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4:45 PM ET, September 21, 2018


 Top Items: 
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 …
Washington Post:
McCabe memos say Rosenstein considered secretly recording Trump  —  Memos written by Andrew McCabe, then the acting FBI director, say deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein suggested he secretly record his talks with President Trump, and that Rosenstein discussed possibly trying to remove him from office …
Discussion: Vox and emptywheel
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.
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Trump walks back his plan to declassify Russia probe documents
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 …
Senate GOP makes counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser with Friday deadline  —  Republicans are giving her until the end of the day to work out testimony details.  —  The Senate Judiciary Committee is giving Christine Blasey Ford attorney's until the end of the day Friday to work out terms …
Benjamin Wittes / The Atlantic:
Kavanaugh Bears the Burden of Proof  —  The manner in which Senate Republicans and Brett Kavanaugh's supposed allies are championing the judge's innocence should sting as the ultimate humiliation.  They apparently don't have sufficient confidence in the nominee to let a routine investigation take place before holding a hearing.
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 …
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.
Margaret Hartmann / New York Magazine:
Kavanaugh Backer Presents Bonkers Theory: Christine Ford Was Assaulted by Judge's Doppelgänger
Adam Shaw / Fox News:
McConnell voices confidence on Kavanaugh confirmation: 'We're going to plow right through it'
Discussion: Townhall, Daily Kos and Breitbart
Streiff / RedState:
BREAKING. Senate Republicans Don't Completely Cave to the Demands of Kavanaugh's Accuser
Discussion: and Breitbart
Associated Press:   Collins: Delay vote to let Kavanaugh accuser testify
Jonathan V. Last / Weekly Standard:   It's Time for Some Brett Kavanaugh Game Theory
Associated Press:
McConnell says Senate will ‘plow right through’ to confirm Kavanaugh
Discussion: The Hill
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
McConnell suggests he could hold Senate in session through October
Discussion: Political Wire
Daniel Lippman / Politico:
POLITICO Playbook: The case for Trump to shut down the government
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Biden: Senate must treat Kavanaugh accuser Ford better than Anita Hill
Discussion: Politico, New York Post, IJR and Splinter
Where negotiations stand between Kavanaugh's accuser and Republicans
Discussion: Power Line and The New Neo
Caprice Roberts / Washington Post:
Kavanaugh's Senate hearing isn't a trial. The standard isn't ‘reasonable doubt.’
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.”
Discussion: Law & Crime and Raw Story
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 …
Jessica Sidman / Washingtonian:
Hoagie Chain Taylor Gourmet Will Close All of Its Stores  —  Taylor Gourmet will close all 17 of its DC-area stores after Sunday, September 23.  Friday is the last day for the hoagie chain's two Chicago stores.  The closures come as Connecticut-based private equity firm KarpReilly …
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, emptywheel and Talking Points Memo
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.
Tim Mak / NPR:
Russia's Divisive Twitter Campaign Took A Rare Consistent Stance: Pro-Gun
Discussion: Boing Boing
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.
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
America, Land of Brutal Binaries  —  It was entirely a coincidence that I found myself reading Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff's The Coddling of the American Mind in the same week that Brett Kavanaugh was credibly accused of sexual assault in his teens, and Ian Buruma lost his job as editor …
Discussion: The Guardian
Patti Davis / Washington Post:
I was sexually assaulted.  Here's why I don't remember many of the details.  —  Patti Davis is the author, most recently, of the novel “The Earth Breaks in Colors” and the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.  —  Roughly 40 years ago, I showed up at a prominent music executive's office …
Jessica Willey /
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
Emily Jane Fox / Vanity Fair:
“He's Committed to Working with Mueller on Everything”: Michael Cohen Is Ready to Divulge “His Deep Concerns About Trump's Suitability as President”  —  Cohen, as people close to him have told me, knows he is going to prison, and has been taking necessary steps to prepare for that eventuality.
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 More Items:
Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach drops re-election bid, citing MPR News investigation
Yale Insights:
Yale Study Finds Twice as Many Undocumented Immigrants as Previous Estimates
Scott Bland / Politico:
O'Rourke raised over $9M online in August
Discussion: Political Wire
Reihan Salam / Wall Street Journal:
A Way Out of the Immigration Crisis
Discussion: 24Ahead and ImmigrationProf Blog
 Earlier Items: 
The Hill:
GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Gideon Resnick / The Daily Beast:
Suddenly, Vulnerable House Republicans No Longer Bash Obamacare on Their Websites
The GOP's growing identity crisis
Discussion: Raw Story and CNBC
Jennifer E. Duffy / The Cook Political Report:
September Senate Overview: Three Ratings Changes
New York Post:
Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina