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7:55 AM ET, December 9, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
The Indispensable Man: How Giuliani Led Trump to the Brink of Impeachment  —  Not so long ago, it seemed to Rudolph W. Giuliani that he would be presiding over a hefty part of the world.  —  Holding court a few nights after the 2016 election in a private cigar bar on Fifth Avenue …
Discussion: Raw Story and Axios
Paul LeBlanc / CNN:
Washington Post: Barr told Trump he was not being well served by Giuliani  —  Washington (CNN)Attorney General William Barr counseled President Donald Trump that his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has become a liability for his administration, The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the conversations.
Franklin Foer / The Atlantic:
Rudy Giuliani Knows What He's Doing  —  Don't let the butt-dials distract from his cunning.  —  It can sometimes seem as if Donald Trump has outsourced the defense of his presidency to an erratic buffoon.  Rudy Giuliani is the self-styled security expert who can't stop butt-dialing.
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
How Giuliani and Barr set out to defend Trump  —  Amid President Donald Trump's years-long quest to undermine the Russia investigation and claim “total exoneration,” a tale of two lawyers has emerged.  —  The first — a former New York City mayor-turned fixer for various foreign potentates and …
Washington Post:
Inside Giuliani's dual roles: Power-broker-for-hire and shadow foreign policy adviser
Discussion: CNN, The Independent and Mediaite
Craig Whitlock / Washington Post:
AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH … A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.
Discussion: Raw Story and Instapundit
New York Times:
With White House Absent, Impeachment Devolves Into Partisan Brawl  —  President Trump is refusing to engage and Democrats have concluded they will press ahead anyway, rendering a historic undertaking little more than a foregone conclusion.  —  WASHINGTON — Almost from the moment …
David Leonhardt / New York Times:   The Eight Counts of Impeachment That Trump Deserves
Politico:   Possible pardons loom for former Trump aides
New York Times:
Donald Trump Is Demeaning Congress
Discussion: Raw Story and Outside the Beltway
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs / New York Times:
Pensacola Attack Probed for Terrorism Link.  Saudi Suspect Clashed With Instructor.  —  The F.B.I. said it was conducting a terrorism investigation into the shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, as new information emerged about the gunman's training at the facility.
Discussion: The Dispatch and Florida Politics
Washington Post:
Trump's defense of Saudis grows more isolated after deadly shooting on military base
Patricia Mazzei / New York Times:   Pensacola Victims: Three Hopeful Men at the Dawn of Naval Careers
Margaret Talev / Axios:
Biden promises restrictions on Hunter, family if elected  —  Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” promised to prohibit his son Hunter, and other family members, from cashing in on his name and position overseas if he wins the presidency.
Axios:   Biden: Stuttering not to blame for verbal screwups
Biden says Warren on list of possible VPs
Discussion: Politico and Fox News
Meg Kinnard / Associated Press:
AP Interview: Warren says voters are ready for female ticket  —  1 of 4  —  CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Elizabeth Warren said Sunday she believes Americans are ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman can't beat President Donald Trump.
Discussion: Axios, The Hill and Breitbart
Biden on why he thinks he has more support from black voters than Mayor Pete
Discussion: The Hill
Erin Nyren / Variety:
René Auberjonois, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Boston Legal’ Actor, Dies at 79  —  René Auberjonois, best known for his roles in “Boston Legal” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” died at his home in Los Angeles due to metastatic lung cancer.  He was 79.  —  His son Rèmy-Luc confirmed the news to the Associated Press.
Discussion: Deadline, UPI, NBC News and Boing Boing
Andrew Dalton / Associated Press:
René Auberjonois, actor featured in ‘Star Trek’ and Altman films, dies at 79
Discussion: Mashable
Mariel Padilla / New York Times:
NATO Conference Is Canceled After U.S. Ambassador Barred a Trump Critic  —  An expert was scheduled to speak at the Copenhagen event but was told the ambassador, Carla Sands, had vetoed his participation.  —  The United States ambassador to Denmark barred an American NATO expert critical …
Lauren Fruen / Daily Mail:
Fox and Friends host Pete Hegseth is ‘BANNED from Twitter’ after sharing anti-American ‘manifesto’ of Pensacola shooter Mohammed Alshamrani  — Alshamrani's social media, which was taken down after the attack, appeared to show a variety of anti-Israel postings and a quote from Osama bin Laden
Discussion: VodkaPundit
Washington Post:
Warren earned nearly $2 million working as a consultant for corporations and financial firms, records show  —  Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) earned the income while she was a law professor at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and other schools, according to records her campaign released Sunday evening.
Susan Simpson / Just Security:
Seven Outright Falsehoods in GOP Staff Report on Impeachment  —  On December 2, 2019, Republican staff of the three committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry published a report prepared for the GOP Chairs: Representatives Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, and Michael McCaul.
The Texas Tribune:
Pierce Bush to file for suburban Houston congressional seat  —  The grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush will enter an already crowded GOP primary for Texas' 22nd District.  —  The grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush, nonprofit executive Pierce Bush …
Discussion: Politico
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Chuck Todd Laces Into Ted Cruz for Saying Ukraine Meddled in 2016 Election  —  The “Meet the Press” host also reminded the Texas senator about the lengthy smear campaign Trump launched against him in the 2016 GOP primary.  —  A week after Meet the Press host Chuck Todd accused Sen. John Kennedy …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
It has come to this: Ted Cruz is Putin's stooge
Discussion: PJ Media Home and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Democrats leveraged Trump's fixation on Space Force to pursue parental-leave victory for federal workers  —  When Congress took up a must-pass defense bill earlier this year, President Trump saw it as a rare opportunity to win approval for Space Force — his proposed sixth branch of the military — ahead of the 2020 election.
Discussion: The Hill
The Intercept:
At Glitzy GOP Fundraiser, Devin Nunes Dodges Questions About Contact With Lev Parnas  —  The Lotte New York Palace Hotel swelled this weekend with tourists taking selfies in the courtyard next to its 35-foot Christmas tree.  In the lobby, parents scrambled to make space for Instagram moments of their children sitting on Santa's lap.
Jari Tanner / Associated Press:
Female minister, 34, tapped to become Finland's youngest PM  —  The candidate for the next Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, smiles after she won the SDP's Prime Minister candidate vote against Antti Lindtman, in Helsinki, Finland, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.
Tarmo Virki / Reuters:   Finland's Social Democrats name Marin to be youngest ever prime minister
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Rosario Dawson Joins Her Love on the ‘Lead With Love’ Tour  —  The actress went shopping for vegan snacks — and votes — in Iowa with her boyfriend, the presidential candidate Cory Booker.  —  IOWA CITY — Senator Cory Booker was in a frantic sprint for a little extra zest in Iowa.
David Weigel / Washington Post:
The Trailer: Booker is getting more money and attention.  But he's probably still not making the next debate.
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 More Items: 
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Don't Look Now, But Things Are Getting Brighter for Trump
James Queally / Los Angeles Times:
Claremont Nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees separated in cages
Sesame Workshop:
Remembering Legendary Puppeteer Caroll Spinney
New York Times:
Barr Dives Into the Culture Wars, and Social Conservatives Rejoice
Alex Thompson / Politico:
Warren made $1.9 million from corporate and financial legal work
Discussion: New York Times and Fox News
 Earlier Items: 
James Downie / Washington Post:
The one impeachment question Republicans should have to answer
Discussion: Raw Story and The Daily Caller
James MacPherson / Associated Press:
North Dakota county may become US's 1st to bar new refugees
Matthew Boyle / Breitbart:
Exclusive — Treasury's Monica Crowley on the Explosive Trump Economy Success: ‘Boom!’
Emma Goldberg / New York Times:
A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging
Adam H. Domby / Washington Post:
Nikki Haley gets the history of the Confederate flag very wrong
Discussion: DemCast
Emily Tillett / CBS News:
White House “working” on official visit between Trump and Russia's Lavrov, Robert O'Brien says