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9:35 PM ET, December 20, 2017


 Top Items: 
With Tax Reform, AT&T Plans to Increase U.S. Capital Spending $1 Billion and Provide $1,000 Special Bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. Employees  —  Today, Congress approved legislation representing the first comprehensive tax reform in a generation.  The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.
Liz Moyer / CNBC:
Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp unveil minimum wage hikes after tax bill passage  — Fifth Third and AT&T are paying employees special bonuses after getting tax cuts under the Republican tax plan.  — Wells Fargo said Wednesday that it would boost minimum wages for employees to $15 an hour …
Anita Balakrishnan / CNBC:
AT&T is giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 employees after tax bill  —  AT&T was quick to respond to news of U.S. tax reform, announcing it would give some employees bonuses once the law is official.  —  The telecom giant said in a press release on Wednesday that it would give …
Washington Post:
Court tosses out one-vote victory in recount that had briefly ended a Republican majority in Virginia  —  A three- judge panel declined to certify the recount of a key House race today, saying that a questionable ballot should be counted in favor of the Republican and tying a race that Democrats …
Jordan Pascale / Virginian-Pilot:
Republican awarded 1 more vote, causing a tie in House race that will decide balance of power  —  Republican David Yancey talks with student Asia Shell, 18, during a “take your legislator to school day” November 28 at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va.
Matthew Chapman / Shareblue Media:
“Are Republicans dead inside?”  GOP host slams her own party in disgust  —  As the investigation into Russia breaks new ground, Donald Trump and his allies are ramping up their baseless attacks on the FBI and senior Justice Department officials for allowing it to continue.
John Bresnahan / Politico:
House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI  —  A group of House Republicans has gathered secretly for weeks in the Capitol in an effort to build a case that senior leaders of the Justice Department and FBI improperly — and perhaps criminally …
Discussion: Raw Story
Fox News:
McCabe draws blank on Democrats' funding of Trump dossier, new subpoenas planned  —  EXCLUSIVE: Congressional investigators tell Fox News that Tuesday's seven-hour interrogation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe contained numerous conflicts with the testimony of previous witnesses …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Wall Street Journal Killed Editorial on Trump's Mob Ties  —  In a short period of time, five staffers have departed The Wall Street Journal editorial page.  The general cause of their departures, willing and otherwise, is known: the Journal editorial line has increasingly conformed …
Discussion: Raw Story
Sydney Ember / New York Times:
Glenn Thrush, Suspended Times Reporter, to Resume Work but Won't Cover White House  —  The New York Times said on Wednesday that Glenn Thrush, one of the paper's most prominent political reporters, would remain suspended until late January and then be removed from the team covering the White House …
Laura McGann / Vox:   New York Times decides Glenn Thrush “does not deserve to be fired” over sexual misconduct
Democrats' 2018 advantage expands  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  WASHINGTON (CNN)Democrats' already wide advantage over Republicans in a hypothetical Congressional matchup has grown, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.  At the same time, enthusiasm about voting next year …
Ryan Struyk / CNN:
Trump's approval rating just entered a league of its own
Wall Street Journal:
Over Golf and an Airport Chat, Trump and GOP Hashed Out a Historic Tax Plan  —  Defeat of health-care bill hung over the tax legislation efforts, shaping the strategy used to pass it and mobilizing Republicans eager to show they could govern  —  Over rounds of golf at President Donald Trump's club …
Discussion: New York Magazine
The Daily Beast:   Trump Falsely Claims GOP Tax Bill ‘Repealed Obamacare’
Ted Hesson / Politico:
McConnell will allow immigration vote if senators strike a deal  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring an immigration bill to the floor by the end of January if lawmakers and the White House can reach a compromise, he said in a statement Wednesday.
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Trump Wins Tax Cuts, Kids Lose Health Insurance
Discussion: Politico and ABC News
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Trump suggests US will cut off aid for countries that vote for UN resolution
Discussion: RedState
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
The tax cut expectations game  —  I was reading the Penn Wharton Budget Model's dynamic analysis (this is an outfit run by a George W. Bush-era Treasury tax guy) of the tax bill Monday night, and I saw something interesting in its modeling assumptions.  It had to decide what to do with the fact …
Discussion: Politico and Mother Jones
Washington Post:
GOP tax bill passes Congress
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Trump administration approves lethal arms sales to Ukraine  —  The Trump administration has approved the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in a clear break from the de facto U.S. ban on arms sales that dates back to the Obama administration.
Discussion: The Hill and CNN
Stephen Galloway / Hollywood Reporter:
Tom Hanks Wouldn't Screen ‘The Post’ at the White House, Decries Attacks on First Amendment  —  “We have to decide when we take to the ramparts,” the Oscar-winner tells THR, noting that he would not attend a screening of his new film at the White House if invited.
Emily Steel / New York Times:
2 Women Who Settled With O'Reilly Over Sexual Harassment Sue for Defamation  —  Two women who reached sexual harassment settlements with Bill O'Reilly joined a defamation lawsuit against Mr. O'Reilly and Fox News on Wednesday, asserting that statements that he and the network made depicted them as liars …
Senior White House adviser at Homeland Security repeatedly promoted fringe conspiracy theories on the radio  —  STORY HIGHLIGHTS  —  (CNN)A White House senior adviser at the Department of Homeland promoted several far-right conspiracy theories in past radio appearances, a CNN KFile review has found.
Discussion: Raw Story
Melanie Schmitz / ThinkProgress:
Paul Ryan was asked if Trump's accusers are liars.  His response was abysmal.  —  During an interview with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan punted when asked about the official White House stance on President Trump's sexual harassment accusers.
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Tax victory may be fleeting for Ryan and McConnell  —  A beaming Speaker Paul Ryan high-fived and hugged his lieutenants after the House first passed the GOP tax bill Tuesday.  As the Senate prepared to follow suit hours later, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was elated.
Discussion: Raw Story and ABC News
Dean L. Winslow / Washington Post:
I spoke my mind on guns.  Then my Senate confirmation was put on hold.  —  Dean L. Winslow, a retired Air Force colonel and flight surgeon, is a professor of medicine at Stanford University.  —  Last week, I withdrew my name from consideration to be assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.
Discussion: Raw Story
Associated Press:
Author of online hit ‘Cat Person’ has 7-figure book deal  —  NEW YORK — The author of the online sensation “Cat Person” has a seven-figure book deal.  —  Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kristen Roupenian's debut story collection …
Murray Waas / Foreign Policy:
White House Counsel Knew in January Flynn Probably Violated the Law  —  Don McGahn was looking at whether the national security advisor violated federal laws just days after Trump moved into the White House.  —  The White House turned over records this fall to special counsel Robert Mueller revealing …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple addresses why people are saying their iPhones with older batteries are running ‘slower’  —  Because of a Reddit post and the loose interpretation of subsequent benchmark tests posted by Primate Labs' John Poole, the “Apple throttles old iPhones” meme has reared its ugly head again.
Allison Martinez / KRQE-TV:
New Mexico mosque vandalized by ‘a real Christain’  —  CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) - Vandals left their mark on a mosque in New Mexico and what they wrote on that mosque is raising eyebrows.  —  On the corner of Mitchell and Ninth street in Clovis sits the Golden Mosque.  This past weekend, vandals paid a visit to the building.
Discussion: Law & Crime
Washington Post:
‘People here live in fear’: MS-13 menaces a community seven miles from the White House … It took Abigail Bautista less than a month of living in Langley Park to learn that her new neighborhood in Maryland had its own set of laws, written not in statutes but in gang graffiti and blood.
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 More Items: 
Kira Davis / RedState:
Tim Scott is Not Here For Your White Savior Complex
Jack Shafer / Politico:
A Eulogy for the Alt-Weekly  —  American cities will be duller …
McKay Coppins / The Atlantic:
Has Trump Persuaded Orrin Hatch to Block Mitt Romney's Senate Bid?
Manu Raju / CNN:
Senate unlikely to advance McFarland nomination amid questions about Flynn contacts with Russia
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Associated Press:
Judge: Ending program to protect immigrants creates hardship
Discussion: Politico
Paul Bond / Hollywood Reporter:
Stephen Baldwin Thinks Alec Will Vote for Trump After He Gets a Big Tax Cut
Discussion: IJR and The Daily Caller
Sen. Warner on the Future of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Investigation
Discussion: Mediaite
 Earlier Items: 
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
In Cabinet meeting, Pence praises Trump once every 12 seconds for three minutes straight
Gerry Smith / Bloomberg:
Cable TV's Password-Sharing Crackdown Is Coming
Hamed Aleaziz / San Francisco Chronicle:
A dream deported: Parents who built lives in U.S. separated from children
Discussion: ImmigrationProf Blog
Sasha Lekach / Mashable:
‘Misinformer of the Year’ award goes to Mark Zuckerberg
Caitlyn Hitt / New York Daily News:
Meryl Streep #SheKnew posters pop up in Los Angeles amid backlash over Harvey Weinstein comments
Discussion: USA Today and Althouse
Julia Reinstein / BuzzFeed:
A Man Got Stranded On A Fountain After Taking A Ton Of Molly And Stealing A Swan Boat
Discussion: thecut