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4:25 PM ET, December 16, 2017

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program  —  WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.  —  Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
Discussion: Vox, Business Insider and Mashable
RELATED:
Bryan Bender / Politico:
The Pentagon's Secret Search for UFOs  —  The Pentagon, at the direction of Congress, a decade ago quietly set up a multi-million dollar program to investigate what are popularly known as unidentified flying objects—UFOs.  —  The “unidentified aerial phenomena” claimed to have been seen …
Discussion: Axios, The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Josh Delk / The Hill:
Democrat: Rumor is Trump could fire Mueller before Christmas  —  (D-Calif.) said Friday that “rumors” on Capitol Hill suggest President Trump  —  could fire special counsel Robert Mueller before Christmas, after Congress leaves Washington for the winter recess.
Discussion: RedState and IJR
RELATED:
KQED News:
Rep. Speier: ‘Rumor on the Hill’ is Trump to Fire Mueller Before Christmas  —  Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) told KQED Newsroom on Friday that she believes Republicans are trying to shut down the House Intelligence Committee's probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
Axios:
Rep. Adam Schiff “worried” about GOP working against House Intel
Discussion: Political Wire
Washington Post:
CDC gets list of forbidden words: fetus, transgender, diversity … The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation's top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in any official documents being prepared for next year's budget.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
After Alabama loss, Trump has ambitious plans to campaign in 2018 midterms  —  President Trump is not on the ballot in 2018, but the White House is planning a full-throttle campaign to plunge the president into the midterm elections, according to senior officials and advisers familiar with the planning.
Discussion: RedState and Mediaite
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
So much losing: Trump is least popular first year president ever, down 49 points from Obama  —  President Obama's net approval rating was 49 points higher than Trump's at the same point during his presidency.  Sad!  —  Donald Trump's plunging approval rating has officially made him the most unpopular …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
AP-NORC Poll: 52 percent say country worse off under Trump
Discussion: Shareblue Media
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
On the eve of the tax vote, Republicans place a big bet for 2018
Discussion: Politico
New York Times:
‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’  How a President's Name Became a Racial Jeer  —  For more coverage of race, sign up here to have our Race/Related newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.  —  The high school basketball squad from Eagle Grove, population 3,700, had traveled 60 miles up Highway 69 …
Discussion: Politicus USA
Mike Allen / Axios:
Scoop: Mueller obtains “tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails  —  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained “many tens of thousands” of Trump transition emails, including sensitive emails of Jared Kushner, transition team sources tell Axios.  — Trump officials discovered Mueller …
Discussion: The Right Scoop
New York Times:
2 Navy Airmen and an Object That 'Accelerated Like Nothing I've Ever Seen'  —  The following recounts an incident in 2004 that advocates of research into U.F.O.s have said is the kind of event worthy of more investigation, and that was studied by a Pentagon program that investigated U.F.O.s.
Discussion: Raw Story
New York Times:
World's Most Expensive Home?  Another Bauble for a Saudi Prince  —  A $300 million chateau is one of a string of extravagant purchases for a prince who is cracking down on ill-gotten wealth and preaching fiscal austerity.  —  LOUVECIENNES, France — When the Chateau Louis XIV sold …
New York Times:
Omarosa, Leaving the White House, Suggests the Show Will Go On  —  WASHINGTON — Every must-watch television show needs two ingredients to survive its first season: a believable villain and a nail-biter of a cliffhanger.  Omarosa Manigault Newman, a veteran of “The Apprentice,” …
RELATED:
Tara Palmeri / ABC News:
Omarosa Manigault Newman's White House role fraught with tension, sources say
Discussion: Business Insider and Raw Story
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
FBI officials' text message about Hillary Clinton said to be a cover story for romantic affair  —  Two senior FBI officials who texted each other about President Trump and Hillary Clinton relied on work phones to try to hide their romance from a spouse and made the bureau's probe …
John Hudson / BuzzFeed:
Trump's Ambassadors Are Going Rogue On Twitter  —  Callista Gingrich, Nikki Haley and Scott Brown are all running afoul of federal guidelines on social media while the State Department whistles in the wind.  —  Reporting From Washington, D.C.  —  US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has her staff support her personal Twitter account.
Discussion: Raw Story
David Sirota / International Business Times:
Donald Trump And GOP Leaders Could Be Enriched By Last Minute Tax Break Inserted Into Final Bill  —  Republican congressional leaders and real estate moguls could be personally enriched by a real-estate-related provision GOP lawmakers slipped into the final tax bill released Friday evening …
Perry Stein / Washington Post:
The owner of Steve Bannon's D.C. rowhouse wants a 3-foot security fence.  D.C. government is not having it.  —  (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)  —  While the Breitbart News operation pushes an anti-establishment message across the country, it is also steeped in a municipal battle in the nation's capital.
Discussion: The Hill
Kathy Lally / Washington Post:
The two expat bros who terrorized women correspondents in Moscow  —  Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames trafficked in hideous stereotypes and body-shaming.  —  There's more than one way to harass women.  A raft of men in recent weeks have paid for accusations of sexual harassment with their companies, their jobs, their plum political posts.
Caroline Orr / Shareblue Media:
“It just seems wrong.”  GOP rep admits tax scam he voted for rips off working people  —  There's not much to like about the GOP tax scheme.  The bill, drafted hurriedly and under the cover of darkness, is wildly unpopular among the American people and economists alike …
Discussion: The Daily Beast and CNBC
Associated Press:
Trump calls wife of hospitalized Sen. John McCain  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has called the wife of John McCain as the Arizona senator is hospitalized for cancer treatments.  —  The White House said Trump called Cindy McCain on Friday to send his best wishes and check on her and her husband.
Discussion: Axios and The Daily Caller
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
How the oldest Senate ever is taking a toll on the business of Washington  —  McCain, 81, has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
Josh Delk / The Hill:
Roy Moore fundraising for ‘election integrity fund’ ahead of election certification  —  's campaign announced Friday that it is seeking donations for an “election integrity fund” following the former judge's unsuccessful bid for an Alabama Senate seat.  —  Moore has refused to concede the race …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
The Grande Dame of Documentary is Leaving Her Home at HBO  —  After almost 40 years, she has reels of memorable film, a pile of awards and plenty of perspective on the current battle of the sexes.  —  When Sheila Nevins first started working in television in the 1970s, she thought …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Was the Steele Dossier Used to Obtain a FISA Warrant Against Trump's Campaign?
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Rep. Scott denies sexual misconduct allegation
Discussion: Axios
Financial Times:
Trump to accuse China of ‘economic aggression’
Daily Mail:
Jared Kushner's parents are spotted at his D.C. home
Los Angeles Times:
With winds picking up, Thomas fire threatening hundreds of homes in Montecito
Discussion: The Week
Melissa Richmond / Washington Post:
Trent Franks rescinded my internship when I wouldn't come to his house
Discussion: Political Wire
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
As a Must-Pass Republican Tax Bill Headed for the Finish Line, Rubio Saw an Opening
Discussion: Politico
David J. Lynch / Washington Post:
Trump promised ‘America First’ would keep jobs here. But the tax plan might push them overseas.
 Earlier Items: 
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Brookings fellow rips Trump: I entered through lottery system
Discussion: Althouse and Hullabaloo
Jason Horowitz / New York Times:
In Italy, #MeToo Is More Like ‘Meh’
Heather Caygle / Politico:
Why Democrats failed to tank tax reform
Cara Buckley / New York Times:
Anita Hill to Lead Hollywood Commission on Sexual Harassment
John Nichols / The Nation:
If Trump Fires Mueller, We Must Impeach
Discussion: Common Dreams
A. N. Devers / Longreads:
This is How a Woman is Erased From Her Job