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3:20 PM ET, November 9, 2018


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal  —  Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of the president's participation in deals to buy the silence of a former adult-film actress and an ex-Playboy model.  The deals have led Trump's former lawyer …
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Republicans Freak Out as New Ballots Threaten Florida Senate Win  —  New ballots in Broward County have conspiracy theorists — including the state's top elected officials — calling for an investigation of Democrats.  —  As the Republican margin in the Florida Senate race narrowed …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Trump's authoritarian response to Florida shenanigans hints at worse to come  —  In the run-up to Election Day in 2016, Donald Trump repeatedly and flatly declared that the outcome of the election would be legitimate only if he won.  The claim, stripped down to its essence …
Rick Scott sues Broward, Palm Beach elections supervisors over ballot delays  —  TALLAHASSEE  —  A visibly frustrated Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday accused “unethical liberals” of trying to steal a U.S. Senate seat from him, as his campaign filed two lawsuits against Broward County Supervisor …
Patricia Mazzei / New York Times:
Rick Scott Cites Rampant Fraud in Florida, as Senate and Governor Races Tighten
Broward County elections supervisor explains why it's taking so long to count ballots
Matt Dixon / Politico:
After Scott requested investigation, law enforcement says no voter fraud allegations found
Ari Berman / Mother Jones:
Rick Scott Falsely Accuses Democrats of Trying to Steal Florida Senate Race, Seeks Law Enforcement Intervention
Gregg Re / Fox News:
GOP Senate candidate Rick Scott files bombshell lawsuits accusing Dem Florida election officials …
Benjamin Wittes / The Atlantic:
It's Probably Too Late to Stop Mueller  —  At the end of last month, with the midterms looming, I gave a talk before a small private audience in California in which I argued for optimism because—among other things—the moment for firing Robert Mueller had passed.
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Matthew Whitaker is a crackpot  —  The acting attorney general of the United States is a crackpot.  —  Matthew G. Whitaker, installed in the job by President Trump to replace Jeff Sessions, was asked in 2014, during an ill-fated run in the Republican senatorial primary in Iowa, about the worst decisions in the Supreme Court's history.
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Momentum builds against acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker  —  Matt Whitaker has been acting attorney general for just one full day but he's already under extreme pressure.  —  Why it matters: President Trump, who shocked even some of his senior most staff with the hasty timing of his firing …
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Judges order Mueller to explain impact of Sessions-Whitaker DOJ shakeup
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
America's Fever Is Still Rising
Discussion: Vox and Lawyers, Guns & Money
Associated Press:   Trump on new acting AG: 'I don't know Matt Whitaker'
Whitaker backlash prompts concern at the White House
Kansas City Star:
Inside Kris Kobach's losing Kansas campaign: ‘Check logic and reason at the door’  —  Kris Kobach blamed money.  He blamed history.  He didn't blame himself for losing a race for governor in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2 to 1.  —  “Obviously, if we'd had more money …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Trump is telling people he wants to replace Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by the end of the year  — President Donald Trump is telling people he wants to replace Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by the end of the year, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
Discussion: Political Wire and Law & Crime
Katie Benner / New York Times:
Sessions, in Last-Minute Act, Sharply Limits Use of Consent Decrees to Curb Police Abuses  —  WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has drastically limited the ability of federal law enforcement officials to use court-enforced agreements to overhaul local police departments accused …
Judith Miller / Wall Street Journal:
Jeff Sessions's Exit Interview  —  The departing attorney general leaves as gracious as ever, and doesn't regret his controversial recusal.  —  Jeff Sessions says he is “confident” that Robert Mueller's probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election will be handled “appropriately and with justification.”
Discussion: CNN, The Daily Caller and Mediaite
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Trump Threatens to Retaliate Against Reporters Who Don't Show ‘Respect’  —  President Trump said on Friday that he might revoke the credentials of additional White House reporters if they do not “treat the White House with respect,” lobbing another threat at the news media two days …
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Sarah Sanders promotes an altered video of CNN reporter, sparking allegations of visual propaganda
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
Why Aren't Democrats More Excited About the 2018 Results  —  For a party that had a great night on Tuesday, Democrats aren't really acting like it.  Yes, they lost at least three Senate incumbents, but given the exposure they were up against, this is not such a bad result.
The White House:
Presidential Proclamation Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States  —  The United States expects the arrival at the border between the United States and Mexico (southern border) of a substantial number of aliens primarily from Central America who appear …
Scott Bixby / The Daily Beast:
Trump Signs Proclamation Barring Asylum Seekers At U.S.-Mexico Border
Discussion: Axios and ImmigrationProf Blog
Krissah Thompson / Washington Post:
In revealing new memoir, Michelle Obama candidly shares her story  —  As Michelle Obama's highly anticipated memoir “Becoming” arrives, it's clear that the former first lady is occupying a space in the culture beyond politics.  With an arena book tour featuring A-list special guests …
Washington Post:
Zinke is the Cabinet official most vulnerable to Democratic probe, White House fears  —  White House officials have identified Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as the Cabinet member most vulnerable to a congressional probe under a Democratic majority in January, putting the colorful secretary closer …
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Associated Press:
The Latest: Burns prevent immediate IDs of 5 dead from fire  —  PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California's wildfires (all times local):  —  Sheriff's officials in Northern California say the five people found dead in vehicles torched by a wildfire's flames could not immediately …
Discussion: USA Today, CNN and The Week
NBC News:   20,000-acre wildfire all but destroys Paradise, California
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
Leak: Axios Editor Concedes Problems With HBO ‘S**tshow’ But Assures Staff That Haters Are Just Jealous  —  “They hate ya cause they ain't ya,” one employee wrote.  —  Their weekly staff meeting had become a crisis debriefing, and Axios employees were wondering where things had gone wrong.
CBS Los Angeles:
Thousand Oaks Gunman's High School Coach Speaks About Sexual Assault  —  NEWBURY PARK (CBSLA) — The Thousand Oaks shooter's high school track coach says that he assaulted her.  —  “I turned on the news and I was watching it and when they said his name my jaw just dropped,” said Dominique Colell.
Will Oremus / Slate:
A Vox Co-Founder Got Doxed on Twitter by a Hate-Spewing Incel, and Twitter Allowed It  —  If verified users with huge followings can't get Twitter to enforce its safety rules, what hope does everyone else have?  — It Took Me Less Than an Hour to Find Illegal Animal Products at a Chinese Traditional Medicine Market
Michael Shepherd / Bangor Daily News:
Exit polling gives Golden an edge in 2nd District ranked-choice count.  See each candidate's road to victory.  —  AUGUSTA, Maine — Assistant Maine House Majority Leader Jared Golden is favored to beat U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in a ranked-choice voting count that could decide the tight race …
Discussion: Political Wire, and KAJ-TV
Reid J. Epstein / Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Plan to Pursue Most Aggressive Gun-Control Legislation in Decades  —  Focus spurred by an incoming class of lawmakers with ‘F’ NRA ratings who campaigned on the issue  —  WASHINGTON—Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become …
Thousand Oaks Bar Shooter Ian Long Posted on Instagram During Killings  —  Thousand Oaks Bar Shooting — Suspect Posted on Instagram During Massacre Possible Revenge Motive  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  The shooter who terrorized college students at Borderline Bar & Grill was shockingly on social media …
Discussion: Breitbart and CNN
Arizona Republic:
Last Slide  —  But state Republican Chairman Jonathan Lines raised the level of accusations, saying Fontes, a Democrat, “cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona.”  —  Amy Chan, former state election director under Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, tweeted …
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Democrats could win 40 House seats, the most since Watergate  —  Democrats have won at least 33 seats, but they look poised to win closer to 40 — there are 13 races that are either not called or too close to call, and Democrats have a solid chance of winning seven of those.
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 More Items: 
Norman J. Ornstein / New Republic:
The Republicans Broke Congress. Democrats Can Fix It.
Discussion: American Greatness
Emma Roller / HuffPost:
Scott Walker Tried To Get Me Fired. Now He's Out Of A Job.
Discussion: Raw Story
Manal al-Sharif / Washington Post:
I'm a Saudi activist. Twitter put my life in danger.
CBS San Francisco:
Actor James Woods Aids In Search For Camp Fire Missing
Wall Street Journal:
Goldman Sachs's Ex-CEO Lloyd Blankfein Met Malaysian at Center of 1MDB Scandal
Dina Fine Maron / National Geographic:
Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan Was Overlooked. Not Any Longer.
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
The caravan has all but vanished from cable news
 Earlier Items: 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Republican lawmakers consider limiting incoming Gov. Tony Evers' power over state rules
Danielle Garrand / CBS News:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she can't afford Washington apartment before job in Congress starts
Discussion: RedState, ThinkProgress and CNN
Caitlin Byrd / Post and Courier:
Katie Arrington blames Mark Sanford and his supporters for her defeat in SC
Discussion: Political Wire
Joe Tacopino / New York Post:
Florida teacher finds ‘provisional ballot box’ in storage area
Discussion: The Federalist and Geller Report