Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,198 words ... 4½ minutes.
Former Vice President Joe Biden told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview in Iowa that he has shaped the 2020 race, faulting the media and his rivals for thinking Democratic voters are more liberal than the reality.
Biden disagreed strongly with rivals who think the Democratic Party is hungry for Medicare for All, a top priority for Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders:
Be smart: Medicare for All is officially the central battlefield for go-big-or-go-home Democrats like Warren and Sanders vs. go-biggish-but-not-so-big-you-scare-moderates Democrats like Biden.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Why it matters: Long considered a money-losing nicety, a focus on ESG issues — environmental, social and governance concerns — is going mainstream.
The House Judiciary Committee could approve articles of impeachment as early as next week, setting up a vote of the full House the week before Christmas.
The articles of impeachment are likely to encompass two major themes — abuse of office and obstruction. But they could be divvied up into multiple articles, AP's Mary Clare Jalonick writes.
Obstruction articles could be broken up into obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice, or combined.
Trump tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit. ... Where’s the Fake Whistleblower? ... Where’s the phony informer who got it all wrong?"
See the video: Pelosi returns to press conference to address question on whether she hates Trump.
The Secret Service stands guard on the Ellipse before President Trump speaks at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.
New opposition from Speaker Pelosi leaves the tech industry at risk of losing a cherished trade deal provision that could help cement its liability shield, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
The big picture: Tech companies have been pushing to extend their Section 230 protection to other countries, but the provision faces new criticism from a collection of industry groups, advocacy organizations and lawmakers amid a debate on revising or eliminating the law.
Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images
Uber disclosed yesterday that its U.S. users reported nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assault during 2017 and 2018, reports Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.
Advocates have praised Uber for releasing its report, and are calling on more companies to do the same.
Lauren Bruner, then 21, was the second-to-last man to escape the burning wreckage of the USS Arizona after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, writes AP's Audrey McAvoy.
Bruner's ashes will be placed inside the battleship’s wreckage this weekend, making him the 44th and last crew member to be interred in accordance with this rare Navy ritual.
The Economist endorsed the Liberal Democrats in next week's U.K. election, calling the centrist party "the only choice for anyone who rejects both the hard Brexit of the Conservatives and the hard-left plans of Labour."
The Economist's bottom line: "[F]or the centre to hold is the best hope for Britain."
Design director Gail Bichler writes that the New York Times Magazine cover story "tells the lurid tale of Paul Skalnik, a grifter whom Florida prosecutors relied on as a jailhouse informant after dropping a child-molestation charge against him":
His testimony has led to 37 convictions and four death sentences. For the cover, we created a gallery of just some of Skalnik’s mug shots, spanning a decade of criminal activity — though he has been breaking the law for far longer. The mug shots, in aggregate, show Skalnik as the prodigious con artist he is, even as his testimony served as the basis for the conviction of a man who could soon be executed in Florida for a murder he denies committing.
Read the article, "How This Con Man’s Wild Testimony Sent Dozens to Jail, and 4 to Death Row."
Above, a model walks the runway wearing the Christian Dior pre-fall 2020 men's fashion collection shoe Air Dior during Art Basel Miami.
Rapper Travis Scott's Air Force 1 Cactus Jack sneakers retailed for $160. The various versions are extremely difficult to get and are often sold by a lottery.
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