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4:15 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.
Rebecca Tan / Washington Post:
When Trump attacked Germany in Brussels, his aides pursed their lips and glanced away  —  President Trump kicked off his trip to Europe with a biting critique of the United States' longtime allies, declaring at a breakfast meeting that Germany “is captive to Russia.”
Discussion: CNN, Bustle, CNBC, WGN-TV and Mediaite
Rick Noack / Washington Post:
The Russian pipeline to Germany that Trump is so mad about, explained
Associated Press:
The Latest: Trump to watch military parade at Windsor Castle
Discussion: The Hill and Taylor Marsh
Humeyra Pamuk / Reuters:   NATO formally invites Macedonia to join alliance
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 …
Michelle Hackman / Wall Street Journal:   The All-Boys High School Producing GOP Bigwigs
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
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.
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 …
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
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
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 …
Los Angeles Times:
Papa John's founder reportedly used racial slur in conference call  —  A media agency working with Papa John's International Inc. decided to cut ties after the pizza maker's founder and chairman, John Schnatter, allegedly used a racial slur and graphic descriptions of violence against minorities …
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
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.
Steven Shepard / Politico:
Poll: Voters oppose abolishing ICE  —  A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that most voters oppose eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the homeland security agency some liberal Democrats have called for abolishing.  —  Only 1 in 4 voters in the poll, 25 percent …
Kenneth Lovett / New York Daily News:
EXCLUSIVE: Ocasio-Cortez with another surprise election win - in a district she wasn't even running in
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.
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 …
Hollie McKay / Fox News:
New Sacha Baron Cohen series a Hollywood hit job on GOP, source says
Discussion: Vox, Townhall and Althouse
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 …
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
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.
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 …
President Obama on Gerrymandering, Redistricting, & the 2018 Midterm Elections  —  Former President Barack Obama highlights the damaging effects of partisan and racial gerrymandering on our democracy and calls on Americans to get engaged in the 2018 mid-term elections as it is a critical year …
Discussion: Politico, CNN, IJR and HuffPost
Washington Post:
The elite world of Brett Kavanaugh  —  The Chevy Chase Lounge is a neighborhood joint where bartender Tim Higgins is accustomed to bantering with long-standing patrons, including a middle-aged guy named Brett who likes to pop in for a Budweiser and a burger after coaching his daughters' basketball games.
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 More Items: 
Renter believes he was racially profiled after being confronted at apartment pool, asked to leave
Discussion: Raw Story and The Root
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
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
Julia Manchester / The Hill:
Michael Cohen has made ‘a declaration of independence’ from President Trump, lawyer says
 Earlier Items: 
Salt Lake Tribune:
Tribune editorial: Our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace
Nicole Hensley / New York Daily News:
Woman calls cops on black 12-year-old boy delivering newspapers in Ohio neighborhood
Discussion: AOL, Hit & Run and The Root
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
Brooke Medina / Civitas Institute:
CIVITAS POLL: McCready Leads in NC-09 Congressional Race
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Inside Mueller's New Army