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2:15 PM ET, December 16, 2019


 Top Items: 
William Webster / New York Times:
I Headed the F.B.I. and C.I.A. There's a Dire Threat to the Country I Love.  —  And President Trump and William P. Barr are wrong to say that it is.  —  Mr. Webster is a former federal judge and the former director of both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A.  —  The privilege of being the only American …
The Crime Report:   Ex-FBI Chief Webster Assails Trump's ‘Slur’ on Bureau
Andrew Desiderio / Politico:
Judiciary Committee impeachment report alleges Trump committed ‘multiple federal crimes’  —  President Donald Trump committed criminal bribery and wire fraud, the House Judiciary Committee alleges in a report that will accompany articles of impeachment this week.
Wall Street Journal:
More On-the-Fence Democrats Back Impeachment of Trump
Discussion: Washington Post, Politico and Fox News
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
Full Impeachment Report Published: Trump Tried to ‘Muzzle Witnesses’
Elizabeth Drew / New York Times:
The Impeachment Process Is Barely Functioning
Discussion: Check Your Fact and CNN
Elissa Slotkin / Detroit Free Press:
Rep. Elissa Slotkin: How I reached my decision on impeachment  —  (Photo: Nick King/Lansing State Journal)  —  On September 23, I wrote in an op-ed column for the Free Press that I believed President Trump's actions regarding Ukraine, by his own admission, warranted the opening of an impeachment inquiry.
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
Key House Democrat From Swing District Says She'll Support Impeachment
Christian Berthelsen / Bloomberg:
Giuliani Ally Says $1 Million From Russia Was Loan to Wife  —  Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani indicted on U.S. campaign finance charges, said a $1 million transfer into his wife's bank account from Russia was the proceeds of a loan — and not an attempt to conceal his assets.
A.B. Stoddard / The Bulwark:
Discussion: Raw Story
Carly Fiorina says it is ‘vital’ Trump be impeached, but doesn't rule out voting for him in 2020  —  Carly Fiorina: It is “vital” Trump be impeached  —  (CNN)Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said she thinks it is “vital” that President Donald Trump be impeached …
Abbey Marshall / Politico:   Carly Fiorina calls for impeaching Trump — but doesn't rule out voting for him in 2020
Gerald F. Seib / Wall Street Journal:
In Impeachment, Tribalization of Politics Becomes Almost Complete
Discussion: Disrn
Domenico Montanaro / NPR:
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll: Biden, Sanders Lead 2020 Democratic Race  —  Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lead the crowded Democratic field, pulling in together about half of the support of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.
NBC News:
There are two ways to look at Trump's unchanging poll numbers on impeachment
Saira Asher / BBC:
Barack Obama: Women are better leaders than men  —  If women ran every country in the world there would be a general improvement in living standards and outcomes, former US President Barack Obama has said.  —  Speaking in Singapore, he said women aren't perfect, but are “indisputably better” than men.
Julia Davis / The Daily Beast:
Russia's State TV Calls Trump Their ‘Agent’  —  Russian commentators note, rightly, that “sooner or later, the Democrats will come back into power,” and they're already joking about offering Trump asylum.  —  Sometimes a picture doesn't have to be worth a thousand words.  Just a few will do.
Discussion: Raw Story
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court lets stand ruling that protects homeless who sleep on sidewalk  —  The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major case on homelessness, letting stand a ruling that protects homeless people's right to sleep on the sidewalk or in public parks if no other shelter is available.
Discussion: Fox News
Andrew Chung / Reuters:
U.S. Supreme Court leaves in place ruling barring prosecution of homeless
Discussion: National Review
Pete Williams / NBC News:
Supreme Court won't disturb ruling against anti-homeless law
Discussion: Washington Post
Nathaniel Weixel / The Hill:
Congress poised to ban tobacco sales to anyone under 21  —  Congress appears poised to permanently prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21.  —  The provision is expected to be included in a final year-end spending deal, according to a senior Democratic aide.
Congress to permanently repeal 3 major health taxes in year-end spending deal
Discussion: National Review
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Congress on the brink of banning tobacco sales to anyone under 21
Discussion: NBC News and New York Post
Adam Entous / New Yorker:
The Ukrainian Prosecutor Behind Trump's Impeachment  —  How the efforts of Yuriy Lutsenko and Rudy Giuliani to smear Joe Biden led to a Presidential crisis.  —  Of all the names featured in the private depositions and public testimonies of the Presidential impeachment inquiry …
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed News:
You Don't Know Bernie  —  i.  —  He doesn't bother explaining why he's here.  —  This is early on, late May, a few months into the race, but he is already of the belief that he is doing something extraordinary with his presidential campaign — something that's never been done before.
David Siders / Politico:   What Would the Bernie Presidency Really Look Like?
Just Security:
Federal Criminal Offenses and the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump  —  Table of Contents  —  Editor's note from co-editor-in-chief Ryan Goodman: This collection of leading legal experts discusses a range of federal crimes that apply to the conduct of President Donald Trump …
Discussion: Law & Crime
David Wasserman / The Cook Political Report:
Van Drew Party Switch Moves NJ-02 from Toss Up to Lean Republican  —  Freshman Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) set off a political earthquake over the weekend when he informed his staff that he plans to become a Republican after meeting with President Trump and losing support …
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Staff exodus in Van Drew office after party switch
Stephanie Clegg / ITEP:
Corporate Tax Avoidance in the First Year of the Trump Tax Law  —  This study provides a comprehensive overview of profitable corporations' effective tax rates in 2018, the first year that companies were subject to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax law signed by President Donald Trump at the end of 2017.
Jeff Stein / Greenwich Time:   2018 corporate tax rate plunged to 11.3% under Trump law; 99% of biggest firms paid no federal tax at all
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
Why Trump's path to reelection is totally plausible  —  If President Donald Trump wins reelection in 2020, there will not be lots of people — unlike in 2016 — gasping with surprise at the outcome.  But there are plenty of people who remain utterly bewildered by the prospect.
Discussion: Raw Story
Ben Nadler / Associated Press:
Federal judge puts pause on Georgia voter roll purges  —  ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge on Monday put a pause on Georgia's planned mass purge of its voting rolls, following an emergency request from a voting rights group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams.  U.S. District Judge Steve Jones …
Robert Robb / USA Today:
Russia collusion investigation did become a witch hunt, the inspector general report shows  —  The investigation quickly got off track and ran into dead ends.  It should have never led to a special counsel investigation that convulsed the country for two years.
Guy Benson / Townhall:
Devastating: Chris Wallace Grills, Dismantles Comey on IG Report
Paul Jurgens / The Mighty 790 KFGO:
Peterson undecided on impeachment vote, has been approached about becoming Republican  —  WASHINGTON, DC (KFGO) - Congressman Collin Peterson says he's leaning against voting in favor of impeachment for President Trump, but he has yet to make a final decision.
Washington Post:
President Trump has made 15,413 false or misleading claims over 1,055 days  —  In 2017, President Trump made nearly 1,999 false or misleading claims.  In 2018, he added another 5,689, for a total of 7,688.  —  Now, with still a few weeks left in 2019, the president already has more than doubled …
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Surging Netanyahu rival launches party leadership challenge
Fred Imbert / CNBC:
Dow rallies more than 150 points to a record high, heads for a 4-day winning streak
Discussion: Disrn
Banks May Get Leeway to Label NFL Stadium Funding as Aid to Poor
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
Donald Trump's 199 wildest lines of 2019
Discussion: Althouse
Heather Long / Washington Post:
U.S. economy shakes free of recession fears in striking turnaround since August
Discussion: National Review and Power Line
Mexico Escalates Showdown With U.S. Over Trade Rules Enforcement
Alexander C. Kaufman / HuffPost:
Progressive In Colorado Senate Race Raises Eyebrows With Apocalyptic Climate Ad
Discussion: Denver Post
 Earlier Items: 
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg:
New Defenses of Trump Are as Bad as the Old Ones
Julie Carr Smyth / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Thousands of Ohio absentee applications denied
Discussion: The Hill
Jay Root / The Texas Tribune:
George P. Bush failed to disclose financial interests in nearly a dozen companies
Agence France-Presse:
Holocaust architect's grave dug up in Berlin
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Focus group: These Obama/Trump voters are just Trump voters now
Discussion: Breitbart
Alexander Heffner / USA Today:
Trump impeachment: Pelosi reclaims the Constitution for liberals and today's America