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9:35 AM ET, December 12, 2018


 Top Items: 
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Playing by His Own Rules, Trump Flips the Shutdown Script  —  WASHINGTON — The trick in Washington has always been to make sure a government shutdown is pinned on the other guy.  President Trump is the first to ever pin one on himself.  —  In a new twist on the old game of shutdown politics dating …
Discussion: Althouse and Political Wire
Sarah Ferris / Politico:
Pelosi privately disses Trump's manhood after White House meeting  —  Nancy Pelosi was on fire with her fellow Democrats.  —  Minutes after a very public showdown with Donald Trump on Tuesday over his border wall with Mexico, the House minority leader returned to the Capitol and railed …
Trump jams Republicans with shutdown vow  —  The president's eagerness to take ownership of a partial government shutdown if he doesn't get border wall funding has painted Republicans into a corner.  —  President Donald Trump just made it nearly impossible for Republicans to blame Democrats …
William Cummings / USA Today:
Twitter users mercilessly mock Mike Pence for ‘Elf on the Shelf’ performance in Oval Office
Discussion: HuffPost
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Pelosi on verge of deal with rebels to reclaim speakership
Discussion: ABC News and CNN
Matt Lewis / The Daily Beast:
Everybody's Wrong: Donald Trump Won the Chuck-n-Nancy Meeting, and Here's Why
Associated Press:
AP: Ivanka, Kushner could profit from tax break they pushed  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — At an Oval Office gathering earlier this year, President Donald Trump began touting his administration's new real estate investment program, which offers massive tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden American communities.
Exclusive: Trump says he is not concerned about being impeached, defends payments to women  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was not concerned that he would get impeached and that payments made ahead of the 2016 election by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen …
Exclusive: Trump says he is looking at 10 or 12 candidates for chief of staff job  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he has 10 to 12 candidates he is considering for the post of new White House chief of staff and although he could move quickly to fill the job, he was in no particular rush.
Gabby Orr / Politico:
What does it take to become Trump's chief of staff? Jared and Ivanka's approval
Discussion: Raw Story and Fox News
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Memo: FBI recommended Michael Flynn not have lawyer present during interview, did not warn of false statement consequences  —  Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who arranged the bureau's interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 …
Adam Goldman / New York Times:
Michael Flynn Asks Judge for Leniency for Lying to F.B.I.  —  WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump's first national security adviser, asked a federal judge late on Tuesday to spare their client any prison time for pleading guilty to lying to investigators …
CNN:   Michael Flynn asks federal judge to spare him from prison time in response to government sentencing memo
Exclusive: Trump says standing by Saudi crown prince despite pleas from Senate  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he stood by Saudi Arabia's crown prince despite a CIA assessment that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pleas …
David Lawder / Reuters:   Exclusive: Trump says China buying ‘tremendous amount’ of U.S. soybeans
Washington Post:
Conservative Party calls for vote of no confidence to oust Prime Minister Theresa May  —  LONDON — Lawmakers in Britain's Conservative Party on Wednesday triggered a “no confidence” vote against Prime Minister Theresa May, threatening her leadership as she struggles to secure a deal for Britain to leave the European Union.
Theresa May to face confidence vote  —  LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party Wednesday, something she vowed to contest “with everything I've got.”  —  Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs …
Theresa May to face vote of no confidence from Tory MPs
Discussion: Guido Fawkes
Jessica Elgot / The Guardian:
Brexit in chaos as Tory MPs trigger vote of no confidence in Theresa May
Allan Smith / NBC News:
Incoming New York attorney general plans wide-ranging investigations of Trump and family  —  Just-elected Letitia James, who takes office next month, tells NBC she will probe real estate deals, Trump Tower meeting, emoluments, Trump Foundation and more.  —  New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James …
Exclusive: Trump says he could intervene in U.S. case against Huawei CFO  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene in the Justice Department's case against a top executive at China's Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] if it would serve national security interests …
New York Times:
Marriott Data Breach Is Traced to Chinese Hackers as U.S. Readies Crackdown on Beijing  —  WASHINGTON — The cyberattack on the Marriott hotel chain that collected passport information or other personal details of roughly 500 million guests was part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort …
Washington Post:
Trump has blasted Mueller's team for political donations.  But attorney general nominee William P. Barr has given more than $500,000.  —  President Trump has repeatedly derided prosecutors investigating potential coordination between his presidential campaign and Russia as “angry Democrats …
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Reuters
Colby Itkowitz / Washington Post:
Congresswoman to Google CEO: Why when I search ‘idiot’ do I get pictures of Trump?  —  In an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, a Democratic congresswoman asked the tech company's chief executive a simple question: “If you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up.
Discussion: Breitbart
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai emerges ‘unscathed’ from the circus in Washington
Lucien Bruggeman / ABC News:
Cohen to face sentencing for campaign finance violations, lying to Congress  —  Michael Cohen, the former longtime personal attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, is set to learn his sentence Wednesday morning in Manhattan after pleading guilty to a laundry list of charges brought …
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Brendan Pierson / Reuters:   Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be sentenced for hush money payments
Edvard Pettersson / Bloomberg:
Stormy Daniels Is Ordered to Pay Trump $293,000 in Fees and Sanctions
New York Times:
Strasbourg Shooting Was Terrorism, France Says, as Police Search for Gunman  —  STRASBOURG, France — The shooting at a crowded street market in Strasbourg, France, was an act of terrorism, officials said Wednesday, as the police continued an intensive search for the gunman who killed at least two people and wounded 12 others.
Discussion: Jihad Watch and NPR
Josh Eidelson / Bloomberg:
Employees at Amazon's New NYC Warehouse Launch Unionization Push  — Union says any retaliation should cost the company its project  — Workers cite concerns over pressure, hours, safety, breaks  —  A committee of employees at Amazon's recently opened Staten Island fulfillment center …
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
Gap continues to widen between Trump and intelligence community on key issues  —  President Trump continues to reject the judgments of U.S. spy agencies on major foreign policy fronts, creating a dynamic in which intelligence analysts frequently see troubling gaps between the president's public statements …
Vanessa Romo / NPR:
Customs And Border Protection Paid A Firm $13.6 Million To Hire Recruits.  It Hired 2  —  A scathing report by the Office of the Inspector General revealed that a consulting company hired by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to fill thousands of new jobs to satisfy President Trump's mandate …
Alyza Sebenius / Bloomberg:
U.S. Companies Targeted by Possible North Korean Hackers: McAfee  — Tried to hit at least 87 firms, including in nuclear industry  — Employees contacted with links purportedly for job recruitment  —  Hackers have targeted dozens of companies, mostly based in the U.S. …
Discussion: Raw Story
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Defeated Republican Rep. Rohrabacher Considers Starting Consulting Firm  —  Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is weighing the creation of a consulting firm when he leaves government after being ousted by California voters in last month's midterm elections.
Alex Parker / RedState:
Condolences to Julia Roberts: The Absolute Worst Typo You've Seen All Year  —  Typos stnk.  —  They realy do.  —  For some of you who happen to view an article of mine as soon as it hits the web, I apologize — I always end up making corrections once it's posted.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
How Do You Recover After Millions Have Watched You Overdose?
Who's More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000 — or $400,000?
Discussion: The Atlantic and Mother Jones
Trump's terrorism argument for border wall is bogus
Marty Lederman / New York Times:
Would Indicting Trump Be Constitutional?
Natasha Korecki / Politico:
2020 contenders scramble in advance of January campaign kickoff
Chad Felix Greene / The Federalist:
The Stigma Against My Conservative Politics Is Worse Than The Stigma Of Being Gay
Discussion: Instapundit and Raw Story
Karen Zraick / New York Times:
Hundreds of Complaints Flood In About New York Store Signs, but From Whom?
 Earlier Items: 
New Yorker:
Before She Leaves the Senate, Claire McCaskill Gives an Exit Interview
Washington Post:
Maria Butina set to plead guilty to conspiring to act as agent of Kremlin, documents shows
Wall Street Journal:
The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone
Washington Post:
Trump loyalist at VA forced out after collecting pay but doing little work
Discussion: Splinter
Lindsey Bever / Washington Post:
Shaken not slurred: James Bond had ‘a severe chronic alcohol problem,’ public health experts say
Helen Andrews / First Things:
Shame Storm  —  After a lifetime of impeccably correct opinions …