Good Tuesday morning. Situational awareness: NFL Network suspends three analysts— retired players Marshall Faulk and Heath Evans, plus Ike Taylor — following allegations of sexual harassment by former wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), who is resisting resignation despite sexual harassment claims, "regularly drank to excess, and ... staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on 'redhead patrol' to keep him out of trouble," according to a former aide's complaint, reported on A1 by the N.Y. Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
President Trump's legal team believes Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Justice Department and the FBI — more than special counsel Bob Mueller himself — are to blame for what they see as a witch hunt.
The result: They want an additional special counsel named to investigate the investigator:
Trump lawyers' strategy: Cooperate with Mueller, insist publicly they have nothing to hide, and predict the president to be fully cleared early in the new year.
Be smart: Among Republicans, the argument that the investigation is tainted is picking up steam, including a tweet by Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) on Friday: "I will be challenging Rs and Ds on Senate Judiciary Committee to support a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 — not just Trump and Russia."
Alabama polls open at 8 a.m. ET. The CNN countdown clock promises first exit polls as soon as the polls close, at 8 p.m. ET.
Voters are choosing between Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, embroiled in sexual assault allegations involving teenaged women, and Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor, in the race to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Senate seat.
Why it matters, from Axios' Shannon Vavra: If Moore wins, it means Republican voters were willing to ignore weeks of coverage of the allegations against Moore — or simply didn't believe them. If Jones wins, it means Moore blew a winnable race for a safe Republican seat.
For sexual assault survivors and allies, a Jones win would be another major win in a season of burgeoning progress.
The stakes, from AP's Zeke Miller:
"Jimmy Kimmel was absent from his ABC late-night show last week while his 8-month-old son, Billy, recovered from his second heart surgery," the WashPost's Emily Yahr reports.
"Last night, Kimmel returned to the stage with his son in his arms. ... Kimmel segued into an emotional monologue about CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired in October":
A Santa Barbara County fire hand-crew member, Nikolas Abele, keeps an eye on a hillside for any stray embers during a firing operation in Santa Monica Canyon in Carpinteria, Calif., yesterday.
Go deeper ... L.A. Times, "How a blaze became a monster: The Thomas fire explodes in a region whose picturesque wilderness can be a nightmare for crews."
N.Y. Times Quotation of the Day ... From Jim Dwyer's "About New York" column on A1, "Doubling Down on Daily Life In the Face of Modern Danger":
Daily News cover: "ISIS fanatic detonates suicide bomb in Times Square subway station, but plot ... BLEW UP IN HIS FACE!"
This is a world that, in our cocoons, we're rarely aware of. Check out the six-digit tragedies above ... Opioid foster care: The number of children removed from parents who use drugs.
"Alternative facts," by Kellyanne Conway, tops a Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2017:
What we're watching ... Tonight at 7:30 on HBO, "VICE News Tonight, The Alabama Special " — how Alabama became the biggest political story in the country:
Remembering 2017 in 30 images ... Steve Bannon would later call President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 9 one of the biggest mistakes in "modern political history."
Ways hotels will change in 2018, by Nikki Ekstein, travel editor at Bloomberg Pursuits: