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12:25 PM ET, December 14, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign  —  Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak — and dangerous  —  The case against the president would be far stronger than the case against John Edwards was.  —  Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a sentencing brief concluding that …
George Stephanopoulos / ABC News:
Michael Cohen talks to George Stephanopoulos: TRANSCRIPT  —  Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney and fixer, said Donald Trump directed him to make payments to two women who said they had affairs with the then-candidate because Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election.”
Los Angeles Times:
Trump increasingly isolated as aides leave, friends flip and investigations advance
Discussion: Raw Story
Washington Post:
Trump's falsehoods on hush-money payments are ‘coming home to roost’
The Daily Beast:
Jared Kushner Replaced Michael Cohen as Trump's National Enquirer Connection  —  The president's son-in-law grew tight with David Pecker during the early months of the administration.  —  Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was handed …
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Jon Kyl will resign from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, setting up another appointment by Ducey to John McCain's seat  —  U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will resign from the U.S. Senate on Dec. 31, The Arizona Republic has confirmed, setting up a second appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat once occupied by the late John McCain.
RELATED:
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
“This Is Not a Normal Time”: Trump and the Rapidly Expanding “Witch Hunt”  —  The criminality of the key figures in the President's inner circle is now established, and they have started to implicate Trump himself.  —  Shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday, Senator Jeff Flake, of Arizona, took to the Senate floor for his farewell speech.
James Arkin / Politico:
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl to resign, prompting new appointment to McCain seat
Discussion: Associated Press and ABC News
RELATED:
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
The Murder of the Weekly Standard  —  The Weekly Standard will be no more.  There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine's demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.
Discussion: RedState and The Daily Beast
Washington Post:
7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion  —  A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing into the United States illegally with her father and a large group …
RELATED:
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:
Steve Holland / Reuters:
Trump's chief of staff search centers on Kushner, Christie, Lighthizer: source
Discussion: Political Wire
Associated Press:   Trump's search for a new chief of staff has reality TV feel
Eli Stokols / Los Angeles Times:
Trump urged to consider a young White House insider as he struggles to find a new chief of staff
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico
New York Times:
Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations  —  WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump's inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC in hopes of buying influence over American policy …
RELATED:
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 …
Des Moines Register:
Iowa Poll on potential presidential candidates in the 2020 Iowa caucuses coming soon  —  Results of the first Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll on potential presidential candidates in the 2020 Iowa caucuses will be released online at 7 p.m. CST Saturday.
Discussion: Seymour Tribune
RELATED:
Veronica Stracqualursi / CNN:   CNN and The Des Moines Register to release first 2020 Iowa caucus poll Saturday
Lisa Girion / Reuters:
Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder  —  A REUTERS INVESTIGATION A REUTERS INVESTIGATION  —  Facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that its talc caused cancer, J&J insists on the safety and purity of its iconic product.
Discussion: CBS Chicago and KXLF-TV
George Packer / The Atlantic:
The Corruption of the Republican Party  —  Why has the Republican Party become so thoroughly corrupt?  The reason is historical—it goes back many decades—and, in a way, philosophical.  The party is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.
RELATED:
Donie O'Sullivan / CNN:   Facebook reveals bug exposed 6.8 million users' photos
Dan Morain / CALmatters:
Chief justice of the California Supreme Court leaves the Republican Party, citing Kavanaugh  —  California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has quietly given up her Republican registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, saying Thursday she had become increasingly uncomfortable …
RELATED:
Morgan Gstalter / The Hill:
Chief Justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation
Lawfare:
The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective  —  The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele remains a subject of fascination—or, depending on your perspective, scorn.  Indeed, it was much discussed during former FBI Director Jim Comey's testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7.
Murray Waas / Vox:
Exclusive: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack and discredit investigation of President Trump  —  We now have details as to how the indicted former campaign manager worked with the president to undermine federal law enforcement.  —  Paul Manafort, who served as the manager …
Nidhi Prakash / BuzzFeed News:
The Trump Administration Is Quietly Denying Federal Housing Loans To DACA Recipients  —  WASHINGTON — Two days before Thanksgiving, Edith Aguirre Vazquez got a phone call she wasn't expecting — it was a home loan officer telling her she wouldn't be able to close on the house she was about to buy because of her immigration status.
New York Times:
Behind CBS's Secret $9.5 Million Settlement With the Actress Eliza Dushku  —  In March 2017, Eliza Dushku, an actress known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” signed on to play a major role in three episodes of the CBS prime-time drama “Bull,” and there were plans to make her a full-time cast member.
NECN:
Sandy Hook School Students Sent Home After Receiving Threat on Shooting Anniversary  —  The school where the shooting happened on Dec. 14, 2012, was knocked down and a new building was constructed at the same site  —  Sandy Hook Evacuated After Threat on Shooting Anniversary
Discussion: Raw Story
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
The biggest Pinocchios of 2018  —  It's time for our annual roundup of the biggest Pinocchios of the year.  —  Once again, we face the challenge posed by President Trump, who could easily dominate this list if we're not careful.  There has been no serial exaggerator in recent American politics like the president.
NBC News:
Top secret report: North Korea keeps busting sanctions, evading U.S.-led sea patrols  —  U.S.-led naval patrols have prompted North Korea to shift tactics, but smuggled oil keeps flowing to the regime despite U.N. sanctions.  —  WASHINGTON — A top secret U.S. military assessment found …
Greg Bluestein / politics.myajc:
Ossoff strikes populist tone as he mulls Senate bid  —  Cornelia - Jon Ossoff's bid for Georgia's 6th District brought him to all corners of Atlanta suburbs, but late Thursday he arrived at a new setting: A crowded library meeting hall in deeply-conservative Habersham County.
Mark Joseph Stern / Slate:
New Jersey Democrats' Diabolical Gerrymandering Scheme Is an Affront to Democracy  —  Behind closed doors, state lawmakers hatched a plan to entrench their majority in the Legislature by carving up districts along partisan lines.  Party leaders figured out how to push through the measure at record speed …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out
Associated Press:
EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans
Christina Patterson / The Guardian:
We are the eggs being broken for this rotten Brexit omelette
Discussion: National Review
Dylan Scott / Vox:
Medicare-for-all's big problem
Eric Levenson / CNN:
Inside the secret US military mission that located the Titanic
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
America Was Always Diverse
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Don Lemon Calls Out Cuomo for Kellyanne Interview: A ‘Defective, Dismissive and Histrionic Display of Non-Answers’
 Earlier Items: 
Sohrab Ahmari / New York Post:
A fare-beater crackdown is just what New York needs
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Navy Is Struggling to Fend Off Chinese Hackers, Officials Say
Discussion: Washington Post and Task & Purpose
Katie Lobosco / CNN:
Betsy DeVos will cancel $150 million in student debt after being sued for delays
Discussion: VICE News, Axios and Politico
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Mueller Target Raised $25,000 In Charity To Pay Cancer Doctor Who Doesn't Appear To Exist
Washington Post:
‘Her skills are real’: How Pelosi put down a Democratic rebellion in bid for speaker
Discussion: New York Times and Politico
Pete Thamel / Yahoo! Sports:
How Craig James went from the voice of college football to TV pariah to seminary graduate