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12:25 PM ET, December 15, 2017


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Republicans finalize plan, expand benefits for working families in bid to win over Rubio … Congressional Republicans finished rewriting their massive plan to overhaul the tax code on Friday, adding in a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit aimed at boosting benefits for low-income families.
Wall Street Journal:
GOP Increases Child Tax Credit in Bid to Satisfy Rubio, Lee  —  Move could help lock up needed votes to pass tax overhaul  —  WASHINGTON—Republicans will make more of the child tax credit refundable in a last-minute concession to Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) …
Discussion: Axios and Mother Jones
Alayna Treene / Axios:
Trump: “People are very, very angry” with FBI and Justice Department
Discussion: ABC News
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
Republicans Are Set to Release Compromise Tax Bill
Discussion: RedState and FiveThirtyEight
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
RUBIO pulls emergency brake on tax debate …
Discussion: Vox
Derek Hawkins / Washington Post:
Trump judicial nominee fumbles basic questions about the law  —  Nomination hearings for U.S. district judges tend to be dry affairs that offer little in the way of mass entertainment — in other words, they're not typically the stuff of viral videos.  —  But a clip of one of President …
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Mueller Sought Emails of Trump Campaign Data Firm  —  Special counsel asked Cambridge Analytica to hand over employees' emails, in sign of investigators' interest in campaign data operation  —  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked …
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The Russia facts are hiding in plain sight
Discussion: National Review and Judicial Watch
John Bowden / The Hill:
Mueller requests emails from Trump campaign data firm: report
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Michael R. Bloomberg / Bloomberg:
This Tax Bill Is a Trillion-Dollar Blunder  —  Congress and President Trump put politics ahead of smart reform.  —  Last month a Wall Street Journal editor asked a room full of CEOs to raise their hands if the corporate tax cut being considered in Congress would lead them to invest more.
Discussion: Reuters
Zeke Miller / Associated Press:
White House: FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against Trump  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Friday newly revealed FBI records show there is “extreme bias” against President Donald Trump among senior leadership at the FBI.  The accusation came hours before Trump was scheduled …
Discussion: IJR and The Week
Del Quentin Wilber / Wall Street Journal:
FBI Agent Removed From Russia Probe Held Dim Views of Holder, Sanders
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Trump won't rule out Flynn pardon
Discussion: ABC News
Washington Post:
Trump allies say Tillerson has ‘not learned his lesson’ and cannot continue in job for long … Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed focused this week on rebooting his image as a beleaguered Cabinet member on the outs with his boss and his own employees — holding a rare town hall with employees …
John Bowden / The Hill:
Official: Tillerson ‘not really speaking’ for Trump anymore
Discussion: RedState
Daniel Holloway / Variety:
Dustin Hoffman Accused of Exposing Himself to a Minor, Assaulting Two Women (EXCLUSIVE)  —  Cori Thomas was in high school when she says Dustin Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room.  Melissa Kester was a recent college graduate when Hoffman allegedly sexually assaulted her while recording audio for the film “Ishtar.”
Jackson McHenry / thecut:
Dustin Hoffman Accused of Assaulting Two Women, Exposing Himself to Minor Hoffman had previously …
Discussion: The FADER
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Kansas Dem Andrea Ramsey, accused of sexual harassment, will drop out of US House race  —  McClatchy Washington Bureau and The Kansas City Star  —  WASHINGTON  —  Andrea Ramsey, a Democratic candidate for Congress, will drop out of the race after the Kansas City Star asked her about accusations …
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Dems: Black voters deserve more from party  —  Democrats say their party needs to “wake up” and stop ignoring major parts of their coalition, particularly black voters.  —  The party, they say, must build off Doug Jones's win in the Alabama Senate race this week by working hard on issues …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:   To save the GOP, Republicans have to lose
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Democrats want to know why Justice Department released FBI texts  —  Democrats pressed the Justice Department on Thursday to explain why it released salacious, anti-Donald Trump text messages exchanged between two FBI employees who are still under investigation for their work on the Russia special counsel investigation.
Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider:
DOJ now says early release of FBI agents' private texts to reporters was ‘not authorized’ by the department
Matt Vespa /
So, What's This ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump That These FBI Agents Discussed In Text Messages?
New York Times:
U.S. Accuses Iran of U.N. Violation, but Evidence Falls Short  —  WASHINGTON — The Trump administration tried to mount a case on Thursday that Iran violated an international agreement to limit its arms dealing, but American officials failed to show how an array of weaponry presented as evidence proved the charges.
Foreign Policy:
Haley's ‘Smoking Gun’ on Iran Met With Skepticism at U.N.
Erdogan says Turkey seeking to annul Trump decision on Jerusalem at U.N.
Discussion: ThinkProgress, CNN and Associated Press
The Hill:
Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers  —  A well-known women's rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump
Wall Street Journal:
The Internet Is Free Again  —  Killing Obama-era rules will remove the FCC as political gatekeeper.  —  The Editorial Board  —  Disney's deal announced Thursday to buy some premium 21st Century Fox properties for $52.4 billion underscores how technology is remaking the media landscape.
Matthew Walther / The Week:
Net neutrality is dead. Good riddance.
Discussion: The Verge
Ramin Setoodeh / Variety:
Inside Matt Lauer's Secret Relationship With a ‘Today’ Production Assistant (EXCLUSIVE)  —  In 1999, Addie Collins arrived at NBC's “Today” as a young intern with big aspirations.  A few months later, she landed her dream job as production assistant, forming close bonds with her new colleagues Katie Couric, Ann Curry and Al Roker.
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
Good Riddance to the Biggest Fake in American Politics  —  Paul Ryan makes noises about going back to Janesville.  —  Ring and run, you wretched cur.  —  In what passes for a genuine scoop  —  , Tim Alberta and Rachael Cade broke the news in  —  Politico  —  o
Bill Moyers:
Farewell  —  To Our Readers:  —  When I turned 80 three years ago, I retired my weekly PBS series and have since focused on the web with a small, dedicated team as the avenue for our journalism.  Your response rewarded our efforts, and we have been pleased and grateful for your interest and attention.
Associated Press:
Americans pessimistic about Trump, country: AP-NORC Poll  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump frequently casts his first year in office as a string of successes and campaign promises fulfilled.  But less than a quarter of Americans think Trump has made good on the pledges he made to voters …
Discussion: Political Wire
Jenn Abelson /
At ESPN, the problems for women run deep  —  When ESPN canceled its new program with Barstool Sports this fall after just one episode, the network tried to distance itself from the men's blog that has stoked criticism for everything from calling Rihanna fat to saying girls wearing skinny jeans deserve to be raped.
Homeland Security senior adviser promoted birtherism, said Obama knew ‘nothing about the black American experience’  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)A White House senior adviser at the Department of Homeland Security previously promoted conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama's birthplace …
Discussion: Raw Story, Splinter and Mediaite
Eleanor Clift / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Numbers Near a Tipping Point … Public opinion can take off like a runaway train once it gets going.  President Donald Trump, already polling lower than any of his predecessors in his first year, might soon be hearing the hoofbeats of history.  —  At 32 percent in the most recent Pew …
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 More Items: 
Lydia Wheeler / The Hill:
GOP bill scraps voter registration requirements for colleges
Roque Planas / HuffPost:
Trump Benefited From The ‘Chain Migration’ He Blamed For Monday's Terror Attack
Discussion: Right Wing Watch
Paul Duggan / Washington Post:
Charge upgraded to first-degree murder for driver accused of ramming Charlottesville crowd
Discussion: New York Magazine and Althouse
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Death of Man in Skyscraper Fall in China Puts a Spotlight on ‘Rooftopping’
Discussion: Scripting News and Althouse
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel / Washington Post:
Betsy DeVos hit with two lawsuits in one day over backlog of student debt relief claims
 Earlier Items: 
Rebecca Leber / Mother Jones:
The EPA Hired a Major Republican Opposition Research Firm to Track Press Activity
Discussion: Washington Post
Ben Collins / The Daily Beast:
New Mexico School Shooter Had Secret Life on Pro-Trump White-Supremacy Sites
Discussion: Raw Story and The Root
Jenny Strasburg / Wall Street Journal:
Deutsche Bank Had Flagged Manafort-Related Transactions
Mark Hemingway / Weekly Standard:
While Truth Puts On Its Shoes
New York Times:
With Billions at Stake in Tax Debate, Lobbyists Played Hardball
One last chance for Collins to reject bad GOP tax bill
Niall Stanage / The Hill:
The Memo: Omarosa's exit is headache for White House
Discussion: Raw Story, CNN and The Gateway Pundit