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7:45 PM ET, December 13, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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.
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
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 …
CNN:
Trump inaugural committee under criminal investigation, source says
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Raw Story
Khorri Atkinson / Axios:
Trump uses Congress as excuse on alleged campaign finance violations
Discussion: ABC News and Hullabaloo
HuffPost:
Trump Considering Son-In-Law Jared Kushner For Next Chief Of Staff  —  The president is in the third round of his search for a job not many people seem to want.  —  WASHINGTON Having run through his first choices for his chief of staff vacancy without any luck, President Donald Trump is considering his own son-in-law for the job.
RELATED:
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 …
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.
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Trump says he's narrowed his chief of staff search down to five contenders  —  President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he's narrowed his chief of staff search down to five candidates, but he refused to reveal who's now on the short-list.  —  During a meeting with governors-elect …
Grace Segers / CBS News:
Jared Kushner under consideration for White House chief of staff
Discussion: Joe.My.God. and Raw Story
Ginger Gibson / Reuters:
Pelosi says House Democrats will begin process to obtain Trump tax returns
Discussion: Daily Kos
Bloomberg:
Mnuchin Says He's ‘Happy’ But Would Be Chief If Trump Wants
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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: Above the Law and The Mahablog
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Maria Butina Pleads Guilty to Role in a Russian Effort to Influence Conservatives
Discussion: The Atlantic and 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 …
Discussion: The Atlantic, VICE News, CNN and The Hill
RELATED:
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:
Senate votes to condemn Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi killing, end support for Yemen war
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Senate defies Trump, rebuking Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi killing
Discussion: ABC News and Daily Kos
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 …
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:
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
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
Nick Corasaniti / New York Times:
Democrats in New Jersey Have a Firm Grip on Power.  They Want Even More.  — A Democratic proposal would essentially write gerrymandering into the State Constitution and relegate Republicans to a permanent minority.  — The measure, which must be approved by voters …
Peter Aldhous / BuzzFeed News:
The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate  —  The victims were beaten or threatened with deadly weapons.  They were taunted with racist or anti-gay abuse.  Yet the police decided these weren't hate crimes.  —  The dispute ended in a severe beating on the street in Irving, Texas …
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: Washington Times, AOL, Mediaite and Splinter
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.
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 …
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 Van Sickler / Tampa Bay Times:
Ron DeSantis says Amendment 4 should be delayed until he signs bill from lawmakers  —  In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis says the ballot measure that allows most ex-felons to vote (and that he opposed) shouldn't go into effect until state lawmakers approve an implementation bill that he signs.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Palm Beach Post
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
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
Sanders and Warren Meet and Agree: They Both Are Probably Running  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders met Wednesday night at her condominium in Washington to discuss their political intentions but did not reach any accord about coordinating …
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.
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
For Arizona governor, McSally's star dims as possible choice for Senate seat  —  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has lost enthusiasm for appointing Rep. Martha McSally, a fellow Republican, to the Senate in recent weeks even as Republican leaders in Washington have championed her.
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
Jack Crowe / National Review:
Florida Senate Rules Brenda Snipes Cannot Rescind Her Resignation  —  Florida's Republican state Senate president told colleagues Thursday that embattled Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes cannot rescind her previously announced resignation in order to contest her suspension by Governor Rick Scott.
USA Today:
Was your child's coach banned for sexual misconduct?  Better check  —  Gerald Murphy served time in prison after being convicted of lewd and lascivious assault of a child.  The state of Florida permanently revoked his teaching certificate for the crime.  —  Murphy was also a youth coach, a member of USA Taekwondo.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jacob Snow / ACLU:
Amazon's Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door
Valerie Strauss / Washington Post:
Anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on and around American Federation of Teachers headquarters
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’
Ashe Schow / Daily Wire:
New York State Issues Ultimatum To Faith-Based Adoption Agency
RealClearInvestigations:
Ballot Fraud, American-Style ... and Its Bitter Harvests
Tom Balmforth / Reuters:
Captured Ukrainian navy captains tell Russia: we won't testify
 Earlier Items: 
CNN:
READ: Jeff Flake's farewell address to Congress
Discussion: Chicks On The Right and IJR
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
In a First, Lawmaker Cites QAnon Conspiracy From City Council Floor
Discussion: OC Weekly and Contemptor
Jessica Valenti / Medium:
The $400 Rape … A young woman in Texas found out this week precisely …
Mark Strassmann / CBS News:
“I blame myself”: Retirement remains out of reach for millions of Americans
Discussion: The Big Lead
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