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8:50 PM ET, March 23, 2017


 Top Items: 
Josh Dawsey / Politico:
Trump demands Friday vote on health care plan  —  President Donald Trump is demanding a vote Friday in the House on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told GOP lawmakers.  If the bill fails, Trump is prepared to move on and leave Obamacare in place, Mulvaney warned.
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
At Trump's urging, House Republicans to vote on health-care bill Friday even as they still whip for votes  —  BREAKING NEWS: After a marathon series of negotiations involving President Trump and his top aides Thursday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) will call a vote on the proposal at Trump's behest …
Ramesh Ponnuru / National Review:
Mike Lee's Obamacare Bombshell  —  Last night Phil Klein had a report that is much more significant than I think a lot of people have realized: … Lee's statement was followed by, and probably contributed to, last-minute efforts by the House leadership to tweak its health-care bill to win a vote scheduled for today.
The new reality on Trump and the Freedom Caucus  —  House leadership has been hoping that President Trump would turn the screws on the Freedom Caucus.  They'd love nothing more than for Trump to threaten Freedom Caucus members like Mark Meadows with primary challenges.  In fact, they were banking on Trump doing that.
Tami Luhby / CNNMoney:
Revised Republican health care bill is more costly, but doesn't insure more people  —  Massie: Trump a one-term president if health care passes  —  Recent revisions to the Republican health care bill means it would cost more, and still leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 …
Discussion: Mediaite
Matthew Nussbaum / Politico:
White House gets out ahead of health care blame game: 'We can't make people vote'  —  The White House continues to voice confidence that the embattled Obamacare repeal bill will pass the House — but wants to make sure you don't go blaming President Donald Trump if it doesn't.
Discussion: Axios
Scott Wong / The Hill:
Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if repeal bill fails
Discussion: Political Wire
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill
Ben Kamisar / The Hill:
GOP lawmakers leave Trump White House with no deal
Leigh Ann Caldwell / NBC News:
No Deal on Health Care Bill After Conservative Meeting With Trump
Fox News:
Potential ‘smoking gun’ showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says  —  Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself …
Discussion: Axios and TheBlaze
Mike Levine / ABC News:
Intel chair Devin Nunes unsure if Trump associates were directly surveilled  —  The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know “for sure” whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications …
Nunes apologizes to House Intel Committee, member says  — “Basically what he has done is he has scuttled and put a cloud over his own investigation,” Cummings said  —  (CNN)House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes apologized to committee members Thursday, a Democrat on the panel told reporters …
Daniel Chaitin / Washington Examiner:
Bob Woodward: Obama officials possibly facing criminal charges for unmasking scheme  —  The Washington Post's Bob Woodward warned on Wednesday that there are people from the Obama administration who could be facing criminal charges for unmasking the names of Trump transition team members from surveillance of foreign officials.
John Nolte / Daily Wire:
Trump Is 100% Vindicated On Wiretapping, and 7 Other Things You Should Know  —  1. Yes, Trump Is 100% Vindicated On Wiretapping  —  Yeppers, I said 100% vindicated, and those who disagree are either being stubbornly hyper-literal about the word “wiretap,” or the placing of a “physical wiretap …
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Intelligence Chair Nunes apologizes for disclosing surveillance information to the White House
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
McCain: Nunes actions ‘very disturbing’
Read President Trump's Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods  —  President Trump spoke with TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer on March 22 for a cover story about the way he has handled truth and falsehood in his career.  —  This is a transcript of the exchange, with some minor edits.
Michael Scherer / TIME:
Can President Trump Handle the Truth?
Discussion: The Atlantic, CNBC and Hullabaloo
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Trump's Defense of His Lies: 'I'm President and You're Not'
Discussion: Washington Post
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Schumer: Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch nomination  —  As the Senate Judiciary Committee was hearing from witnesses for and against Judge Neil Gorsuch, his Supreme Court nomination was delivered a critical blow: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced he would oppose Gorsuch …
Paul Waldman / Washington Post:
Democrats are going to filibuster Gorsuch. It's the right thing to do.
Rick Perry / Houston Chronicle:
Did A&M shun due process in the name of ‘diversity’?  —  As Texas' first Aggie governor and as someone who was twice elected Yell Leader of Texas A&M University, I am deeply troubled by the recent conduct of A&M's administration and Student Government Association (SGA) during the Aggie student-body president elections for 2017-2018.
Alice Ollstein / Talking Points Memo:
Senator Apologizes After Joke About Losing His Mammograms In GOP Bill  —  As the House struggles to agree on a path forward on its bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP leaders may cave to a demand from hardline conservatives to scrap Obamacare's Essential Health Benefits rule …
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Hunter under criminal investigation for alleged campaign finance violations  —  Rep. Duncan Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department over alleged campaign finance violations, the House Ethics Committee announced Thursday.  —  The California Republican spent tens …
Robby Soave / Hit & Run:
4-Year-Old Brings Shell Casing to Preschool.  Principal Suspends Him for 7 Days, Calls Child Services.  —  An Illinois preschool is teaching a 4-year-old boy quite the lesson.  Officials suspended him for a full week—and also called the Department of Children and Family Services on his parents.
Jerusalem Post:
‘Dual US-Israeli citizen behind most JCC bomb threat calls’  —  Israeli authorities have arrested an 19-year-old suspect on suspicion of instigating a series of threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand over the past six months.
Joe Coscarelli / New York Times:
John Mayer Knows He Messed Up.  He Wants Another Chance.  —  LOS ANGELES — John Mayer can explain where he's been.  In fact, once he gets going, he probably won't stop, given the amount of time he has spent in private processing his recent self-imposed irrelevance — the “lean years,” as he calls them.
James Hibberd /
Rotten Tomatoes is ‘the destruction of our business,’ says director  —  Director and producing mogul Brett Ratner says film critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes is a destructive force in Hollywood.  —  Speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival last weekend, the Rush Hour director wanted …
Discussion: Mashable
Eli Stokols / Politico:
RNC paid intel firm for Clinton dirt  —  As the general election was taking shape last summer, the Republican National Committee initiated a series of payments to a low-profile firm started by retired Central Intelligence Agency officers that worked closely with an ex-Russian spy.
Discussion: Mediaite
Ezra Klein / Vox:
The health care bill could be Donald Trump's Iraq War  —  Sold on lies, poorly planned, deadly to thousands, and a catastrophe for its authors.  —  If it passes, the American Health Care Act will be Donald Trump and Paul Ryan's Iraq War.  It's been sold with lies.
Discussion: STAT, Common Dreams and Politico
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 More Items: 
Jay Z, Weinstein Company to Make Trayvon Martin Film and Documentary Series (EXCLUSIVE)
Discussion: The Guardian
Washington Post:
Gunman in Ukraine kills Putin foe in attack denounced as ‘state terrorism’
Discussion: The Guardian and Balloon Juice
Eric Veronikis / PennLive:
Mother brutally assaulted daughter for reciting Bible verses incorrectly: Police
Discussion: Raw Story
Jonathan O'Connell / Washington Post:
Federal agency rules Trump's D.C. hotel lease is in ‘full compliance’
Sadie Stein / New York Times:
A Secret Little Glass Home in the Heart of New York
Discussion: Curbed NY - All
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Wines / New York Times:
Lacking Evidence of Voter Fraud, Legislatures Target Its Specter
Erin Edgemon /
Brawl between 2 women at Waffle House in Auburn caught on video
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Peter Waldman / Bloomberg:
Inside Alabama's Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs
The Guardian:
London attack: police confirm seven people arrested - live