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5:15 PM ET, December 30, 2019


 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Explosive new revelations just weakened Trump's impeachment defenses  —  If Mitch McConnell is going to pull off his scheme to turn President Trump's impeachment trial into a quick and painless sham with no witnesses, the Senate majority leader needs the story to be covered …
Colin Kalmbacher / Law & Crime:
WH and DOJ Lawyers Decided Trump Could Withhold Aid, Hide It from Congress Because He's President
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama, Trump Tie as Most Admired Man in 2019  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Barack Obama and Donald Trump are tied this year as the most admired man.  It is Obama's 12th time in the top spot versus the first for Trump.  Michelle Obama is the most admired woman for the second year in a row.
Gallup: Trump and Obama tie as America's most admired man
Discussion: ABC News
Nancy French / Washington Post:
I ignored warnings from friends and family not to marry my husband.  Was I making a big mistake?  —  When I was 20, a man I barely knew proposed without a ring  —  I said yes.  —  Our friends were alarmed about our fast decisions to marry and move from Tennessee to New York City.
New York Times:
Suspect in Monsey Stabbings Searched Online for ‘Hitler,’ Charges Say  —  Officials said the suspect, who is charged with hate crimes, also expressed anti-Semitic views in his journal.  —  In his journal, prosecutors said, he wrote about Hitler and “Nazi culture.”
Hate crime charges filed against suspect in NY Hanukkah stabbings
Discussion: National Review, The Hill and abc7NY
Joe Biden says he would consider a Republican for his running mate  —  Exeter, New Hampshire (CNN)Joe Biden told voters in New Hampshire on Monday that he would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate, but added, “I can't think of one right now.”  —  Biden discussed the possibility …
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
Biden Rebounds, Warren Slows, Sanders Rolls: The Latest on the 2020 Money Race  —  An early look at fourth-quarter fund-raising shows Joseph R. Biden Jr. bouncing back, Elizabeth Warren lagging her previous benchmark and Bernie Sanders continuing to haul in cash.
Ed Kilgore / New York Magazine:
The 5 Biggest Surprises of the Democratic Presidential Primary, So Far
Discussion: Washington Monthly and NBC News
Kevin Breuninger / CNBC:
Yang campaign expects big fourth-quarter fundraising haul
Discussion: Associated Press and NBC News
Aaron Rupar / Vox:
Ivanka Trump's interview on Face the Nation could have aired on Fox News  —  Ivanka Trump talks with her father during a White House reception on December 11, 2019.  Mark Wilson/Getty Images  —  Margaret Brennan claimed Ivanka was a “vocal” opponent of family separation.  The opposite is true.
New York Times:
How Big Companies Won New Tax Breaks From the Trump Administration  —  As the Treasury Department prepared to enact the 2017 Republican tax overhaul, corporate lobbyists swarmed — and won big.  —  The overhaul of the federal tax law in 2017 was the signature legislative achievement of Donald J. Trump's presidency.
Peter Eavis / New York Times:
Why the Impact of the Trump Taxes Remains Partly Hidden
Discussion: The Week and Raw Story
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Our Year of Trumpschmerz  —  So much for the holidays.  In the quiet of Christmas and New Year's, the President of the United States has repeatedly attacked “Crazy Nancy” Pelosi and her family, inveighed against the “bogus Impeachment Scam” and circulated the alleged name of the C …
James Comey / Washington Post:
This is what it is like to be attacked by the president  —  James Comey is a former FBI director and deputy attorney general.  —  What's it like to be personally and publicly attacked by the president of the United States?  Like many others in and out of government, I have some experience.
Discussion:, The Hill and Mediaite
Jonathan Turley / The Hill:
Pelosi's half right constitutional claim leaves the House all wrong  —  Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe penned an editorial column over the weekend in support of the refusal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to submit House articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial.
Discussion: Twitchy
Ryan Ledendecker / Daily Sounder:
This Firearms Instructor Is Reportedly The Hero Who Killed Texas Church Gunman With Single Head Shot  —  On Sunday, during what would otherwise likely be a quiet worship service at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, an armed gunman entered the church and after talking …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
DNC rejects Yang's request for new polls ahead of next debate  —  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is rejecting a recent request from tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang to commission new early-state polling ahead of the January presidential primary debate to make up for the lack of surveys during the holiday season.
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Republican Telemarketer Stiffed the Feds Out of $411K.  The Trump White House Gave Him a Job.  —  Shannon Burns spent years dodging creditors and fighting off lawsuits.  He found an angel at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  In the final two months of 2016 …
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
The frantic effort to save lives after a deadly attack on the CIA  —  Joshua Alley and two medical colleagues were getting ready to watch “The Hangover” at their military hospital in eastern Afghanistan when the loudspeaker blared with the worst possible code: Shamrock Black!  Shamrock Black!
Yahoo News:
‘Shattered’: Inside the secret battle to save America's undercover spies in the digital age  —  When hackers began slipping into computer systems at the Office of Personnel Management in the spring of 2014, no one inside that federal agency could have predicted the potential scale and magnitude of the damage.
Wall Street Journal:
Sunbelt Set to Gain Congressional Seats, Data Show  —  Americans are moving to states with warm weather, strong job growth and cheaper housing  —  WASHINGTON—New state population totals released Monday offer fresh signs of how the Sunbelt will gain political power after the 2020 census.
Discussion: Redstate and The Hill
CBS News:
Seattle public school students barred from returning until they get vaccinations  —  Thousands of students in Seattle have 10 days to get vaccinated or they will not be allowed to go to school.  This comes after Washington state had two measles outbreaks this year, one forcing a state of emergency.
Discussion: Associated Press, Townhall and Disrn
Scott Daugherty / Virginian-Pilot:
Virginia Beach to hold special session to consider “Second Amendment Constitutional City” resolution  —  The Virginia Beach City Council will hold a pair of special sessions next week to discuss — and vote — on becoming a “Second Amendment Constitutional City.”
Raphael Satter / Reuters:
CIA devised way to restrict missiles given to allies, researcher says  —  LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has devised technology to restrict the use of anti-aircraft missiles after they leave American hands, a researcher said, a move that experts say could persuade …
Judd Legum / Popular Information:
Google's holiday gift to Devin Nunes  —  In November, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) was in the spotlight — the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, which was leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.  He used his star turn to push “fantastical conspiracy theories” about Democrats.
Aaron Rupar / Vox:
Trump's use of homelessness as a political cudgel exposes his cynical disregard for blue states  —  It's not coincidental that he's making a big issue out of homelessness in California and New York but not in Florida.  —  Since Christmas, President Donald Trump has been cynically using homelessness …
Joshua Goodman / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Trump ally may have broken Venezuela sanctions  —  MIAMI (AP) — Erik Prince, a major Republican donor and founder of controversial security firm Blackwater, has been referred to the U.S. Treasury Department for possible sanctions violations tied to his recent trip to Venezuela …
Ally Mutnick / Politico:
Mark Meadows accused of timing retirement to help elect wife's friend  —  Rep. Mark Meadows' shock retirement — revealed just 30 hours before the filing deadline in North Carolina — has roiled some Republicans in the state who suspect he timed his announcement to benefit a friend of his wife.
Discussion: and Raw Story
US Census / The United States Census Bureau:
2019 U.S. Population Estimates Continue to Show the Nation's Growth Is Slowing  —  Natural Increase Drops Below 1 Million for the First Time in Decades Due to Fewer Births and More Deaths  —  DEC. 30, 2019 — According to the U.S. Census Bureau's national and state population estimates released today …
Discussion: National Review
Mike Allen / Axios:
Axios AM  —  Subscribe  —  Happy Monday!  — Situational awareness: A Chinese scientist who set off an ethical debate with claims that he had made the world's first genetically edited babies was sentenced to three years in prison because of his research.  (AP)
Discussion: Breitbart, Raw Story and The Hill
Patrick Marley / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocks, keeps voters on the rolls for now  —  MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked Monday over whether to remove the voter registrations of more than 200,000 people in response to a judge's order.  —  The commission's inability to reach …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Pat Rynard / Iowa Starting Line:
Pete Buttigieg Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down In Iowa  —  Pete Buttigieg is barreling toward an Iowa Caucus victory, and there's not a damn thing anyone's tweets can do about it.  —  The month of December has given the South Bend Mayor his biggest challenges yet, including intense media questions …
Discussion: National Review
Associated Press:
3 years in, no sign of Trump's replacement for Obamacare  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — As a candidate for the White House, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would “immediately” replace President Barack Obama's health care law with a plan of his own that would provide “insurance for everybody.”
New York Times:
Bill Barr Thinks America Is Going to Hell  —  And he's on a mission to use the “authority” of the executive branch to stop it.  —  Ms. Stewart is the author of “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.”  Ms. Fredrickson is president emerita of the American Constitution Society.
Discussion: and Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
How Trump's Twitter obsessions have risen and fallen in the past decade
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
This refugee spent Christmas on a hunger strike to protest Russian bombing in Syria
Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times:
Love in the time of DACA  —  Maria Lopez spotted him at a bachata class.
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed News:
“I Found Election Interference And No One Cared”: One US Veteran's Fight To Protect His Compatriots Online
Warren P. Strobel / Wall Street Journal:
Who's Watching the CIA? A Hawk Named Hudson
 Earlier Items: 
Molly Jong-Fast / The Daily Beast:
Why This Veteran Is Suing One of the Joint Chiefs for Sexual Assault
Greta Thunberg: 'I wouldn't have wasted my time' talking to Trump about climate change
Discussion: ABC News
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
The Decade We Changed Our Minds
Discussion: Hullabaloo
New York Post:
Woman accused of assaulting 3 Jewish women arrested again day after release
Victor Davis Hanson / American Greatness:
Trump's ‘Failures’  —  It is popular on the NeverTrump Right …
Sarah Scoles / Slate:
The Year UFOs Became a Little More Legit
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Exclusive poll: Black Americans motivated by Trump to vote in 2020
Discussion:, IJR and Raw Story
Zack Stanton / Politico:
The Worst Political Predictions of 2019
Discussion: Althouse