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12:50 PM ET, November 17, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination  —  The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government's claims that he was not involved in the killing …
Washington Post:
Trump says he'll speak with CIA about Khashoggi killing  —  President Trump said Saturday that he would speak with the CIA about its finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  The Washington Post first reported on Friday …
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Trump hails Saudis as ‘spectacular ally’ in wake of CIA Khashoggi reports  —  President Donald Trump on Saturday heralded Saudi Arabia as a “spectacular ally” two days after his administration leveled sanctions against 17 Saudi officials for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Washington Post:   Woman says she married Khashoggi in ceremony kept secret from his fiancee and some in his family
Julian E. Barnes / New York Times:
C.I.A. Concludes That Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi Killed
Discussion: The Week
Los Angeles Times:
Going, going ... with midterm wipeout, California Republican Party drifts closer to irrelevance  —  For a party in freefall the last two decades, California Republicans learned that it's possible to plunge even further.  —  The GOP not only lost every statewide office in the midterm election …
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
RIP, California GOP: Republicans lash out after midterm election debacle  —  LOS ANGELES — In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives …
Sacramento Bee:
Camp Fire refugees create new town of ‘Wallywood’ as officials struggle with housing crisis  —  As searchers sift through dirt and ash for remains of the dead in the Northern California foothills Friday, officials struggled with a growing crisis: How to help the living, many of whom are now homeless.
Discussion: Vox
Amanda Mull / The Atlantic:
Smoke Days Are Now California's Snow Days  —  The particulates in smoke don't destroy homes.  They don't down trees.  But in the case of wildfires, smoke's impacts—and dangers—can reach hundreds of miles further than the flames themselves.  As of Friday evening, the Camp Fire raging in Butte County …
Mihir Zaveri / New York Times:
As Inmates, They Fight California's Fires. As Ex-Convicts, Their Firefighting Prospects Wilt.
Discussion: Axios
New York Times:
How the Trump Administration Stepped Up Pursuit of WikiLeaks's Assange  —  WASHINGTON — Soon after he took over as C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo privately told lawmakers about a new target for American spies: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.  —  Intent on finding out more about Mr …
Rachel Weiner / Washington Post:   This prosecutor's cut-and-paste mistake revealed case against WikiLeaks founder
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Booting Jim Acosta from the White House was bad for press rights.  Charging Julian Assange might be worse.
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
Democratic Rep. Moulton draws fire for campaign to deny Pelosi speaker's job  —  Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, the hard-charging Marine who served four tours of duty in Iraq is leading the challenge to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her bid for speaker — and is suddenly taking incoming fire from all quarters.
Discussion: Political Wire
POLITICO Playbook: Trump says Republicans would save Pelosi, Pelosi world says she'll win with Dems  —  DRIVING THE DAY  —  THE PRESIDENT SAYS HE'LL HELP PELOSI — @realDonaldTrump at 6:37 a.m.: “I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House.
Discussion: Town & Country and Political Wire
CNN:   Democrats, think twice before you reject Nancy Pelosi
Mihir Zaveri / New York Times:
A Gay Councilman in Texas, Ousted From Office, Says He Was Blackmailed With Naked Photos  —  This month's midterm elections resulted in the election of more openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people than ever before.  But for Cross Coburn, who served as an openly gay councilman …
Jonathan S. Tobin / National Review:
Why the Senate Shouldn't Grandstand on Mueller  —  Even if you think the special counsel should be protected, the bill is unconstitutional.  —  Jeff Flake may be leaving the Senate soon, but he's determined that his exit will be one of non-stop moral posturing.
Yahoo News:   Subject of Mueller probe boasts of ties to acting AG Matt Whitaker
New York Times:
Matthew Whitaker and the Corruption of Justice
David E. Bernstein / Reason:
American Civil Liberties Union, RIP  —  The ACLU no longer even pretends to believe in civil liberties.  —  In the late 1960s, the ACLU was a small but powerful liberal organization devoted to a civil libertarian agenda composed primarily of devotion to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the rights of accused criminals.
Ashton Pittman / Jackson Free Press:
Hyde-Smith Accepts $2,700 Donation from Notorious White Supremacist … JACKSON—U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith accepted a donation from Peter Sieve, a businessman in Washington state known for his white supremacist views, just days after a video published by Bayou Brief surfaced in which she says she would be …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Trump Says Extradition Of Erdogan Foe Is ‘Not Under Consideration’  —  President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is not considering extraditing a U.S.-based cleric to appease Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as NBC News reported earlier this week.
Noor Al-Sibai / Raw Story:
Authorities find a rocket launcher and pipe bombs during massive Florida white supremacist sting  —  Thirty-nine members of the United Aryan Brotherhood and Unforgiven neo-Nazi groups were arrested in a Florida drug trafficking sting — and one had functional pipe bombs in his home.
Isabel Rosales / WFTS:
39 suspected gang members charged in major drug, gun trafficking investigation in Pasco
Discussion: Washington Press and The Root
Jonathan D. Salant / New Jersey Online:
The last Republican.  Chris Smith is the lone survivor of N.J.'s blue wave in Washington.  —  Rep. Chris Smith talks about his bill to stop human trafficking  —  WASHINGTON — Come January, Rep. Chris Smith will stand alone.  —  Alone in that he will be the only Republican among …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Michael W. Chapman / CNSNews:
Number of Witches in U.S. on the Rise, May Surpass 1.5 Million  —  A report in the Christian Post contends that the number of witches (and Wiccans) has dramatically increased since the 1990s, to the degree that there may be at least 1.5 million witches in the United States, which is higher than the 1.4 million mainline Presbyterians.
D.C.'s Neo-Nazi Brothers Were Hiding In Plain Sight  —  A neighbor in Washington's Bloomingdale neighborhood warned a cop about extremists Jeffrey and Edward Clark.  It wasn't enough.  —  WASHINGTON By last summer, Kamau Bilal had heard enough.  When the Clarks became one of the first white families …
Greg P. /
‘Active criminal investigation’: No big deal, just Florida Dems lawyering up as feds and state investigate possible voter fraud  —  Politico's Marc Caputo and Matt Dixon are reporting that the Florida Democratic party has “lawyered up” as it has finally dawned on them that staffers …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
‘Nelson has no path’: Democrats admit Scott beats Florida icon  —  Sen. Bill Nelson has run out of time, run out of favorable court rulings and is about to officially run out of votes.  —  After losing to Gov. Rick Scott on Election Day, losing after an automatic recount and appearing …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Here's what a primary challenge to Trump would accomplish  —  “I think we have to go all out.  I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!”  — Otter, from 1978's “Animal House”  —  I confess that, for months now …
Discussion: Althouse
Benjamin Wood / Salt Lake Tribune:
Rep. Mia Love jumps ahead of Ben McAdams by 419 votes after updates from Utah, Salt Lake counties  —  Two-term Republican Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is winning the 4th Congressional District for the first time since Election Day after an updated vote count in Utah County pushed her narrowly …
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Rep. Mia Love pulls ahead of Democrat Ben McAdams as judge dismisses her lawsuit
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Salt Lake Tribune
Tal Kopan / San Francisco Chronicle:
More than 14,000 immigrant children are in U.S. custody, an all-time high  —  WASHINGTON — The number of undocumented immigrant children in government custody has topped 14,000 for the first time, a rise that shows no signs of slowing as the Trump administration enforces policies that are keeping them in government facilities longer.
Discussion: Splinter and Political Wire
Lawrence Lessig / USA Today:
Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine.  Now we should use it in presidential races.  —  When voters rank their first, second and third-choice candidates, the winner is broadly acceptable.  Let's do it in New Hampshire presidential primary.  —  CONNECT  —  On Thursday, election officials …
Discussion: Raw Story and Kennebec Journal …
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 More Items: 
Andrew Lawrence / Campus Reform:
GSU mandates ‘all students’ take ‘diversity and inclusion’ courses
Discussion: TheBlaze
Mehdi Hasan / The Intercept:
Chuck Schumer Caved to Facebook and Donald Trump. He Shouldn't Lead Senate Democrats.
Carole Cadwalladr / NYR Daily:
Why Britain Needs Its Own Mueller
Hillel Italie / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Obama's memoir sells more than 725,000 copies
Discussion: Political Wire and Axios
Philip Wegmann / Washington Examiner:
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, writing from prison, urges Mitch McConnell to move the criminal justice reform bill
Marissa J. Lang / Washington Post:
One of the oldest lesbian bars on the East Coast is to be demolished.  The city wants to put in a dog park.
W. James Antle III / The American Conservative:
When The ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ Is A Black Man
 Earlier Items: 
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
Basta La Vista, Baby
Dave Philipps / New York Times:
Decorated Navy SEAL Is Accused of War Crimes in Iraq
Wall Street Journal:
House Democrats to Step Up Probe of Trump-Russia Ties
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
Christopher Bing / Reuters:
Russians impersonating U.S. State Department aide in hacking campaign: researchers
Pilar Melendez / The Daily Beast:
Lou Dobbs Loses His Mind After CNN Defeats White House Over Acosta's Press Access
Discussion: Mediaite, Contemptor and IJR
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
I'm fine with women in power, just not this one specific woman currently in power
Ann Gibbons / Science:
Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’