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1:05 PM ET, September 20, 2017


 Top Items: 
Jeff Stein / Vox:
GOP senators are rushing to pass Graham-Cassidy.  We asked 9 to explain what it does.  —  Republican senators are struggling to articulate why they are rushing to pass their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obamacare over the next 10 days before running into their September 30 deadline.
Avalere Health:
Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Bill Would Reduce Federal Funding to States by $215 Billion  —  New analysis from Avalere finds that the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would lead to a reduction in federal funding to states …
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
I've covered the GOP repeal plans since day one.  Graham-Cassidy is the most radical.  —  Other Republican plans create a poorly funded version of Obamacare.  This one blows up the law entirely.  —  I have spent the bulk of 2017 writing about the different Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Discussion: ACA Signups and Refinery29
Caitlin Owens / Axios:
Repeal first, ask questions later  —  Senate Republicans are on the verge of passing a sweeping health care bill not only without knowing what's in it, but without particularly caring.  The political abstraction of “Obamacare” — and the seven years of promises to “repeal Obamacare” …
Sarah Frostenson / Politico:
Graham-Cassidy health care bill: What you need to know
Discussion: Raw Story
Amber Phillips / Washington Post:
How well does Jimmy Kimmel understand the GOP health-care bill?
Wall Street Journal:
Special Counsel's Office Interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein  —  Interview could be a sign that Rosenstein isn't seen as a central witness, as he hasn't withdrawn himself from his oversight role  —  Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office has interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein …
Exclusive: Mueller team's focus on Manafort spans 11 years  —  Washington (CNN)Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is reaching back more than a decade in its investigation of Paul Manafort, a sign of the pressure Mueller is placing on President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.
Bobby Moynihan / CBS News:
Surveillance of Paul Manafort occurred during 2016 campaign
Josh Delk / The Hill:
Deputy AG interviewed by Mueller's office: report
Discussion: RedState
Rachana Pradhan / Politico:
Price's private-jet travel breaks precedent  —  In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.
The Daily Beast:
Russians Appear to Use Facebook to Push Pro-Trump ‘Flash Mobs’ in Florida … Suspected Russia propagandists on Facebook tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida during last year's election, The Daily Beast has learned.  —  The demonstrations—at least …
Pete Kasperowicz / Washington Examiner:
John Kerry doesn't rule out 2020 White House run  —  Former senator and Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he has no plans to run for president in 2020, but didn't rule out the idea.  —  “I don't have any plans right now, honestly,” Kerry said on MSNBC when asked if he might make another run.
Hillel Italie / Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Clinton book has sold more than 300,000 copies
Discussion: Political Wire
Craig Silverman / BuzzFeed:
Trump Is Using Targeted Facebook Ads To Reassure Supporters He Will Build The Border Wall  —  The personal Facebook pages of the president and vice president are running dark post ads that promise “A WALL (NOT A FENCE),” while asking for donations.  —  President Donald Trump …
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Trump: ‘I have decided’ on Iran deal — but won't share yet  —  President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has made up his mind on whether the U.S. will remain party to the Iran nuclear deal — but won't say just yet what that decision is.  —  “I have decided” Trump repeated three times …
Discussion: ABC News and Axios
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Iran's president warns Trump: Exiting nuclear deal ‘would carry a high cost’
Discussion: IJR
Claire Atkinson / NBC News:
Networks Pass on Sean Spicer for Paid Contributor Role  —  The big five news organizations have passed on offering former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer a job as an exclusive paid contributor, network sources confirmed to NBC News Tuesday.  —  Since Spicer exited the White House …
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Trump rebounds after polling slide  —  President Donald Trump's summer swoon appears to be over.  —  After months of declining poll numbers, the president's approval ratings have stabilized — and even ticked up slightly — over the past month.  —  Following a low of 39 percent …
Kim Hjelmgaard / USA Today:
There is meddling in Germany's election — not by Russia, but by U.S. right wing  —  Less than a week before Sunday's vote that is likely to hand German Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term, evidence of anticipated Russian meddling has yet to materialize, but U.S. right-wing groups have interfered, according to German researchers.
Discussion: Raw Story
Borys Kit / Hollywood Reporter:
Linda Hamilton Set to Return to ‘Terminator’ Franchise (Exclusive)  —  With James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger involved, it's a reunion more than 25 years in the making.  —  She'll be back.  —  After waving hasta la vista, baby, more than 25 years ago, Linda Hamilton is returning …
Trump using campaign, RNC funds to pay Russia probe legal bills: Reuters, citing sources  — The U.S. Federal Election Commission allows the use of private campaign funds to pay legal bills arising from being a candidate or elected official.  — Trump would be the first U.S. president …
Shannon Pettypiece / Bloomberg:
For Trump Aides Caught in Russia Probe, Legal Bills and Paranoia
Discussion: The Week
Trump judicial nominee said transgender children are part of 'Satan's plan', defended ‘conversion therapy’  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)In a pair of 2015 speeches, President Donald Trump's nominee for a federal judgeship in Texas described transgender children as evidence of “Satan's plan …
Discussion: Raw Story
Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico with 155-mph winds  —  San Juan, Puerto Rico (CNN)Hurricane Maria made landfall Wednesday morning in southeast Puerto Rico as a strong Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said.  —  Maria slammed the island with winds of 155 mph …
The Daily Beast:
Seb Gorka Joins Pro-Trump Group Founded by Pizzagate Truthers and a Seth Rich Conspiracy Theorist … Seb Gorka may have left the Trump White House.  But he's still working for a conspiracy theorist.  —  The controversial former White House adviser has officially signed …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
León Krauze / Washington Post:
Mexico needs help now.  Can President Trump overcome his grudges and provide it?  —  After a devastating earthquake, it's time for solidarity.  —  Early in the morning of Sept. 19, 1985, a ferocious earthquake shook Mexico City.  For almost two minutes, the wobbly metropolis trembled and jumped …
Discussion: CityLab and The Guardian
Benjamin Haas / Politico:
The Electoral College Is a National Security Threat  —  In Federalist No. 68, his pseudonymous essay on “The Mode of Electing the President,” Alexander Hamilton wrote that the Electoral College could shield the United States “from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”
Kyle Olson / The American Mirror:
Maxine Waters pushes Trump impeachment — during eulogy!  —  Donald Trump is living rent-free in the head of Maxine Waters.  —  The California congresswoman went on a stem winder of a eulogy during comedian Dick Gregory's funeral on Saturday, quickly turning it political and attacking …
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 More Items: 
Rodrique Ngowi / Associated Press:
U.S. students in France acid attack show compassion for assailant
Discussion: and The Daily Caller
Paul Singer / USA Today:
Exclusive: Less than 25% of Republicans in Congress endorse border wall funding in USA TODAY survey
Discussion: NTK Network
David Barboza / New York Times:
Before Wisconsin, Foxconn Vowed Big Spending in Brazil. Few Jobs Have Come.
Eric Newcomer / Bloomberg:
Uber Faces Widespread Asia Bribery Allegations Amid U.S. Criminal Probe
Alex Roarty / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
ACLU moves from defense to offense, starting in Kris Kobach's home state
Arizona Republic:
Next Slide  —  Trump's appearance drew a much larger police response …
Discussion: RedState
Zack Beauchamp / Vox:
“He took the job and made it smaller”: how Rex Tillerson failed the State Department
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Tucker Carlson rolls into an ethical ditch
Eliot Nelson / HuffPost:
Hillary Clinton Secretly Supported ‘Pizzagate’ Restaurant After Incident
Discussion: Shareblue
Dylan Byers / CNNMoney:
After Russian Facebook ads, Democrats seek new FEC rules on social media politics
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
The Real Political Correctness
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
The US Government-In-Exile Has A New President
Discussion: No More Mister Nice Blog and Axios
Oliver Darcy / CNNMoney:
Bannon orders Breitbart to step up negative coverage of Trump-backed candidate
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story