohen is expected to provide what he will claim is evidence, in the form of documents, of Trump's conduct, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential testimony. Trump's former personal "fixer" arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin three days of congressional appearances, starting with a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee. The public won't have a chance to hear from him until Wednesday, when he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He will go behind closed doors again when he talks to the House intelligence committee on Thursday.
U.S. HOUSE SET TO VOTE ON BLOCKING TRUMP "EMERGENCY" DECLARATION: Democrats are moving quickly to try to roll back President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to siphon billions of dollars from the military to fund construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Tuesday’s vote in the Democratic-controlled House comes on legislation to revoke Trump’s executive order from earlier this month and would send it to the Republican-held Senate, where it would take only a handful of GOP defections to pass it. Trump is likely to prevail in the end since he could use his first-ever veto to kill the measure if it passes Congress, but the White House is seeking to minimize defections among the president’s GOP allies to avoid embarrassment. The vote could be challenging for GOP lawmakers who view themselves as conservative protectors of the Constitution and the powers of the federal purse that are reserved for Congress. But GOP vote counters are confident that the tally won’t get near the two-thirds that would overturn a Trump veto.
CADET BONESPURS FINALLY GOES TO VIETNAM, FIFTY YEARS LATER: President Trump arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday to discuss denuclearization with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, capping off months of threats and weapons tests, recriminations and rapprochements. As the men prepared to meet for the second time in eight months, their avowed goal of achieving a lasting peace and “complete denuclearization” remained elusive, but the once-imminent threat of war felt even more removed. Fear of war gripped the Korean Peninsula in 2017 after a series of North Korean missile tests prompted Mr. Trump to threaten that country with “fire and fury.” Mr. Kim responded with what appeared to be a successful test of a hydrogen bomb and launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that it said was powerful enough to reach the continental United States. After meeting Mr. Kim in Singapore, Mr. Trump said he “fell in love” with the North Korean leader and vowed to secure a “bright future” for the North, should it disarm.