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3:00 PM ET, December 14, 2017


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
The Daily Beast:   Report: CIA Captured Putin's ‘Specific Instructions’ to Hack the 2016 Election
Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare:
Thoughts on Rod Rosenstein's Testimony  —  I have not watched all of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday.  But I watched three hours of it, and that was quite enough to convey the disturbing and dangerous nature of the current moment.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
The FBI Scandal Hiding in Plain Sight
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
After mysterious ‘insurance policy’ text, will Justice Department reveal more on FBI agent bounced from Mueller probe?
Discussion: Power Line, Reason, IJR and Fox News Insider
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
FBI Agents Sending Anti-Trump Texts Is Not a Scandal
Wall Street Journal:
The FBI's Trump ‘Insurance’
Discussion: Instapundit
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
The Justice Department's office of the inspector general revealed …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Instapundit
Brian Fung / Washington Post:
The FCC just voted to repeal its net neutrality rules, in a sweeping act of deregulation  —  Federal regulators voted Thursday to allow Internet providers to speed up service for some apps and websites — and block or slow down others — in a decision repealing landmark …
Tom McKay / Gizmodo:
Ajit Pai Thinks You're Stupid Enough to Buy This Crap
Ryan Cooper / The Week:
Democrats should go after Ted Cruz
Discussion: Salon and New York Times
John Verhovek / ABC News:
Write-in votes still loom over Alabama Senate race
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 …
Washington Post:
Rubio a ‘no’ on GOP tax bill unless tax credit for working poor is expanded  —  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) informed Senate leaders he intends to vote against the Republicans' $1.5 trillion tax plan unless it includes a larger expansion of a child tax credit, according to a Senate GOP source.
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 …
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.
Leon Watson / Telegraph:
Surgeon admits marking his initials on patients' livers during transplant ops
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 …
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
David Folkenflik / NPR:
This Mouse Swallows Part Of A Fox: Disney Buys Most Of Murdoch Empire
Amy Chozick / New York Times:
Rupert Murdoch Is Having His King Lear Moment
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.
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: New Republic
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
The Republican Nightmare Is Just Beginning
Discussion: The Nation and Daily Kos
Washington Post:
GOP considers letting tax cuts for families expire sooner  —  Congressional Republicans are looking at shortening the duration of tax cuts that their plan would give to families and individuals, a leading lawmaker said Thursday.  —  That change would free up more revenue for additional changes …
Discussion: Axios, Mother Jones and Daily Kos
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.
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.”
Brittney McNamara / Teen Vogue:
Joe Biden to Anita Hill: “I Owe Her an Apology”  —  Since film magnate Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assault in October, scores of women have come forward as part of the #MeToo movement to say that they too have been a victim of sexual misconduct.
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.
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 More Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
‘This fire is a beast’: Massive inferno keeps growing despite epic battle by firefighters
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’
Discussion: AOL and BuzzFeed, more at Mediagazer »
Zach Dorfman / Foreign Policy:
The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco
 Earlier Items: 
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: IJR and RedState
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Partisan Gerrymandering and the Outlook for the 2018 U.s. House Elections
Discussion: Political Insider
Ian Mohr / Page Six:
Security detail loses Wilbur Ross in Hamptons takeout joint