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On the roster: Warren under fire for biography, again - The Rulebook: Keep it together, people - Support for impeachment climbing - Audible: Cowboy diplomacy - Oops


CBS News: “On the campaign trail, Elizabeth Warren often tells the story of how she was fired from her first teaching job in 1971 because she was pregnant, a pivotal moment that ultimately put her on a path to Harvard, the United States Senate, and quite possibly the presidency. But recently, several media outlets have questioned the veracity of these claims. In an exclusive interview with CBS News on Monday evening, Warren said she stands by her characterizations of why she left the job. ‘All I know is I was 22 years old, I was 6 months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job,’ she said. … Asked by CBS News why she told the story differently at Berkeley a decade ago, Warren said her life since her election to the Senate in 2012 caused her to ‘open up’ about her past. … The Washington Free Beacon reported on a transcript from contemporaneous local school board meetings, also obtained by CBS News, which said Warren was rehired that spring and that the board ‘accepted with regret’ her ‘resignation’ the following summer.”

Ed Kilgore: The emerging anybody-but-Warren campaign - NY Mag: “But the problem with Warren that we are beginning to hear about most frequently is the claim that she’s just ‘too liberal’ or ‘too far left’ for otherwise persuadable voters (or donors) to countenance. Thus, in theory, she will lose swing voters that, say, Joe Biden might win, in part because her anti-corporate rhetoric and progressive policy positions will play into the Trump campaign’s clearly planned message that Democrats are all godless, baby-killing, America-hating socialists. Where is this argument coming from, if Warren is leading Trump in trial heats and becoming steadily more popular? Pretty clearly, corporate voices from Wall Street to Silicon Valley are taking the lead in demonizing her, for good reason: She’s a threat to their bottom lines and their all-but-sovereign business practices.”

Pennsylvanians unimpressed with 2020 Dems - FOX43: “Pennsylvania's presidential primary in 2020 is among the latest in the country. Only 10 states have primary dates later than April 28. … Of the 650 registered voters polled, 307 were registered Democrats. Of them, a majority of people (52%) say they are still undecided when it comes to who they plan to vote for in the Democratic presidential primary. Former Vice President Joe Biden still has the most interest among candidates with 17 percent of Democrats polled saying they would vote for him… Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (9%) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (8%) both polled ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at 6 percent.”

Team Bernie want him to use heart attack to show personal side - WaPo: “Prominent friends and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) say he should cut back on his relentless campaign pace and speak openly about his recent heart attack when he returns to the campaign trail, urging a shift toward a more personal and less hectic campaign than he has run so far. The comments reflect what supporters describe as a deeply personal decision with big implications for Sanders’s candidacy: how the 78-year-old democratic socialist, viewed by many of his backers as the leader of a movement, should proceed following a health scare that has sidelined him for days and raised questions about whether he can — or should — maintain the punishing demands of a presidential campaign. … Sanders supporters privately acknowledge concern that the heart attack could give voters second thoughts about the candidate, who would be the oldest president in history if elected.”

Klobuchar raises $4.8 million - Politico: “Democrat Amy Klobuchar raised $4.8 million between July and the end of September, her campaign announced Monday, a total that bested the Minnesota Senator’s haul from the previous quarter by $1 million. Klobuchar’s third-quarter fundraising was a fraction of the amount raised by top Democratic candidates such as Bernie Sanders, who raised the most of any candidate in the field, $25.3 million. But it is likely enough to keep Klobuchar’s campaign functioning as she attempts to secure more support. Klobuchar has qualified for the October Democratic debate and has crossed the donor threshold for the November debate, giving her opportunities to keep making the case for her presidential bid to a national audience.”

“If, on the other hand, they find us either destitute of an effectual government (each State doing right or wrong, as to its rulers may seem convenient), or split into three or four independent and probably discordant republics or confederacies … what a poor, pitiful figure will America make in their eyes!” – John JayFederalist No. 4

History: “On October 8, 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the O’Leary barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a comet may have been responsible for the event that left four square miles of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. …Despite the fire’s devastation, much of Chicago’s physical infrastructure, including its water, sewage and transportation systems, remained intact. Reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth, as architects laid the foundation for a modern city featuring the world’s first skyscrapers.”

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Biden: 27.2 points (↓ 0.4 points from last wk.)
Warren: 24.6 points (↑ 3.8 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 14.6 points (↓ 1.4 points from last wk.)
Harris: 4.6 points (↓ 2 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.2 points (↑ 0.8 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: IBD, Monmouth University, Quinnipiac University, Fox News and NBC News/WSJ.]

Average approval: 40.8 percent
Average disapproval: 53.8 percent
Net Score: -13 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 2.6 points
[Average includes: IBD: 43% approve - 54% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 41% approve - 53% disapprove; Monmouth University: 43% approve - 53% disapprove; CNBC: 37% approve - 53% disapprove; Gallup: 40% approve - 56% disapprove.]  

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WaPo: “A majority of Americans say they endorse the decision by House Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry of President Trump, and nearly half of all adults also say the House should take the additional step and recommend that the president be removed from office, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll. … The poll finds that, by a margin of 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans say the House was correct to undertake the inquiry. ... More than 8 in 10 Democrats endorse the inquiry and nearly 8 in 10 favor a vote to recommend that Trump be removed from office. Among Republicans, roughly 7 in 10 do not support the inquiry but almost 3 in 10 do, and almost one-fifth of Republicans say they favor a vote recommending his removal. Among the critical voting bloc of independents, support for the impeachment inquiry hits 57 percent, with 49 percent saying the House should vote to remove Trump from office.”

Trump digs in - NYT: “The Trump administration directed a top American diplomat involved in its pressure campaign on Ukraine not to appear Tuesday morning for a scheduled interview in the House’s impeachment inquiry. The decision to block Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, from speaking with investigators for three House committees is certain to provoke an immediate conflict with potentially profound consequences for the White House and President Trump. House Democrats have repeatedly warned that if the administration tries to interfere with their investigation, it will be construed as obstruction, a charge they see as potentially worthy of impeachment. Democrats from the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees did not immediately respond on Tuesday.”

Graham offers Giuliani a stage to fight back - Fox News: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has offered President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, a chance to come before lawmakers to detail his allegations about former Vice President Joe Biden and his dealings with Ukraine. ‘Have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by [Giuliani] about corruption in Ukraine and the many improprieties surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin,’ Graham said Tuesday on Twitter. ‘Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns.’ Giuliani told Fox News on Tuesday he intends to testify, but needs to go over the offer with the other attorneys involved to determine whether they could sort out issues regarding attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.”

House Dems try to keep whistleblower secret - WaPo: “House Democrats are weighing extraordinary steps to secure testimony from a whistleblower whose complaint prompted their impeachment inquiry, masking his identity to prevent President Trump’s congressional allies from exposing the individual, according to three officials familiar with the deliberations. The steps under consideration include having the whistleblower testify from a remote location and obscuring the individual’s appearance and voice, these officials said. The efforts reflect Democrats’ deepening distrust of their GOP colleagues, whom they see as fully invested in defending a president who has attacked the whistleblower’s credibility and demanded absolute loyalty from Republicans. ‘There are lots of different protocols and procedures we’re looking into to find out what works and doesn’t work to protect the identity of the whistleblower,’ said a person familiar with the talks.”

Perry under pressure - Politico: “Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday denied that he pressed the Ukrainian government to put two U.S. businessmen on the board of the state energy company or that he was planning to leave the Trump administration. … Perry acknowledged making the recommendations to Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz, but said he did so only at the request of that country’s government. He also said it was ‘true’ that he had pressed President Donald Trump to make the July call to Zelensky that is at the center of the impeachment inquiry. … Perry also denied he was planning to step down from his position, which POLITICO, the New York Times and Washington Post reported last week. ‘I’m here. I’m serving. They’ve been writing the story that I was leaving the Department of Energy for at least nine months now.’”

North American trade pact moving ahead - NYT

Trump blasts Minneapolis mayor as campaign threatens suit over massive rally security bill Fox News

Trump’s 2016 ‘shoestring’ campaign vs. his 2020 machine - WaPo

“We're all different and I think that we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different… but just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them.” – Ellen DeGeneres’ response after receiving backlash for appearing at a Dallas Cowboys football game next to former President George W. Bush, whom she calls a friend.

“Chris, you sounded like a Democrat politician when you dodged a direct answer to Meredith Shoemaker’s question [on Monday]. She did not ask you what you thought of President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President. She asked you very directly ‘what law did President Trump break?’ With the impeachment standard being ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ Meredith’s question gets to the heart of the matter. Can I give you second chance here? No Democrat talking points, please. What law?” – Kevin Cook, Farmers Branch, Texas

[Ed. note: So I gather you’re not a Democrat, Mr. Cook! The question of a specific criminal statue here isn’t relevant. Congress’ power to impeach and remove is pretty much unlimited. Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, for example, rested on 11 articles, some relating to specific crimes, but check out the 10th and 11th articles here. How about alleging that Johnson acted “to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach” on Congress? It’s not a crime to ridicule Congress, even for the president. But Congress was asserting that Johnson’s efforts to undermine Congress was a breach of his duties under the constitutional. Or think of a hypothetical. What if a president laid up dead drunk every day at the White House or was posting top secret documents on Instagram? Neither of those things would be illegal for the president to do, but both would surely doubt in his or her impeachment. These are political, not legal considerations. Democrats in this case are focusing on the president seeking help from a foreign power against a political opponent, and the Constitution gives them more than enough room to do so.]

“At the risk of being accused of being ‘too cute by a half,’ until Joe Biden receives the Democratic nomination, can he really be considered a ‘political opponent’ for the purpose of prohibiting the President from asking for investigative assistance from a foreign government? Full disclosure – I am a supporter of President Trump.” – Tim Kasparek, Goodyear, Ariz.

[Ed. note: I can’t blame a guy for trying, Mr. Kasparek!]

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SF Gate: “Reptile breeder Brian Gundy had just given a talk and animal presentation Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in downtown San Jose. While going to get his car parked on the second level of the Fourth and San Fernando Street garage about 4:30 p.m., he left his snakes and lizards in boxes and a bag in a no-parking zone. When he returned for his critters, he made a grim discovery. ‘As I was loading up my gear, I realized the bag that had my four pythons and blue skink lizard inside was gone and they were just there seconds ago,’ Gundy told KTVU Fox 2. Gundy had seen several people walk by his equipment, so he ran after them but couldn't catch up. He told KTVU he doesn't think they knew what was inside. … The stolen animals were worth approximately $5,000, according to the reptile breeder.”

“And forget the psychopaths: Why, a mere 17 years after Homo sapiens — born 200,000 years ago — discovered atomic power, those most stable and sober states, America and the Soviet Union, came within inches of mutual annihilation.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for the Washington Post on Dec. 29, 2011.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.