Power-hungry Rudy Giuliani tripped over his own ego and fell hard

Rudy Giuliani was a shoo-in for attorney general or to head up the Department of Homeland Security in a nascent Trump administration. Not only was Giuliani “America’s Mayor” following his command of the situation on 9/11, he was a former federal prosecutor, presidential candidate and an early validator — if late endorser — of Donald J. Trump.

Life looked pretty rosy for the ambitious pol, with a clear path to power and privilege, given his expertise.

He didn’t want the jobs proffered, however. He wanted something bigger.

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Whether he was done with the law or just wanted something that approximated the power and prestige of the presidency, he postured and heavily lobbied to be Trump’s secretary of State. As the former mayor of America’s most important city, he was regularly in the company of foreign dignitaries and, of course, 9/11 gave him a global stage from which to show off his leadership skills. READ MORE

In Ukraine, a funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth . . .

A funny thing happened on the way to the polling booth in Ukraine. Citizens chose a comedian to be their next president. No joke.

Tired of inauthenticity and hypocrisy, exhausted by unrepresentative leadership and downright cynical about democratic process and outcomes, people are turning to those who seemingly tell-it-like-it-is for insight and leadership. Around the world and at home, voters are looking to comedians to break the cycle of undeliverable political promises.

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Volodymyr Zelensky is Ukraine’s new president. A role he practiced on his popular television comedy, “Servant of the People” — a show where the 41-year old Zelensky plays an outraged teacher who is suddenly thrust into the presidency.

Art imitates life imitates art. READ MORE

Russian President Vladimir Putin praises and warns U.S. at end-of-year press conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his year-end press conference, where he praised President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. He also warned of the growing threat of nuclear war between Russia and the United States. Markos Kounalakis, a foreign affairs columnist for McClatchy News and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, joins CBSN with analysis. VIEW HERE

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Nuke deals are for suckers

Nuke deals are all the rage these days. The United Nations sees nuclear accords as a path to world peace. President Barack Obama worked toward a “global zero” nuclear-free future.

President Trump, on the other hand, is highly skeptical of deals with Iran and North Korea because he understands what Tehran and Pyongyang leaders already know: Nuclear disarmament deals are for suckers.

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Countries generally balk at giving up their hard-won and expensive nuclear capabilities because nuclear weapons are a time-tested and reliable deterrent. Giving up these weapons requires faith that any agreement inked is rock solid and that the countries agreeing to unilateral nuclear disarmament are assured they will not wind up like Ukraine or Libya – invaded or overthrown.

Trump does not inspire this faith. Neither does he have faith that the other side will do as it’s told. READ MORE