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10:30 AM ET, October 19, 2017


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a call, but didn't follow through  —  President Trump, in a personal phone call to a grieving military father, offered him $25,000 and said he would direct his staff to establish an online fundraiser for the family, but neither happened, the father said.
Sources: Kelly didn't know Trump would publicize that Obama didn't call when his son died  —  Trump: Ask Kelly if Obama called about son  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  — Trump waited nearly two weeks to call the families of four soldiers killed in Niger earlier this month
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
The Trump White House's utterly unmoored week  —  President Trump's most faithful supporters like to believe he's always a step ahead of the media and the political establishment — that he's playing three-dimensional chess while we're stuck on checkers.  Where we see utter discord, they see carefully orchestrated chaos.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Washington Post:
Trump trivializes the deaths of four soldiers
Discussion: ABC News
Nahal Toosi / Politico:
White House staff drafted Niger sympathy statement for Trump that was never released
Ashley Killough / CNN:
McCain: Administration not being up front about Niger attack
Discussion: New York Magazine and ABC News
Trump sends $25,000 check to fallen soldier's family on same day as Washington Post report
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Trump keeps his focus on outrage
Discussion: Political Wire, IJR and Politicus USA
New York Times:
Signaling Frustration, Senior House Republican Plans to Quit Early  —  In a sign of mounting frustration among Republicans in Washington, Representative Pat Tiberi of Ohio, a senior lawmaker with close ties to his party's leaders, is expected to resign and take up an executive post …
The Daily Beast:
Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days Before the Election … Some of the Trump campaign's most prominent names and supporters, including Trump's campaign manager, digital director and son, pushed tweets from professional trolls paid by the Russian government in the heat of the 2016 election campaign.
Washington Post:
Michael Flynn, Nicki Minaj shared content from this Tennessee GOP account.  But it wasn't real.  It was Russian.  —  Russian operatives used a fake Twitter account that claimed to speak for Tennessee Republicans to persuade American politicians, celebrities and journalists to share select content …
Kristine Phillips / Washington Post:
The private life of Sgt. La David Johnson, the slain soldier ensnared in a Trump controversy  —  To most of the country, Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson was an American service member killed in action in West Africa.  —  But to his family and his community in Miami Gardens, Fla. …
Jacqueline Thomsen / The Hill:
Dem rep threatened after sharing account of Trump's call to soldier's widow: report
New York Times:
Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes  —  WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain and two Democratic senators will move on Thursday to force Facebook, Google and other internet companies to disclose who is purchasing online political advertising, after revelations …
McCain's latest surprise: regulate Facebook
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:   McCain Joins Push for Disclosure About Political Ads on Social Media
Andrew / Statistical Modeling …:
Beyond “power pose”: Using replication failures and a better understanding of data collection and analysis to do better science  —  So.  A bunch of people pointed me to a New York Times article by Susan Dominus about Amy Cuddy, the psychology researcher and Ted-talk star famous for the following claim …
Discussion: New York Times
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
Why rumors of a Gorsuch-Kagan clash at the Supreme Court are such a bombshell.  —  Following his nomination to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch was packaged by his wealthy benefactors as the judicial equivalent of a carrot cake: mild and wholesome with the occasional hint of spice.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News:
Shakeup at Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted  —  WASHINGTON — A shakeup is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing …
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Steve Bannon's Motley Crew of Challengers  —  One is fresh out of prison.  Another held a town hall to discuss ‘chemtrail’ theories.  —  Steve Bannon, the failed presidential adviser and alt-right sympathizer, has declared war on incumbent Republicans, particularly Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
In North Carolina, Republicans Stung by Court Rulings Aim to Change the Judges  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — Republicans with a firm grip on the North Carolina legislature — and, until January, the governor's seat — enacted a conservative agenda in recent years, only to have a steady stream …
Ann E. Marimow / Washington Post:
Towering cross-shaped monument on public land is unconstitutional, court rules
The Intercept:
Children Are Dying at Alarming Rates in Foster Care, and Nobody Is Bothering to Investigate … Children in the for-profit foster care system are dying at alarming rates, but the deaths are not being investigated, and autopsies are not even being attached to the now-closed case files, a two-year investigation has found.
Sam Baker / Axios:
Don't rush to judgment on Alexander-Murray  —  Yes, the Senate's bipartisan Affordable Care Act bill ran into some political roadblocks yesterday.  The White House said President Trump, who had taken several positions over the course of the day, is against it.  House Speaker Paul Ryan is also against it.
Noah Feldman / Bloomberg:
Goodbye and Good Riddance to the Islamic State  —  Without territory, the terror group's influence will wane.  —  The fall of Raqqa won't be the last time you hear the words “Islamic State.”  The name remains capable of inspiring acts of terrorism, and various groups fighting for territory …
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
McCain the Hedgehog vs. Bannon the Honey Badger  —  It isn't hard to guess who John McCain had in mind when, in a speech on Monday at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia — the finest speech of his storied political career — he denounced the “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked …
Discussion: WBRC-TV and CNN
Jonathan Allen / NBC News:
Facebook's General Counsel to Testify to Congress in Russia Probe  —  WASHINGTON — Facebook's general counsel, Colin Stretch, will testify before the House and Senate intelligence committees in open hearings Nov. 1 as part of the congressional investigation into Russia's use of technology …
Anna Palmer / Politico:
Frail and disoriented, Cochran says he's not retiring  —  Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran insists that he is not retiring from Congress, despite widespread speculation about the veteran lawmaker's health and political future.  —  The 79-year-old Cochran appeared frail and at times disoriented during …
Manny Fernandez / New York Times:
Blood and Beauty on a Texas Exotic-Game Ranch  —  UVALDE, Tex. — On a ranch at the southwestern edge of the Texas Hill Country, a hunting guide spotted her cooling off in the shade: an African reticulated giraffe.  Such is the curious state of modern Texas ranching, that a giraffe among …
Charles M. Blow / New York Times:
Trump Isn't Hitler.  But the Lying ...  It is a commonly accepted rule among those who are in the business of argument, especially online, that he or she who invokes Adolf Hitler, either in oratory or essays, automatically forfeits the argument.  —  The reference is deemed far too extreme …
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Trump questions if Russia, FBI or Democrats paid for dossier  —  President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday that the Democratic Party, the FBI or the Kremlin could be the financial backer for a dossier of salacious but unverified information alleging ties between him, his presidential campaign and the Russian government.
Kieran Nicholson / Denver Post:
A Cub Scout questioned a Colorado state senator at a meeting.  Now he's been kicked out of his den.  —  Sen. Vicki Marble spoke to Broomfield scouts last week  —  A Cub Scout in Broomfield has been kicked out of his den, allegedly for asking pointed questions of a Colorado state senator at meeting organized by the Boy Scouts.
NBC News:
This is uncharted territory  —  For one approach, a bipartisan congressional caucus could empanel a team of experts to evaluate the president's condition.  But critics argue that mental health conditions are too ambiguous to reliably evaluate.  Trying to address a president's psychological disability …
Discussion: Raw Story
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 More Items: 
David Nakamura / Washington Post:
Trump White House debates presidential visit to demilitarized zone along North Korean border
Discussion: Business Insider
Alexis C. Madrigal / The Atlantic:
Free Money at the Edge of the Tech Boom
Ari Berman / Mother Jones:
Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump
Taylor W. Anderson / Salt Lake Tribune:
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams jumps into U.S. House race against Rep. Mia Love
William Booth / Washington Post:
Spain threatens to take over Catalonia's government as constitutional crisis looms
Discussion: Axios
Charlotte Graham / New York Times:
New Zealand to Be Led by Jacinda Ardern, 37, Capping Labour Revival
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Rich City, Poor City
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Trump Calls the Congressional GOP's Bluff
 Earlier Items: 
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Republican senators ask McConnell to open Senate 24/7
Discussion: Political Wire and Politico
Neil MacFarquhar / New York Times:
Russian Socialite Enters Race to Challenge President Putin
Pema Levy / Mother Jones:
Justice Department Has Communicated With Controversial Election Commission, Sessions Confirms
Tom Dreisbach /
Numbers Disagree With Trump Golf Course Claim Of ‘Millions To Charity’
Discussion: NPR and Eschaton
Laura Vozzella / Washington Post:
Trump strategist quits Gillespie campaign for Va. governor, sources say
Discussion: Political Wire
Laura Donnelly / Telegraph:
NHS provokes fury with indefinite surgery ban for smokers and obese