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2:00 PM ET, December 2, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Mark Becker / The Bulwark:
My Call With Ron Johnson: He Knows Biden Won But Won't Admit It  —  The Wisconsin senator says it would be “political suicide.”  —  November 14, 8:37 a.m. my phone rings.  I do a double take on my caller ID and realize who is calling.  I take a deep breath and answer the phone.
RELATED:
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Justice Department investigating potential presidential pardon bribery scheme, court records reveal  —  (CNN)The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon …
Jennifer Rodgers / The Daily Beast:
Here's How Rudy Giuliani's Push for a Preemptive Pardon Could Backfire  —  Imagine what the old Rudy Giuliani, United States Attorney, crime-buster and thorn in the side of organized crime, would think of the current iteration.  —  BEAST INSIDE … This is the last gasp of Donald Trump's administration …
New York Times:
Trump Has Discussed With Advisers Pardons for His 3 Eldest Children and Giuliani
Axios:
Trump likely to announce 2024 bid, but GOP rivals say power will fade post-White House  —  President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.  —  Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies …
RELATED:
Zeke Miller / Associated Press:
GOP leader McDaniel to run for 3rd term with Trump's backing
Discussion: Fox News, Axios and Political Wire
NBC News:
Release of PPP loan recipients data reveals troubling patterns  —  Following months of litigation between the Small Business Administration and news organizations seeking data about who benefited from pandemic relief programs, the agency on Tuesday night released a sweeping dataset …
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Washington Post:
More than half of emergency small-business funds went to larger businesses, new data shows  —  The Trump administration has emphasized PPP loans to small firms, but data released Tuesday shows that most of the $522 billion went to about 600 larger companies and chains
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Biden: 'We're Going to Fight Like Hell by Investing in America First'  —  My talk with Joe Biden on his first few months, and his next four years.  —  President-elect Joe Biden was in a good mood as we talked on the phone Tuesday evening for an hour — he in Delaware and me in Bethesda, Md. He apologized, though, for being late.
Michelle Roberts / BBC:
Covid-19: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine judged safe for use in UK from next week  —  The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination.  —  Britain's medicines regulator, the MHRA, says the jab …
RELATED:
Roni Caryn Rabin / New York Times:   C.D.C. Shortens Quarantine Guidance and Warns Against Holiday Travel
Benjamin Mueller / New York Times:
U.K. Approves Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine, a First in the West
Melanie Zanona / Politico:
The GOP's electoral mischief  —  MO PROBLEMS — Scooplet: Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) has been telling colleagues and allies that he plans to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress officially certifies Joe Biden's victory on Jan. 6, as long as a Senate Republican joins him in the long-shot effort, sources tell your Huddle host.
Jim Galloway / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The Kelly Loeffler, Raphael Warnock runoff crosses a line  —  One of Kelly Loeffler's first public appearances as a U.S. senator came last January at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  —  “I am so humbled to be here with you today in this sacred place …
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Judd Legum / Popular Information:
Before her scorched-earth attacks, Loeffler shared a pulpit with Warnock and praised his church
Discussion: Political Wire
New York Times:
Presidential Transition Live Updates: Biden to Discuss Virus-Weakened Economy Amid Stalemate Over Aid  —  President-elect Joe Biden is set to meet virtually with small-business owners and workers hurt by the pandemic.  The Justice Department is investigating a potential bribery scheme for a Trump pardon.
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:   Trump Moves Forward With Changes to Federal Hiring, Firing
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
Confessions of a Clintonworld Exile  —  Doug Band worked alongside Bill Clinton every day for nearly two decades, first as a body man and then as one of the primary architects of his lucrative and often-fraught post-presidency.  Then came a seismic falling out with accusations of self-dealing and soap-opera-level psychodrama.
Discussion: New York Post, HotAir and Twitchy
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
RNC blasts Politico over Michigan election story  —  Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta packed a lot into his sizzling Nov. 24 feature, “The Inside Story of Michigan's Fake Voter Fraud Scandal.”  There's a tight narration of the Trump campaign's destructive effort to undo the Michigan vote …
Politico:
Congress shoots down Trump's threat to veto defense bill  —  Congress is moving forward on a must-pass defense policy bill without repealing a legal shield for social media companies, rejecting a last-minute veto threat from President Donald Trump.  —  The final version of the National …
Discussion: CNN, Bloomberg and National Review
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Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Trump threatens to veto major defense bill unless Congress repeals Section 230, a legal shield for tech giants
Damian Carrington / The Guardian:
No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time  —  Singapore's approval of chicken cells grown in bioreactors is seen as landmark moment across industry  —  Cultured meat, produced in bioreactors without the slaughter of an animal, has been approved for sale by a regulatory authority for the first time.
Discussion: TechCrunch and Marginal REVOLUTION
Veronique de Rugy / National Review:
Walter Williams, R.I.P.  —  The great economist and freedom fighter Walter Williams has died.  This is an incredibly sad news.  Walter was a great communicator of ideas and a prolific, provocative and uncompromising writer.  He was the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University.
FiveThirtyEight:
There Wasn't That Much Split-Ticket Voting In 2020  —  The narrative of the 2020 election is that Joe Biden did pretty well ... but down-ballot Democrats, not so much.  And while this is true if you look simply at the results — Republicans defended most of their vulnerable Senate seats …
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Obama: Criminal justice reformers ‘lost a big audience’ with defund the police rhetoric  —  Former President Barack Obama suggested in a new interview that “defund the police” was little more than a “snappy slogan” that polarized many Americans and was ineffectual at producing broader reforms …
RELATED:
Naomi Lim / Washington Examiner:
Obama chides Democrats for giving AOC short convention speaking slot
Discussion: CNN and Breitbart
Isabella Kwai / New York Times:
U.N. Reclassifies Cannabis as a Less Dangerous Drug  —  A United Nations commission voted to remove marijuana for medical use from a list of the most risky narcotics, such as heroin.  —  A United Nations commission voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medicinal purposes from a category …
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Zack Budryk / The Hill:   United Nations commission votes to remove marijuana from list of most dangerous drugs
Robert Sanchez / 5280:
Why Did Palantir Technologies Move Its Headquarters From Silicon Valley to Denver?  —  The secretive and controversial data-mining firm moved its headquarters to LoDo earlier this year.  And while some city and state government officials lobbied for the relocation, others are furious.
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Robert Mueller does rare interview in ‘Oath’ podcast  —  NEW YORK (AP) — Chuck Rosenberg makes no secret of his admiration for Robert Mueller.  —  Keep that in mind, along with the format of Rosenberg's podcast “The Oath,” now that NBC announced that the former special counsel who looked …
Discussion: NBC News and Fox News
Wall Street Journal:
China Has One Powerful Friend Left in the U.S.: Wall Street  —  Trade deal left many U.S. industries disappointed, but financial firms such as BlackRock see a potential windfall  —  In February 2018, Beijing's chief trade negotiator was in Washington to try to avert a trade war.
Politico:
Anticipating Senate bottlenecks, Biden races to fill agency jobs  —  Now that he's chosen a big chunk of his Cabinet nominees, President-elect Joe Biden's transition team is focusing increasingly on selecting candidates for government positions that do not require Senate confirmation.
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:
Roger Stone, Who Had His Ass Saved by Barr, Turns on ‘Deep State’ Attorney General  —  SNAKE PIT  —  Remember in February when Attorney General Bill Barr trashed his department's reputation to override the recommended prison term for Roger Stone and push for a much shorter sentence?
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
Shaun Walker / The Guardian:
Hungary's rightwing rulers downplay MEP ‘gay orgy’ scandal amid hypocrisy accusations  —  József Szájer had boasted of rewriting constitution to define marriage as heterosexual institution  —  Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has condemned the behaviour …
Matthew Yglesias / Slow Boring:
The “racial wealth gap” is a class gap  —  Rich people are very white, but most white people aren't rich  —  Good morning it's Wednesday!  —  And what a fine day to discuss an unfashionable leftist view of mine.  The discussion “racial wealth gap” is a somewhat perverse way to think about the real issue …
Tyler O'Neil / pjmedia.com:
WHISTLEBLOWER: I Drove ‘Thousands of Ballots’ From New York to Pennsylvania  —  On Tuesday, a truck driver testified that he had driven thousands of ballots from Bethpage, N.Y., to Lancaster, Pa., two weeks before Election Day.  Phill Kline, a former attorney general of Kansas and director …
Discussion: Townhall and Power Line
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Mark Kelly to be sworn in Wednesday, giving Arizona two Democratic senators for first time in more than six decades  —  Democrat Mark Kelly will be sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, marking the first time in more than 67 years that Arizona will have two Democratic senators.
Discussion: ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News
 
 
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 More Items: 
Joe Gierut / America Rising PAC:
America Rising PAC Launches Biden Accountability Initiative
Discussion: Townhall
New York Times:
After Biden Win, Nation's Republicans Fear the Economy Ahead
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Jemima McEvoy / Forbes:
1 In Every 800 North Dakota Residents Now Dead From Covid
Yuichiro Kakutani / Washington Free Beacon:
Biden-Linked Firm WestExec Scrubs China Work From Website
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Homeland Security Watchdog to Probe Department's Use of Phone Location Data
Annie Karni / New York Times:
In a Fox News interview, Parscale blames Trump's lack of coronavirus empathy for his election loss.
Discussion: IJR and Conservative News Today
New York Times:
Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow Are Sentenced to Prison Over Hong Kong Protest
 Earlier Items: 
Heather Knight / San Francisco Chronicle:
S.F. Mayor London Breed had her own French Laundry party — the night after Gavin Newsom's