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4:40 PM ET, December 12, 2018


 Top Items: 
Justice News:
Michael Cohen Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison  —  U.S. Attorney's Office Also Announces Non-Prosecution Agreement with American Media, Inc., Related to Its Payment of $150,000 to a Woman to Influence 2016 Presidential Election  —  Robert Khuzami, Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C.
The Daily Beast:
Trump-Friendly AMI Admits to Playmate Hush Payment to Influence 2016 Election  —  Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. (AMI) has entered into a non-prosecution agreement related to the hush-money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Discussion: Raw Story and Hit & Run
New York Times:
Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years After Implicating Trump in Hush-Money Scandal  —  Michael D. Cohen, the former lawyer for President Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday morning for his role in a hush-money scandal that could threaten Mr. Trump's presidency by implicating …
Washington Post:
Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison for crimes committed while working for Trump  —  [Breaking: Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison, tells judge he's lived in ‘personal and mental incarceration’ since working for Trump]  —  NEW YORK — A federal judge on Wednesday …
Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison
Discussion: Politico and SARAH PALIN
Victoria Jones / RealClearInvestigations:   Cohen's ‘Appointment in Prague’ Was Dossier Bunk, Mueller Files Indicate
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
The campaign finance threat to Trump just got more severe
Discussion: Breitbart
Natasha Bertrand / The Atlantic:
Michael Cohen Pays the Price for His ‘Blind Loyalty’ to Trump
Discussion: Politico, TalkLeft, CNN and Law & Crime
Associated Press:
Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen gets 3 years in prison
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: Big League Politics and Althouse
Monica Hesse / Washington Post:
The people love a feisty grandma, so Nancy Pelosi gave them one
Discussion: The Root
Ella Nilsen / Vox:
How Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer got Trump to own a government shutdown
Discussion: Politico and Breitbart
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / New York Times:
Pelosi Nears Deal With Dissident Democrats to Limit Her Speakership to 4 Years
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
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 …
Natalie Allison / The Tennessean:
Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green, a doctor, falsely claims vaccines cause autism, denies CDC evidence  —  A soon-to-be congressman from Tennessee told constituents Tuesday he believed vaccines may be causing autism, denying data from the Centers for Disease Control and other institutions disproving such a theory.
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Tribune, Tronc And Beyond: A Slur, A Secret Payout And A Looming Sale  —  Several months after taking control of the troubled Tribune Publishing Co. in 2016, Chicago investor Michael Ferro convened a session of corporate leaders from within his own news empire, including chief news executives …
Kenneth P. Vogel / New York Times:
Giuliani's Work for Trump Is Slowing, so He's Courting Business Abroad  —  WASHINGTON — The special counsel's investigation was grinding relentlessly onward, with President Trump's former national security adviser pleading for leniency in his case and his former fixer about to be sentenced for his crimes.
Charles Dunst / The Atlantic:
Trump Moves to Deport Vietnam War Refugees  —  The Trump administration is resuming its efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades—many of them having fled the country during the Vietnam War.  —  This is the latest move …
Discussion: New York Times and Joe.My.God.
Paul J. Weber / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Julian Castro moves toward 2020 White House run  —  SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro says he's taking a step toward a possible White House campaign in 2020 by forming a presidential exploratory committee.  The Texas Democrat tells The Associated Press that he will announce a decision Jan. 12.
The Guardian:
Theresa May wins confidence vote by a majority of 83 - Politics live  —  Prime minister defeats leadership challenge after Conservative MPs vote to back her by 200 to 117  — Full report: May defeats leadership challenge  — Tories reinstate MPs suspended over sex claims for May vote
Jill Lawless / Associated Press:
UK disarray: May faces a no-confidence vote from her party
Discussion: Daily Wire
Matthew Yglesias / Vox:
It's ridiculous that it's unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president  —  Immigrants, young people, and everyone else should be allowed to run.  —  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the biggest star in the Democratic Party, and she has been ever since she unseated …
Jon Murray / Denver Post:
Departing U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman reflects on Donald Trump and eyes the Aurora mayor's office  —  After 11-point loss, suburban Denver congressman hasn't decided on his next move.  But he has ideas.  —  Mike Coffman was seemingly invincible — until he wasn't.
Jim Tankersley / New York Times:
Trump to Steer More Money to ‘Opportunity Zones’  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump will direct federal agencies on Wednesday to steer spending toward certain distressed communities across the country — part of his administration's push to turn a tax break included in last year's $1.5 trillion tax package …
Discussion: The White House, Vox, Splinter and Raw Story
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
Washington must wake up to the abuse of software that kills  —  Dictators are using spyware to persecute dissidents and journalists at an alarming rate, while the foreign firms that sell these tools assure the public that everything is just fine.  It's time Washington policymakers …
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 …
Discussion: Hit & Run and Shakesville
Tyler Cowen / Bloomberg:
Macron Just Doesn't Get It  —  He and others on the left are being swept along by world-historical forces they do not fully understand.  —  The sorry truth is that both progressives and neoliberals still don't get it, and that seems true in France most of all.
Jenée Desmond-Harris / Nieman Lab:
It finally sinks in that some people aren't white … Is it really true that evangelical voters, or women voters, or rural voters or southern voters have a certain outlook?  Or would it be more accurate to say that the trends we're reporting in a political piece are true for white members of these groups?
Jay Senter / Shawnee Mission Post:
Sen. Barbara Bollier Changes Party Affiliation To Democrat, Says Republican Party ‘morally Not Going Where My Compass Resides’  —  Mission Hills Sen. Barbara Bollier This Morning Officially Changed Her Party Affiliation From Republican To Democrat.  —  Citing “Frustrations That Have Been Ongoing …
Discussion: Raw Story
David Wasserman / The Cook Political Report:
Introducing The Cook Political Report's 2020 House Ratings  —  The 116th Congress hasn't even been sworn in yet, and there's still no resolution in sight to one North Carolina race tainted by election fraud.  But already, the 2020 battle for the House is shaping up to be highly competitive.
Discussion: Florida Politics
Erin Nyren / Variety:
Christian Bale Recalls Meeting Donald Trump: ‘He Thought I Was Bruce Wayne’  —  With Christian Bale's latest film, “Vice,” a political dramedy, it's inevitable ties will be drawn between the film and the current political administration and its chief, President Donald Trump.
Discussion: The Root, Observer, Mashable, IJR and Mediaite
Ola Salem / Foreign Policy:
Saudi Arabia Declares War on America's Muslim Congresswomen  —  Gulf Arab monarchies are using racism, bigotry, and fake news to denounce Washington's newest history-making politicians.  —  Ever since the midterm election, conservative media in the United States have targeted with special zeal Ilhan Omar …
Marty Lederman / Just Security:
Why It Doesn't Matter Whether It'd Be Constitutional to Indict Trump  —  I have an Op-Ed in the New York Times today with a headline you've seen 1001 times before: “Would Indicting Trump Be Constitutional?”  —  My answer to that question is yes, it would be-even while he's in office.
Discussion: New York Times
David Rutz / Washington Free Beacon:
Lieu: ‘I Would Love to Be Able to Regulate the Content of Speech’ but First Amendment Stops Me  —  Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) said he would “love to be able to regulate the content of speech” during an interview Wednesday, noting he was prevented from doing that by the First Amendment.
Discussion: Townhall
Danielle Paquette / Washington Post:
Workers are ghosting their employers like bad dates  —  Silent exits are on the rise.  —  Economists report that workers are starting to act like millennials on Tinder: They're ditching jobs with nary a text.  —  “A number of contacts said that they had been 'ghosted …
Amy Lieu / Fox News:
California Democratic lawmaker arrested on suspicion of child cruelty: report  —  Democratic California state lawmaker Joaquin Arambula was arrested Monday on suspicion of misdemeanor child cruelty, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said.  —  The arrest came after officials …
Joe Bruno / WSOC-TV:
Photo shows Mark Harris and man at center of election fraud investigation together  —  CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new photo obtained by Channel 9 is adding to the complex and ever-evolving story of the 9th Congressional District election fraud investigation.  —  The State Board of Elections …
Discussion: Vox and The Guardian
Rebecca Rainey / Politico:
Trump owns shutdown  —  With help from Ted Hesson, Ian Kullgren and Timothy Noah  —  Editor's Note: This edition of Morning Shift is published weekdays at 10 a.m. POLITICO Pro Employment & Immigration subscribers hold exclusive early access to the newsletter each morning at 6 a.m. To learn …
Katherine Bindley / Wall Street Journal:
The Tyranny of the Elf on the Shelf: Where to Put Him Tonight?  —  A beloved Christmas tradition puts pressure on parents to keep coming up with creative scenarios; some adults wish he'd go back to Santa for good.  ‘This thing has snowballed.’
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 More Items: 
Nicole Auerbach / The Athletic:
'We don't need to wait another six years': College football leaders ready to discuss eight-team Playoff
Discussion: CollegeFootballTalk
Philip Hamburger / PragerU:
Who Are the Most Powerful People in America?
Benedict Carey / New York Times:
Can We Really Inherit Trauma?
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed News:
Tom Steyer Is Posting Job Listings On LinkedIn For A Potential 2020 Campaign
Discussion: New York Times and Joe.My.God.
Hillel Italie / Associated Press:
Robert Caro reflects on his career in upcoming book
Sean Illing / Vox:
Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist
Discussion: and Instapundit
Hans von Spakovsky / The Daily Signal:
Trump's Ex-Lawyer Didn't Violate Campaign Finance Laws, and Neither Did the President
 Earlier Items: 
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Return of Paganism  —  Maybe there actually is a genuinely …
Discussion: Spectator USA and Althouse
Aris Folley / The Hill:
Tennessee governor considering clemency for sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
For Trump, it's all downhill from here
Discussion: Raw Story
Andrew Roth / The Guardian:
‘Hi-tech robot’ at Russia forum turns out to be man in suit
Alaa Abdeldaiem / Sports Illustrated:
Christine Blasey Ford Introduces Rachael Denhollander as SI's Inspiration of the Year
Gustavo Solis /
Migrant groups march to U.S. consulate in Tijuana demanding reparations
Byron Tau / Wall Street Journal:
Defeated Republican Rep. Rohrabacher Considers Starting Consulting Firm