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1:15 PM ET, December 8, 2021


 Top Items: 
Pfizer and BioNTech Provide Update on Omicron Variant  — Preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 lineage) while two doses show significantly reduced neutralization titers
Berkeley Lovelace Jr / NBC News:
Pfizer says booster dose of vaccine protects against omicron variant  —  Pfizer releases new data about effectiveness of its booster against omicron  —  A booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine appears to provide strong protection against the omicron variant, the companies announced Wednesday.
New York Times:
Covid Live Updates: Pfizer Says its Booster Offers Significant Protection Against Omicron
David Brooks / The Atlantic:
What Happened to American Conservatism?  —  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.
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?
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 …
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.”
Trump's 2022 Endorsements Are Earlier, Bolder And More Dangerous Than When He Was President  —  Almost since the moment of his inauguration, former President Donald Trump has been the kingmaker of the Republican Party.  In both the 2018 and 2020 elections, Trump-endorsed candidates won almost every Republican primary they competed in.
Sanna Marin: Finland's PM sorry for clubbing after Covid contact  —  Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin has apologised for going clubbing after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 case.  —  Sanna Marin went on a night out in Helsinki on Saturday, hours after her foreign minister had tested positive.
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 …
Brian Flood / Fox News:
FOX News Media will rebuild All-American Christmas tree after ‘malicious arson attack,’ CEO Suzanne Scott says
Discussion: Breitbart, Variety and Townhall
Washington Post:
Jan. 6 committee says it will move to hold former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows in criminal contempt  —  The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol announced that it is preparing to hold Mark Meadows, former president Donald Trump's chief of staff …
Quinnipiac University Poll:
Abbott Leads O'Rourke By Double Digits In Texas Governor's Race, Quinnipiac University Texas Poll Finds; Texas-Mexico Border Dominates Issues For Voters  — mail_outline  —  In a head-to-head matchup in the race for governor of Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott leads Democratic …
Discussion: Twitchy and Political Wire
Bill Hutchinson / ABC News:
'It's just crazy': 12 major cities hit all-time homicide records  —  “It's worse than a war zone around here lately,” police official said.  —  At least 12 major U.S. cities have broken annual homicide records in 2021 — and there's still three weeks to go in the year.
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 …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
The right's rationalization of Putin colors the Russia-Ukraine tension  —  The word “great,” of course, has multiple meanings.  One meaning is that something is superlatively good.  Another is that something is simply superlative, great in the sense of massive or important.
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 …
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,” …
Discussion: Raw Story
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: ABC News, Washington Post and Insider
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.
Kate Briquelet / The Daily Beast:
Ghislaine Maxwell and the Ecstasy of the Feet  —  Photos reveal just how close the pedophile billionaire and his accused madam were.  —  When the feds raided Jeffrey Epstein's Manhattan mansion in 2019, they unearthed a trove of evidence including binders of CDs containing tens of thousands of photographs.
Patrick Marley / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Conservative group finds no signs of widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin but urges changes to election processes  —  MADISON - A conservative group issued a report Tuesday saying it found no evidence of widespread fraud in Wisconsin's presidential election but believed officials did not closely follow all the state's voting laws.
New York Times:
Beijing Silenced Peng Shuai in 20 Minutes, Then Spent Weeks on Damage Control  —  This article is published with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom.  —  When inconvenient news erupts on the Chinese internet, the censors jump into action.  —  Twenty minutes was all it took …
Discussion: Insider
Hugh Hewitt / The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Former President Trump On Boris Johnson's Woes, Sidney Powell's Dough And More  —  Former President Trump joined me this morning:  —  Audio:  —  12-08hhs-trump  —  Transcript:  —  HH: I'm joined now by former president of the United States, Donald Trump.  Mr. President, good morning.
Vicky Prodeline / Monmouth University Polling …:
Rising Prices Are Top Kitchen Table Worry  —  Partisanship has more effect than income on driving negative trend  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Paying everyday household bills, and inflation specifically, top the list of concerns American families say they currently face, with the number saying …
Discussion: Political Wire
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.
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 …
Rajesh Roy / Wall Street Journal:
Bipin Rawat, India's Top Military Official, Dies in Helicopter Crash  —  Chief of defense staff and 12 others are killed in crash in Tamil Nadu, air force says  —  NEW DELHI—India's top military official, Bipin Rawat, died in a helicopter crash in the southern state of Tamil Nadu …
Jessica Chasmar / Fox News:
Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Jussie Smollett: ‘We can never believe police’  —  BLM leader Melina Abdullah called trial a ‘white supremacist charade’  —  Jussie Smollett takes the stand  —  A Black Lives Matter leader said Tuesday that the movement will continue …
Discussion: Washington Examiner
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.
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Utility giants agree to no longer allow sensitive records to be shared with ICE  —  The records had been used to hunt immigration violations.  Advocates cheer the closing of a ‘dangerous’ loophole.  —  A nationwide group of utility companies that provided sensitive data from millions of Americans' cable …
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.
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 More Items: 
James Salzer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
GOP hopefuls in 2022 want to eliminate state income tax
Washington Post:
Amazon's search results full of ads that may be ‘unlawfully deceiving’ consumers, complaint to FTC claims
Discussion: Gizmodo and Raw Story
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
What I never got to say to Fred Hiatt
10 things you didn't know are in the Democrats' Build Back Better bill
Discussion: Political Wire
Will Lester / National Press Club:
Voice of America, ProPublica among National Press Club Journalism Awards winners
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
The Supreme Court's New Religious Liberty Case Could Destroy Public Education
 Earlier Items: 
American Greatness:
Omicron Alarmists Delight
Colin P. Clarke / Foreign Affairs:
When Terrorists Govern … As the Taliban swept across Afghanistan this summer …
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
The Pro-Life Movement Plans for a Future Without Roe
Isaac Schorr / National Review:
Remembering Yamiche Alcindor's Greatest Hits
Discussion: Newsbusters
Sun Yu / Financial Times:
Chinese weddings fall to 13-year low as demographic crisis brews
Washington Post:
Rep. Pressley to introduce resolution to condemn Rep. Boebert
House passes workaround to move forward on raising the debt ceiling