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12:00 PM ET, December 6, 2018


 Top Items: 
Elaina Plott / The Atlantic:
The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report  —  Nobody knows how the White House plans to respond to the Mueller report—including the people who work at the White House.  —  The special counsel is reportedly nearing the end of his probe.  Sentencing memos are dropping.
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
“They're Beginning to Think About Whether Mike Pence Should Be Running Again": As the Mueller Fire Nears, Trump Ponders Jettisoning His Loyal V.P.  —  New polling, and the Nick Ayers-John Kelly subplot, are feeding doubts about Pence and 2020.  —  After Michael Cohen's surprise plea agreement …
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:   Senate Intelligence Committee Grilled Steve Bannon About Cambridge Analytica
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
Elizabeth Warren Stands by DNA Test.  But Around Her, Worries Abound.  —  WASHINGTON — The plan was straightforward: After years of being challenged by President Trump and others about a decades-old claim of Native American ancestry, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would take a DNA test …
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
George H. W. Bush's Funeral Was the Corny, Feel-Good Moment That Washington Craves  —  What does it tell you that the feel-good events in Washington these days are funerals?  —  George Herbert Walker Bush was memorialized on Wednesday at the National Cathedral in the country's first state funeral …
John F. Harris / Politico:
Bush's Funeral Wasn't About Trump.  But Of Course It Was.  —  The memorial service for George H.W. Bush was a perfectly civil and eminently civilized event, and if one was listening in a literal-minded way it all sounded like a grand exception to life in modern Washington …
Bret Baier / Fox News:   George H.W. Bush and a letter to live by
Paul Szoldra / Task & Purpose:
General McChrystal Told Pompeo To ‘Muddle Along’ In Afghanistan, Leaked Audio Reveals  —  Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he did not know what to do in Afghanistan but offered his “best suggestion” …
Discussion: New Republic and Political Wire
Washington Post:
Dow extends deep losses, triggered by uncertainty on U.S.-China trade deal  —  After a reprieve for a national day of mourning, U.S. stock markets on Thursday extended an across-the-board rout triggered by signs that the prospect of a U.S.-China trade deal was in jeopardy.
Stocks drop again with Dow's two-day slide now totaling more than 1,000 points
Discussion: The Guardian and Mediaite
The Guardian:
Trump aide's appearances on RT channel are focus for Russia inquiry  —  Ted Malloch, a Trump campaign adviser, has been questioned about his relationship with the Kremlin-controlled broadcaster  —  Robert Mueller is allegedly examining a Trump campaign adviser's appearances …
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:   House Democrats plan to send Trump aides' transcripts to Mueller
Azeen Ghorayshi / BuzzFeed News:
This Is How The Accusations Against Neil deGrasse Tyson Finally Came To Light  —  No one believed Tchiya Amet when she said Tyson had raped her in the 1980s.  Now, three other women tell BuzzFeed News that he harassed them, including one who's sharing her story publicly for the first time.
Deval Patrick:
After a lot of conversation, reflection and prayer, I've decided that a 2020 campaign for president is not for me.  I've been overwhelmed by advice and encouragement from people from all over the country, known and unknown.  Humbled, in fact.  But knowing that the cruelty of our elections process …
Discussion: CNN
Alexei Koseff / Sacramento Bee:
Kamala Harris aide resigns after harassment, retaliation settlement surfaces  —  A longtime top staff member of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris resigned Wednesday after The Sacramento Bee inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement resulting from his time working for Harris at the California Department of Justice.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Trump's slow-motion staff ‘shakeup’ stunts 2019 planning  —  President Donald Trump is still looking for a new United Nations ambassador.  He has no deputy national security adviser.  His attorney general and Environmental Protection Agency administrator are serving in acting capacities …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Washington Post:
Saudi-funded lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at Trump's hotel after 2016 election  —  Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump's D.C. hotel within a month of Trump's election in 2016 — paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Beto O'Rourke's team has been talking to Obama political operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire as 2020 momentum builds  — Democratic rising star Beto O'Rourke's team has been fielding calls from senior operatives who worked on President Obama's campaign in the pivotal states of Iowa and New Hampshire
Discussion: Breitbart
Elizabeth Bruenig / Washington Post:
Why this progressive Texan can't get excited about Beto O'Rourke
Discussion: CBS News, and IJR
Paul Wiseman / Associated Press:
Record imports push US trade gap to $55.5 billion in October  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Record imports in October drove the U.S. trade deficit to the highest level in a decade.  —  The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gap between the United States sells and what it buys …
Discussion: Axios and One America News Network
Huawei arrest: China demands release of Meng Wanzhou  —  China is demanding the release of telecoms giant Huawei's chief financial officer, who has been detained in Canada.  —  Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company's founder, could face extradition to the US.
Discussion: Vox and Washington Post
Globe and Mail:
Canada has arrested Huawei's global chief financial officer in Vancouver
Associated Press:
Ecuador: Enough UK guarantees for Assange to leave embassy  —  QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador's president says Britain has provided sufficient guarantees for Julian Assange to leave his government's embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living under asylum since 2012.
Discussion: Breitbart
Lisa Rein / Washington Post:
Don't condemn white nationalists, Veterans Affairs' diversity chief was told after Charlottesville, emails show  —  A top White House appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs sought to silence the agency's chief diversity officer, who — in the aftermath of last year's racially charged violence …
Discussion: Raw Story, The Week, Splinter and Mediaite
Edward-Isaac Dovere / The Atlantic:
Is Joe Biden Running for President?  He Can't Decide.  —  Watery eyes, clenched chins, insistent grips of his arm: They don't just think Joe Biden should run for president, or just want him to.  They tell him he has to.  —  It's hard for him to tell them no. It's hard for him to tell himself no.
S.E. Cupp / New York Daily News:   What Joe Biden doesn't understand
Kushners' Beachfront Strip Eligible for Trump's Poor-Area Tax Perks  —  The opportunity zones in the new tax law are supposed to attract investment to low-income areas.  But some of these neighborhoods aren't exactly struggling.  —  Pier Village promotes itself as a “jewel on the New Jersey coast.”
Discussion: Raw Story
Cleve R. Wootson Jr / Washington Post:
An escaped inmate kicked down a sleeping woman's door.  But she had a gun.  —  The prisoners had been planning their escape for days.  —  Bruce McLaughlin Jr. and Timothy Dill put the jailbreak into motion sometime after 2 a.m. Tuesday.  It was the graveyard shift at the jail in Pickens County …
Discussion: Louder With Crowder
Labor divided over Albany's ambitious single-payer health care bill  —  Legislation that would make New York state the health insurance provider for all residents has fractured New York's unions — a divide the bill's sponsors are trying to bridge before it risks derailing the controversial measure.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
WashPost PR:
Job posting: Congress reporter  —  The next Congress promises to be an extraordinary story, as Democrats push their agenda and launch oversight investigations and both parties continue to figure out how to work with President Trump.  —  We are looking for a reporter who can cover it in full …
Tal Axelrod / The Hill:
Over a thousand absentee ballots possibly destroyed in controversial North Carolina House race: report  —  Over a thousand absentee ballots from likely Democratic voters may have been destroyed in the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District last month as allegations of fraud on behalf of the Republican candidate mount.
Discussion: Washington Post, Daily Kos and CNN
David Papadopoulos / Bloomberg:
Hugo Chavez's Failed Socialist Experiment Is Deadlier Than Ever  —  Hugo Chávez had barely been in office two months when Nelson Chitty La Roche, a burly, gruff, gun-toting lawmaker from the Venezuelan political establishment, told me he was fed up.  Chitty didn't care …
Soo Youn / ABC News:
24 Amazon workers sent to hospital after robot accidentally unleashes bear spray  —  Twenty-four Amazon workers in New Jersey have been hospitalized after a robot accidentally tore a can of bear repellent spray in a warehouse, officials said.  —  The two dozen workers were treated at five local hospitals …
Associated Press:
Colorado's Hickenlooper staffs up for possible 2020 bid  —  DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and his allies are taking new steps toward launching a presidential campaign, including interviews with dozens of potential staffers and hiring a pollster and national fundraiser, according to a person close to the Democrat.
Discussion: Politico
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
How Trump's approval rating has evolved, according to data scientist Donald Trump  —  Late Wednesday night, President Trump tweeted a celebratory image. … Polling from Rasmussen Reports has Trump at 50 percent approval, the tweet notes, something Trump credits to his hard work.
Discussion: AOL
New York Times:
As Flynn Case Winds Down, Investigation of Turkish Lobbying Persists  —  WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in Virginia are investigating a secret Turkish lobbying effort that once involved Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, even as Mr. Flynn's role in the special counsel's …
Congress looks to usurp Trump's foreign policy powers  —  Senators are furious after the Khashoggi killing and are eager to challenge the president.  —  The Senate is on the verge of an extraordinary rebuke of Donald Trump's foreign policy, underscoring a bipartisan willingness to encroach …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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 More Items: 
Women are fleeing Venezuela for a better life. They're turning up dead.
Mark Hansen / New York Times:
To Reduce Privacy Risks, the Census Plans to Report Less Accurate Data
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Senators bicker over definition of Trump's wall
Discussion: Washington Post
Jillian Kay Melchior / Wall Street Journal:
A Campus Free-Speech Dustup With No Conservatives
Neil Munro / Breitbart:
Goodlatte: House Leadership Blocked Trump-Backed Immigration Reform
John Merline / Investor's Business Daily:
Non-Citizens Driving Up Welfare And Uninsured Rolls, Census Data Show
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Nearly a month after the Camp Fire began razing their towns, Californians return to ruin
 Earlier Items: 
Ann Marlowe / New York Times:
Is Harvard Whitewashing a Russian Oligarch's Fortune?
Discussion: New York Post
Olivia Garrett / Politico:
France dumps controversial fuel tax
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Fox News Host Chris Wallace: Bush Funeral Shows Trump Not Part of ‘Presidents Club’
Discussion: CNN and Contemptor
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
The war on standards: fare-jumping edition
Discussion: Washington Post
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
The president has been shockingly presidential for the last six minutes