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12:25 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
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: The Hill and Vox
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.
BuzzFeed News:
Maria Butina Pleaded Guilty To Illegally Trying To Set Up Backchannels With US Officials To Benefit Russia  —  WASHINGTON - Maria Butina pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to act as an agent for the Russian government in the United States, admitting she was involved in efforts to set …
Zachary Basu / Axios:
Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleads guilty to conspiracy charges
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Alleged Russian Spy Maria Butina Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy
Carol Anderson / HuffPost:   The Russians Meddled In Our Democracy, But They Had All-American Help
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 and CANNONFIRE
RELATED:
Asha Rangappa / Washington Post:
Mueller should try to indict Trump. It would guarantee his report goes public.
Discussion: Raw Story
CNN:
Key lawmakers seek to haul in Trump associates working with Mueller
Discussion: KXLF-TV
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 …
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: Task & Purpose, Raw Story and Splinter
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 …
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
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 …
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.
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
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
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
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
The Flynn Entrapment  —  A court filing shows the ugly tactics employed by James Comey's FBI.
Discussion: twitchy.com
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 …
The Information:
Facebook to Cut Funding for Some News Shows on Watch  —  Six months after Facebook launched a slate of original news shows from outlets like CNN, ABC News and BuzzFeed, the company has told news executives it is likely to reduce its funding for individual shows, as it refines its programming strategy for the effort.
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
Adam Harris / The Atlantic:
The Liberal Arts May Not Survive the 21st Century  —  For many years, Wisconsin had one of the finest public-university systems in the country.  It was built on an idea: that the university's influence should not end at the campus's borders, that professors—and the students they taught …
 
 
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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
Sarah Kliff / Vox:
We read Democrats' 8 plans for universal health care. Here's how they work.
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Aides Warn Him Against Intervening in Huawei Case
Discussion: CNBC
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May
Discussion: New York Times
Dion Nissenbaum / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Declare Russia, China National Security Threats in Africa
 Earlier Items: 
Hiroko Tabuchi / New York Times:
The Oil Industry's Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Why Trump Can't Kill the Electric Car
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