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1:30 PM ET, June 28, 2018


 Top Items: 
Ronald J. Hansen / Arizona Republic:
Jeff Flake says he won't stall Supreme Court pick over tariff dispute  —  U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake said Wednesday he would not try to strong-arm the Trump administration on tariffs — or other issues — by withholding his support from a Supreme Court nominee.  —  The outgoing Arizona Republican …
Yascha Mounk / Slate:
So Much For the Institutions  —  Kennedy's retirement proves we can't count on elites to constrain Trump's worst excesses  —  When he heard that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was retiring on Wednesday, a friend in his twenties told me: “Today is the darkest political moment my generation has experienced.”
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Why Anthony Kennedy Gave Up  —  In his last year on the bench, the lifelong devotee of dignity and the rule of law joined Team Trump.  What happened?  —  It was always more fan fiction than reality that Justice Anthony Kennedy was a moderate centrist.  Democrats liked to soothe themselves …
Jamelle Bouie / Slate:
Mitch McConnell Has Already Won  —  Mitch McConnell has just one goal: to preserve and extend Republicans' advantage in Washington and beyond.  He'll do anything to achieve that goal, indifferent to everything but the will to power.  We see this most clearly in McConnell's approach to the Supreme Court.
Discussion: HuffPost, Fox News and The Intercept
Leigh Ann Caldwell / NBC News:
Sens. Collins and Murkowski become early focus of Senate's court fight  —  Democrats see potential allies in the two Republican women who support abortion rights.  —  WASHINGTON — Within hours of Wednesday's surprising retirement announcement from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy …
Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg:   Trump Weighing Senator Mike Lee for Supreme Court Vacancy, Sources Say
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg:
Kennedy's Replacement Should Be Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Mike Allen / Axios:
Trump takes over America
Jonathan Lemire / Associated Press:   Analysis: GOP's long-term Supreme Court strategy pays off
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Don't want a right-wing Supreme Court? Do everything you can to stop it.
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Uncertain Political Ramifications of Justice Kennedy's Exit
Discussion: ABC News
Weekly Standard:   Exit Kennedy  —  Yes, elections have consequences.
Chris Taylor / Mashable:
After Kennedy's retirement, are we entering 'Handmaid's Tale' territory?
Discussion: The Federalist
Lloyd Grove / The Daily Beast:
Jill Abramson, Ex-New York Times Editor: The ‘Narcissistic’ NYT Is Making ‘Horrible Mistakes,’ Needs a ‘Course Correction’ … It may not have been the tweet heard ‘round the world, but it was certainly heard—like a thunderclap—at The New York Times’ headquarters at 620 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.
Shane Goldmacher / New York Times:
An Upset in the Making: Why Joe Crowley Never Saw Defeat Coming
New York Post:   Ocasio-Cortez wants to be president, mom says
Daniella Greenbaum / Business Insider:
Democrats need to choose: Are they the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the party of Michael Bloomberg?
Discussion: ThinkProgress
CBS News:
CBS News interview with ICE whistleblower interrupted by surprise visit from government agents  —  In his first television interview, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson James Schwab opens up about why he abruptly resigned in March.  Schwab admits both the Obama …
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
Ex-Aide to Roger Stone Is Subpoenaed in Russia Investigation  —  A former aide to Roger J. Stone Jr., the longtime Trump adviser and self-described “dirty trickster,” was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury hearing evidence in the Russia investigation and to hand over documents …
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump's private NATO trashing rattles allies  —  You've already read a hundred stories about President Trump's clashes with some of America's closest allies at the G7 summit in Canada.  But we've got new details from his private conversations with heads of state that have put …
Eli Lake / Bloomberg:
Why Trump Shouldn't Meet Putin  —  Americans should worry when the two men are in any kind of one-on-one negotiation.  —  After announcing that there will indeed be a U.S.-Russia summit in the coming weeks, National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a challenge to the skeptical scrum of reporters at his Moscow press conference.
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Goodlatte: FBI Lawyers Instructed Strzok Not To Answer ‘Many, Many’ Questions In Deposition  —  FBI lawyers instructed Peter Strzok during a congressional deposition on Wednesday not to answer “many, many questions” about his involvement in the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations …
Discussion: Washington Post and CNN
Matthew Mosk / ABC News:
Special counsel eyeing Russians granted unusual access to Trump inauguration parties  —  Several billionaires with deep ties to Russia attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Donald Trump's inauguration festivities, guest lists obtained by ABC News show.
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
The Daily Beast:
Scott Pruitt Personally Involved in ‘Ratf*cking’ Ex-Aides Who He Feels Betrayed Him … On May 18, a top aide to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt testified to a congressional committee that she had been tasked with procuring her boss a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel …
Discussion: Hit & Run, Daily Kos and Mediaite
The Texas Tribune:
Immigrant toddlers ordered to appear in court alone  —  As the White House faces court orders to reunite families separated at the border, immigrant children as young as three years old are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in Texas, California and Washington, D.C.
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
What Do The Teens Know About This Tweet That We Don't?  —  Eighty-thousand retweets for, uh, this.  —  On the evening of June 22, 21-year-old Karter Machen decided to tweet.  —  “I'm not a party guy,” he wrote, “but I'd be down if someone threw a real roaring 20's party for 2020.
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
President Trump announces a major U.S. Steel expansion — that isn't happening  —  “The head of U.S. Steel called me the other day, and he said, 'We're opening up six major facilities and expanding facilities that have never been expanded.' They haven't been opened in many, many years.”
Discussion: Mother Jones, Shareblue Media and MSNBC
Federal cops move in on ICE protest in SW Portland  —  Federal officers in riot gear moved into the protest siege of ICE headquarters in Southwest Portland at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.  —  PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal officers in riot gear moved into the protest siege of ICE headquarters in Southwest Portland at 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
Ben Kamisar / The Hill:
Poll: Trump approval rating ticks up to 47 percent  —  's approval rating has ticked up to 47 percent in the new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill, a 2 point hike from last month.  —  Trump's approval rating was lifted in part by a 10 point climb among Hispanic voters.
Maya Kosoff / Vanity Fair:
Why Jack Dorsey Will Never Appease Conservatives  —  Trying to negotiate with bad-faith arguments from the right increasingly looks like a no-win game for companies like Facebook and Twitter.  —  BY - MAYA KOSOFFJune 28, 2018,  —  As the Trump administration was separating immigrant families …
Tess Bonn / The Hill:
Ex-Clinton aide: 84 percent of Americans support turning undocumented immigrants over to authorities  —  Prominent Democratic pollster Mark Penn said on Thursday that a vast majority of Americans don't really support so-called “sanctuary cities” that shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The Daily Beast:
Jeff Flake Shopping Around for a Possible Post-Senate Cable News Gig … When Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) leaves his current job at the beginning of 2019, he could already have a new one lined up: cable-news pundit.  —  Over the past several days, the Arizona Republican—who is not seeking re-election amid …
Kyle Kondik / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
A Half-Dozen House Ratings Changes in Favor of Democrats  —  And the fall of Joe Crowley in New York  —  KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE  — Rep. Joe Crowley's (D, NY-14) primary loss represents a changing of the guard in a diverse district.  It does not necessarily suggest we should expect …
Richard Rubin / Wall Street Journal:
IRS Nominee Owns Property at Trump-Branded Project in Hawaii  —  Charles Rettig is likely to face questions about the real estate at a Thursday confirmation hearing  —  WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump's nominee to run the Internal Revenue Service owns real estate in a Trump-branded property in Hawaii …
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 More Items: 
Matt Dixon / Politico:
Documents: Putnam office staffers admitted inappropriate, sexually charged behavior
David Weigel / Washington Post:
Barbara Lee, a stalwart of the left, considering bid for House Democratic leadership
Discussion: New Republic
House GOP closes ranks on abortion
Discussion: and MSNBC
Sean Baute / WBKO-TV:
Neighbor that attacked Senator Rand Paul files counter lawsuit
Alexander C. Kaufman / HuffPost:
2 Percent Of New York City's Buildings Emit Half Its CO2 Pollution. They're Luxury Towers.
Eddie Scarry / Washington Examiner:
No space for Trump supporters in country's biggest newspapers
 Earlier Items: 
Will Wilkinson / New York Times:
Why Do We Value Country Folk More Than City People?
Discussion: BloombergQuint
Patrick Kingsley / New York Times:
Migration to Europe Is Down Sharply. So Is It Still a ‘Crisis’?
Discussion: Mother Jones
Kim Hjelmgaard / USA Today:
North Korea upgrades nuclear facility despite Trump-Kim summit, satellite images show
Mark Prigg / Daily Mail:
An illustration of Skull racks or tzompantli is shown
Abbie Bennett / The Charlotte Observer:
‘God is racist,’ Jewish people ‘all descend from Satan,’ NC candidate says
Washington Post:
White House wants to cut this public health service corps by nearly 40 percent
Rachael Bade / Politico:
‘I thought you were my friend’: Immigration meltdown exposes GOP hostilities
Discussion: Talking Points Memo