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9:40 AM ET, February 13, 2018


 Top Items: 
Colbie Holderness / Washington Post:
Rob Porter is my ex-husband.  Here's what you should know about abuse.  —  Colbie Holderness was the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.  —  White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she has no reason not to believe statements that Jennifer Willoughby …
Eliana Johnson / Politico:
Kelly increasingly isolated as Porter scandal rages on  —  Turbulence in this West Wing is typically generated by President Donald Trump, but for the past week, it's been chief of staff John Kelly—the man brought in to be a steadying hand—who's inspiring what one White House official described as a crisis of confidence.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
A Whirlwind Envelops the White House, and the Revolving Door Spins  —  WASHINGTON — The doors at the White House have been swinging a lot lately.  A deputy chief of staff moved on.  A speechwriter resigned.  The associate attorney general stepped down.  The chief of staff offered to quit.
New York Times:
Accusations Against Aide Renew Attention on White House Security Clearances  —  WASHINGTON — One week after the 2016 election, President-elect Donald J. Trump tweeted that he was “not trying to get ‘top level security clearance’ for my children,” calling such claims “a typically false news story.”
Discussion: Raw Story
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Rob Porter's first ex-wife responds to Kellyanne Conway  —  Colbie Holderness, an ex-wife of a former Trump administration official Rob Porter, took umbrage in a Washington Post op-ed at the seeming suggestion from counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway that victims of domestic violence lack strength.
Discussion: CNN
Tara Palmeri / ABC News:
Rob Porter told White House senior staff ex-wife's black eye was accidental: Sources  —  Hours after allegations of domestic abuse came to light — including stark photos of one ex-wife with a black eye and a harrowing account of violence from a second ex-wife — former White House Staff …
Chris Massie / CNN:
GOP Senate candidate's parents max out donations to primary campaign of Democrat he hopes to unseat  —  (CNN)Just months after Republican Kevin Nicholson announced his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, his own parents donated the legal maximum to her primary campaign.
The Daily Beast:
The Silicon Valley Giant Bankrolling Devin Nunes … Weeks after they hired a controversial former Trump national security aide with ties to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), top executives at the tech company Oracle made substantial donations to Nunes' 2018 re-election campaign.
Discussion: Raw Story
Hot Air:   Hmmm: Susan Rice Sent An Email To Herself On Inauguration Day Memorializing A Chat Between Obama And Comey On Russiagate
Helena Bottemiller Evich / Politico:
Trump pitches plan to replace food stamps with food boxes  —  The Trump administration is proposing to save billions in the coming years by giving low-income families a box of government-picked, nonperishable foods every month instead of food stamps.  —  White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney …
Discussion: The Week
Caitlin Dewey / Washington Post:
Trump wants to slash food stamps and replace them with a ‘Blue Apron-type program’
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Erica Hunzinger / NPR:
Trump Administration Wants To Decide What Food SNAP Recipients Will Get
Discussion: KQED News and Common Dreams
Tracy Jan / Washington Post:   Trump wants to overhaul America's safety net with giant cuts to housing, food stamps and health care
Dan Alexander / Forbes:
Trump's Biggest Potential Conflict Of Interest Is Hiding In Plain Sight  —  The largest American office of China's largest bank sits on the 20th floor of Trump Tower, six levels below the desk where Donald Trump built an empire and wrested a presidency.  It's hard to get a glimpse inside.
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
John Cassidy / New Yorker:
A White House Budget Fit for the King of Debt  —  As a guide to policy, the White House's budget for 2019, which was released on Monday, isn't worth much.  In the federal government, Congress holds the purse strings, and these days it has largely abandoned the annual budgeting process …
Robert Kuttner / American Prospect:
The Deficit Hawks Have It Wrong
Discussion: HuffPost
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Comey told Congress FBI agents didn't think Michael Flynn lied … In March 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed a number of Capitol Hill lawmakers on the Trump-Russia investigation.  One topic of intense interest was the case of Michael Flynn, the Trump White House national security adviser …
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Trump proposes eliminating federal funding for PBS, NPR  —  's newly proposed budget includes a proposal to end federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), part of a package that includes $300 billion in new spending overall.  —  CPB provides federal funding for PBS and National Public Radio stations.
Discussion: CPB, Breitbart and Washington Press
Associated Press:
Trump pushes immigration deal, says ‘last chance’ to pass  —  President Donald Trump is touting his proposals on immigration and infrastructure as they face uncertain prospects in Congress.  —  In a tweet Tuesday, Trump asserts that Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections …
Louis Nelson / Politico:
Trump: ‘This will be our last chance’ to fix DACA
U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russian Fighters in Syria, Sources Say  —  More than 200 contract soldiers are said to have been killed  —  The casualties dwarf official Russian army death toll in Syria  —  U.S. forces killed scores of Russian contract soldiers in Syria last week …
Discussion: Political Wire
USA Today:
Justice Department turnover is bad news for Mueller, ethics and democracy  —  Rachel Brand had the backbone to refuse wrongful orders.  She provided a measure of protection for Mueller and Justice independence.  But now she's gone.  —  CONNECT  —  Under normal circumstances …
Lynette Rice /
Celebrity Big Brother: Omarosa calls Vice President Mike Pence ‘scary’  —  Omarosa may be on her way out but she still has plenty more to say about her time in the White House.  —  In this clip from tonight's episode of Celebrity Big Brother, Omarosa tells her fellow houseguests …
Discussion: Althouse, The Hill, RedState and Jezebel
Walter Russell Mead / Wall Street Journal:
Kim Yo Jong's Shattered Olympic Dream  —  The sister of North Korea's dictator was a media sensation—but a diplomatic failure.  —  The toughest event at this year's Winter Olympics has turned out to be the diplomatic lunge.  Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's ruthless dictator …
Aruna Viswanatha / Wall Street Journal:
Former Prosecutors Take Frustrations With Trump to the Campaign Trail  —  A number of Democrats running for Congress are ex-employees who left Justice Department  —  Chris Hunter was preparing to take a health-care fraud case to trial when he says he became concerned about the dynamics …
Discussion: Political Wire
Brendon Hong / The Daily Beast:
Marco Rubio's Nobel Nod Hurts Hong Kong Freedom Fighters … HONG KONG—Joshua Wong Chi Fung, Nathan Law Kwun Chung, and Alex Chow Yong Kang.  These three young men were nominated in early February for the Nobel Peace Prize by Republican lawmakers—including Sen. Marco Rubio, who heads the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Gigantic “Pigzilla” caught rummaging through dumpster
Discussion: VICE and The Daily Caller
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Corker weighs his options as GOP frets about losing Tennessee  —  Retiring Sen. Bob Corker is “listening” to Republicans urging him to run for reelection, according to a person close to him, a development that would quell anxiety among Republicans over losing a must-win seat to Democrats this fall.
Antonio Olivo / Washington Post:
Va. Republicans move to dump controversial leader over anti-Semitic online post … For several years, Fredy Burgos has been a controversial but tolerated figure within Virginia's Republican Party — a verbal bomb thrower whose attacks against Muslims, immigrants and others have turned off moderates …
Jana Winter / Foreign Policy:
Former Senior FBI Official Is Leading BuzzFeed's Effort to Verify Trump Dossier  —  Anthony Ferrante coordinated the U.S. government's response to Russian election interference.  Now he's helping a news site defend itself from a Russian billionaire's lawsuit.
Jonah Engel Bromwich / New York Times:
Candidate Ejected From West Virginia House Floor for Listing Lawmakers' Oil and Gas Donors  —  John H. Shott, a West Virginia state lawmaker, did not appreciate when, during a public hearing on the House floor on Friday, a citizen began listing donations he and some of his colleagues had received from the oil and gas industry.
Mike Lofgren / New York Times:
Reagan's ‘Party of Ideas’ Is Down to Just One: Tax Cuts  —  It is a sign of our slide toward banana republic status when the president of the United States, leader of the world's foremost democracy, publicly brands Democrats who failed to applaud his State of the Union address as un-American and treasonous.
Michael Laris / Washington Post:
Trump administration wants to sell National and Dulles airports, other assets around U.S. … The Trump administration is making a push to sell off federal assets as part of its infrastructure plan released Monday.  —  Among the targets: Reagan National and Dulles International airports …
Discussion: The Week and The Mahablog
Christopher Torchia / Associated Press:
South Africa's ruling party demands that Zuma resign  —  JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Jacob Zuma must leave office promptly so that the country can move toward political stability and economic recovery, the ruling party said Tuesday, finally disowning a leader who has been discredited by corruption scandals.
Discussion: Axios
Vince Golle / Bloomberg:
Record Number of U.S. Small-Business Owners Say It's a Good Time to Expand  —  Optimism among small companies in the U.S. rose more than forecast in January, fueled by a record number of owners who said now was a good time to expand, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.
INSIDE THE TWO YEARS THAT SHOOK FACEBOOK—AND THE WORLD  —  How a confused, defensive social media giant steered itself into a disaster, and how Mark Zuckerberg is trying to fix it all.  —  ONE DAY IN late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook's employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks.
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 More Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The End of the Two-Party System
Discussion: Axios
Matthew Luxmoore / New York Times:
Russia Threatens to Block YouTube and Instagram, After Complaints From an Oligarch
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Lawyer Michael Cohen Is Shopping a Book About the First Family, Stormy Daniels, and Russia
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What?
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
GOP worries North Dakota Senate race is lost without Kevin Cramer
Discussion: Political Wire and Roll Call
US skater Rippon: I don't want my Olympics to be about Mike Pence
Discussion: Daily Mail and AOL
Des Moines Register:
The Des Moines Register announces new politics editor
Remington Is Planning to File for Bankruptcy
Discussion: CNNMoney, The Week and Business Insider
 Earlier Items: 
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Alan Grayson says he's running for Congress, but won't say where
Kevin Allen / USA Today:
U.S. women's hockey goalies may have to remove Statue of Liberty image from masks
Discussion: RedState and RT
Nate Cohn / New York Times:
Big Republican Advantages Are Eroding in the Race for House Control
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Steve Kroft / CBS News:
The showdown over the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
Discussion: New York Post and
Brian Tyler Cohen / Washington Press:
Trump just released his budget and the share for the Mueller probe left Washington stunned