Laurel Wamsley

When is a guest list more than a guest list? When politicians bring a plus-one to a presidential address before a joint session of Congress.

Each member of Congress can invite a guest to tonight's speech, and many members will use the occasion to send a pointed political message to President Trump and the public about the issues that matter to them.

It will certainly feel like a State of the Union on Tuesday night: The president will make a major speech to Congress. A bit more than half the room will applaud resoundingly while a bit less than half sit on their hands in that familiar and awkward display of partisanship.

Against a backdrop of turmoil and after big losses in November, the Democratic National Committee votes this week for its next leader. The winner of the DNC chair race will very likely reflect whether the committee's voting members think it prudent to align their party with the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama camp, the Bernie Sanders camp — or neither.

It's a little icky all around.

First lady Melania Trump is seeking $150 million from the Daily Mail newspaper, charging in a lawsuit filed Monday in New York state commercial court that the outlet published damaging and unfounded allegations that she once worked as an "elite escort" in the "sex business."

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order suspending new-refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.

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