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2:45 AM ET, December 18, 2017


 Top Items: 
CBS News:
Sen. John McCain returns to Arizona, will miss vote on GOP tax bill  —  Republican Sen. John McCain is returning to Arizona after spending several days in a Maryland hospital recovering from side effects from chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer, CBS News has learned.
David Sirota / International Business Times:
Tax Bill: John Cornyn Says Tax Cut Potentially Benefiting Bob Corker Was Part Of Effort To Secure Votes For Passage  —  Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip, on Sunday said a tax provision, which could personally enrich key Republican lawmakers, was added to the final tax bill as part of an effort to …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money and ABC News
Bloomberg:   Trump, Real Estate Investors Get Last-Minute Perk in Tax Bill
Emily Stewart / Vox:
John Cornyn doesn't have a good answer on tax bill loophole that means millions for Corker and Trump
Discussion: Common Dreams
Jacqueline Thomsen / The Hill:
McCain returns to Arizona, won't vote on GOP tax bill: report
Discussion: CBS News
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Image of Cooperation Between White House and Mueller Starts to Fracture  —  WASHINGTON — For much of the seven months since Robert S. Mueller III was appointed special counsel, President Trump's lawyers have stressed their cooperation with him, believing that the more they work with his investigation …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Trump says he won't fire Mueller, as campaign to discredit Russia probe heats up … President Trump on Sunday sought to douse speculation that he may fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III amid an intensifying campaign by Trump allies to attack the wide-ranging Russia investigation as improper and politically motivated.
Brandon Carter / The Hill:
Mueller team defends obtaining Trump transition emails
Discussion: AOL and RedState
Aída Chávez / The Intercept:
Former Nixon White House Counsel: Trump Might Have Obstructed Justice to Prevent Russia Investigation
Discussion: The Hill and Raw Story
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Kremlin says Putin thanked Trump for CIA tip on bombings  —  MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned U.S. President Donald Trump Sunday to thank him for a CIA tip that helped thwart a series of bombings in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin said.
Poolreports / Public Pool:
Subject: Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Vladimir Putin
Discussion: IJR
David Filipov / Washington Post:
Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia
Washington Post:   Putin phoned Trump to thank him for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia, the Kremlin says
Matt Pearce / Los Angeles Times:
Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track, arrested on domestic violence charges  —  Track Palin is shown at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in September 2008.  (Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images)  —  Track Palin, the oldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin …
Discussion: New York Post
Daniel Politi / Slate:
Fox News Host Suggests “We Have a Coup on Our Hands in America”  —  Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested that the FBI investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election has maybe transformed into a “coup” against President Donald trump.
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:   CNN's Stelter Goes Off on ‘Friends of Trump’ at Fox News: ‘Talking Like Propagandists’
Sources: Jerry Richardson, Panthers Have Made Multiple Confidential Payouts for Workplace Misconduct, Including Sexual Harassment and Use of a Racial Slur  — SI has learned that at least four former Panthers employees have received ‘significant’ monetary settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments …
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Ex-Obama transportation chief on Atlanta airport power outage: ‘Total and abject failure’
Discussion: The Guardian, WSB-TV and Raw Story
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner sued over financial disclosures  —  First daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband and fellow White House adviser Jared Kushner were hit with a lawsuit Sunday alleging illegal omissions on their public financial disclosure forms.
Discussion: The Hill and Raw Story
Benny Johnson / The Daily Caller:
Linda Sarsour Accused Of Enabling Sexual Assault Against Woman Who Worked For Her  —  The inspiration behind the Women's March on DC, Linda Sarsour, has been accused of enabling the alleged sexual assault and harassment of a woman who worked for the feminist activist, according to the victim …
Discussion: IJR and The Gateway Pundit
Cornel West / The Guardian:
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle  —  The disagreement between Coates and me is clear: his view of black America is narrow and dangerously misleading  —  a-Nehisi Coates' We Were Eight Years in Power, a book about Barack Obama's presidency and the tenacity …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Rachael Bade / Politico:
Paranoia grips Capitol Hill as harassment scandal spreads  —  The details change almost daily, but the rumor won't die: A credible news organization is preparing to unmask at least 20 lawmakers in both parties for sexual misconduct.  —  Speculation about this theoretical megastory is spreading …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
How China got a U.S. senator to do its political bidding  —  A congressional delegation led by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) presents frozen steaks to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on April 10 in Beijing.  The gift was meant to underscore the importance of opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef imports.
Jacqueline Thomsen / The Hill:
Mark Hamill strikes back at Cruz: Thanks for ‘smarm-spaining’ net neutrality to me  —  Mark Hamill struck back at Sen. Ted Cruz  —  (R-Texas) after Cruz tried to use the actor's “Star Wars” movies to defend net neutrality.  —  “Luke, I know Hollywood can be confusing …
Discussion: The Week, The Daily Beast, Politico and IJR
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 More Items: 
Edward Helmore / The Guardian:
Minnie Driver: men like Matt Damon ‘cannot understand what abuse is like’
Discussion: Deadline and Mashable
Nicholas Fondacaro / NewsBusters:
CNN Media Panel Claims Trump Is Leading World Dictators on Press Crackdown
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
New York Times:
E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email.
William Buckner / Quillette:
Romanticizing the Hunter-Gatherer  —  O Man, to whatever country …
Tony Romm / Recode:
Twitter's new rules could result in a major purge of alt-right accounts
Discussion: Gizmodo and
Amber Athey / The Daily Caller:
CNN Contributor Accuses Georgetown Student Of Anti-Semitism
Discussion: New York Post and Power Line
Salman Masood / New York Times:
Pakistan Church Attacked by 2 Suicide Bombers
Discussion: CNN, AOL, RedState and The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Goldstein / New York Times:
The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: A Crush of Foreclosures
Discussion: Splinter
Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill:
Jones promises he will consider voting Republican in the Senate
Discussion: Politico, RedState, Vox and The Week
Washington Post:
‘We feel like our system was hijacked’: DEA agents say a huge opioid case ended in a whimper
Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: US soldier ambushed in Niger wasn't captured
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Axios
Mark Murray / NBC News:
Democrats hold biggest lead in congressional preference since 2008
Discussion: Axios
New York Times:
As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger
Discussion: and Power Line
Gregory S. Schneider / Washington Post:
A Democratic winner in Virginia says it's time for bipartisanship
Discussion: ThinkProgress