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11:50 AM ET, December 14, 2017


 Top Items: 
Amie Hudspeth / Crossroads Today:
BREAKING: Congressman Farenthold calls it quits  —  Congressman Blake Farenthold will withdraw from the race but is expected to finish his term.  Newscenter 25 is working to get more details from the Farenthold camp.  You may remember the Congressman spoke to constituents via Skype on Wednesday saying …
MJ Lee / CNN:
Exclusive: Ex-Farenthold aide shares new details of vulgar and abusive behavior  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  WARNING: This story contains graphic language.  —  (CNN)A former senior aide to Rep. Blake Farenthold has approached the House Ethics Committee to share a damning account of working …
Elena Schneider / Politico:
Farenthold won't seek reelection  —  Rep. Blake Farenthold, who has faced allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior from former staff members, will not seek reelection, according to a source familiar with the situation.  —  The Texas Republican's office did not respond …
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Farenthold won't seek reelection amid allegations of sexual harassment
Washington Post:
Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked  —  In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia's interference in the 2016 election was real.
Rebecca Savransky / The Hill:
Trump described admitting Kremlin hacked Dem emails as a ‘trap’: report
Discussion: RedState, Raw Story and Washington Post
Kyle Swenson / Washington Post:
Roy Moore turns refusal to concede into religious crusade: ‘Immorality sweeps over the land’  —  A day after losing the Senate race in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones, Roy Moore has issued a new statement refusing to concede the election until completion of the final count.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
After mysterious ‘insurance policy’ text, will Justice Department reveal more on FBI agent bounced from Mueller probe?  —  Yes, the release of texts sent between top FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show that both loathed Donald Trump while they were working on investigations involving Trump …
Wall Street Journal:
The FBI's Trump ‘Insurance’
Discussion: Instapundit
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
FBI Agents Sending Anti-Trump Texts Is Not a Scandal
Discussion: Washington Post and IJR
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Conservative watchdog head: Do we need to shut down the FBI?
Discussion: RedState and Mediaite
Veronica Stracqualursi / ABC News:
Omarosa Manigault speaks out about WH exit: ‘I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable’  —  Former reality-TV star turned White House staffer Omarosa Manigault today tried to set the record straight on her reportedly dramatic exit from the White House Tuesday, and alluded to situations …
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Omarosa: I saw things in Trump White House ‘I was very uncomfortable with’  —  Omarosa Manigault Newman said on Thursday that she observed things in the White House during her tenure that made her uncomfortable and that upset her.  —  “There were a lot of things that I observed during …
Morgan Spurlock / TwitLonger:
I am Part of the Problem  —  As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don't sit by and wonder “who will be next?”  I wonder, “when will they come for me?”  —  You see, I've come to understand after months of these revelations …
WDRB 41 Louisville News:
Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson died of ‘probable suicide’ on bridge in Mt. Washington  —  LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who was under investigation for alleged sexual molestation, died of a “probable suicide,” the Bullitt County coroner said.
Tom McKay / Gizmodo:
Ajit Pai Thinks You're Stupid Enough to Buy This Crap  —  On Thursday, the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission and its chairman, Verizon BFF Ajit Pai, will hold a vote on whether to repeal Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules.  If passed, the FCC would allow ISPs …
Tavis Smiley:
On the eve of the 15th season and 3,000th episode of my nightly talk show, I was as shocked as anyone else by PBS' announcement today.  Variety knew before I did.  —  I have the utmost respect for women and celebrate the courage of those who have come forth to tell their truth.
Daniel Holloway / Variety:
PBS Suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation (EXCLUSIVE)
New York Times:
Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women  —  Mr. Simmons, a powerful gatekeeper in the entertainment and media worlds, damaged careers and self-confidence with his pattern of sexual assault and harassment, the women say.  —  In 1995, Drew Dixon was working her dream job …
Marwa Eltagouri / Washington Post:
He was a renowned surgeon — until a doctor found his initials burned on a patient's liver  —  Patients often can't help but wonder what doctors and nurses are doing while they're sedated.  —  Some suspect trash talking.  Others are wary of racially charged comments.
Public Policy Polling:
Voters Think Trump Should Resign Over Harassment Allegations  —  PPP's newest national poll finds that a majority of voters think Donald Trump should resign from the Presidency because of the allegations of sexual harassment against him. 53% think Trump should step down to just 42% who think he should remain in office.
Discussion: Political Wire and Shareblue Media
Mark Landler / New York Times:
White House Corrects Tillerson on Whether U.S. Will Talk to North Korea  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson are once again at odds over how to deal with nuclear-armed North Korea after Mr. Tillerson declared on Tuesday that the United States was ready …
Ezra Klein / Vox:
Republicans are paying a price for their extremism  —  The GOP's self-destructive primaries have cost it a lot of power, particularly in the Senate.  —  It's an article of faith among many Democrats that Republicans have somehow escaped the electoral consequences for the increasing extremism of their party.
Discussion: The Clarion Ledger
Matt Fuller / HuffPost:
When Will Paul Ryan Step Down?  —  It's a question lawmakers are asking.  —  WASHINGTON As Republicans finish their long-sought rewrite of the tax code, some lawmakers are beginning to wonder just how much longer Rep. Paul Ryan intends to remain speaker.  —  “There's a whole lot of rumors …
Pence delaying Israel visit  —  Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Israel, which was to begin on Sunday, will be postponed by two days because of next week's tax-reform vote, Israeli and U.S. officials say.  — The reason: U.S. officials tell Axios that Pence is likely to remain …
Discussion: Politico
Pence's visit to Israel delayed
Discussion: Washington Times
New York Times:
Trump's Lies vs. Obama's  —  In his first 10 months, Trump told nearly six times as many falsehoods as Obama did during his entire presidency  —  In his first 10 months, Trump told nearly  —  After we published a list of President Trump's lies this summer, we heard a common response from his supporters.
Discussion: IJR and Outside the Beltway
Sydney Ember / New York Times:
A.G. Sulzberger, 37, Is Named Next Publisher of The New York Times  —  In a generational changing of the guard, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, 37, will become the publisher of The New York Times on Jan. 1.  His father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., announced on Thursday that he was ceding the post to his son.
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Partisan Gerrymandering and the Outlook for the 2018 U.s.  House Elections  —  There is a growing sense among political observers that the United States may be heading toward a wave election in 2018.  Results of recent special elections, including Doug Jones' (D) victory in the Alabama Senate race …
Discussion: Political Insider
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 More Items: 
Zach Dorfman / Foreign Policy:
The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco
Spencer Blake /
VIDEO: Woman appears to get angry at Walnut Creek Starbucks customers for speaking Korean
Discussion: Raw Story and Splinter
JTA / Jerusalem Post:
Family of Miss Iraq flee country after photo posted with Miss Israel
Discussion: RedState
Suffolk University:
Surveying National Issues
Discussion: Washington Post and CBS Boston
Jessica Anderson / Baltimore Sun:
Activist DeRay Mckesson sues Fox News, media personality Jeanine Pirro for defamation
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
Julia Marsh / New York Post:
Former reporter sues HuffPost for $23.5M over rape accusation
Hayley Guenthner / KHQ-TV:
Racial slurs lead to vicious assault in downtown Spokane
Discussion: The Root and Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Ian Mohr / Page Six:
Security detail loses Wilbur Ross in Hamptons takeout joint
Steven Zeitchik / Washington Post:
Disney buys much of Fox in megamerger that will shake world of entertainment and media
Ken Blackwell /
Sessions' First Year: A Breath of Fresh Air After Years of Obama Scandals
Megan Messerly / The Nevada Independent:
Second woman accuses Kihuen of persistent, unwanted sexual advances
Jason Noble / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll: 60 percent of Iowans disapprove of Donald Trump's job performance
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
This Is The Daily Stormer's Playbook
Discussion: Boing Boing and Raw Story