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9:25 AM ET, September 20, 2019


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter  —  A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off …
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
‘Of course I did’: Giuliani acknowledges asking Ukraine to investigate Biden  —  Rudy Giuliani acknowledged on Thursday that he had asked top Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, an admission that comes as Capitol Hill Democrats investigate whether President Donald Trump …
New York Times:
‘Urgent Concern’ About the President  —  A whistle-blower's report has alarmed the intelligence agencies' watchdog.  Why won't the administration share it with Congress?  —  The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher.  It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
Jonathan Bernstein / Bloomberg:
How Long Will Republicans Tolerate Trump's Lawlessness?  —  There's only so much Democrats can do about the president's increasingly bold misconduct.  —  I was going to write today about how House Democrats are handling the impeachment question.  But the truth is, it's largely irrelevant.
POLITICO Playbook: How Trump has handcuffed Washington
Discussion: The Week
Ken Dilanian / NBC News:
Annual complaints to intel watchdog hotline have more than doubled since Trump took office
Mayor Bill de Blasio / NBC News:
Why I'm ending my 2020 presidential campaign — and what I promise to do next  —  My presidential campaign may be over, but I am going to keep fighting for working people — and ensuring that New York City remains the vanguard of progressivism.  —  There is a framed picture hanging …
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio drops 2020 bid  —  De Blasio's bid — launched in May — ultimately lasted just over four months and was largely mocked for most of its short life.  —  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the 2020 presidential race Friday …
Alexandra Svokos / ABC News:
Bill de Blasio ends 2020 presidential campaign  —  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday morning that he is ending his 2020 presidential campaign.  —  “Getting out there, being able to hear people's concerns, address them with new ideas has been an extraordinary experience,” he told MSNBC's “Morning Joe.”
Jeffery C. Mays / New York Times:
Bill de Blasio Drops Out of 2020 Democratic Presidential Race
Discussion: Althouse
John Wagner / Washington Post:
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves presidential race
Discussion: Political Wire
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Why They'll Never Stop Targeting Kavanaugh  —  The continuing assault reflects both a fixation and an effort to deprive the court of its legitimacy.  —  Here are the reasons, in no certain order, that the accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh will never stop and his foes on the progressive left never let up.
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:   Kavanaugh and the Crisis of Legitimacy
Becket Adams / Washington Examiner:   NYT reporters haven't kept their story straight about Brett Kavanaugh asking them to lie
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
Younger Black Voters to Their Parents: Break Up With Joe Biden, I'm Bored  —  An organic effort by black millennials and Gen Z-ers to influence their older family members may be key to overtaking Mr. Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Discussion: Washington Blade and CNN
Washington Post:
HUD Secretary Ben Carson makes dismissive comments about transgender people, angering agency staff  —  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson expressed concern about “big, hairy men” trying to infiltrate women's homeless shelters during an internal meeting, according to three people present …
David Brooks / New York Times:
A Brief History of the Warren Presidency  —  A look back at American politics from the year 2050.  —  A crisis of legitimacy swept across American politics in the second decade of the 21st century.  Many people had the general conviction that the old order was corrupt and incompetent.
Associated Press:
Buttigieg calls Warren ‘extremely evasive’ on health taxes
Discussion: Politico and Breitbart
Michael Gold / New York Times:
Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated  —  The president's legal team is trying to block a subpoena seeking his tax returns, claiming that any criminal investigation of Mr. Trump is unconstitutional.  —  Lawyers for President Trump argued in a lawsuit filed on Thursday …
John Myers / Los Angeles Times:
Federal judge blocks California law to force disclosure of Trump's tax returns
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Beto O'Rourke says Senate's top Democrat has accomplished ‘absolutely nothing’ on gun control  —  White House hopeful Beto O'Rourke escalated his feud with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) on Thursday night, asserting that his fellow Democrat has accomplished “absolutely nothing” on gun control.
David Siders / Politico:
O'Rourke rips Schumer for doing ‘absolutely nothing’ on guns
Scott Rasmussen:
Just 24% Think Owners of Semi-Automatic Weapons Would Comply With Mandatory Buyback Law
Discussion: Shareblue Media
New York Times:
For Trump, a Time of Indecision  —  WASHINGTON — Speaking to a Fox News reporter near the Mexican border on Wednesday, President Trump seemed taken aback when asked if the White House were preparing to roll out gun control proposals the next day, a timeline administration officials had suggested was likely.
Carl Zimmer / New York Times:
Birds Are Vanishing From North America  —  The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, over the past half-century, scientists find.  —  The skies are emptying out.  —  The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970 …
Katherine Krueger / Splinter:
Black Leaders Condemn Attacks by Sanders Supporters Amid Fallout From WFP's Warren Endorsement  —  In a draft letter obtained by Splinter on Thursday, dozens of prominent black progressive leaders condemned the “hateful, violent, and racist threats” they said have been leveled by “self-identified …
Sam Adler-Bell / The Outline:
Here's why an endorsement of Elizabeth Warren drove leftists mad
Discussion: Daily Kos
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / New York Times:
Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas Scoop Up Personal Data From Scores of Companies  —  The F.B.I. has used secret subpoenas to obtain personal data from far more companies than previously disclosed, newly released documents show.  —  The requests, which the F.B.I. says are critical to its counterterrorism efforts …
Associated Press:
Colt suspends production of AR-15 for civilian market  —  WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gunmaker Colt says it is suspending its production of rifles for the civilian market including the popular AR-15.  —  Colt's chief executive officer, Dennis Veilleux, says it is not permanently ending production …
Miami Herald:
U.S. Marine unit wants to hold annual ball at presidential venue: Trump's Mar-a-Lago club  —  At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold …
Discussion: Raw Story
Burgess Everett / Politico:
The Senate surrenders legislating on guns to Trump  —  The Senate is essentially outsourcing its legislative duties to a divided White House and the whims of President Donald Trump, as it makes its first sustained attempt at overhauling gun laws in years.  —  It's a clear reaction from senators …
Discussion: Political Wire
Washington Post:
Trump officials considering plan to divert billions of dollars in additional funds for border barrier  —  Senior Trump administration officials are considering a plan to again divert billions of dollars in military funding to pay for border barrier construction next year …
Discussion: FOX40 and CNN
NBC News:
Trump admin ignored its own evidence of climate change's impact on migration from Central America  —  An internal report obtained by NBC News showed migration surged from those areas where climate change is hurting crops and farmers.  —  GUATEMALA CITY — Research compiled one year ago …
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Democrats target over 26,000 local races to unseat Republicans  —  Contest Every Race, a new coalition of Democratic groups, is launching a seven-figure campaign to challenge Republican incumbents in 26,849 down-ballot local races, Axios has learned.  —  Why it matters: 2020 is more than just the presidential election.
Zach Montellaro / Politico:
DNC set to squeeze Dem debate stage again  —  As Democratic presidential candidates barrel into the fall, they are still waiting for the party to write the rules for the most important events of the campaign.  —  The candidates are bracing for another round of strict new debate criteria …
Jessica Kwong / Newsweek:
Donald Trump's Approval Rating Surpasses Obama's, Not Just on Rasmussen Reports  —  President Donald Trump's job approval rating this week averaged across major polls surpassed that of his predecessor President Barack Obama at the same time eight years ago, giving some actual good news to Trump …
New York Times:
Why Republicans Play Dirty  —  They fear that if they stick to the rules, they will lose everything.  Their behavior is a threat to democratic stability.  —  Mr. Levitsky and Mr. Ziblatt are political scientists and the authors of “How Democracies Die.”  —  The greatest threat …
NBC News:
Pentagon is last holdout as Stephen Miller tries to slash number of refugees allowed in U.S.  —  The Pentagon is the lone voice inside the Trump admin defending the U.S. refugee program.  —  WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is fighting against proposals by White House officials to drastically cut …
Discussion: Political Wire
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“It Won't End Well”: Trump and His Obscure New National-Security Chief  —  Flattery will get you everywhere with Donald Trump.  The President demonstrated this powerfully on Wednesday, when he named the State Department's little-known hostage negotiator, Robert O'Brien …
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 More Items: 
Eliza Collins / Wall Street Journal:
Sanders's ‘Revolution’ in Burlington: Working With Republicans, Business
J.T. Young / The Hill:
Trump's economic advantage within the Democratic base
Discussion: New York Post
Pankaj Mishra / The Guardian:
The west's self-proclaimed custodians of democracy failed to notice it rotting away
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:
US military to present Trump with several options on Iran
Discussion: Financial Times and The Week
Paul Wells /
Justin Trudeau's face
Ethan Winter / Data For Progress:
Social Security: Warren's “Plan for That” Enjoys Majority Support Across the Electorate
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
After Resisting, McConnell and Senate G.O.P. Back Election Security Funding
 Earlier Items: 
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
What's the Environmental Crisis?
Discussion: Slate
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
More voters are registering than dying — but differences by state could shape 2020
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:
Trump appointee Darrell Issa's confirmation hearing held up because he couldn't pass the background check: report