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1:20 PM ET, December 14, 2017

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
The Daily Beast:   Report: CIA Captured Putin's ‘Specific Instructions’ to Hack the 2016 Election
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Power Line, IJR and Fox News Insider
RELATED:
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
The FBI Scandal Hiding in Plain Sight
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
The Justice Department's office of the inspector general revealed …
Bwittes / Lawfare:   Thoughts on Rod Rosenstein's Testimony
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
FBI Agents Sending Anti-Trump Texts Is Not a Scandal
Discussion: Washington Post and IJR
Wall Street Journal:
The FBI's Trump ‘Insurance’
Discussion: Instapundit
Avery Anapol / The Hill:
Conservative watchdog head: Do we need to shut down the FBI?
RELATED:
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Paul Ryan Sees His Wild Washington Journey Coming to An End  —  Spirits were high inside the House chamber on Thursday, November 16, when, in the early afternoon, the gavel fell and a measure to rewrite the American tax code passed on a partisan tally of 227 to 205.
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
Daniel Holloway / Variety:
PBS Suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation (EXCLUSIVE)
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.
CNNMoney:
Disney is buying most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion  —  Disney buying 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion  —  Disney is buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox in a deal that promises to reshape the media industry and help the entertainment giant fend off digital rivals such as Netflix.
Discussion: CBS Pittsburgh and FOX2now.com
RELATED:
David Folkenflik / NPR:
This Mouse Swallows Part Of A Fox: Disney Buys Most Of Murdoch Empire
Steven Zeitchik / Washington Post:   Disney buys much of Fox in megamerger that will shake world of entertainment and media
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.
Compiled by / CNN:
Charlotte Bacon, 6  —  Charlotte was sweet, outgoing and full of energy, her grandmother told CNN affiliate WCCO in Minnesota.  —  “This is tough.  This is surreal.  You can't believe this could happen,” Irene Hagen told the station.  “The whole family is just devastated, and we're all trying to come to terms with it.”
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.
Los Angeles Times:
Five more women accuse Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct across three decades  —  Beneath the gaze of a Hindu goddess statue, a room full of beautiful young women took a deep breath as the instructor at Russell Simmons' yoga studio asked the students to focus on November's theme: “Karmic duty.”
Discussion: theGrio, New York Times and KTLA
RELATED:
New York Times:
Music Mogul Russell Simmons Is Accused of Rape by 3 Women
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.
WKBN-TV:
Youngstown State University student picked up in Austintown sex sting  —  Police said the Orwell man believed that he was meeting a 15-year-old boy for sex  —  AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - A Youngstown State University student from Orwell was picked up in the Austintown Police Department's latest sex sting.
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.
Axios:
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: Washington Post and Politico
RELATED:
CNN:
Pence's visit to Israel delayed
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael Hobbes / Highline:
Millennials Are Screwed  —  I am 35 years old—the oldest millennial …
Mike Shields / Business Insider:
Refinery29 is laying off staff, cites ‘a correction in the digital media space’
Zach Dorfman / Foreign Policy:
The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco
Spencer Blake / KRON4.com:
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
 Earlier Items: 
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Partisan Gerrymandering and the Outlook for the 2018 U.s. House Elections
Discussion: Political Insider
Jessica Anderson / Baltimore Sun:
Activist DeRay Mckesson sues Fox News, media personality Jeanine Pirro for defamation
Discussion: Mediaite and Raw Story
Hayley Guenthner / KHQ-TV:
Racial slurs lead to vicious assault in downtown Spokane
Discussion: The Root and Raw Story
New York Times:
Trump's Lies vs. Obama's
Ian Mohr / Page Six:
Security detail loses Wilbur Ross in Hamptons takeout joint
Megan Messerly / The Nevada Independent:
Second woman accuses Kihuen of persistent, unwanted sexual advances