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1:10 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 …
Associated Press:
As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer  —  NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has now been abandoned by two of his most powerful protectors — his longtime lawyer and the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid — bringing a perilous investigation into his campaign a step closer to the Oval Office.
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.
Discussion: New York Times
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
Discussion: Politico, CNBC and Boing Boing
Michael Balsamo / Associated Press:   In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agent
Washington Post:   Maria Butina pleads guilty, is first Russian national convicted of seeking to influence U.S …
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 …
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:
CNN:
Key lawmakers seek to haul in Trump associates working with Mueller
Discussion: KXLF-TV
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 …
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
RELATED:
Steve Mistler / Maine Public:
Federal Judge Strikes Down Poliquin's Challenge To Maine's Ranked-Choice Voting Law
Discussion: Politico
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 …
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.
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
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
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Wall Street Journal:
The Flynn Entrapment  —  A court filing shows the ugly tactics employed by James Comey's FBI.
Discussion: twitchy.com
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 …
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 …
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
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 …
Jacqueline Howard / CNN:
Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data reveals  —  (CNN)Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun deaths in 38 years, according to a new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ana Colón / Glamour:
Nancy Pelosi's Red Coat Was Such a Moment, It's Coming Back to Stores in 2019
Discussion: CNN, New York Times and Politico
Claire McNear / The Ringer:
Lost at Sea With the Property Brothers
Marco Rubio / The Atlantic:
America Needs to Restore Dignity of Work
Discussion: Bloomberg and twitchy.com
The Information:
Facebook to Cut Funding for Some News Shows on Watch
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.
Asha Rangappa / Washington Post:
Mueller should try to indict Trump. It would guarantee his report goes public.
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May
Discussion: New York Times
Hiroko Tabuchi / New York Times:
The Oil Industry's Covert Campaign to Rewrite American Car Emissions Rules
Wall Street Journal:
Apple Plans Billion-Dollar Austin Campus in Wave of New Sites
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
Why Trump Can't Kill the Electric Car
Kyle Kondik / Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Senate 2020: Republican exposure on paper, but not necessarily in practice
Ben Boskovich / Esquire:
Damnit, Ted Cruz's Beard Looks Tolerable Now