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2:00 PM ET, September 21, 2018

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 Top Items: 
Eric Russell / Press Herald:
Collins ‘appalled’ by Trump's tweet criticizing Kavanaugh accuser  —  The Maine senator said the president was ‘completely inappropriate’ in his tweets about Christine Blasey Ford this morning.  —  Maine Sen. Susan Collins said she was “appalled” by President Trump's tweets Friday morning …
RELATED:
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Officials in overdrive to keep Trump from attacking Kavanaugh accuser  —  A source who has been talking to President Trump throughout the Kavanaugh crisis told Axios that “you have no idea” how hard it has been to keep him from attacking his Supreme Court nominee's accuser.
Yale Law School:
Open Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee from Yale Law Faculty  —  As the Senate Judiciary Committee debates Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination, we write as faculty members of Yale Law School, from which Judge Kavanaugh graduated, to urge that the Senate conduct a fair and deliberate confirmation process.
Discussion: BuzzFeed News
Chris Cillizza / CNN:
What makes Cory Booker's groping incident different than the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh  —  (CNN)As Washington continues to play a game of wait and see on whether Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, will testify in Washington next week …
USA Today:
Poll: Brett Kavanaugh faces unprecedented opposition to Supreme Court confirmation  —  WASHINGTON — More Americans oppose than support the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Public Affairs Poll finds, an unprecedented level of disapproval for a nominee to the nation's high court.
Washington Post:
Kavanaugh ally says he did not communicate with White House or Supreme Court nominee about theory of another attacker  —  A conservative legal commentator and former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia on Friday denied communicating with the White House or Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh about his theory …
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: The case for Trump to shut down the government
Associated Press:   McConnell says Senate will ‘plow right through’ to confirm Kavanaugh
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Biden: Senate must treat Kavanaugh accuser Ford better than Anita Hill
Discussion: Politico, IJR and Splinter
Caprice Roberts / Washington Post:
Kavanaugh's Senate hearing isn't a trial. The standard isn't ‘reasonable doubt.’
Discussion: The Atlantic, Breitbart and The Ringer
CNN:
Where negotiations stand between Kavanaugh's accuser and Republicans
Discussion: Power Line
Petula Dvorak / Washington Post:
Millions of women understand Christine Blasey Ford's decades of silence
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:   Partisan Politics Are Trampling American Ideals in Kavanaugh Saga
James Hohmann / Washington Post:
The Daily 202: Conservatives divided over Kavanaugh allegations, mostly along gender lines
Jonathan V. Last / Weekly Standard:   It's Time for Some Brett Kavanaugh Game Theory
Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr / New York Times:
The Case for Impeaching Kavanaugh
Discussion: Townhall, Raw Story and Politico
NBC News:
Yale Law dean: Reports that professor groomed female clerks for Kavanaugh ‘of enormous concern’
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Ex-Trump Lawyer Tried to Help Pay Legal Fees for Manafort, Gates  —  Advisers objected to John Dowd's efforts to divert funds and solicit donors for former Trump aides, citing impropriety  —  WASHINGTON—A top lawyer for President Trump this year sought to help pay legal fees for Paul Manafort …
New York Times:
Rosenstein Suggested He Secretly Record Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment  —  WASHINGTON — The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed …
BuzzFeed News:
Trump Tower Meeting Planners Moved Millions, Mueller Now Investigating  —  On June 3, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. received one of the most striking emails of the presidential campaign, offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government's “support for Mr. Trump.”
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Trump ditches plans to quickly release Russia probe documents  —  President Donald Trump on Friday abandoned plans to quickly declassify and release sensitive documents connected to the FBI's Russia investigation, citing a “perceived negative impact” on the probe and concerns raised by “key allies” about dumping the materials.
RELATED:
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Trump walks back his plan to declassify Russia probe documents  —  President Trump on Friday walked back his order earlier this week to declassify information in the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying Justice Department officials and others had persuaded him not to do so for the time being.
The Guardian:
Revealed: Russia's secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from UK  —  Tentative plot to whisk fugitive from London embassy on Christmas Eve was considered too risky  —  Russian diplomats held secret talks in London last year with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help …
Discussion: RT, Talking Points Memo and emptywheel
Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Dam breach at Duke plant; coal ash could spill  —  Duke Energy said Friday that a dam containing a large lake at a Wilmington power plant has been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it's possible coal ash from an adjacent dump is flowing into the Cape Fear River.
Tim Mak / NPR:
Russia's Pro-Gun Influence Accounts Copied The NRA — And Sometimes, Vice Versa  —  Russian social media agitators who pushed pro-gun messages in the United States sometimes copied the language of the National Rifle Association.  And sometimes, the NRA copied them.
RELATED:
Tim Mak / NPR:
Russia's Divisive Twitter Campaign Took A Rare Consistent Stance: Pro-Gun
Discussion: Boing Boing
Joshua Green / Bloomberg:
Internal GOP Poll: Pelosi Beats Trump in a Head-to-Head Matchup  —  The Democratic leader is a frequent Republican target, but an RNC poll shows she's more popular than the president.  —  President Trump likes to mock Nancy Pelosi, but a private survey conducted for the Republican National Committee finds …
Jennifer E. Duffy / The Cook Political Report:
September Senate Overview: Three Ratings Changes  —  As the political environment continues to favor Democrats and likely to rob Republicans of their majority in the U.S. House and a handful of gubernatorial seats, the conventional wisdom is that the fate of the GOP's Senate majority will rest …
Jessica Willey / abc13.com:
Ted Cruz confronted by Santa Fe High School victim's mother at town hall  —  There was an explosive moment at a Ted Cruz rally Thursday night in Webster when the mother of a Santa Fe High School shooting victim confronted the senator in front of his supporters.
Discussion: IJR and Raw Story
The Hill:
GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game  —  The White House and congressional Republicans are blaming one another for a difficult political environment that has bolstered Democrats' chances of winning control of the House, and possibly the Senate.  —  Republicans on Capitol Hill say President Trump
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
NBC News:
Stephen Miller wins again: Haley, other foes excluded from immigration meeting  —  A planned cut in the number of refugees the U.S. admits is the latest win for hard-liner Stephen Miller, who keeps beating the Trump admin's pragmatists.  —  WASHINGTON — Days before the Trump administration announced plans …
Reihan Salam / Wall Street Journal:
A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis  —  The only answer to today's polarized debate is amnesty for those already here, new standards for those seeking entry and a return to the ideal of the melting pot  —  In 1979, shortly before I was born, my family visited Washington, D.C., in the middle of a snowstorm.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Digital Publisher Mic Network Is Considering Acquisition Offer From Media Company
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Suddenly, Vulnerable House Republicans No Longer Bash Obamacare on Their Websites
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
Is Winning Women Enough for Democrats to Win the House?
Discussion: CNBC
Jason Rezaian / Washington Post:
It's Anthony Bourdain's journalism that we'll miss most
 Earlier Items: 
Axios:
The GOP's growing identity crisis
Discussion: CNBC
New York Post:
Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina
Vera Bergengruen / BuzzFeed News:
New Emails Show Confusion At The Pentagon After Trump's Transgender Ban Tweets
Christopher Ingraham / Washington Post:
Marijuana use is now as common among baby boomers as it is among teens, federal data shows
Judith Mischke / Politico:
Europe's papers in a froth over Theresa May's ‘Salzburg disaster’
Sara Carter / Sara A. Carter:
FBI Memos Raise Deep Questions About Russia/Trump Intel Assessment
New York Times:
Trump Sees a ‘Red Wave’ Where His Party Sees a Red Alert
Discussion: BuzzFeed News
Wall Street Journal:
Google Workers Discussed Tweaking Search Function to Counter Travel Ban