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3:45 PM ET, December 19, 2021


 Top Items: 
The White House:
Statement from Press Secretary Jen Psaki  —  Senator Manchin's comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.  Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington …
White House lights up Manchin after he crushes Biden's megabill  —  Joe Manchin struck a decisive blow to President Joe Biden's sweeping social and climate spending bill, igniting a bitter clash with his own party's White House.  —  Biden left negotiations with Manchin this week thinking …
POLITICO Playbook: SCOOP: Manchin ‘refused’ a call from W.H. before killing BBB  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  Less than 30 minutes before he killed the Democratic Party's most important piece of legislation, an aide was dispatched by Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) to give the White House and congressional leadership a heads up.
New York Times:
Joe Manchin Says He Can't Support Build Back Better Act  —  “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” Mr. Manchin said on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ citing concerns about adding to the national debt.  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Did Joe Manchin Kill Joe Biden's Domestic Agenda? … When historians record the Biden presidency, the aspect they will struggle to capture is just how much of it was spent attempting to divine the objectives and motivation of Joe Manchin.  The West Virginia Senator once again threw Washington …
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Manchin says he ‘cannot vote’ for Build Back Better: 'I've done everything humanly possible'  —  ‘I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,’ he said  —  Sen. Joe Manchin: ‘I cannot vote’ for Build Back Better amid ‘real’ inflation  —  Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. …
Peter Wade / Rolling Stone:
Joe Manchin Just Tore Out the Heart of Biden's Agenda
Grace Segers / New Republic:
Does Joe Manchin Know That Build Back Better Would Extend Vital Aid for Sick Coal Miners?
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Mike Allen / Axios:
Manchin tanks Biden's $1.75 trillion BBB plan
Discussion: TheBlaze
Daniella Diaz / CNN:
Manchin says he won't vote for Build Back Better Act
Tamar Hallerman / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Johnny Isakson, 76, Georgia politician respected by both sides, dies  —  Johnny Isakson spent his life cutting deals.  —  From his successful career in real estate to when Georgia's Republican Party was mostly confined to a small knot in Cobb County to Congress, Isakson learned early on what it took to get two sides to an agreement.
Adam Bernstein / Washington Post:
Johnny Isakson, courtly GOP Georgia senator with bipartisan approach, dies at 76
Discussion: Roll Call and New York Times
Associated Press:
Former Sen. Johnny Isakson dies at 76
Discussion: CNN and National Review
Stephanie Nolen / New York Times:
Most of the World's Vaccines Likely Won't Prevent Infection From Omicron  —  They do seem to offer significant protection against severe illness, but the consequences of rapidly spreading infection worry many public health experts.  —  A growing body of preliminary research suggests …
Zachary Petrizzo / The Daily Beast:
Roger Stone Stirs Up Old Feud, Suggests Steve Bannon ‘Gave The Order’ To Breach Capitol On Jan 6  —  ‘CURRY FAVOR WITH TRUMP’  —  Longtime Republican operative Roger Stone pleaded the Fifth earlier this week in front of the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, but Sunday morning he tossed Steven Bannon under the bus.
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
Mike Allen / Axios:
GOP maps Biden probes, prelude to 2024 culture war  —  House Republicans have begun mapping aggressive probes of the Biden administration if they win back the majority — including inquiries into the origins of COVID, a leak of IRS data about billionaires, and accusations the NSA spied on Tucker Carlson.
Discussion: TheBlaze and Ace of Spades HQ
Julia Cherner / ABC News:
Kinzinger: It's ‘possible’ some GOP colleagues are responsible for Jan. 6 attack  —  Rep. Adam Kinzinger appeared on ABC's “This Week” on Sunday.  —  Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Sunday “it's possible” some of his GOP colleagues in Congress are responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
CNN Closes Offices as Covid-19 Cases Rise  —  President Jeff Zucker cited a surge of cases at the network in a memo on the decision  —  CNN is closing its offices to nonessential employees, network President Jeff Zucker told employees in a memo Saturday, as Covid-19 cases rise at the network and nationwide.
Associated Press:
Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen dies at 52 after Covid-19 battle  —  SEATTLE — Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen, a staunch conservative, has died at age 52.  —  Ericksen's death Friday came weeks after he said he had tested positive for the coronavirus while in El Salvador …
Discussion: Breitbart and Insider
Kay Jones / CNN:   State senator dies a month after telling a local radio station he was sick with Covid-19 while in El Salvador
Ashish K. Jha / The Atlantic:
Don't Panic About Omicron.  But Don't Be Indifferent, Either.  —  The next wave of the pandemic requires charting a middle course between dismay and dismissal.  —  About the author: Ashish K. Jha, a physician, is the dean of Brown University's School of Public Health.
Discussion: Politico
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
Trump wants the courts to help him sabotage the January 6 investigation  —  Trump is no longer president.  Will the Supreme Court keep bending the law to protect him?  —  Unless the Supreme Court intervenes on former President Donald Trump's behalf, a US House committee investigating …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
The Hill:
The Democratic Party's deterioration is shattering hope for the midterms
Discussion: RedState
Dan Mitchell / International Liberty:
Chile Election Week, Part IV: What's at Stake in Today's Vote?
Discussion: Power Line
Michael Levenson / New York Times:
New York's Surge in Virus Cases Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Discussion: BBC
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Ghislaine Maxwell Defense Aims to Discredit Witnesses Paid by Epstein Victims Fund
Barred / Barred in DC:
Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill Closing For Good
Ross Barkan / Political Currents:
Pretending Problems Don't Exist Won't Make Them Disappear
Jessica Gould / Gothamist:
NYC School Administrators Feel Pressure As COVID Outbreaks Grow Among Students and Staff
Discussion: CBS News and New York Post
Erin Doherty / Axios:
WHO: Omicron cases doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in places with local spread
Discussion: The National Interest