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9:45 AM ET, September 20, 2017


 Top Items: 
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 …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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.
Sarah Frostenson / Politico:
Graham-Cassidy health care bill: What you need to know  —  Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have drafted the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare.  The bill would overhaul or eliminate major sections of the health care law, including its subsidized insurance coverage and Medicaid expansion.
Discussion: Raw Story
Dylan Scott / Vox:
Jimmy Kimmel: new Obamacare repeal bill flunks the Jimmy Kimmel Test  —  “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.”  —  Jimmy Kimmel became an unlikely figure in the Republican health care debate a few months ago when he reached an accord of sorts with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) …
Discussion: Axios, Shareblue and Mediaite
Caitlin Owens / Axios:
Repeal first, ask questions later
Burgess Everett / Politico:   Republicans rip Rand for rejecting Obamacare repeal
What's missing from the latest ACA repeal bill
Discussion: Vox and Politico
Jesse Byrnes / The Hill:
Clinton criticizes Trump's ‘rocket man’ nickname for North Korean leader … late Tuesday tore into President Trump's “very dark” and “dangerous” speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the day, arguing he took the wrong tact in condemning North Korea's nuclear pursuits.
Full text: Trump's 2017 U.N. speech transcript  —  President Donald Trump's statement to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, 2017, as prepared for delivery.  —  Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates: Welcome to New York.
Rich Lowry / National Review:
‘Holy Sh**’: Trump at the U.N.  —  A Jacksonian speech in Turtle Bay  —  As someone said on Twitter, never before has been there so much murmuring of “holy sh**” in so many different languages.  Donald Trump's speech at the United Nations was a sometimes awkward marriage …
Morgan Winsor / ABC News:
Nikki Haley defends Trump's ‘Rocket man’ speech to United Nations: He ‘was being honest’
Max Boot / USA Today:
At U.N., Trump's ‘me first’ doctrine abandons Truman's postwar ‘security for all’
Olivier Knox / Yahoo:
World leaders' faces react to Trump's U.N. speech
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
Trump Uses Putin's Arguments to Undermine the World
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
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.
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.
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  —  Communications adviser says he bought guns after threats  —  Probes cast ‘dark shadow’ over White House, Panetta says  —  Follow @bpolitics for all the latest news, and sign up for our daily Balance of Power newsletter.
Discussion: The Week
Trump using campaign, RNC funds to pay legal bills from Russia probe: sources
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 …
Ben Smith / BuzzFeed:
The US Government-In-Exile Has A New President  —  Clinton and Bloomberg share a stage in 2009.  —  Chris Hondros / Getty Images  —  The annual Manhattan conference hosted for a decade by the Clinton Global Initiative became a kind of shorthand for what some hated about the Clintons …
Discussion: Axios
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 …
Discussion: The Week
Oliver Darcy / CNNMoney:
Bannon orders Breitbart to step up negative coverage of Trump-backed candidate  —  What you need to know about Steve Bannon  —  Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on Tuesday morning ordered top editors at Breitbart to step up its overwhelmingly negative coverage …
Discussion: Raw Story and Mediaite
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.”
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
The Real Political Correctness  —  It's people who criticize racism who are silenced, not those who embrace it.  —  The ideology that put Donald Trump in the White House is one of victimhood as much as it's one of resentment.  As a candidate for president, Donald Trump …
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 …
Eliot Nelson / HuffPost:
Hillary Clinton Secretly Supported ‘Pizzagate’ Restaurant After Incident  —  The owner of a nearby business thanked Clinton for her patronage of Comet Ping Pong.  —  Ten months after a gunman opened fire in a D.C. pizza parlor over a debunked conspiracy theory involving 2016 Democratic …
Discussion: Shareblue
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 More Items: 
Alexander Mallin / ABC News:
First lady Melania Trump to speak on children at UN luncheon
Discussion: Politico
Robert Wasinger / Breitbart:
Night of the Living Mitt — Wasinger: Trump Movement Should Make Romney Senate Defeat ‘Top Priority’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Washington Post:
New Hotel Act would ban federal agencies from doing business with Trump hotels
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Post:
All in all, Trump has had a pretty good eight months
Jesse Singal / New York Times:
Undercover With the Alt-Right  —  Last September, Patrik Hermansson …
Discussion: Raw Story
Dylan Byers / CNNMoney:
After Russian Facebook ads, Democrats seek new FEC rules on social media politics
 Earlier Items: 
Tony Blair Puts Chances of Brexit Being Reversed at 30 Percent
Discussion: Political Wire
Dave Lawler / Axios:
Erdogan claims Trump apologized over bodyguard attack
Discussion: The Week
Brian Lyman / The Montgomery Advertiser:
Bentley notes reveal thinking of governor, candidates in U.S. Senate appointment
Wall Street Journal:
Senate Republicans Reach a Deal on Budget
Gabriella Paiella / thecut:
The Story Behind the Greatest Internet Recipe Comment of All Time
Dana Ferguson / Argus Leader:
S.D. GOP whip shares meme endorsing vehicular assault on protesters
Jerrod Laber / The Federalist:
Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump