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2:25 PM ET, December 13, 2017


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Once a Long Shot, Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Race  —  BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore …
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
‘We Are in a Trump-Driven Worst-Case Situation Right Now’  —  Roy Moore was a uniquely flawed and vulnerable candidate.  But what should worry Republicans most about his loss to Democrat Doug Jones in Tuesday's Alabama Senate race was how closely the result tracked with the GOP's big defeats …
Washington Post:
Preliminary exit poll results: How different groups voted in the U.S. senator election in Alabama  —  See how different groups voted in the U.S. senator election in Alabama between Roy Moore and Doug Jones
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
Republicans Say They Have a Deal on Tax Bill  —  WASHINGTON — House and Senate Republicans have reached an agreement, in principle, on a consensus tax bill on Wednesday, keeping the party on track for final votes next week with the aim of delivering a bill to President Trump's desk by Christmas, according to people briefed on the deal.
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Week
David Byler / Weekly Standard:
Alabama Slamma: Four Takeaways from Roy Moore's Devastating Loss to Doug Jones  —  That.  Just.  Happened.  —  Last night, a Democratic candidate won a Senate seat in deep red Alabama.  —  Let that sink in.  —  Alabama is one of the worst places in the country to be a statewide Democratic political candidate.
Vann R. Newkirk II / The Atlantic:
African American Voters Made Doug Jones a U.S. Senator in Alabama  —  Ahead of Alabama's special Senate election, there was a clear narrative about the state's black voters: They weren't mobilizing.  —  Six of 10 black voters stopped by a New York Times reporter in a shopping center last week …
Nancy Cook / Politico:
Republicans strike deal on sweeping tax overhaul  —  Republicans have struck a deal on a sweeping tax overhaul and hope to have legislation on President Donald Trump's desk by next week, sources said Wednesday.  —  It would give Republicans the type of major legislative victory that has eluded …
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
It's not just scandal: Moore lost in Alabama because the GOP agenda is toxically unpopular
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Blue Stars Fell on Alabama
Alice Stewart / CNN:
Steve Bannon's political science experiment blew up in Trump's face
NBC News:
Alabama results show that a 2018 wave is building
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Albert R. Hunt / Bloomberg:
Republicans Now Have a Reason to Panic
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Democrats call for halt to GOP tax bill until Jones is seated in the Senate
Rosie Gray / The Atlantic:
The Making of an Upset
Discussion: Raw Story
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Doug Jones's victory scrambles the Republican congressional agenda
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Trump: ‘I Said Roy Moore Will Not Be Able to Win’ in Alabama
Salma Hayek / New York Times:
Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too  —  HARVEY WEINSTEIN was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster.  —  For years, he was my monster.  —  This fall, I was approached by reporters, through different sources, including my dear friend Ashley Judd …
Laura Jarrett / CNN:
Months-worth of FBI employees' texts dreading Trump victory released to Congress  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)A series of text messages exchanged between top FBI employees referring to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as an “idiot” and “d*uche,” while fearing his potential victory as …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
In texts, FBI agents on Russia probe called Trump an ‘idiot’  —  Two FBI agents assigned to the investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia exchanged text messages referring to the future president as an “idiot,” according to copies of messages turned …
Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider:   In ‘highly unusual’ move, DOJ secretly invited reporters to view texts sent by ousted FBI agents
Associated Press:
The Latest: GOP questions political leaning of Mueller team
Discussion: IJR
Alayna Treene / Axios:
Deputy AG: “I'm not aware of any impropriety” within Russia special counsel
Denis Slattery / New York Daily News:
Omarosa Manigault reportedly escorted kicking and screaming from White House as resignation announced  —  The White House said Wednesday that Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former “The Apprentice” contestant turned political aide, is leaving the administration next month.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Darlene Superville / Associated Press:
Prominent black supporter of Trump set to leave White House
Discussion: Axios, IJR and TheBlaze
ABC News:
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat  —  Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken's Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his long-time and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018 special election.
Discussion: Politico and Axios
Mitch Smith / New York Times:   Al Franken's Minnesota Seat to Be Filled by Tina Smith, a Democrat
Erin Golden / Star Tribune:
Gov. Mark Dayton appoints Tina Smith to U.S. Senate
Discussion: Outside the Beltway, IJR and Power Line
Mike Allen:
Schumer calls cops after forged sex scandal charge  —  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he was the victim of a fake news hit on Tuesday, and has turned over to Capitol Police a document that purports to detail lurid sexual harassment accusations by a former staffer.
USA Today:
Will Trump's lows ever hit rock bottom?  —  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says President Donald Trump's latest tweet about her was a ‘sexist smear’ aimed at silencing her voice.  The New York Democrat says she won't be silenced on the issue of sexual harassment.  (Dec. 12) AP
Carrie Johnson / NPR:
White House: Nomination of Alabama Lawyer Brett Talley ‘Will Not Be Moving Forward’  —  The nomination of Brett Talley, the Justice Department official in line for a lifetime judicial appointment, “will not be moving forward,” a Trump administration official told NPR Wednesday.
Monmouth University:
Monmouth University Polling Institute  —  Trump Rating Hits Record Low  —  Democrats have 15 point edge in generic House vote  —  West Long Branch, NJ - Donald Trump's current job approval rating is the lowest registered in the Monmouth University Poll since he took office, with the biggest drop coming from independent women.
Discussion: Political Wire
Eugene Volokh / Reason:
Our move to (paywall-free!)  Reason from The Washington Post  —  As you can see, we've moved from the Washington Post, where we've blogged since early 2014, to Reason.  Good to see you here, and we hope you'll keep visiting us here often!  We wanted to say a few things about our move …
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 More Items: 
The Hill:
Negotiators strike deal in principle on tax bill
Discussion: IJR
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Democratic lawmaker: Women's clothing an ‘invitation’ to harassment
Keaton Jones' Estranged Father Is a Jailed White Supremacist
Discussion: theGrio and AOL
ABC News:
WATCH: Biden comforts emotional Meghan McCain about her father's cancer diagnosis
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks reveals he has prostate cancer
Discussion: Axios and
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Galli / Christianity Today:
The Biggest Loser in the Alabama Election
Discussion: Vox and Raw Story