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4:05 PM ET, July 11, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Trump says Germany ‘is captive to Russia’ in fiery opening salvo against NATO  —  BRUSSELS — President Trump unleashed a blistering attack Wednesday on Germany and other NATO allies, wasting no time to take the offensive before a week of high-stakes diplomacy on both sides of the former Cold War divide.
Trump Urges Doubling Target for Arms Budgets to 4%: NATO Update  — U.S. president accuses Germany of being ‘captive of Russia’  — Back in the U.S., his comments drew criticism from lawmakers  —  Donald Trump is on the offensive as leaders gathered at a two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
This remarkable exchange at NATO perfectly captures Trump's ugly bad faith  —  THE MORNING PLUM:  —  This morning, at the NATO summit, President Trump got into an extended dust-up with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and the exchange generating the headlines is the one in which Trump ripped …
Associated Press:
No shove, but Trump body language speaks to frosty relations  —  BRUSSELS (AP) — He didn't shove anyone this time, but President Donald Trump's body language during NATO events Wednesday suggested his relationships with key U.S. allies aren't exactly buddy-buddy.
Rick Noack / Washington Post:
The Russian pipeline to Germany that Trump is so mad about, explained  —  BERLIN — When German officials headed to the NATO summit in Brussels this week, they were already prepared for what they considered to be an inevitable attack by President Trump over their low defense spending.
Associated Press:
The Latest: Trump to watch military parade at Windsor Castle
Discussion: The Hill and Taylor Marsh
Calvin Woodward / Associated Press:   AP FACT CHECK: Trump keeps promoting myth about NATO debt
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Worried about Russia? Then Keep an Eye on Germany's Former Chancellor
Discussion: Atlantic Council and Axios
Nicholas Burns / New York Times:   What America Gets Out of NATO
Trump and Merkel Exchange Barbs in Showdown Over Russia Pipeline
Discussion: BloombergQuint, HuffPost, CNN and CNBC
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Rosenstein Asks Prosecutors to Help With Kavanaugh Papers in Unusual Request  —  WASHINGTON — Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has asked federal prosecutors to help review the government documents of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee …
Jeffrey Toobin / New Yorker:
Brett Kavanaugh's Journey to Becoming a Supreme Court Nominee
Discussion: The Democrats and Daily Kos
New York Times:   For Midterms, Supreme Court Political Drama Plays to Its Audience
Michelle Hackman / Wall Street Journal:   The All-Boys High School Producing GOP Bigwigs
New York Times:
Battling Fake Accounts, Twitter to Slash Millions of Followers  —  Twitter will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users' followers on Thursday, signaling a major new effort to restore trust on the popular but embattled platform.  —  The reform takes aim at a pervasive form of social media fraud.
Washington Post:
Can a liberal agenda that sells in the Bronx win over voters in Kansas?  —  PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Brent Welder walked into his campaign office to share the good news.  Ever since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset victory in a Democratic House primary in New York, he'd been deluged with calls.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Kenneth Lovett / New York Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Ocasio-Cortez with another surprise election win - in a district she wasn't even running in
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
The Center Is Sexier Than You Think  —  Enough about the Freedom Caucus.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Splinter
Rachel Weiner / Washington Post:
Paul Manafort to be moved from jail where prosecutors say he has ‘VIP’ treatment  —  A federal judge in Alexandria has ordered Paul Manafort to be moved to the city jail, although Manafort has asked to stay in a Northern Neck facility where prosecutors say he is receiving special treatment.
Discussion: Political Wire
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Mueller team listening to Manafort's jail phone calls  —  Contrary to his lawyers' court filings, the former Trump campaign chairman says he's being treated like a ‘VIP’ in prison.  —  Paul Manafort may not be a free man.  But the former Donald Trump campaign chairman's jail conditions are hardly the stuff of Alcatraz.
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Matt Naham / Law & Crime:   Judge to Manafort: Don't Worry, the Jail You're Going to Knows How to Handle Terrorists, Traitors and Spies
Colleen Long / Associated Press:
Border Protection says NYC mayor crossed border illegally  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his security detail violated both Mexican and U.S. immigration laws by crossing the border on foot during a visit near El Paso, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges …
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Once partners, ‘Game Change’ authors feuding over their shattered franchise  —  Until their split last year, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann were the golden boys of American political journalism.  Their collaboration led to a best-selling book about the 2008 presidential campaign, “Game Change …
Pew Research Center:
Obama Tops Public's List of Best President in Their Lifetime, Followed by Clinton, Reagan  —  Reagan is top choice among Boomers, Silents  —  When asked which president has done the best job in their lifetimes, more Americans name Barack Obama than any other president.
Discussion: Vox, IJR and POLITICUSUSA
Former Obama Officials Are Riding Out The Trump Years By Cashing In  —  The revolving door takes a spin.  —  The last 18 months have been difficult for former members of the Obama administration.  They've been replaced by a regime, which, in the words of former Domestic Policy Council …
Discussion: Common Dreams
Noah Kirsch / Forbes:
Papa John's Founder Allegedly Used N-Word On Conference Call  —  Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter at the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana in May 2015.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)  —  John Schnatter—the founder, chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John's …
Los Angeles Times:   Papa John's founder reportedly used racial slur in conference call
Daniella Greenbaum / Weekly Standard:
Here Is the Column That Business Insider Spiked  —  Defending an actress for being hired to do a job is apparently beyond the pale these days. … Scarlett Johansson is the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob.  The actress is being chastised for, well, acting.
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
Pence launches Midwest damage control mission  —  With anxiety rising over Trump's trade policies, the vice president is stumping for endangered incumbents and reassuring big GOP donors.  —  CHICAGO — Vice President Mike Pence begins a campaign swing through the Midwest on Wednesday designed …
Sean T. Collins / The Outline:
The only good online fandom left is Dune  —  As corporations take control of nerd culture, science fiction's most esoteric epic remains gloriously untamed.  —  Escapism in the year 2018 is a strange thing.  If you want to refresh a brain beshitted by weeks and months of workaday corruption and brutality …
Hollie McKay / Fox News:
New Sacha Baron Cohen series a Hollywood hit job on GOP, source says
Discussion: Vox, Townhall and Althouse
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
What men are trying to say when they show off their Female Relationship Résumé  —  While covering a women's rights protest once, I asked a man in the crowd if he considered himself a feminist.  He spread his arms wide.  “My mom is awesome!” he declared.  —  And that is what brings us to Brett Kavanaugh.
Salt Lake Tribune:
Tribune editorial: Our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace  —  In Thailand, 12 children and their soccer coach made a wrong turn, got themselves trapped in a cave and quickly became the target of an all-hands-on-deck rescue effort mounted by national and provincial officials and eager volunteers from all over the world.
Mary Ellen Klas / miamiherald:
Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction.  How ‘blind’ is his blind trust?  —  TALLAHASSEE  —  The reason Gov. Rick Scott's net income rose 55 percent in 2017 has to do with electric cars, China partnerships, a company turnaround, and a single transaction that resulted …
Jamie Tarabay / CNN:
Pompeo's North Korea meeting went ‘as badly as it could have gone’  —  Kim Jong Un snubbed Mike Pompeo, source says  —  (CNN)It began with great expectations, an eagerly-anticipated meeting with a reclusive leader, and a gift bag that included an Elton John CD.
Nicole Hensley / New York Daily News:
Woman calls cops on black 12-year-old boy delivering newspapers in Ohio neighborhood  —  A fledgling paperboy working alongside his mother in suburban Columbus, Ohio, came face-to-face with a cop after a neighbor thought he was up to no good.  —  The nosy neighbor spied the 12-year-old boy …
Discussion: AOL, Hit & Run and The Root
Brooke Medina / Civitas Institute:
CIVITAS POLL: McCready Leads in NC-09 Congressional Race  —  RALEIGH, N.C. - In the latest Civitas Poll, Democrat congressional candidate Dan McCready leads Republican Mark Harris by 7 points.  —  The poll, conducted July 5-8, 2018, surveyed 543 likely voters in North Carolina's 9thcongressional district …
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
How Trump's Trade War Went From 18 Products to 10,000
Discussion: Washington Post
Dan Murtaugh / Bloomberg:
China and U.S. Impose Tariffs on Trade Flows That Don't Exist
Discussion: BloombergQuint
The Professor At The Center Of The Trump-Russia Probe Was A No-Show In Court
Humeyra Pamuk / Reuters:
NATO formally invites Macedonia to join alliance
Washington Post:
The elite world of Brett Kavanaugh
Tim Hains / RealClearPolitics:
Mollie Hemingway: Never Trumpers Way Overrepresented In Media, They Represent “Incredibly Small Fraction” Of People
Rachel Chason / Washington Post:
Nancy Floreen to run for Montgomery County executive as an independent
 Earlier Items: 
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Michael Cohen has made ‘a declaration of independence’ from President Trump, lawyer says
Esmeralda Bermudez / Los Angeles Times:
'You don't love me anymore?':  A son is separated from his father at the border, then comes a wrenching call
Lisa Fain / Washington Post:
A taste of Chipotle's new menu items proves: It's no Taco Bell
Page Six:
Hope Hicks is looking for a job in the Big Apple
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Inside Mueller's New Army