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11:35 AM ET, December 14, 2018

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
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” …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Michael Cohen just dealt another big blow to Trump's hush-money defense  —  President Trump's defense against allegations that he directed Michael Cohen to carry out criminal hush-money payments on his behalf is essentially as follows: Cohen was his longtime fixer, and all Trump did was ask …
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.”
Discussion: RedState and Washington Times
Tom Winter / NBC News:
Trump was in the room during hush money discussions, NBC News confirms
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’
New York Times:   Cohen Says ‘Of Course’ Trump Knew Hush Payments to Women Were Wrong
Wall Street Journal:   President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has said the president directed him to become involved …
Jim Mustian / Associated Press:   Trump invokes ‘advice-of-counsel’ defense in campaign probe
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:
James Arkin / Politico:
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl to resign, prompting new appointment to McCain seat
Discussion: ABC News
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 …
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Oliver Darcy / CNN:
The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years  —  New York (CNN Business)The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
RELATED:
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
The Murder of the Weekly Standard
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:
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
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:
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 …
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.
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8M users' unposted photos to apps  —  Reset the “days since the last Facebook privacy scandal” counter, as a Facebook has just revealed a Photo API bug gave app developers too much access to the photos of up to 5.6 million users.
RELATED:
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: KXLF-TV
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
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Dylan Scott / Vox:
Medicare-for-all's big problem  —  Passing single-payer means disrupting health insurance for 160 million people who get coverage through their jobs.  —  Jessica Salfia knew the pay wasn't going to be great when she became a teacher in Martinsburg, West Virginia, but she did have really good health coverage.
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 …
Chuck Ross / The Daily Caller:
Mueller Target Raised $25,000 In Charity To Pay Cancer Doctor Who Doesn't Appear To Exist  — Business records and evidence from social media raise questions about a cancer fundraiser touted during the summer by Jerome Corsi, the right-wing author ensnared in the Mueller probe.
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.
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.
Tamar Auber / Mediaite:
Don Lemon Calls Out Cuomo for Kellyanne Interview: A ‘Defective, Dismissive and Histrionic Display of Non-Answers’  —  On Thursday, Chris Cuomo devoted the majority of his Primetime show to a lengthy and at times headache-inducing interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
An Australian court's gag order is no match for the Internet, as word gets out about prominent cardinal's conviction
Eric Levenson / CNN:
Inside the secret US military mission that located the Titanic
Khury Petersen-Smith / BuzzFeed News:
America Has 14,000 Golf Courses And 6,000 Refugees Waiting At The Border
Discussion: twitchy.com
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
America Was Always Diverse
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
 Earlier Items: 
Katie Lobosco / CNN:
Betsy DeVos will cancel $150 million in student debt after being sued for delays
Discussion: Axios
Matthew Continetti / Washington Free Beacon:
The Great Wall of Democracy
Devlin Barrett / Washington Post:
Mueller's treatment of cooperating witnesses suggests end of Russia investigation may be near
Discussion: CNN
Jessica Contrera / Washington Post:
The boy on the bridge … Story by Jessica Contrera Video by Joyce Koh
Washington Post:
‘Her skills are real’: How Pelosi put down a Democratic rebellion in bid for speaker
Pete Thamel / Yahoo! Sports:
How Craig James went from the voice of college football to TV pariah to seminary graduate
Washington Post:
N.C. congressional candidate sought out aide, despite warnings over tactics