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11:45 AM ET, December 20, 2016


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
A Historic Number of Electors Defected, and Most Were Supposed to Vote for Clinton  —  The Electoral College on Monday voted for Donald J. Trump to win the presidency.  Seven electors, the most ever, voted for someone other than their party's nominee.  —  Of 306 electors pledged to vote for Donald J. Trump
New York Times:
Time to End the Electoral College  —  By overwhelming majorities, Americans would prefer to elect the president by direct popular vote, not filtered through the antiquated mechanism of the Electoral College.  They understand, on a gut level, the basic fairness of awarding the nation's highest office …
Electors remain faithful to Trump and select him as official winner
New York Times:
Electoral College Settles Donald Trump's Victory, but Little Else
Discussion: New York Magazine
New York Times:
Berlin Christmas Market Was Target of Terrorist Attack, Angela Merkel Says  —  BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that the Berlin Christmas market where 12 people died Monday night was the target of a terrorist attack, and that the authorities were investigating whether it was perpetrated by a migrant or refugee.
The Local:
LIVE: ‘Dangerous criminal’ may still be at large: Berlin police
Washington Times:
At least 9 dead, many injured in truck attack on Berlin Christmas market
Carrie Levine / Center for Public Integrity:
Donald Trump's sons behind nonprofit selling access to president-elect  —  New Texas-based group not legally required to disclose its donors  —  A new Texas nonprofit led by Donald Trump's grown sons is offering access to the freshly-minted president during inauguration weekend …
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Michelle Obama: ‘We are gonna be there for the next president’  —  First lady Michelle Obama pledged Monday that she and President Barack Obama will do what's best for the country and “be there” however needed to help Donald Trump succeed as America's next president.
Jessie Hellmann / The Hill:
Gingrich suggests Trump pardon advisers who break the law
Discussion: RedState
Matt Shuham / Talking Points Memo:
Gingrich Suggests Trump Simply Pardon Family That Breaks Anti-Nepotism Law
Discussion: Washington Post and Hullabaloo
Alison Smale / New York Times:
Austria's Far Right Signs a Cooperation Pact With Putin's Party  —  BERLIN — The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia's ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Robbie Gramer / Foreign Policy:
Austrian Far-Right Politicians Travel to Moscow to Grease Ties Between Trump, Putin  —  If Putin can't mend ties with European governments, he'll at least always have its far-right parties.  On Monday, the leaders of Austria's far-right Freedom party, fresh off an election loss …
Discussion: The Week and Bloomberg
John Sharp /
Mobile official apologizes for Christmas tree at Trump rally removed from public park  —  President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Mobile, Ala. In the background is a large cedar tree that was cut down at Public Safety Memorial Park …
Discussion: New York Magazine and Hullabaloo
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Democrats Had a Knife, and the G.O.P. Had a Gun  —  President Obama and Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina don't agree on many policy questions.  But they have found themselves facing a similar political situation this year.  And their very different reactions capture the deep — and alarming …
Andrew O'Reilly / Fox News:
Exclusive: Families of Orlando nightclub shooting victims sue Facebook, Twitter and Google  —  Mourners embrace outside the wake for Pulse shooting victim Javier Jorge Reyes in Orlando, Florida, U.S. June 15, 2016 (Reuters)  —  Families of the victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting …
Jessica Guynn / USA Today:
Facebook, Twitter, Google sued by Orlando shooting victims' families
Discussion: AOL
Catherine Rampell / Washington Post:
Trump's OMB pick seems poised to ignite a worldwide financial crisis  —  It's not the sexiest White House job.  But it might soon be among the most dangerous.  —  Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Nick Bilton / Vanity Fair:
Inside the Desperate, Year-Long Hunt to Find Donald Trump's Rumored Apprentice Outtakes  —  Throughout the election, both the media and the Clinton camp were obsessed by outtakes from the reality show, amid allegations of hair-raising things said by the now president-elect.
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Team Bernie: Hillary ‘F*cking Ignored’ Us in Swing States  —  Ever since election night—when Hillary Clinton tanked and Donald Trump became the next leader of the free world—the most prominent allies and alumni of Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign have maintained a succinct message for Team Hillary: We.
Discussion: Althouse
Stuart Rothenberg / Washington Post:
Can Republican senators get to 60 seats in 2018?  —  (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)  —  The GOP's strong 2016 election showing raises a crucial question: Do Republicans have any chance of netting eight Senate seats - and a filibuster-proof majority - in 2018?
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
Trump's vow to overturn DACA could cost US billions: report  —  's plans to overturn President Obama's executive order protecting illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children could cost the country tens of billions of dollars, according to a new study.
Discussion: CNNMoney and
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Poll: Dems more likely to unfriend people due to political posts  —  Democratic voters are almost three times as likely to have “blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media” after Donald Trump  —  's victory, according to a study released Monday.
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 More Items: 
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Obama Administration Intends to Transfer 17 or 18 Guantánamo Detainees
Discussion: TheBlaze and New York Magazine
New York Times:
Trump's Treasury Pick Moves in Secretive Hedge Fund Circles
Discussion: Raw Story
Alex Pfeiffer / The Daily Caller:
Dallas Cops Have No Record Of Eichenwald Police Report
Discussion: RedState, and Instapundit
Todd Cort / Washington Post:
The electoral college is thwarting our ability to battle global warming
Discussion: BizPac Review
Ivan Nechepurenko / New York Times:
In Russia, Dozens Die After Drinking Alcohol Substitute
Discussion: Gizmodo
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
The persistence of “locker room talk”
Discussion: Althouse
Benjamin Weiser / New York Times:
Judge Orders Release of Some Documents Related to Clinton Email Inquiry
Discussion: The Week and Washington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Sam Levin / The Guardian:
Uber admits to self-driving car ‘problem’ in bike lanes as safety concerns mount
Discussion: The Verge, Consumerist and Engadget
Carrie Dann / NBC News:
Poll: Majority of Americans Pessimistic or Uncertain About Trump Presidency
Discussion: CNBC and Opinion Today
Erin McCann / New York Times:
Red Wine Hot Chocolate Is a Thing, and It's (Surprisingly) Delicious
Media Matters for America:
Alex Jones Warns Trump That The CIA Is Trying To “Assassinate” The President-Elect
Discussion: Politicus USA