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12:00 PM ET, December 13, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
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 …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Evaluating Trump's latest legal defense on the 2016 hush-money payments  —  Let us dispatch quickly with a lot of truly remarkable context for President Trump's Thursday morning tweets denying culpability for alleged campaign-finance law violations.  So we'll note only hastily how noteworthy …
Darren Samuelsohn / Politico:
Trump ducks for legal cover after Cohen sentencing
Discussion: ABC News, USA Today and Bloomberg
The Daily Beast:
Trump Cancels White House Christmas Party for the Press
Discussion: Shakesville and LifeZette
Cheyenne Haslett / ABC News:
Trump denies he ‘directed’ Michael Cohen to break the law as prosecutors contend
Discussion: Vox and Wall Street Journal
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 …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story
Mother Jones:
Did Michael Flynn Try to Strike a Grand Bargain With Moscow as it Attacked the 2016 Election?  —  His associates say he claimed he was in contact with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.  —  In early December, special counsel Robert Mueller, in preparation for the upcoming sentencing …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
RELATED:
CNN:
Key lawmakers seek to haul in Trump associates working with Mueller
Discussion: KXLF-TV
Asha Rangappa / Washington Post:
Mueller should try to indict Trump. It would guarantee his report goes public.
Discussion: Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:
Apple Plans Billion-Dollar Austin Campus in Wave of New Sites  —  iPhone maker says its planned Austin facility could create 15,000 jobs, would come alongside new offices in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City  —  Apple Inc. AAPL 0.28% plans to invest $1 billion building a new corporate campus in Austin …
RELATED:
Bill Chappell / NPR:
Apple Will Build $1 Billion Campus in Austin, Adding 5,000 Jobs
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Declare Russia, China National Security Threats in Africa
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 …
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 …
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 …
Discussion: VICE News
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
Andrew McCormick / Columbia Journalism Review:
A law firm in the trenches against media unions  —  In May, the law firm Jones Day hosted a conference in its Manhattan office focused on labor and employment law in the news media industry.  It was an invitation-only affair, bringing together Jones Day attorneys and media executives …
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
Trump got Mexico to pay for the wall by simply changing the meaning of ‘pay’ and ‘Mexico’  —  When you were in fourth grade, someone probably blew your mind by telling you not to think of an elephant.  It's a fun little trick, that I will now deploy with a slight variant.
RELATED:
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Trump claims new trade pact will ensure Mexico pays for border wall
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.
Discussion: Raw Story and Splinter
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.
Michael Gold / New York Times:
Does This Look Right to You?  HOLLAD TONNEL  —  They decked the Holland with boughs of holly Then people called their décor folly.  —  Hundreds signed a web petition Now they'll vote on their position.  —  As it has in so many Decembers past, the Port Authority of New York …
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 …
Gabriel Sherman / Vanity Fair:
“This Was a Big Repudiation of Jared”: After the Ayers Chief-of-Staff Fiasco, Trump Is Eyeing Bannon Ally Dave Bossie  —  First, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump pushed Nick Ayers, who jilted Donald Trump.  Then, Trump pushed Kushner on Sean Hannity to take the heat—and into the doghouse.
Discussion: The Resurgent, Raw Story and Splinter
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.
Discussion: Political Wire
Wall Street Journal:
The Flynn Entrapment  —  A court filing shows the ugly tactics employed by James Comey's FBI.
Discussion: twitchy.com
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 …
Governor Matt Bevin:
OUTRAGEOUS.  —  ProPublica, a left-wing activist group funded by the likes of George Soros, is now funding . . . “investigative reporting” at the Courier Journal.  —  Is this the future of journalism?  Who is holding the Courier-Journal accountable?  —  Don't take my word for it!
RELATED:
Bret Stephens / New York Times:
When Anti-Zionism Tunnels Under Your House  —  For the people of northern Israel, anti-Zionism isn't some feckless sally in the world of ideas.  —  In 2002, Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, was said to have given a speech noting that the creation of the state of Israel …
Kyle Kondik / Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Senate 2020: Republican exposure on paper, but not necessarily in practice  —  GOP defending a lot of turf, but much of it is dark red  —  KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE  — Of the 34 Senate races on the ballot in 2020, Republicans already control 22 of them while Democrats hold only 12.
Washington Post:
Trump and Democrats can reach a deal on the wall — if they have the spine to take it  —  PUT ASIDE Tuesday's Oval Office theatrics and remember this: There's a compromise within reach on the wall and immigration for President Trump and congressional Democrats — if each side has the spinal fortitude …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Splinter
Lachlan Markay / The Daily Beast:
Sen. James Inhofe Bought Defense Stock Days After Pushing for Record Pentagon Spending—Then Dumped It When Asked About It  —  Ethics experts say the purchase underscores the moral hazard of lawmakers owning assets in areas of industry affected by legislation they are in positions to author.
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Aides Warn Him Against Intervening in Huawei Case  —  Advisers told president the arrest and potential prosecution of Meng Wanzhou was essentially out of his hands  —  Despite President Trump's statement that he might intervene in a criminal case against the chief financial officer …
Carol Anderson / HuffPost:
The Russians Meddled In Our Democracy, But They Had All-American Help  —  The guilty pleas continue to pile up around the man who sits in the Oval Office.  There's obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations, lying to the FBI, setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump, money laundering …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mark Strassmann / CBS News:
“I blame myself”: Retirement remains out of reach for millions of Americans
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: 39 percent of voters think President Trump will be re-elected
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA
Niskanen Center:
Niskanen Center Releases New Policy Vision Paper
Adam Harris / The Atlantic:
The Liberal Arts May Not Survive the 21st Century
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
We read Democrats' 8 plans for universal health care. Here's how they work.
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May
Discussion: New York Times
CNN:
Beto O'Rourke leapfrogs most of the 2020 Democratic field
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and Townhall
Hiroko Tabuchi / New York Times:
The Oil Industry's Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Why Trump Can't Kill the Electric Car
Ceylan Yeginsu / New York Times:
Have You Experienced a Petty Crime in London? Tell Us Your Story
Washington Post:
Trump's ultimatum on border wall boxes in fellow Republicans
Ben Boskovich / Esquire:
Damnit, Ted Cruz's Beard Looks Tolerable Now
Bradley A. Smith / National Review:
Michael Cohen Pled Guilty to Something That Is Not a Crime
Discussion: Power Line