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9:55 AM ET, December 8, 2021


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Covid Live Updates: Pfizer Says its Booster Offers Significant Protection Against Omicron  —  Here's what you need to know:  —  Pfizer says blood samples showed a third dose of its vaccine provides significant protection against Omicron.  —  Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday …
Neal Rothschild / Axios:
Young Dems more likely to despise the other party  —  Nearly a quarter of college students wouldn't be friends with someone who voted for the other presidential candidate — with Democrats far more likely to dismiss people than Republicans — according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Mike Ives / New York Times:
Fox News Christmas Tree Catches Fire in Manhattan  —  The police said that a man was in custody in relation to the blaze.  The 50-foot tree had been ceremonially lit days earlier in an “All-American” festive broadcast.  —  A 50-foot-tall Christmas tree caught fire outside the Fox News headquarters …
NBC New York:
Man in Custody for Allegedly Torching Christmas Tree Outside Fox News in Midtown  —  New York City first responders extinguished a huge Christmas tree fire outside the Fox News building in midtown Manhattan early Wednesday.  —  Videos posted by witnesses to the Citizen App show thick clouds …
Giulia Heyward / New York Times:
Schools Are Closing Classrooms on Fridays.  Parents Are Furious.  —  Desperate to keep teachers, some districts have turned to remote teaching for one day a week — and sometimes more.  Families have been left scrambling to find child care.  —  DETROIT — Caitlin Reynolds, a single mother …
There's No Excuse for Shutting Down Schools Again
Discussion: Washington Post
Sonny Bunch / The Bulwark:
Against “Latinx”  —  A politically dubious neologism, sure, but one that makes up for it by also being monstrously ugly.  —  Of all the weird and grating modern linguistic imperatives, few are weirder or more grating than the attempted imposition of “Latinx.”
Allison Quinn / The Daily Beast:
Boebert Shows Off Rifle-Toting Kids in Christmas Photo  —  TONE DEAF  —  Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) shared a photo of her children wielding rifles in front of their Christmas tree late Tuesday, the latest gun-themed holiday photo released by Republicans in the wake of a deadly high school shooting.
Discussion: Insider
Gabby Orr / CNN:
Trump freezes 2024 Republican primary before it even begins  —  (CNN)Donald Trump's wait-and-see approach to the 2024 election has frozen the next Republican presidential primary before it's even begun.  —  As each rumored 2024 candidate navigates the uncertainty of another Trump bid …
FiveThirtyEight:   Trump's 2022 Endorsements Are Earlier, Bolder And More Dangerous Than When He Was President
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Republicans ready new push to defund, repeal Biden vaccine and testing policies  —  The latest salvo is set to arrive this week, as GOP lawmakers force another Senate vote to revoke the president's policy requiring shots or tests at private employers  —  Congressional Republicans are planning …
Eliza Collins / Wall Street Journal:
Sen. Joe Manchin Holds Back Support for Social-Spending Bill  —  West Virginia Democrat says at WSJ's CEO Council Summit that he is wary of the government putting more money into the economy  —  WASHINGTON— Sen. Joe Manchin declined to commit to voting for Democrats' roughly $2 trillion social-policy …
Catie Edmondson / New York Times:
House Passes $768 Billion Defense Policy Bill
House passes workaround to move forward on raising the debt ceiling  —  The House passed a bill Tuesday night to expedite a debt ceiling fix in the Senate, allowing Democrats to essentially raise the nation's credit limit on their own and thwart a Christmastime default.
David Brooks / The Atlantic:
Conservatism: An Elegy  —  I fell in love with conservatism in my 20s.  As a politics and crime reporter in Chicago, I often found myself around public-housing projects like Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes, which had been built with the best of intentions but had become nightmares.
William A. Galston / Wall Street Journal:
The Fight for Ukraine From Putin's View  —  He sees Russia's loss of the country as a historic injustice.  So how far will he go?  —  An independent Ukraine is for Vladimir Putin what the Treaty of Versailles was for Hitler —a historical injustice imposed on a defeated nation at its moment …
Senate Dems launch last-ditch effort to change the rules of the chamber  —  It's the Senate version of “Waiting for Godot”: Democrats are once again trying to find an answer to their filibuster dilemma in the hopes of passing voting rights legislation before it's too late.
Aaron Zitner / Wall Street Journal:
Hispanic Voters Now Evenly Split Between Parties, WSJ Poll Finds  —  Republicans have made rapid gains among a crucial voting demographic that has long favored Democrats  —  The nation's large and diverse group of Hispanic voters is showing signs of dividing its support between Democrats …
Brett Kelman / The Tennessean:
COVID-19: Medical board deletes anti-misinformation policy amid GOP pressure  —  Health Department attorney: Rep. John Ragan threatened to dissolve the Board of Medical Examiners  —  Tennessee's medical licensing board voted Tuesday to delete a policy opposing coronavirus misinformation …
Thomas B. Edsall / New York Times:
Trump Won't Let America Go.  Can Democrats Pry It Away?  —  Mr. Edsall contributes a weekly column from Washington, D.C. on politics, demographics and inequality.  —  Do you believe, as many political activists and theorists do, that the contemporary Republican Party poses a threat to democracy?
Discussion: New York Daily News
Matt Richtel / New York Times:
The pandemic worsened young people's mental health crisis.  —  The United States surgeon general on Tuesday warned that young people are facing “devastating” mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic.
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Utility giants agree to no longer share sensitive records ICE used to track the public  —  Legal advocates cheer the closing of a ‘dangerous’ loophole: ‘The data never should have been used in this way.’  —  A nationwide group of utility companies that provided sensitive data from millions …
Ed Morrissey / HotAir:
BoJo: UK honchos a no-go to Beijing Olympics  —  The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics picked up speed overnight as three US allies joined Joe Biden.  Boris Johnson became the latest to join, announcing a few minutes ago that the UK would not send any ministers to the Olympiad in protest of China's genocidal policies.
Alison Durkee / Forbes:
Wisconsin Conservative Group Finds ‘No Evidence Of Widespread Fraud’ In 2020 Election  —  A 10-month-long review of Wisconsin's 2020 election conducted by a conservative group in the state found no signs of widespread or significant election fraud, according to a new report of its findings …
Meet Germany's new government  —  BERLIN — It's changeover time in Germany after 16 years of Angela Merkel.  —  Social Democrat Olaf Scholz took over as chancellor on Wednesday, leading a new Cabinet that includes just four members of Merkel's outgoing administration.
Discussion: Jacobin
Isaac Schorr / National Review:
Remembering Yamiche Alcindor's Greatest Hits  —  Yamiche Alcindor, previously a White House correspondent for PBS, will be transitioning into a role covering Washington more broadly for NBC, the network announced Tuesday.  She will continue to host Washington Week for PBS.
Thomas Lecaque / The Bulwark:
As Grifters Squabble, QAnon's Bloodlust Gets More Open  —  QAnon influencers hope to unite the right in a sea of blood.  —  Not merely rhetorical violence, though that's important.  QAnon is violence in its ideology, in its end goal, and in its imagination: the “Storm,” …
Colin P. Clarke / Foreign Affairs:
When Terrorists Govern … As the Taliban swept across Afghanistan this summer, all eyes were on their fighters as they triumphed over the Afghan security forces, which surrendered in large numbers as the Taliban rapidly advanced.  But the Taliban's victory did not happen overnight …
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
The Pro-Life Movement Plans for a Future Without Roe  —  Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, is preparing for new abortion laws to pass in at least thirty states.  —  Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a Mississippi law that bars abortions …
Sun Yu / Financial Times:
Chinese weddings fall to 13-year low as demographic crisis brews  —  Gender imbalance and high cost of tying the knot blamed for fewer couples getting married  —  China's efforts to lower the cost of marriage and boost birth rates have failed to lead to more weddings, dealing a blow …
Washington Post:
Rep. Pressley to introduce resolution to condemn Rep. Boebert  —  Nearly a dozen House liberals want Democratic leadership to act against the Colorado Republican for anti-Muslim remarks  —  Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) plans to introduce a resolution Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert …
Discussion: CNN and Axios
Aatif Sulleyman / Newsweek:
Unvaccinated Illinoisans Would Pay COVID Hospital Bills Under New Proposals  —  Illinois residents who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and refuse to take it would have to pay for their treatment if they contract the virus under a proposed new bill.  —  “I think it's time that we say …
Rod Dreher:
Italian Lives Matter  —  Italian reader Giuseppe Scalas says that the murder in NYC of an Italian researcher by a black gang member out on parole has turned the left-wing Milan daily Corriere della Sera against The New York Times.  He sent a translation of the Federico Rampini commentary in the Corriere today.
Pamela Wood / Baltimore Sun:
Maryland lawmakers strip governor's power to block parole  —  Maryland's governors will no longer have the final say over whether inmates serving life sentences will be released on parole, following action by state lawmakers on Tuesday.  —  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan had objected to the change …
Zachary Petrizzo / The Daily Beast:
Lin Wood Claims Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Under Influence of ‘the Devil’  —  ‘DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS’  —  Pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood, who's embroiled in an escalating war of words with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), told The Daily Beast that he believes the far-right firebrand is under the “influence of the devil.”
Discussion: Insider and Raw Story
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 More Items: 
American Greatness:
Omicron Alarmists Delight
Washington Post:
In militants' hands, drones emerge as a deadly new wild card in the Middle East
Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Yo, media: The crisis is democracy, not Biden
Lena H. Sun / Washington Post:
Two years into this pandemic, the world is dangerously unprepared for the next one, report says
Discussion: Political Wire
James Traub / Politico:
Inside Joe Biden's 2-Day Zoom Plan to Rescue Democracy
Discussion: CNN, The Dispatch and Washington Post
Lydia Moynihan / New York Post:
Major antitrust adversary in Congress has daughter on Google's legal team
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
French Police Arrest Man in Connection With Khashoggi Killing
Exclusive: SEC's internal watchdog kept job despite ‘serious misconduct’ finding
Discussion: The Hill
Tarpley Hitt / Gawker:
A Very Weird Interview With Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Exclusive: January 6 committee casts a wide net with over 100 subpoenas for phone records
Dan Froomkin / Press Watch:
‘I think we need to rethink entirely how we do things,’ says Dana Milbank of the Washington Post
Discussion: Mediaite and National Review
Karol Markowicz / Fox News:
I am leaving New York City for Florida. I never thought I would