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1:10 PM ET, February 14, 2018


 Top Items: 
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Trump's Longtime Lawyer Says He Paid Stormy Daniels Out of His Own Pocket  —  Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.
Orin Kerr / Reason:
Did Trump's Lawyer Pay Stormy Daniels Out of His Own Pocket?  —  This isn't the biggest story in the world, but I was interested in the statement by Trump's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, about the payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.  A month ago, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that began:
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Democrats must be ready to take this drastic step against Trump  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  If you read through the coverage of the battle over the “dreamers,” you'll come away with the impression that we are locked in a conventional Washington standoff, in which two opposing sides …
Mike Walters / The Blast:
Stormy Daniels Warns Trump & Lawyer: You Breached Our Agreement, Now I'm Free to Talk!  —  Stormy Daniels has suddenly changed her position and is ready to spill all the tea regarding her alleged affair with Donald Trump, and it all has to do with the president's personal attorney allegedly breaching …
Discussion: Raw Story and Joe.My.God.
Scoop: Trump threatens veto on immigration deal  —  A senior administration official said Tuesday night that President Trump “will veto any bill that doesn't advance his common-sense immigration reforms” — a hardening of the White House bargaining position as the Senate begins an epic debate.
Elana Schor / Politico:
Senate moderates reach immigration deal — but GOP opposition builds
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Erica Werner / Washington Post:
Trump's military parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million, White House budget director says … Trump's military parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Wednesday.  —  White House budget director Mick Mulvaney offered …
Discussion: The Week
Trump creep: bad habits spread fast  —  All habits, good and bad — in all organizations, big and small — flow down fast from the top.  This dynamic is particularly true in the White House, and unmistakably true in this Trump White House.  —  The big picture: Trump's lifelong habits …
Washington Post:
White House reels as FBI director contradicts official claims about alleged abuser … The White House struggled Tuesday to contain a widening crisis over its handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior official, as it reeled from sworn testimony by the FBI chief …
Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN:
House oversight investigating WH handling of Rob Porter
Discussion: NPR
Brett Samuels / The Hill:
Gowdy: House Oversight has launched investigation into Porter
Discussion: RedState and Daily Kos
Read the text of Elizabeth Warren's speech to Native American group  —  Read the prepared text of the speech Senator Elizabeth Warren gave to Native Americans on Wednesday.  —  Thank you for having me here today.  —  I want to start by thanking Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais for that introduction.
Warren addresses claims of Native American heritage  —  WASHINGTON - Senator Elizabeth Warren made a surprise appearance at the National Congress of American Indians Wednesday morning, forcefully responding to President Trump's derisively calling her “Pocahontas” and addressing her claims …
Discussion: RedState and Washington Times
Lisa Rein / Washington Post:
Veterans Affairs chief Shulkin, staff misled ethics officials about European trip, report finds  —  Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin's chief of staff doctored an email and made false statements to create a pretext for taxpayers to cover expenses for the secretary's wife on a 10 …
Discussion: Axios, Mediaite, Political Wire and The Week
Donovan Slack / USA Today:   VA Secretary David Shulkin misused government resources, agency watchdog report says
Public Policy Polling:
Democrats Lead by 8 Points On Generic House Ballot Nationally  —  Here are the highlights of PPP's first public national poll of the year:  —  2018 Landscape  —  Democrats have a solid 49-41 lead on the generic Congressional ballot, although that's down a shade from December when it was 51-40.
Discussion: Political Wire
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Poll: GOP gains on generic ballot, Trump approval ticks upward  —  Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump's approval rating equaling …
Associated Press:
Suspect wounded, SUV stopped after shooting at NSA gate  —  FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — One person was wounded in a shooting Wednesday morning outside the National Security Agency campus at Fort Meade.  —  Authorities surrounded a handcuffed man after a black SUV ran into a barrier outside the Maryland base.
Washington Post:
Officer injured, one person in custody in shooting incident near NSA security gate
Discussion: WTTG-TV, Politico, Breitbart and Raw Story
NY Times ‘Very Concerned’ Over Tweets By Its Nazi-Befriending Editorial Board Hire
CBS News:
EPA's Scott Pruitt got waiver to fly business class on foreign carrier from Italy to U.S.  —  WASHINGTON — EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been under fire for frequently flying in first and business class at taxpayer expense.  CBS News has learned more about one of those flights …
Shawn Musgrave / Politico:
Kelli Ward touts endorsement from fake-news site  —  It looked as if Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward had scored a big endorsement: On Oct. 28, she posted a link on her campaign website and blasted out a Facebook post, quoting extensively from a column in the Arizona Monitor.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Week
Samuel Chamberlain / Fox News:
GOP rep unveils ‘Crumbs Act’ to make bonuses tax-free, in swipe at Pelosi  —  A Republican lawmaker is set to unveil legislation that would make most bonuses given out as a result of President Trump's tax reform plan tax-free — and took a jab at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with the bill's name.
Christian Caryl / Washington Post:
Christopher Steele is a hero - and Americans owe him their thanks … Christopher Steele, the former British spy whose claims about Donald Trump's ties with Russia hold center stage in Washington right now, drives Republicans crazy.  They have recommended that the Department of Justice open a criminal investigation into his work.
Gabriel Rossman / Weekly Standard:
Open Letter to the Bruin Republicans Who Invited Milo Yiannopoulos to UCLA  —  This is a bad idea.  —  Editor's note: On February 13, UCLA's college Republican group, the Bruin Republicans, announced that they would be hosting Milo Yiannopoulos on campus to give a talk titled “10 Things I Hate About Mexico.”
Discussion: National Review, Reason and
Christine Brennan / USA Today:
As Shaun White cements legacy, why so little attention paid to sexual harassment allegations?  —  GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Shaun White is an American cultural institution, winning the third Olympic gold medal of his pioneering career Wednesday at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Mercenaries Hurt in U.S. Syria Strikes Are Treated at Russian Defense Hospitals  —  Mercenaries said to be taken to Russian military hospitals  —  Russia denies link to fighters who struck U.S.-backed forces  —  Even as the Kremlin denies any official link to them, scores …
Discussion: RedState
Miles Weiss / Bloomberg:
New Hedge-Fund Tax Dodge Triggers Wild Rush Back Into Delaware  —  Firms set up LLCs in plan to avoid carried-interest change  —  Congress may have stumbled in narrowing loophole for managers  —  Wall Street's fast-money crowd is returning to well-trodden ground to elude Trump-era tax laws: Delaware.
Samantha Schmidt / Washington Post:
An immigrant called 911 to report a crime.  Police took him to ICE in handcuffs. … At 5:30 a.m. Thursday, as Wilson Rodriguez Macarreno was getting ready for work, he noticed a stranger peering into his Tukwila, Wash., home.  —  Rodriguez, a carpenter and native of Honduras …
Discussion: VICE News, The Root and NBC News
Kyle Smith / National Review:
So Long, Huck Finn and Atticus Finch  —  The desire to stamp out disturbing expression is illiberal.  —  When the censors come, it will be with a smile on their face and unctuous talk about your feelings on their lips.  It's for your own good, they'll say.  Art that takes a stand against hatred will be confused with hate speech.
Edward-Isaac Dovere / Politico:
Dems: Bill Clinton too toxic to campaign in midterms  —  Democrats are looking to embrace the #MeToo moment and rally women to push back on President Donald Trump in the midterms—and they don't want Bill Clinton anywhere near it.  —  In a year when the party is deploying all their other big guns …
Mark D. Faram / Navy Times:
Seabee command triad fired after XO found strolling naked in woods  —  The entire command triad of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4, currently deployed to Okinawa, Japan, was fired Feb. 11 after the unit's executive officer was found intoxicated and walking naked in the woods on Camp Shields.
Discussion: and The Daily Caller
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Democrats, here's how to win over the newly independent, ex-Republicans … The Post reported this week: … There are fewer President Trump supporters in part because there are fewer Republicans: “In January 2017, about 156 million people approved of Trump on average, more than half of them — 81.2 million — Republican.
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
Putin's Phone Call With Netanyahu Put End to Israeli Strikes in Syria  —  Prior to Saturday call, senior Israeli officials were still taking a militant line and it seemed Jerusalem was considering further military action  —  Israel believes round of hostilities with Iran and Syria is over, but another is all but inevitable
Discussion: Lawfare and VICE
John Koblin / New York Times:
Ryan Murphy Heads to Netflix in Deal Said to Be Worth Up to $300 Million  —  The streaming giant Netflix has won yet another battle against old Hollywood.  —  On Tuesday night, Netflix announced that it had poached the hit-making producer Ryan Murphy from 21st Century Fox.
Glenn Thrush / New York Times:
Trump's ‘Harvest Box’ Isn't Viable in SNAP Overhaul, Officials Say  —  WASHINGTON — The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers about 46 million low-income Americans both sustenance and economic choice by providing an allowance to buy the fruit, meat, fresh vegetables, soda, ice cream and kind of bread they want to eat.
Discussion: Splinter
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 More Items: 
Benjamin Siegel / ABC News:
State and local election infrastructure vulnerable to attacks ahead of midterm elections, Democrats warn in new report
Discussion: Politico
Jordain Carney / The Hill:
Bipartisan Senate group says they have immigration deal
Discussion: CNBC and Bloomberg
Aaron Rupar / ThinkProgress:
CNN host debunks GOP congressman's FBI conspiracy in just 2 minutes
Discussion: Raw Story
Jake Pearson / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Shooting range tied to Trumps rattles neighbors
Discussion: The Week
Jonathan Michanie / Jerusalem Post:
Trump is showing significant leadership on Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Are Spies Like Us? A National Security Reporter Says Yes, and No
The Michigan Chronicle:
Voting Reform in Michigan marches forward
 Earlier Items: 
David Abel /
After more than a year, Trump still doesn't have a science adviser
Heather Long / Washington Post:
Wall Street might not like this: Inflation rises 2.1 percent, faster than expected
Reena Flores / Politico:
Duckworth: 'I can't technically take maternity leave'
Discussion: Common Dreams, Althouse and thecut
The Times of Israel:
Iran accuses West of using lizards for nuclear spying
Discussion: Liberty Unyielding
Ben Shapiro /
This Isn't Normal  —  You've heard the phrase over and over again: “This isn't normal.”
David M. Drucker / Washington Examiner:
Mitt Romney to announce Senate run Thursday on social media
Discussion: Breitbart
Sean Martin / Daily Express:
Yellowstone ERUPTION: Supervolcano under ‘STRAIN’ - experts find magma chamber pressure
Discussion: Your News Wire
Zaid Jilani / The Intercept:
Discussion: AOL