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On the roster: Biden son: Ukraine deals ‘poor judgement’ in ‘a swamp’ – Fight night in Ohio – Bolton called foul on Trump-Giuliani Ukraine moves – Giuliani got big bucks from indicted Ukrainian – For the long run
BIDEN SON: UKRAINE DEALS ‘POOR JUDGEMENT’ IN ‘A SWAMP’
ABC News: “As President Donald Trump continues to fill his Twitter feed and campaign speeches with attacks on Hunter Biden over his foreign business deals, the former vice president’s son defended the ethical implications of his private ventures in an interview with ABC News, but conceded taking a misstep in failing to foresee the political implications on his father’s career. ‘In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part. Is that I think that it was poor judgment because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it — I know that there was — did nothing wrong at all,’ said Biden. However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is…a swamp in—in—in many ways? Yeah.’”
Fight night in Ohio – Politico: “Bernie Sanders is recovering from his heart attack. Joe Biden is under siege, and laying into Donald Trump. And the entire Democratic presidential field has become consumed with the House’s impeachment inquiry into the Republican president. With so many candidates responding to circumstances beyond their control — and the threat of a destabilizing moment running high on a stage that’s expanding to 12 candidates from 10 — it’s raising the specter of a debate Tuesday that finally breaks the Democratic primary logjam. Not only is it the first debate since Sanders was hospitalized and the impeachment inquiry began, it also comes as many lower-polling candidates become increasingly desperate to make a mark on the campaign. At a fundraiser in Los Angeles last week, Biden acknowledged how much of the debate is out of any candidate’s hands. … Biden said, ‘One of the problems I’m finding, I’ve got to be more aggressive.’”
Will Buttigieg throw elbows? – Politico: “Pete Buttigieg sees a path to the top tier of the Democratic primary field, elbowing his way between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on one side and Joe Biden on the other. At the center of Buttigieg’s push is his health care plan, which the South Bend, Ind., mayor has dubbed ‘Medicare for all who want it.’ The plan would extend a public health insurance option to Americans without ending the private insurance market, an effect of the plan put forward by Sanders and endorsed by Warren. … Buttigieg also argued that his health care plan is tougher on insurance providers than Biden’s own public option proposal to build on Obamacare. ‘It turns out that setting up the exchanges has not been enough to empower all Americans to have good coverage,’ Buttigieg said.”
Beto says he need to ‘break through’ – Texas Tribune: “Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke raised $4.5 million in the third quarter, his campaign announced Friday as he acknowledged it was more urgent than ever to ‘break through’ in the still-crowded primary. The third-quarter total is an improvement over the $3.6 million that the former El Paso congressman took in during the previous quarter, and it came despite a halt to fundraising for roughly two weeks in August after the deadly El Paso shooting. Still, the total puts him behind a majority of primary rivals who have released their third-quarter figures so far, including two leading candidates who each raised around $25 million.”
Bloomberg back to floating trial balloons – CNBC: “Mike Bloomberg might end up running for president, after all. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has indicated to associates in recent weeks that Joe Biden’s recent struggles against Sen. Elizabeth Warren are making him rethink his decision to stay out of the 2020 Democratic primary. That’s according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversations were deemed private. Bloomberg has signaled he’s ‘still looking at’ running for president, but people close him say that the only way he could even go down that path is if Biden’s fortunes suffer so much that he drops out before or during the early stages of the primary. Bloomberg could then enter the race as one of the rare moderates with enough name recognition and campaign funding to make a run.”
Dems on edge over cyberattacks – Politico: “The Democratic National Committee sent an urgent alert on Monday to every presidential campaign aimed at avoiding a repeat of the cybersecurity fiasco the party suffered at the hands of Russia and Wikileaks in 2016. The subject of the email was ‘Counter-Disinformation Update,’ and it was part of a regular series of communications by DNC Tech, the party’s in-house group responsible for internal security and monitoring the spread of fake news about Democrats. POLITICO obtained the full archive of DNC’s Tech’s missives to the presidential campaigns. They reveal a party struggling to combat the continued onslaught of the twin threats faced by the Democratic Party: cyber penetration from state actors abroad and the spread of disinformation about its top presidential candidates by Donald Trump and his allies at home. … It was a moment, the DNC warned, to be hyper vigilant about fake news.”
Seven years later, Warren changes tune on health care – Politico: “Seven years before Elizabeth Warren said ‘I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All,’ she was campaigning for the Senate and didn’t want to talk about single-payer health care. Running a tough race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown, the first-time candidate repeatedly distanced herself from the idea. … But during her first Senate campaign in 2012, she … dodged the question again and again, according to an analysis of newspaper reports, TV, and interviews with health care reform activists at the time. … Warren’s refusal to embrace single-payer during that campaign came four years after she co-wrote an essay that called it the ‘most obvious’ solution to the nation’s health care woes — though perhaps ‘politically unacceptable.’ Warren’s remarks in 2012, as well as her more circumspect attitude toward Medicare for All at the beginning of her presidential campaign, has exposed her to criticisms from the left.”
Warren strong in Q Poll, but still lags on electability – Quinnipiac University: “One day before the next Democratic debate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden remain locked in a close race for the top spot in the Democratic primary, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Warren receives 30 percent of the vote among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, while Biden gets 27 percent.. … However, on the question of electability – which candidate has the best chance of winning against Donald Trump – Biden retains his commanding lead with 48 percent saying he has the best chance, compared to 49 percent in August. While still trailing Biden, Warren has increased her support from 9 percent in August to 21 percent today. No other candidate gets into double digits.”
THE RULEBOOK: K, BYE
“And here let us not forget how much more easy it is to receive foreign fleets into our ports, and foreign armies into our country, than it is to persuade or compel them to depart.” – John Jay, Federalist No. 5
TIME OUT: TO THE HOLY LAND
Smithsonian: “On April 1483, a German politician named Bernhard von Breydenbach embarked on a religious pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Breydenbach and his companions—among others, Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich—traveled at a leisurely clip, touring destinations including Venice, Corfu, Modon and Rhodes while en route. Two years after his pilgrimage, Breydenbach created an illustrated guide detailing the farflung locales he had visited on his trip. The text, titled Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, or A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was an instant sensation, with eleven editions in six languages published between 1486 and 1505. Now, one of the few surviving first editions of Breydenbach’s ‘15th-century bestseller’ is set to go on view at the British Museum… Giulia Bartrum, curator of German prints at the British Museum, [says] that prior to the text’s publication, ‘most of the depictions of places such as Jerusalem or Venice were totally made up.’”
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DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28.2 points (↑ 1 point from last wk.)
Warren: 26.4 points (↑ 1.8 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 13.4 points (↓ 1.2 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.2 points (no change in points from last wk.)
Harris: 4.4 points (↓ 0.2 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, Fox News, IBD, Monmouth University and NBC News/WSJ.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 42.6 percent
Average disapproval: 53.8 percent
Net Score: -11.2 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 1.8 points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 54% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 45% approve – 51% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; IBD: 43% approve – 54% disapprove.]
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BOLTON CALLED FOUL ON TRUMP-GIULIANI UKRAINE MOVES
Fox News: “Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs, told lawmakers on Monday that a July meeting with Ukrainian and U.S. officials about unspecified investigations left her and John Bolton, the former national security adviser, so concerned that he directed her to alert a lawyer in the National Security Council, Fox News confirmed. Hill, who exited the administration days before the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, testified on Monday for about nine hours in front of three House panels where she reportedly raised concerns about a July 10 meeting. The Wall Street Journal reported that those at the hearing took her comments to refer to the ‘investigation that could implicate Biden and his son.’”
Giuliani got big bucks from indicted Ukrainian – Reuters: “President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination. Giuliani said Parnas’ company, Boca Raton-based Fraud Guarantee, whose website says it aims to help clients ‘reduce and mitigate fraud’, engaged Giuliani Partners, a management and security consulting firm, around August 2018. Giuliani said he was hired to consult on Fraud Guarantee’s technologies and provide legal advice on regulatory issues.”
Feds dig deeper – WSJ: “Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are examining Rudy Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine, including his finances, meetings and work for a city mayor there, according to people familiar with the matter. Investigators also have examined Giuliani’s bank records, according to the people. Witnesses have been questioned about Giuliani since at least August by investigators, who also want to know more about Giuliani’s role in an alleged conspiracy involving two of his business associates, the people said. The investigation is being led by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. Giuliani has denied wrongdoing and on Monday said he hadn’t been informed of any investigation. ‘They can look at my Ukraine business all they want,’ he said.”
Dems return from recess more united on impeachment – WaPo: “…Just days after suddenly embracing an impeachment inquiry of President Trump — a moment of seeming political crisis — House leaders sent lawmakers home for their scheduled two-week recess. But as Congress returns to work Tuesday, fears of lost momentum, internal dissension and dissipating interest in impeachment have mostly evaporated among House Democrats, who view the past two weeks as among the most damaging to Trump as they dig in for their constitutional showdown with the president. … But on the central question of whether Trump ought to be investigated for potentially committing high crimes and misdemeanors worthy of removal from office, Democrats are now largely united: Only seven of 235 House Democrats have stopped short of endorsing the impeachment inquiry, and the White House position, laid out in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and three committee chairmen last week, has hardened the resolve of many Democrats.”
WSJ Editorial Board: ‘Trump’s Syria Mess’ – WSJ
Lowey retirement creates battle for top spot on House Appropriations – Roll Call
Pergram: Trump called for Romney’s impeachment in tweet, but could that actually happen? – Fox News
“It took me four months to get the five-inch heel out of my ass.” – Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., referring to when he didn’t back Nancy Pelosi for another term as speaker in 2018, per New York Magazine.
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FOR THE LONG RUN
WNEP: “The Steamtown Marathon [in Scranton, Pa.] brings out hundreds of spectators each year to cheer for the runners… For the last 24 years, 90-year-old Marie Rupp has been hosting a water station for the thousands of runners that make their way through the borough. … But this year is different. After a fall, Marie went to live at a rehab facility. It would be the first marathon she would not be out cheering for the runners. That’s when her neighbors stepped in. ‘We felt it very important to get her out of there for the day and bring her back to the tradition that she started,’ said Sean Osborne of Archbald. Wrapped in a blanket with a space heater for extra warmth, Marie was on Laurel Street with her neighbors as runners passed by. And while she says she is no longer in charge, her neighbors know she still calls the shots. … ‘It’s exciting! It puts life in our bones,’ Marie said.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Stem-cell research will one day be a boon to humanity. We owe it to posterity to pursue it. But we also owe posterity a moral universe not trampled and corrupted by arrogant, brilliant science.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on July 15, 2001.
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.