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7:40 AM ET, February 23, 2019


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
How Amy Klobuchar Treats Her Staff  —  Senator Amy Klobuchar was hungry, forkless and losing patience.  —  An aide, joining her on a trip to South Carolina in 2008, had procured a salad for his boss while hauling their bags through an airport terminal.  But once onboard, he delivered the grim news …
Amanda Terkel / HuffPost:
Exposing Amy Klobuchar's Mistreatment Of Staff Is Not Sexist  —  Former staffers say they're frustrated that many Democrats and journalists have dismissed reports of her behavior.  —  Since launching her presidential campaign, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has faced questions about her mistreatment …
Discussion: The Atlantic and Mediaite
New York Times:
Cohen Gave Prosecutors New Information on the Trump Family Business  —  Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, met last month with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, offering information about possible irregularities within the president's family business and about a donor …
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
For the second time in two days, a building called Trump Place decides to take down the president's name
Ali Schmitz /
Florida human trafficking: Billionaire equity firm owner John Childs wanted on prostitution charge in Vero Beach  —  Billionaire equity firm owner John Childs is one of several men accused of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Thursday.
Discussion: Bloomberg and Politico
Mary Helen Moore /
Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution in Florida spa  —  JUPITER — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution in connection with a Florida spa tied to an international human trafficking ring, police said Friday.
Jamie McCarthy / WPTV:
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged as a ‘john’ in human trafficking/prostitution investigation  —  JUPITER, Fla. — In his Tuesday news conference about a major human trafficking investigation , Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said about 100 men would be arrested.
Watch: Jupiter Police speak about human trafficking ring at spa; Robert Kraft charged with soliciting prostitution  —  11:55 a.m.: The news conference ends.  —  11:54 a.m.: Kraft's active warrant is being handled by the state attorney's office.  —  11:52 a..m.: Police say Kraft was the driven to the spa …
Caroline O'Donovan / BuzzFeed News:
YouTube Just Demonetized Anti-Vax Channels  —  YouTube on Friday said it would prevent channels that promote anti-vax content from running advertising, saying explicitly that such videos fall under its policy prohibiting the monetization of videos with “dangerous and harmful” content.
Washington Post:
Grand jury is examining whether former interior secretary Ryan Zinke lied to federal investigators  —  Prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury in Washington in their probe of whether former interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied to federal investigators, according to two individuals briefed on the matter.
Aaron Lorenzo / Politico:
Average tax refund down 17 percent, IRS reports  —  The average tax refund issued so far this year is down by 17 percent, the IRS said, a steep decline that promises more headaches for Republican lawmakers.  —  The agency released data late Friday showing refunds are down for the third consecutive week …
Discussion: Raw Story and Bloomberg
CBS News:
Colorado woman's $8,000 tax bill leaves her in tears
Discussion: Shareblue Media
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
South Dakota governor says Trump trade wars have ‘devastated’ the state  —  South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Friday that President Donald Trump's trade wars have “devastated” her state, and though she agreed that countries like China were not following fair trade practices …
Trump's Trade Chief Lectures His Boss and Gets an Earful in Return  — Lighthizer tries to shape debate on key element in China talks  — Trump rejects Lighthizer case for memorandums of understanding  —  An exasperated Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative …
Discussion: Raw Story
Matthew Walther / The Week:
The Mueller joke  —  I would like to say some things about the apparently imminent conclusion of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation, but first let me tell you a joke.  —  One day Johnny asked his teacher, Mrs. Williamson, to be excused from class.
Associated Press:   AP source: Mueller report not expected next week
Washington Post:
Trump announces nomination of Kelly Knight Craft to be ambassador to United Nations  —  President Trump announced Friday evening that he will nominate Kelly Knight Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada and a major Republican donor, to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Discussion: The Last Refuge
Trump nominates Kelly Craft as ambassador to the U.N.
Discussion: Fortune and Joe.My.God.
Hunter Walker / Yahoo News:
Democrat predicts House will get Trump's tax returns — but there are a few complications  —  WASHINGTON — House Democrats are planning to ask for a confidential copy of President Trump's tax returns from the IRS, but obtaining them won't be simple or fast, Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said during an interview on
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Juliegrace Brufke / The Hill:
Dems call on Trump to fire Acosta  —  Three House Democrats are collecting signatures for a letter calling on President Trump to demand the resignation of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.  —  The push comes a day after a federal judge ruled that Acosta and other federal prosecutors acted illegally …
Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg / Wall Street Journal:
George R.R. Martin Isn't the Only Author Who Can't Finish a Beloved Series  —  Robert Caro's new book looks back at his own career, worrying readers who've waited since 2012 for the final volume of his Lyndon Johnson series  —  Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Caro will publish …
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
Strategy Isn't Everything  —  Sean Trende, one of my favorite analysts, has an interesting thread expressing his consternation at the folks at the Bulwark and what they are up to. … I understand what Trende is getting at, and he certainly makes some plausible points about how ugly things will be for a while.
Greg Farrell / Bloomberg:
New York Has Prepared Paul Manafort Charges If Trump Pardons Him  — Cy Vance has been investigating ex-Trump aide since 2017  — District Attorney sees way to avoid double jeopardy protection  —  New York state prosecutors have put together a criminal case against Paul Manafort …
Matthew Desmond / New York Times:
The $15 Minimum Wage Doesn't Just Improve Lives.  It Saves Them.  —  A living wage is an antidepressant.  It is a sleep aid.  A diet.  A stress reliever.  It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy.  It prevents premature death.  It shields children from neglect.
Deanna Paul / Washington Post:
A teen was told her MAGA hat violates school code.  She's fighting back.  —  A California high schooler is challenging her school district, alleging that its decision to ban her from wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat on campus impinges on her First Amendment rights.
Discussion: RedState
Chicago Sun-Times:
R. Kelly charged with sexually abusing 4 victims, at least 3 of them minors  —  Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly will turn himself in to authorities Friday night and is scheduled to appear in bond court in Chicago Saturday to face charges of 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Scoop: Trump, Pence overseas travel to overlap, concerning some officials  —  For a handful of hours next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the top-ranked government official on U.S. soil.  —  Driving the news: In a rare event on Monday, both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence …
Discussion: ABC News
Ariana Eunjung Cha / Washington Post:
Trump administration bars clinics that provide abortions or abortion referrals from federal funding  —  Planned Parenthood, which stands to lose $60 million a year, calls on courts, Congress to block the rule.  —  The Trump administration issued a rule Friday barring groups that provide abortions …
 New Item Finder: 
8 hours ago
Aaron Lorenzo / Politico:
Average tax refund down 17 percent, IRS reports   Find
9 hours ago
Matthew Desmond / New York Times:
The $15 Minimum Wage Doesn't Just Improve Lives. It Saves Them.   Find
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 More Items: 
Michael Hyland / WNCN:
Criminal prosecution anticipated in District 9 case, Wake County DA says
Discussion: Politico
Stephanie Akin / Roll Call:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her office
Kushner Cos. Seeks Federal Loan in Biggest Deal in Decade, Sources Say
Wall Street Journal:
Tax Law Helped Boost 2018 Bank Profits to Record Level
Discussion: Bloomberg, FDIC and Vox
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
The Corruption of the Vatican's Gay Elite Has Been Exposed
Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times:
On the campaign trail, Kamala Harris tries on a sequined jacket, and men go nuts
Discussion: Mother Jones
 Earlier Items: 
Brianne Pfannenstiel / Des Moines Register:
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will not run for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Joni Ernst in 2020
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Trump Job Approval 50% or Higher in 17 States in 2018
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Judge Jeanine Pirro Stiffs Campaign Vendors Out of Nearly $600K
Discussion: Raw Story
Conrad Black / American Greatness:
The Greatest Constitutional Crisis Since the Civil War
Washington Post:
Two dead after Venezuelan soldiers open fire on opposition supporters