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4:50 PM ET, January 12, 2017


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Senate Takes Major Step Toward Repealing Health Care Law  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans took their first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, approving a budget blueprint that would allow them to gut the health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.
In one night, the GOP voted to take away these 6 essential health benefits  —  Republicans showed exactly where they stand.  —  By Melissa Boteach and Jeremy Slevin  —  Last night while you were sleeping, the Senate debated and ultimately passed a budget resolution that provides a pathway …
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
Nancy Pelosi's one Obamacare regret? Relying too much on other Democrats for messaging.
Justice Watchdog Opens Probe of Comey, FBI Election Actions  —  Pre-election decision to re-open Clinton probe to be examined  —  Democrats say FBI's moves undermined Clinton's candidacy  —  The U.S. Justice Department's inspector general opened an investigation into whether …
New York Times:
Comey Letter on Clinton Email Is Subject of Justice Dept. Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department inspector general's office said Thursday it would open an investigation into the decision in October by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, to inform Congress about a new review …
Discussion: New York Magazine and Vox
Matt Zapotosky / Washington Post:
Justice Department inspector general to investigate pre-election actions by department and FBI  —  The Department of Justice Inspector General will review broad allegations of misconduct involving the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's email practices and the bureau's controversial decision shortly …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
DOJ watchdog opens review of Comey's Clinton email investigation
Julia Edwards Ainsley / Reuters:
DOJ watchdog investigating FBI decisions in Clinton email probe
Discussion: IJR
President-Elect Trump Announces Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to Lend Expertise to Cyber Security Efforts  —  (New York, NY)—President-elect Trump is very pleased to announce former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector …
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Tillerson on Russia: 'We're not likely to ever be friends'
Discussion: ABC News, FiveThirtyEight, Politico and CNN
Matt Novak / Gizmodo:
Noted Tech Genius Rudy Giuliani to Form Trump's Cybersecurity Team
Discussion: Daily Kos, Politico and The Week
Obama Dog Sunny Bites White House Guest (PHOTO)  —  Obama Dog Sunny — Bites White House Guest  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  President Obama had to deal with a small domestic crisis at the White House — a family friend was bitten by Sunny, the First Family's 4-year-old dog.
Rebecca Kheel / The Hill:
Mattis views on women in combat takes center stage  —  Retired Gen. James Mattis's stance on women in combat and LGBT troops will be thrust in the spotlight Thursday when he faces senators for his confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of Defense.  —  The man whom Mattis is in line to replace …
Jeremy Herb / Politico:
Mattis breaks with Trump on Iran, Russia
Discussion: Business Insider, and ABC News
Rebecca Kheel / The Hill:
Senate panel easily approves waiver for Mattis
Discussion: RedState
The Guardian:
Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author's credibility  —  Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is ‘highly regarded professional’  —  His denials - at least some of them - were emphatic, even by the standards that Donald Trump has come to be judged by.
Gordon Rayner / Telegraph:
Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, who produced Donald Trump Russian dossier, 'terrified …
Paul Wood / BBC:
Trump ‘compromising’ claims: How and why did we get here?
New York Times:
Intelligence Chief's Olive Branch to Trump Gets Twisted in Translation  —  James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, offered a public olive branch to President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday night, which Mr. Trump appears to have twisted.  —  Team Trump went to war …
ODNI Newsroom Feed:
DNI Clapper Statement on Conversation with President-elect Trump
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
As Trump Berates News Media, a New Strategy Is Needed to Cover Him  —  Well, that sure escalated quickly.  —  “That” was Donald J. Trump's inaugural news conference as a duly elected United States president-to-be, in which he called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage,” dismissed CNN as …
Michael Brendan Dougherty / The Week:   Why the media's Trump dossier coverage is suicidal
Madeline Conway / Politico:
Earnest implicitly rebukes Sean Spicer after press conference  —  White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday issued an implicit rebuke of his successor, Sean Spicer, who tangled with a CNN reporter in New York on Wednesday at Donald Trump's first news conference as president-elect.
Discussion: Mediaite
Claire Atkinson / New York Post:
Trump's CNN tirade may affect Time Warner-AT&T merger
Discussion: Washington Monthly
AT&T Executives to Meet With Trump to Talk Time Warner Deal
Doris Truong / Washington Post:
Trolls decided I was taking pictures of Rex Tillerson's notes.  I wasn't even there.  —  What it's like to be at the center of a fake-news conspiracy theory.  —  There's a joke among Asian Americans that people think we all look the same.  That joke became my own personal Pizzagate late Wednesday …
Wall Street Journal:
Billionaire George Soros Lost Nearly $1 Billion in Weeks After Trump Election  —  Billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros lost nearly $1 billion as a result of the stock-market rally spurred by Donald Trump's surprise presidential election.
Amazon to Create More Than 100,000 New, Full-Time, Full-Benefit Jobs across the U.S. over the Next 18 Months  —  Already one of the country's biggest employers, Amazon plans to grow its full-time U.S.-based workforce from 180,000 in 2016 to over 280,000 by mid-2018
Perry Stein / Washington Post:
200 buses have applied for city parking on Inauguration Day. 1,200 have applied for the Women's March.  —  (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)  —  Far more buses have applied to secure parking through the city for the Women's March on Washington the day after inauguration …
Discussion: The Week and rubber hose
Trump aide Monica Crowley plagiarized thousands of words in Ph.D. dissertation  —  By Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie, and Nathan McDermott, design by Tal Yellin  —  Conservative commentator Monica Crowley, who is slated to serve in a top national security communications role …
Emily Heil / Washington Post:
Jeff Bezos is the anonymous buyer of the biggest house in Washington  —  Washington's Kalorama neighborhood just keeps getting swankier: Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos has bought the former Textile Museum, a 27,000 square-foot property, intending to convert it into a single-family home …
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 More Items: 
We're in the Upside Down: Confirmation Hearings Live Blog, Day 3
Discussion: New York Magazine, IJR and
Elana Schor / Politico:
Manchin: I'll help GOP ‘repair’ Obamacare
Discussion: America Rising and ABC News
Rachel Brown / WWD:
Q&A: Melania Trump's Makeup Artist Nicole Bryl
Discussion: IJR and Washington Post
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Cruz, Graham offer bill to cut off funding to UN over Israel vote
Discussion: RedState
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Ben Carson's prepared HUD testimony included accidental plagiarism — but he didn't use it
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
Graham apologizes for calling for Cruz's murder
Discussion: RedState
US intel sources warn Israel against sharing secrets with Trump administration
Discussion: Daily Wire
 Earlier Items: 
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
In Iowa, Trump Voters Are Unfazed by Controversies
Discussion: Mother Jones
Brendan Nyhan / New York Times:
Trump Shows How to Smother a Scandal: With a Bigger Story
Seton Motley / RedState:
Fake News: When Leftist Foundations Fund Activism Posing as Journalism
Emily Smith / Page Six:
Anthony Weiner hoping Huma will call off divorce
Paulina Firozi / The Hill:
Trump's ‘Cadillac One’ limo will have tear gas cannon, shotgun: report
Discussion: RedState
Zoya Sheftalovich / Politico:
Russia moves to decriminalize domestic violence
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Week
Corey Charlton / The Sun:
FACEBOOK DEATH Girl, 12, streams her own suicide on Facebook Live for 20 minutes after being …