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1:45 PM ET, October 19, 2017


 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump is thrashing around in a straitjacket of GOP lies  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  It is common enough for lawmakers to set policy goals and devise talking points that are designed to build a case for them.  But in the battle over President Trump's ongoing sabotage of Obamacare …
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.
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Flake takes on Trump — and risks it all
Discussion: Mediaite
Arlette Saenz / ABC News:
Bush blasts bigotry and white supremacy, says US politics ‘vulnerable’ to ‘outright fabrication’  —  In a rare public speech today, former President George W. Bush blasted the divisive state of American politics, rejecting nativism and warning of a “crisis of confidence.”  —  “Bigotry seems emboldened.
Discussion: Politico
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
George W. Bush's unmistakable takedown of Trumpism — and Trump  —  For the last nine years, George W. Bush has largely stayed out of presidential politics; he declined to criticize his successor, Barack Obama, and he chose not to endorse but largely ignored President Trump.
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
George W. slams Trumpism, without mentioning president by name  —  Former President George W. Bush offered an unmistakable denunciation of Trumpism Thursday without mentioning the president by name, urging citizens to oppose threats to American democracy.  —  “Bigotry seems emboldened.
Ashley Killough / CNN:
McCain: Administration not being up front about Niger attack  —  McCain reacts to Trump comment on Kelly's son  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)Sen. John McCain argued Wednesday that the Trump administration is not being forthcoming about the attack in Niger that left four US soldiers dead and two wounded.
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump's unmoored week shows just how aimless he is
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 …
McCain's latest surprise: Regulate Facebook  —  Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) knows his time in the public eye is short, so his big statements in recent weeks are especially resonant.  Today, McCain will join with two Democrats — Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) …
New York Times:   Senators Demand Online Ad Disclosures as Tech Lobby Mobilizes
Steven T. Dennis / Bloomberg:   Social-Media Legislation Gains Traction After Months of Russia Probes
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. …
Noah Gray / CNN:
Gotta catch 'em all: Secret Service nabs Pikachu-dressed man at WH  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  Washington (CNN)A man dressed as the Pokémon character Pikachu attempted to infiltrate the White House Tuesday morning before he was caught by Secret Service officers manning the perimeter, authorities said.
John Bowden / The Hill:
Man dressed as Pikachu jumps White House barrier: report
Discussion: RedState
Ali Rogin / ABC News:
Puerto Rico governor airs grievances before meeting with Trump  —  Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, who will be meeting with President Trump later today, revealed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to restore power to his besieged island's electricity grid.
Discussion: Politico
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 …
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.
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 …
Discussion: Daily Wire and
Albert Breer /
Declining NFL Television Ratings Presented at Meetings Grabbed Attention of Owners  — In the background of the meeting with players about the anthem protests was the issue of a potentially shrinking audience and what could be done to solve it - Other sections include: Adrian Peterson's fit in Arizona …
Ev Ehrlich / USA Today:
Break up the Google-Facebook-Amazon web monopoly  —  Serious legislation is required to combat the countless abuses of power by ‘The Web Trust.’  —  Policy makers are beginning a long overdue reappraisal of the giant website and social media companies ("edge" providers) that dominate the Internet today …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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
Niv Elis / The Hill:
Corker calls budget ‘a hoax’  —  (R-Tenn.) lambasted the budgetary process ahead of a key vote Thursday, calling the Senate budget a hoax and saying that he would dismantle the Senate Budget Committee.  —  “The only thing about this that matters is preparation for the tax reform,” said Corker …
Discussion: Raw Story
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.
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 …
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg:
Scandals and Outrage Won't End Sexual Harassment  —  The hope that we will “teach men not to ...” is weak.  They already know it's wrong.  That's part of its appeal.  —  For decades, there were private whispers.  But not very private.  Given how many women have now come forward …
Discussion: neo-neocon and
Matthew Lynley / TechCrunch:
Blue Apron is laying off hundreds of employees  —  As Blue Apron approaches its next earnings report in a couple of weeks, the company said Wednesday that it is laying off 6 percent of its staff as part of “a company-wide realignment of personnel to support its strategic priorities.”
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 More Items: 
Cass R. Sunstein / Bloomberg:
Russia Is Using Marxist Strategies, and So Is Trump
Discussion: Daily Wire
Rafael Carranza / Arizona Republic:
A first look at 8 possible versions of President Donald Trump's border wall
Discussion: Daily Wire and Infowars
Andrew Ferguson / Commentary Magazine:
The Ruling Classless  —  S  —  ally Quinn, the well-known …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Mark Mackie / RealClearDefense:
Solving the Siege of Seoul
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Josh Delk / The Hill:
Dem senator slams Trump EPA nominee for starting work before confirmation
Discussion: Washington Post
Alexis C. Madrigal / The Atlantic:
Free Money at the Edge of the Tech Boom
 Earlier Items: 
Ari Berman / Mother Jones:
Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump
Discussion: Shakesville
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
McCain the Hedgehog vs. Bannon the Honey Badger
Discussion: WBRC-TV
William Booth / Washington Post:
Spain threatens to take over Catalonia's government as constitutional crisis looms
Discussion: Axios
Jonathan Allen / NBC News:
Facebook's General Counsel to Testify to Congress in Russia Probe
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
Rich City, Poor City
Sam Baker / Axios:
Don't rush to judgment on Alexander-Murray
Discussion: Politico
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
In North Carolina, Republicans Stung by Court Rulings Aim to Change the Judges