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5:00 PM ET, December 13, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Tom Winter / NBC News:
Trump was in the room during hush money discussions, NBC News confirms  —  A source confirms to NBC News that the “other member of the campaign” present when Michael Cohen and David Pecker agreed to silence women was Donald Trump.  —  Donald Trump was the third person in the room in August 2015 …
RELATED:
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
7 quotes that show how blatant the Trump hush money coverup was  —  President Trump on Thursday tacitly admitted, for the first time, that he directed Michael Cohen to facilitate hush-money payments to two women who had alleged affairs with Trump, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.
Discussion: RedState, The Hill, USA Today and Breitbart
Howard Kurtz / Fox News:
Trump cancels White House Christmas party for the press  —  EXCLUSIVE - President Trump has canceled the White House holiday party for the media, making the decades-old tradition a victim of his increasingly contentious relationship with major news organizations.
NBC News:
Trump confides to friends he's concerned about impeachment  —  Despite public declarations that he's unconcerned, the president has told people close to him he's alarmed about the prospect of impeachment.  —  WASHINGTON — Despite President Donald Trump's public declaration that he isn't concerned …
Caleb Ecarma / Mediaite:
Watch Napolitano Debunk All of Fox & Friends' Trump Defenses: ‘John Edwards Case Actually Hurts the President’  —  As the co-hosts of Fox & Friends rallied to defend their favorite president, as their colleague, senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, continued to confront them with the implication …
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Former Apprentice Staffer Claims Trump Was ‘Speed Freak,’ Invited Teen Beauty Queens to His Suite  —  A former staffer on The Apprentice and current stand-up comic named Noel Casler claims that Donald Trump was a “speed freak” who snorted crushed-up Adderall, and also says that Trump invited …
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Balloon Juice
Bloomberg:
Mnuchin Says He's ‘Happy’ But Would Be Chief of Staff If Trump Wants
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:
Trump uses Congress as excuse on alleged campaign finance violations
Discussion: Political Wire, ABC News and Hullabaloo
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors  —  Probe looking into whether committee misspent funds and top donors gave money in exchange for access to the administration  —  Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump's …
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and The Guardian
CNN:
Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina admits to engaging in conspiracy against US  —  Washington (CNN)Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina admitted in federal court Thursday morning to engaging in a conspiracy against the United States.  —  Butina, 30, was accused of working to infiltrate Republican …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Russian Maria Butina pleads guilty in effort to forge Kremlin bond with U.S. conservatives  —  A Russian gun rights activist pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate the conservative movement in the United States as an agent for the Kremlin from 2015 until her arrest in July 2017.
Discussion: Political Wire and The Mahablog
BuzzFeed News:
Maria Butina Pleaded Guilty To Illegally Trying To Set Up Backchannels With US Officials To Benefit Russia
Discussion: Boing Boing
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Maria Butina Pleads Guilty to Role in a Russian Effort to Influence Conservatives
Discussion: Daily Kos
New York Times:
Senate Votes to Limit War Powers in Yemen, Angered by Saudi Killing of Journalist  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate voted resoundingly on Thursday to withdraw American military assistance for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, issuing the latest in a series of stinging bipartisan rebukes of President Trump …
RELATED:
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Senate votes to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for Khashoggi killing
Discussion: Political Wire, Joe.My.God. and Axios
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Senate defies Trump, rebuking Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi killing
Discussion: ABC News
Erin Banco / The Daily Beast:
Get Ready for Mueller's Phase Two: The Middle East Connection  —  The ‘Russia investigation’ is set to go global.  In court filings due to drop in 2019, prosecutors will unveil Middle Eastern countries' attempts to influence U.S. politics.  —  Over the past year, the indictments, convictions …
Christine Stapleton / Palm Beach Post:
BREAKING: Trump plans 16-day holiday visit to Mar-a-Lago  —  President Donald Trump is expected to spend 16 days at Mar-a-Lago over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, according to an alert issued by the Federal Aviation Administration this morning.  —  The alert warns pilots to avoid …
Ana Colón / Glamour:
Nancy Pelosi's Red Coat Was Such a Moment It's Coming Back to Stores in 2019  —  On Tuesday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the White House to discuss a proposed wall on the southern border …
RELATED:
Jim Geraghty / National Review:   Nancy Pelosi: Term Limits for Thee, but Not for Me
Ginger Gibson / Reuters:   Pelosi says House Democrats will begin process to obtain Trump tax returns
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Did Michael Flynn Try to Strike a Grand Bargain With Moscow as It Attacked the 2016 Election?  —  In early December, special counsel Robert Mueller, in preparation for the upcoming sentencing of Michael Flynn, submitted two memos outlining his recommended punishment for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser.
RELATED:
J. K. Trotter / New York Times:
Chris Hayes's Work Diary: ‘My Life Is an Unceasing Festival of Impatience’  —  The journalist and MSNBC host wakes up to Twitter and ends the day “basically a brain-dead mess.”  —  As told to J. K. Trotter  —  Before he began hosting “All In,” which airs weeknights on MSNBC …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Kate Bennett / CNN:
Melania Trump's poll numbers plummet  —  Washington (CNN)Melania Trump's favorable rating has fallen by double-digits, according to a new CNN poll.  The first lady, whose favorability stood at 54% in October, has slipped to 43% in just two months.  —  Additionally, 36% of those polled found …
Discussion: Mediaite, AOL and Splinter
RELATED:
Matthew Choi / Politico:
Melania Trump's approval rating drops 11 points in CNN poll
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Associated Press:
Judge tosses suit by Maine GOP congressman who lost election  —  AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A federal judge rejected a lawsuit Thursday by a Republican incumbent from Maine who lost the nation's first congressional election held under a candidate-ranking system.
RELATED:
Steve Mistler / Maine Public:
Federal Judge Strikes Down Poliquin's Challenge To Maine's Ranked-Choice Voting Law
Discussion: Politico and Hit & Run
Sam Levin / The Guardian:
'They don't care': Facebook fact-checking in disarray as journalists push to cut ties  —  Journalists paid to help fix Facebook's fake news problem say they have lost trust in the platform  —  Journalists working as fact-checkers for Facebook have pushed to end a controversial media partnership …
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Democrats in New Jersey Have a Firm Grip on Power.  They Want Even More.  —  TRENTON — [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]  —  Legislative power brokers across the country have long designed district lines in back-room deals that entrenched their control for years, if not decades.
New York Times:
The Rise of Right-Wing Extremism, and How We Missed It … Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:  —  Despite repeated warnings over the past two decades, federal law enforcement officials in the United States have ignored the threat of violence from far-right extremists.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Stephen Robinson / Wonkette:
Totally Non-Evil ICE Arrests 170 Immigrants Trying To Save Babies From Baby Jails  —  It's the holiday season, and in between debating the merits of Love Actually and “Baby It's Cold Outside,” you've probably wondered what's going on with all those migrant children the Trump administration separated from their families.
Discussion: NBC News
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
It Took Quite a Push, but McConnell Finally Allows Criminal Justice Vote  —  WASHINGTON — I was wrong about Mitch McConnell.  —  I doubted he would ever put a criminal justice measure that divided Republicans and ran counter to his conservative political instincts on the floor for a vote.
Discussion: Hit & Run
Sarah McGregor / Bloomberg:
U.S. Budget Deficit Hits Widest on Record for Month of November  — Federal outlays double revenue collections, Treasury data show  — U.S. ran largest fiscal gap in six years in fiscal 2018  —  The U.S. posted the widest November budget deficit on record as spending doubled revenue.
Rob Picheta / CNN:
Foul-mouthed Santa horrifies parents  —  (CNN)Organizers of a Christmas event have apologized to outraged parents after a fire alarm reportedly prompted Santa Claus to burst out of his grotto, rip off his beard and scream at children to “get the f**k out.”  —  The incident occurred at an event …
Jonathan Chait:
Since there seems to be some interest in my position on a New York magazine union, I'll explain my current thinking.  —  My overall view of unions is that they're beneficial for most, but not all, workers.  I understand that many union supporters believe every workplace should be unionized …
Discussion: Splinter
Department of Homeland Security:
Walls Work  —  WE ARE BUILDING THE FIRST NEW BORDER WALL IN A DECADE.  —  DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly.  We are not replacing short, outdated and ineffective wall with similar wall.  Instead, under this President we are building a wall that is 30-feet high.
Mark Strassmann / CBS News:
“I blame myself”: Retirement remains out of reach for millions of Americans  —  WAGONER, Okla. — For the first time since the 1940s, Americans are reaching retirement age in worse financial shape than their parents.  An estimated 10 million people older than 65 are still working — a number that has more than doubled since 1985.
Discussion: The Big Lead
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
New York State Issues Ultimatum To Faith-Based Adoption Agency  —  A religious adoption provider that has operated since 1965 and placed more than 1,000 children with families is being told by the New York state government to either changes its operating procedures - and go against its faith - or shut down.
 
 
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 More Items: 
John Kerry / New York Times:
Forget Trump. We All Must Act on Climate Change.
Discussion: Breitbart and Politico
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Settled Science: There Really Are ‘Latte Liberals’
Ellyn Felton / KCRG-TV:
Cedar Rapids police say robo-email bomb threats aren't credible
Discussion: CNN, twitchy.com and Common Dreams
RealClearInvestigations:
Ballot Fraud, American-Style ... and Its Bitter Harvests
Andy Slavitt / USA Today:
Health care law is alive despite Trump's 2-year drive to kill it. So sign up for insurance.
Tom Balmforth / Reuters:
Captured Ukrainian navy captains tell Russia: we won't testify
Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News:
The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate
Tawnell D. Hobbs / Wall Street Journal:
Down With Homework, Say U.S. School Districts
 Earlier Items: 
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
In a First, Lawmaker Cites QAnon Conspiracy From City Council Floor
Discussion: Contemptor
Jessica Valenti / Medium:
The $400 Rape … A young woman in Texas found out this week precisely …
Jacqueline Howard / CNN:
Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data reveals
Discussion: Political Wire
Marco Rubio / The Atlantic:
America Needs to Restore Dignity of Work
Discussion: Bloomberg, Mother Jones and twitchy.com
Andrew McCormick / Columbia Journalism Review:
A law firm in the trenches against media unions
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
When Anti-Zionism Tunnels Under Your House