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12:05 AM ET, November 16, 2018


 Top Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Is Optimistic It Will Prosecute Assange  —  Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against the WikiLeaks founder  —  The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic …
Washington Post:
Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal in inadvertent court filing  —  WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing — a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference …
Ana Ceballos / Naples Daily News:
Florida Dems planned to use altered forms to fix mail ballots across state after deadline  —  Senator Bill Nelson has called for a recount.  Do the vote margins in his race against Rick Scott call for one?  —  CONNECT  —  TALLAHASSEE — A day after Florida's election left top state races …
Florida recount: Andrew Gillum won't concede, gains just 1 vote on Ron DeSantis  —  Orlando Sentinel  —  TALLAHASSEE — Nine days after Florida's Election Day, the deadline for machine recounts of three statewide races came and went Thursday, but Andrew Gillum refused to concede …
Broward County recounted hundreds of thousands of votes for nothing  —  (CNN)It's a long-agonized-over machine recount total delivered two minutes too late.  —  But there's nothing ironic about it — this is, after all, Florida's Broward County, which has been plagued with issues in its vote-counting efforts for years.
Discussion: Florida Politics
Emily Mahoney / Tampa Bay Times:   Machine recount confirms: Ron DeSantis is Florida's next governor
Laura Ingraham / Fox News:
If election chaos isn't cleaned up, the GOP can kiss 2020 goodbye
Discussion: Daily Wire
David Smiley / Tampa Bay Times:
Florida orders first ever statewide hand-recounts as legal fights continue
Discussion: Breitbart and The Last Refuge
NBC News:
To ease Turkish pressure on Saudis over killing, White House weighs expelling Erdogan foe  —  “Once they realized it was a serious request, the career guys were furious,” a U.S. official said of request tied to Khashoggi killing.  —  WASHINGTON — The White House is looking for ways to remove …
Washington Post:
Saudi Arabia's latest account of Khashoggi's death is shocking in its audacity  —  THE NEW account of Jamal Khashoggi's death offered by Saudi Arabia on Thursday was shocking in its audacity.  Having previously acknowledged that the journalist was the victim of premeditated murder …
Business Insider:
Trump administration's reported effort to ‘barter’ …
Discussion: The Week
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
‘Preparing for the worst’: Mueller anxiety pervades Trump world  —  Lawyers for President Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. insist they aren't worried about special counsel Robert Mueller.  —  But half a dozen people in contact with the White House and other Trump officials …
Andrew Restuccia / Politico:
Wilbur Ross leaving?  Mulvaney is waiting.  —  To hear Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his allies tell it, rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.  —  Administration officials and close White House advisers say the 80-year-old Ross could be out of a job in a broader Cabinet shakeup …
Discussion: Political Wire and POLITICUSUSA
Lee Moran / HuffPost:
Donald Trump Becomes Twitter Laughingstock Over ‘Envy Of The World’ Boast  —  “Take it from an outsider: we feel sorry for Americans.”  —  Donald Trump on Thursday sought to stifle media reports that his administration is engulfed “in chaos” and “in meltdown” by claiming that the U.S. under his presidency was “the envy of the world.”
Associated Press:
AP source: Whitaker told Graham that Mueller probe to go on  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a meeting on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will proceed, according to a person familiar with the meeting.
Washington Post:   U.S. judge refuses to toss out Mueller probe case against Russian firm owned by 'Putin's chef'
Washington Post:
Whitaker told Trump he has concerns over sentencing reform bill
Discussion: TheBlaze
Washington Post:
Warner intensifies call for Whitaker to recuse himself from special counsel probe, citing friendship with key witness
Discussion: USA Today
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Graham says Whitaker assured him on fate of Mueller probe
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
Josh Gerstein / Politico:   Texas businessman challenges acting AG's legality
Alene Tchekmedyian / Los Angeles Times:
Camp fire death toll climbs to 63; number of missing jumps to 631  —  The death toll from the devastating Camp fire jumped to 63 on Thursday as search crews recovered seven more bodies in the burn area.  —  The number of people unaccounted for jumped dramatically to 631 people, up from 130 on Wednesday evening.
Discussion: KTLA, The Week and CNN
Los Angeles Times:   Made homeless by flames, Camp fire evacuees face hardship, disease and desperation
Tim Craig / Washington Post:   Camp Fire's destruction in Northern California leaves rescue teams sifting through debris for human remains
Eric Holthaus / Grist:
The bizarre and frightening conditions that sparked the Camp Fire
Discussion: WTVR-TV, WHNT-TV and CBS San Francisco
Zack Colman / Politico:
Ocasio-Cortez gets in closed-door fight with veteran lawmaker over climate change  —  A fight broke out in a closed-door meeting of House Democrats over climate change as a powerful veteran lawmaker fought with freshman star Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members-elect over the creation of a special panel for the issue.
John Harwood / CNBC:
These charts show how Democrats represent the growing modern economy - and how Republicans are left behind  —  Among other results, this year's midterm elections affirmed this much: in Washington, the two parties now speak for dramatically different segments of the American economy.
Michael R. Blood / Associated Press:
Democrat Porter flips GOP House seat in Southern California  —  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democrat Katie Porter captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat Thursday in the heart of what once was Southern California's Reagan country, extending a rout of the state's GOP House delegation.
Discussion: Political Wire and Axios
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Republican senator claims ‘the left’ will start a civil war unless federal highway system abolished  —  We are ruled by monsters and fools.  —  On Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered a speech to the conservative Federalist Society that would have been more at home on Alex Jones' radio show …
Richard Fontaine / The Atlantic:   Trump Gets NATO Backwards
New York Times:
Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook as Furor Over Its Tactics Grows  —  WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive and chairman, held a conference call with reporters to discuss how the social network manages problematic posts and its community standards.
Nolan D. McCaskill / Politico:
Black caucus members back Pelosi for speaker over their former chair  —  Lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus back Nancy Pelosi for speaker over one of their own members, Rep. Marcia Fudge — a bad sign for the former CBC chair who's considering a challenge to the California Democrat.
Discussion: Townhall and Axios
Ashley Feinberg / HuffPost:
What Did ‘Pod Save America’ Expect?  —  Don't put professional Republican smear men on your liberal podcast.  —  Until Wednesday night, at least, Tim Miller was known — if he was known at all outside Beltway circles — as the token Republican pet of Crooked Media, the distributor of the wildly popular “Pod Save America.”
The Trace:
The NRA Has Killed Free Coffee for Employees  —  The National Rifle Association is doing away with free coffee and water coolers for employees at its Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters — a cost-cutting move that has NRA insiders “freaking out,” The Trace has learned.
The Daily Beast:
Even Trump Can't Stop Mocking Sean Hannity's ‘Dumb’ Softball Questions  —  Trump craves friction to set off sparks and drama.  Hannity's slobbering extinguishes them.  —  Donald Trump's close relationship—on air and off—with Sean Hannity hasn't stopped the president from mocking …
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Mississippi GOP Sen. Hyde-Smith calls voter suppression ‘great idea.’ Campaign: ‘Obviously’ joking.  —  The caught-on-camera comment surfaced days after her remark about attending a “public hanging” stirred controversy.  —  A video surfaced Thursday of Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith …
Ben Feuerherd / New York Post:
Homeless vet, couple allegedly made up story for GoFundMe scam  —  The New Jersey couple who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in a viral charity campaign for a homeless man were allegedly working with the vagrant as part of an elaborate ruse, according to a new report.
Christal Hayes / USA Today:
Michael Avenatti ‘still considering’ running for president after domestic violence arrest  —  WASHINGTON - Attorney Michael Avenatti says despite his run-in with the law Wednesday evening over an alleged domestic violence incident, he is still debating a bid for the White House.
Christina Tkacik / Baltimore Sun:
Man shouts ‘Heil Hitler, Heil Trump’ during intermission of Baltimore performance of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’  —  The audience reacts after a man interrupts the “Fiddler on the Roof” performance at the Hippodrome Theatre.  (Video courtesy of Rich Scherr)  —  A man shouted a pro-Nazi …
David Remnick / New Yorker:
Trump's Rages and the Case for Optimism  —  If Donald Trump were not so unbalanced, were he not exacting such immeasurable damage on the domestic welfare and the national security of the United States, you might find it in yourself to feel a tinge of sympathy for one so lost.
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 More Items: 
Democracy Now:
As Jeff Bezos Earns $191K Per Minute, Why Are NY & VA Giving Amazon $3 Billion in Corporate Welfare?
Discussion: Vox and New York Times
Sara Boboltz / HuffPost:
Trump Names Mar-A-Lago Member And Handbag Designer As Ambassador
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Talking Points Memo:
Feds Request Pretrial Detention For Neo-Nazi Linked To Pittsburgh Shooter
Dylan Lovan / Associated Press:
Hate-crime indictments returned in Kentucky grocery killings
New York Times:
Your Children's Yellowstone Will Be Radically Different
Discussion: ThinkProgress
New York Post:
Port Authority Bus Terminal closed due to snowstorm overcrowding
Discussion: WPIX 11 New York
Kellen Browning / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Gray wolf population could lose federal protection under GOP bill
Discussion: Associated Press
 Earlier Items: 
Emma G. Fitzsimmons / New York Times:
M.T.A. Warns of Fare Increases and Service Cuts as Budget Crisis Looms
Discussion: Splinter
Amy Walter / The Cook Political Report:
Trump's 2016 Showing Was the Most Important Factor in 2018 House Races
Maureen Callahan / New York Post:
Michelle Obama's money-making hypocrisy is laughable
Discussion: The Root
Richard Rubin / Wall Street Journal:
Trump Tax Cut to Be Eroded Next Year by Inflation Switch
Annie Gowen / Washington Post:
Taxpayers' cost for Trump Jr.'s business trip to India nearly $100K, documents show
Kevin Miller / Press Herald:
Golden wins Maine's 2nd District race following historic ranked-choice count
Jason Cherkis / Highline:
The Best Way To Save People From Suicide