- Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,140 words ... 4½ minutes.
During Democrats' last debate of 2019, Pete Buttigieg was attacked like the Iowa frontrunner that he is.
The debate's sharpest clash came when Elizabeth Warren said he had held a fundraiser "in a wine cave full of crystals, and served $900-a-bottle wine": "Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president."
Last night brought the race's most illuminating exchanges on China so far:
More takeaways, from Axios' Zach Basu, Alexi McCammond at the debate site, and Axios editors:
The bottom line: The relentless attacks on Buttigieg could shake up the race. But anything that doesn't alter the fundamentals of the campaign benefits the frontrunner.
🥊 P.S. Bite of the night ... Warren, 70, when asked about her age, retorted: "I'd also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated."
It'll be weeks before there's a Senate impeachment trial, after Congress left for Christmas without the House sending the articles of impeachment across the Capitol to trigger a trial, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Why it matters: Some House Dems floated delaying delivery of the articles as a way to push for more favorable terms for the Senate trial.
The bottom line: Pelosi has signaled that she doesn't plan a long standoff with the Senate.
"Congress passed the most significant changes to the nation's retirement system in more than a decade, a move designed to help Americans save more," The Wall Street Journal's Anne Tergesen reports (subscription).
"One prominent provision of the legislation passed [yesterday], which President Trump is expected to sign, encourages 401(k) plans to replicate a feature of old-fashioned pensions by offering products with guaranteed income payments."
Notre Dame is lit up in Paris this week as it's being rebuilt.
Yet this year's fire will stop the cathedral from celebrating Midnight Mass for the first time in over two centuries, AP reports.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Congress voted to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21 as part of a $1.37 trillion spending measure that now awaits President Trump's signature.
An editorial published yesterday by Christianity Today, a magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham, called for President Trump's removal from office in the wake of his impeachment.
Why it matters: Trump won 81% of the evangelical vote in 2016, a group that makes up about 25% of the electorate, according to the Pew Research Center.
The U.S. is closely watching North Korea for signs of a possible missile launch or nuclear test in the coming days that officials are referring to as a "Christmas surprise," AP's Lolita Baldor reports.
Tiger Woods wins the Masters in Augusta, Ga., on April 14.
Spotify's decade-spanning "Wrapped" listening recaps "are surfacing information many listeners didn’t know about themselves — or would prefer not to know," writes Anna Steele in a Wall Street Journal A-hed (subscription).
💤 "Many Spotify users who streamed endless hours of 'Binaural Alpha Drone' or street sounds to sleep — or classical music to ease pets' anxiety — suffered warped results and said they wished ambient noises were excluded from results."
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