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2:05 PM ET, March 22, 2018


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
John Dowd Resigns as Trump's Lead Lawyer in Special Counsel Inquiry  —  WASHINGTON — The president's lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd, resigned on Thursday, according to two people briefed on the matter, days after the president called for an end to the inquiry.
Washington Post:
Trump attorney John Dowd resigns amid shake-up in president's legal team … John Dowd, a personal attorney to President Trump, resigned his position Thursday amid a shake-up in the president's legal team as Trump has sought more firepower to deal with the special counsel's Russia investigation.
Washington Post:
Trump attorney John Dowd said to resign amid shake-up on legal team for Russia probe  —  John Dowd, a personal attorney for President Trump handling the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has resigned, according to three people familiar with the decision.
Discussion: IJR
Dowd resigns as Trump's lawyer amid disagreements on strategy
The Guardian:
Facebook gave data about 57bn friendships to academic  —  Volume of data suggests trusted partnership with Aleksandr Kogan, says analyst … Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal …
Mark Zuckerberg says he's ‘open’ to testifying to Congress, fixes will cost ‘many millions’ and he ‘feels really bad’
Mairead McArdle / National Review:
Zuckerberg Apologizes for Data Breach, Promises Facebook Will Investigate Sketchy Apps
Nicholas Thompson / Wired:
Mark Zuckerberg Talks to WIRED About Facebook's Privacy Problem
Christian Caryl / Washington Post:
Forget Cambridge Analytica. What about Facebook's role in ethnic strife and genocide?
Discussion: The Guardian, BuzzFeed and New Republic
The Guardian:
Cambridge Analytica: search of London HQ delayed by wait for warrant
Liz Peek / The Hill:   Rivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation
Massive spending deal clinched despite Trump's misgivings  —  Lawmakers will have to move quickly to avoid a shutdown on Friday night.  —  Congressional leaders on Wednesday night formally unveiled a mammoth spending bill that would deliver the largest funding boost to federal agencies in years …
Seung Min Kim / Washington Post:
‘Trump blew it’: The president missed his best chance yet to get funding for his border wall … President Trump has long promoted and promised a “big, beautiful wall” along the southern border — a pledge he made at the start of his presidential campaign that helped fuel his unlikely rise to the White House.
Wall Street Journal:
Charges Have Been Dropped Against Most Turkish Officers in D.C. Clash  —  Case had caused a rift between the U.S. and Turkey  —  WASHINGTON—Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against 11 of 15 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security team who were accused in connection …
Vivian Yee / New York Times:
He Gambles.  He Tips Staff.  He Eats Alone.  All the While, He's Stocking His Vegas Suite With Guns.  —  Sometimes we see him as other hotel guests would have seen him: as the tall gambler intent on the video poker machine across the casino floor, or as the customer standing in line in front …
Discussion: Raw Story and Mediaite
The Intercept:
Saudi Crown Prince Boasted That Jared Kushner Was “In His Pocket”  —  Until he was stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, presidential adviser Jared Kushner was known around the White House as one of the most voracious readers of the President's Daily Brief …
Tim Mak / NPR:
John Bolton's Curious Appearance In A Russian Gun Rights Video  —  Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton recorded a video used by the Russian gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms in 2013 to encourage the Russian government to loosen gun laws.  —  The episode, which has not been previously reported …
Wall Street Journal:
China to Target Trump's Base in Tariff Response  —  Beijing prepares to deliver pain to President Trump's support base, including with tariffs targeting agricultural exports  —  China is preparing to hit back at trade offensives from Washington with tariffs aimed at President Donald Trump's support base …
David J. Lynch / Washington Post:   Trump moves to crack down on China trade with $50 billion in tariffs on imported products
Alex Horton / Washington Post:
Police shot at a man 20 times in his back yard, thinking he had a gun.  It was a cellphone. … Police say they saw an object in Stephan Clark's hand before firing 20 bullets that killed him in his own yard Sunday night in Sacramento, with the disturbing moment made public through body camera footage released Wednesday night.
NBC News:
Bill Murray The Parkland kids remind me of the students who helped end the Vietnam War  —  Their most powerful asset in their fight to bring change is their idealism  —  We are living in interesting times, and people are becoming politically activated who weren't previously.
CBS News:
60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels to be broadcast Sunday  —  The adult-film star and director describes the affair she says she had with Donald Trump in her first television interview about the alleged relationship  —  The 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels …
Charlotte Alter / TIME:
The School Shooting Generation Has Had Enough  —  It's lunchtime on a Tuesday, and the kids are piling into a pizzeria booth in Coral Springs, Fla., to plot a revolution.  “The adults know that we're cleaning up their mess,” says Cameron Kasky, an 11th-grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School …
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed:
This Public Relations Firm Has Been Secretly Placing Articles In Conservative Publications  —  Inside the corporate payola machine.  —  Conservative media has long been the home for impassioned arguments against the welfare state, gun control, and taxes.  —  But if you look closely …
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
The Radical Proposal That Moderate Democrats Should Be Running On  —  Last week, a self-styled moderate Democrat won a congressional race in the heart of Trump Country — and the last-surviving “Blue Dogs” promptly declared their vindication.  For the Democrats' right flank, Politico wrote …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Samantha Schmidt / Washington Post:
Austin bomber: ‘Challenged young man’ or ‘terrorist’? … For weeks, the 23-year-old suspected bomber terrorized the city of Austin with a string of explosions that killed two and injured several others.  —  But should the bomber, identified by authorities as Mark Anthony Conditt, be called a terrorist?
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Foreign Relations Dem: Senate must act on Trump's ambassador nominees  —  A Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee expressed frustration Thursday over the slow pace of confirmations for President Trump  —  's ambassador nominees, saying he would push Senate minority leader Charles Schumer
Tiffany Hsu / New York Times:
Citigroup Sets Restrictions on Gun Sales by Business Partners  —  Citigroup is setting restrictions on the sale of firearms by its business customers, making it the first Wall Street bank to take a stance in the divisive nationwide gun control debate.  —  The new policy, announced Thursday …
Discussion: Axios and One America News Network
New York Times:
Why Is Trump So Afraid of Russia?  —  The former C.I.A. director John Brennan pulled no punches on Wednesday when he was asked why President Trump had congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for his victory in a rigged election, even after Mr. Trump's national security staff warned him not to.
Discussion: Fox News Insider
Matt Lewis / The Daily Beast:
Yes, Jordan Peterson Really Is That Smart … In the last year, or so, Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto clinical psychologist turned internet sensation, has emerged as arguably the most important intellectual figure on the right today.  —  His new book, 12 Rules for Life, is currently number one on Amazon.
Ben Schreckinger / GQ:
When Trump Met Stormy Daniels: The Strange Story of Four Wild Days in Tahoe  —  In July of 2006, Donald Trump had a new wife, a hit TV show, and a trip to a celebrity golf tourney with a slew of porn stars secretly in attendance.  According to a few of those women, including Stormy Daniels, Trump went wild.
Discussion: NBC News, Washington Post and CNN
Rachael Bade / Politico:
House leaders' biggest 2018 fear: The lazy Republican  —  On paper, Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) appears to be a shoo-in for reelection.  He's served nine terms in what's been a GOP stronghold for decades, hasn't had a serious challenger in years and sits on one of the most powerful committees in Congress.
Discussion: Raw Story and Splinter
Chloe Melas / CNN:
Frank Avruch, who played Bozo the Clown, dies at 89  —  (CNN)Frank Avruch, who was best known for playing Bozo the Clown, died Tuesday at the age of 89, according to his manager Stuart Hersh.  —  “While it's hard to say goodbye, we celebrate the legacy of joy and laughter he brought to millions …
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 More Items: 
Stephanie Ebbs / ABC News:
Democrats question Ben Carson over $31,000 furniture purchase
Discussion: Politico and Mediaite
Associated Press:
Police: Maryland school shooter apparently was lovesick teen
Discussion: Shakesville
Chris Mooney / Washington Post:
Plastic within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is ‘increasing exponentially,’ scientists find
Discussion: The Guardian, The Week and Gizmodo
Geoffrey Skelley / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Exit Stage Left or Right: Midterm Retirements and Open Seats in the House From 1974 to 2018
Exclusive: U.S. miners' union to endorse two more Democrats in coal country
Discussion: Axios
Samantha Pearson / Wall Street Journal:
Demand for American Sperm Is Skyrocketing in Brazil
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Eliza Newlin Carney / American Prospect:
Hush Money May Prove Trump's Biggest Campaign-Finance Problem
 Earlier Items: 
Rachael Krishna / BuzzFeed:
There's An Online Harassment Campaign Underway Against People Advocating For Diversity In Comics
Wall Street Journal:
Whole Foods Is Losing Executives Under New Owner Amazon
Emily Guskin / Washington Post:
Two-thirds of Americans say Trump is a bad role model for children.  That's still better than Bill Clinton.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
15 Years. More Than 1 Million Dead. No One Held Responsible.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lesley Clark / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Rand Paul on last-minute federal budget: ‘A rotten, terrible’ way to govern
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Harry Enten / CNN:
It's official: NYC hasn't seen snow like this in 130 years
Discussion: Front Page Magazine
Paul Starr / American Prospect:
The Democratic Emergency  —  President Donald Trump takes …
Bernard Condon / Associated Press:
NYC agency investigating more than a dozen Kushner buildings